Are smart phones essential at the parks?

Minnesota disney fan

Well-Known Member
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Hello Diane and welcome back to the Dis:
I don't have a "smart phone". I have an old flip phone that I buy minutes for. I can text on it and do most other things on it. I don't take it to the parks with me (personal choice). I rarely have it on. If I want another fp, I just go to the kiosk, easy! To order, I think you can go to the CM at the door and they will help you if you don't have a smart phone. I saw on a recent parks video that if you didn't have a phone, you would be directed to a designated ordering stand by a CM at the restaurant entrance to order your food. It would be placed in an area for you to pick up.
So, all this means that, Yes, you can do without a smart phone, but life would probably be easier with one. It is not impossible to go to WDW without one. I do it all the time. As far as magic bands, you can use your old ones. They also offer the option of the card (like they used to do), so that is doable.
It is all in what you want to do. I can understand the problems with coming from the UK regarding expensive phones.
I will continue to do things this way until my old phone finally dies out, LOL. Then I will have to contend with buying a smart phone!
 

GimpYancIent

Well-Known Member
As much as I've resisted having to rely on tecchie devices and continually get frustrated by them, I've had to adjust/ resign myself that its a necessity on a Disney trip. Disneys made it so that to function while in competition with everyone else from the time you enter til you leave a park, that phones in constant use. It was bizarre several years ago to see a segment of guests focused on their screens and not looking up but now its everyone. I suppose you could go without a device and enjoy the day... but it would be so much more challenging to do so.
Guests should be able to unplug, step out/off of the grid and enjoy Disney. E.D.'s have become too much a part of daily life a trip to a Disney property should not necessitate having one to eat, stay at a resort, access a park or attraction. For guests that do not want to, well, those guests should not have to.
 

wendysue

Well-Known Member
As much as I've resisted having to rely on tecchie devices and continually get frustrated by them, I've had to adjust/ resign myself that its a necessity on a Disney trip. Disneys made it so that to function while in competition with everyone else from the time you enter til you leave a park, that phones in constant use. It was bizarre several years ago to see a segment of guests focused on their screens and not looking up but now its everyone. I suppose you could go without a device and enjoy the day... but it would be so much more challenging to do so.
Not challenging at all...we just enjoy the day..:)
 

Worldlover71

Well-Known Member
I believe that the only thing that cannot be done without a smartphone is getting a boarding group for RotR. Technically, you can get one from a cast member. However, everything that I've heard says that only the first person or two on line actually gets one because the spots fill up within seconds of their release. Perhaps someone on here has tried this and can give more insight?
 

dave&di

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
As much as I've resisted having to rely on tecchie devices and continually get frustrated by them, I've had to adjust/ resign myself that its a necessity on a Disney trip. Disneys made it so that to function while in competition with everyone else from the time you enter til you leave a park, that phones in constant use. It was bizarre several years ago to see a segment of guests focused on their screens and not looking up but now its everyone. I suppose you could go without a device and enjoy the day... but it would be so much more challenging to do so.
I’m sure I’ll adjust to the situation before 2022 🤞I’m not great with technology, it doesn’t like me 🙄 you can’t be a FastPass ticket!
 

Qscout

Member
I thought his would be the case, do you know how this works from an English phone network? Expensive?

A few years ago we used the disney WiFi and it was okay, last year when we went it was much improved. So you can hook on to this and it won't cost you. Failing that, you can contact your provider and most will add roaming for a brief time, maybe at a cost, but you will know that up front. We would have paid maybe £20 for data abroad, for a brief period. Our current contract allows world roaming to include our usual minutes and data, just depends on your provider.

As for not being contacted by relatives, you can always turn your phone off and only switch it on when you want/need to access it for Disney App things.

I was fairly apprehensive of making dining reservations, fastpass reservations, ordering food etc using my phone, but within a few hours, it was so much easier than the previous systems.
 

dave&di

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hello Diane and welcome back to the Dis:
I don't have a "smart phone". I have an old flip phone that I buy minutes for. I can text on it and do most other things on it. I don't take it to the parks with me (personal choice). I rarely have it on. If I want another fp, I just go to the kiosk, easy! To order, I think you can go to the CM at the door and they will help you if you don't have a smart phone. I saw on a recent parks video that if you didn't have a phone, you would be directed to a designated ordering stand by a CM at the restaurant entrance to order your food. It would be placed in an area for you to pick up.
So, all this means that, Yes, you can do without a smart phone, but life would probably be easier with one. It is not impossible to go to WDW without one. I do it all the time. As far as magic bands, you can use your old ones. They also offer the option of the card (like they used to do), so that is doable.
It is all in what you want to do. I can understand the problems with coming from the UK regarding expensive phones.
I will continue to do things this way until my old phone finally dies out, LOL. Then I will have to contend with buying a smart phone!
This is good to know, I hate technology. I want a FP ticket! I also want a plastic card with a picture of a character on to enter! I’m old school! 😂 I always used to have a souvenir album I would stick tickets and things in, I want evidence of my trip not just a phone! Don’t you need it for ‘virtue queues’? Another new thing for me!
 

dave&di

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I believe that the only thing that cannot be done without a smartphone is getting a boarding group for RotR. Technically, you can get one from a cast member. However, everything that I've heard says that only the first person or two on line actually gets one because the spots fill up within seconds of their release. Perhaps someone on here has tried this and can give more insight?
I think this will be the one issue regarding not having a phone, this ride will be a must for both of us.
 

Katiekitten

Well-Known Member
When I go from the UK I turn of my data and roaming and use Disney WiFi, although this means I can't use it on transport and it does occasionally dip out. But I have never had any problems using this for booking fastpasses, using MDE and using mobile ordering. We also used whatsapp whilst there to communicate with each other when we weren't together as this used WiFi and didn't incur any extra costs.
 

dave&di

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
When I go from the UK I turn of my data and roaming and use Disney WiFi, although this means I can't use it on transport and it does occasionally dip out. But I have never had any problems using this for booking fastpasses, using MDE and using mobile ordering. We also used whatsapp whilst there to communicate with each other when we weren't together as this used WiFi and didn't incur any extra costs.
Good to know. Do you not need to inform your phone company that it will be used abroad? Sorry I’m a complete novice! ☺️
 

Minnesota disney fan

Well-Known Member
This is good to know, I hate technology. I want a FP ticket! I also want a plastic card with a picture of a character on to enter! I’m old school! 😂 I always used to have a souvenir album I would stick tickets and things in, I want evidence of my trip not just a phone! Don’t you need it for ‘virtue queues’? Another new thing for me!
Thanks di: I don't know about VQ's, because I haven't tried one yet. We are not big star wars fans so we didn't even try for one in March this year (before the covid started). I think I read on here that a CM would help you with a VQ but it's not guaranteed you would get one. Maybe someone who has tried this could chime in! Disney without technology is completely doable. I don't keep my flip phone on at all, only if I need to make a call when I am out. I don't want to stare at a phone all day while at WDW, but I'm "old school" too. Everything seems to be going towards using a smart phone now, but there are ways to not use one. Have a great trip.
 

MickeyLuv'r

Well-Known Member
I wouldn't say it is essential to have one, but it makes many transactions easier. More than once, having a phone has saved the day, so to speak. Or at least having my phone saved me from a headache that would have otherwise cost an hour or 3 to fix.

Pulling up all your confirmation numbers on the fly. (Conf # for return flight boarding passes! Needed NOW!)
Pictures- not just for fun, but to do things like to note a parking spot, receipts, etc.
GPS

Right now, it might not matter, but if crowds return to WDW, a smartphone can mean the difference between getting a 4th, 6th, 7th, FP every day, or not getting one. Even if no line, going to the kiosk takes time, and you get luck of the draw (for FP choices).
Smartphone = more opportunity to modify your FP.
No phone= FP for Dumbo.
Phone = FP for Space Mtn.
 
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