There are some things that just didn’t quite fit into everything else. Services, offerings from Disney, not quite tech techish things for your tech… This is all the Odds ‘n Ends. All those extra little Disney Tech scraps, that still will help you get the most out of your Disney vacation.
Disney has a number of services that are tech related. Some we’ve covered such as the Disney apps. But there are some things that Disney offers you to help you with your tech.
Disney PhotoPass is a great service. Do you remember those kiosks at the end of the rides where you could buy your picture? This is that kicked up a number of levels. First off, it is a paid $150 add-on service (or free if you have one of the Annual Passes) for your entire trip. You only need to buy it once for everyone in your party, so doesn’t matter if you are a party of 1 or 15, you only need to buy it once. It will be linked to your MagicBands (or given a PhotoPass card if you don’t have one).
For all the rides you go on, your MagicBand will make a note of your seat and auto-magically link you to your ride photo. Any photographer in the DisneyParks will also be able to link your pictures right to your account. And then you can download them either via the My Disney Experience App, or from the PhotoPass website. Images are avalible for a while after your trip so you can download them when you get home. And can even order prints if you’d like.
Additionally they have something called Animated Magic Shots that will overlay animated figures into your photos, such as Tinkerbell on the left. They have you do a number of silly poses, that often won’t make sense, but later you’ll see something magically has happened in your pictures.
But wait, there’s more! PhotoPass isn’t just pictures. Some of the rides also give you a little video to go along with it. They are like little ride commercials starting you. So far I only know of 2, but it seems likely Disney will start integrating this into more rides in the future. Here are 2 from one of our previous trips:
Tower of Terror
7 Dwarfs Mine Train
If a picture says a thousand words, how many does a video say? Disney PhotoPass is a great value add. And since you can share it with friends and family on your trip that $150 goes a long way. And, as mentioned earlier, if you have any of the annual passes, you already have it, “free” of charge!
With as much technology we all have now, it’s nice to see that anywhere you go in the parks you can get some sort of wifi. That’s both in the parks and the resorts. This means you don’t need to worry about the cell signal going out in order to upload your favorite selfie of you and Donald Duck. Although often if there are too many people it can be a bit spotty at times. Look for the network called “Disney-Guest” while in each of the Parks. For the resorts you’ll find “Guest WiFi (Disney)” for areas covering the resort rooms, and “Public Space Guest WiFi (Disney)” covering the public areas like pools and lobbies.
Throughout the parks there are now public available charging stations. You’ve always been able to leave your phone at Guest Relations (if you also leave a cable with it) to give it a charge. But now there are also special charging areas that have benches and both standard outlets, and USB ports to make charing your devices very easy. Check your map for locations in each park to top off your devices. These ares can get rather full later in the day, so plan accordingly so you don’t run out of juice.
If you can’t get in there, and forgot to bring your own power pack, you can now also pay for a portal battery pack called FuelRods. They run $30 and are all over the parks. Charging up your device with the included cables. Each charge should give a couple hours of use. Empty pack? Pop in your old one, get a new fully charged module for no extra charge! That’s a pretty good deal. Full information on their locations in the parks are available at the Disney Portable Phone Chargers info page.
The original FastPass was introduced back in 1999 had a novel concept. Instead of waiting in line, you put in your ticket and, for free, got a return time instead. This freed you up to do things around the park instead of sitting in the queue (and also not spending money). They later upgraded this to being able to sign up for multiple FastPass+ reservations for each day via the My Disney Experience app or website. You can also book additional reservations if you’ve used yours up at kiosks around the park.
Bus wait times
They have been upgrading most of the bus stops around the resorts to include wait times on TV screens. These signs are often correct, although we have seen them be laughably wrong. But it’s nice to know if you just missed a bus to your next location, or if there should be one arriving shortly.
Ok not technically tech… but kinda falls in this topic. Many people don’t realize that you don’t need to carry all your items you buy in the parks with you if you are staying on property. Almost all the shops in Walt Disney World will ship items right to your resort for you to pick up there the next day. Beats carrying things around. Do note that if you are laving the next day, even late, they won’t let you do this. You can instead have it shipped to the front of the park for pickup when you leave however. Check with each shop to see what their policy is. It’s free so definitely make use of it.
Some little items useful in the parks
There’s a couple of other simple things I like to have on me while in the parks. First up is a very basic piece of tech: The Zip Lock bag. I’m a fan of the gallon size, but a sandwich size will work in a pinch. There are many rides you can get wet (or soaked) at. Having something to put your electric devices, along with anything else) into without worrying about it getting shorted out is a wonder little add on.
The Florida sun can get pretty hot. One way we avoid this is with some clothing tech – the Mission Enduracool towels, bandanas, and head bands. All you have to do is get them wet, give it a quick snap, and it will keep you cool for the next hour or so.
I’m also a fan of as small a bag or wallet you can bring with you. As nice a thought you only need your Magic Band, the truth is you’ll likely want to still carry at least 1 credit card along with your ID. I personally avoid an extra wallet all together by using the Twelve South BookBook. It’s small, and since it’s part of my phone, I never lose it.
We usually also are sure to bring a small Disney Drawstring Backpack with us. They come in a ton of styles (some you can only get in the parks). They are light, easy to carry, have two areas, and can hold a ton of stuff. The only downside is you have to go through that bag check line when entering the parks. But it beats carrying stuff in your hands all day.
Hopefully these last few days of articles will help with your Disney Tech needs. If you missed any of them, the links to the other posts are right below. Was these articles helpful? Leave a comment below!
And Check out the other articles from this week’s series:
- Prepping for Disney overview
- Pre-gaming Disney Planning
- Tech In the Parks
- Things to leave at the Hotel (or at home)
- Odds ‘n Ends of Disney vacation tech
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