Hey howdy hey, it’s Friday! I’ve had a blast following along this week and enjoying all of our participation! You all rock!!! And if you’re not sure what I’m talking about, then check out our fb fanpage. We’ve had lots of activity as of late, and speaking for all three of us, we’re SO happy that you all are enjoying our blog and sharing your Disney memories as well. And sharing memories seems like the perfect segue into today’s post because today I’ll be talking about how to utilize those snazzy smartphones while on your Disney vacation by featuring some of my favorite apps.
There are loads of apps to choose from on several different platforms, but for the purposes of what I know and have actually used, I’ll only be talking about apps from the app store on iOS. Sorry to all my droid lovers, but I’ll work on that post for the future! 🙂 I’ve been to WDW several times now with my iPhone and couldn’t imagine going back without it. It was always not only my info center for anything and everything we had planned, but it also was the best camera. You know, because the best camera to use is always the one closest to you! From park maps to entertainment while waiting in attraction lines, there’s lots to explore and have fun with!
This app is first on my list for a reason. I used this app MORE than any other app I’m featuring while at WDW. It’s only $1.99 and is worth WAY more than that! This is the app that I use to take photos no matter where I am. It’s my go-to and it can actually let you capture images that you never thought you’d be able to take with your camera phone. (There’s also one that’s called VSCO cam, and while it’s nice and pretty and does most of the same things, I started with Camera+ and once you get used to something, well you know.) Camera+ also has loads of presets, filters, and and other settings that makes this app totally worth it. The best feature by far though, is the ability to set your focal point and exposure points independently. What does that mean? It means that when you’re in situations where your sweet little Princess is doing the cutest little dance but it’s right in front of that really bright restaurant window, YOU will still capture that precious moment! You simply place one finger down on whatever you want in focus and while holding it down, place a second finger where you’d like the exposure to come from. Once you have your two markers, (one will be square for your focal point and one circle for your exposure) you can let go and move each marker around independently until you achieve the look you like. And be sure to practice this a bit before you go because it’s amazingly handy to know, but not exactly something you want to learn while on an attraction. This feature also means that you’ll be able to turn OFF (oh dear heavens, this must be the most awful thing and ever and my camera most surely won’t get a good pic if it’s not on!) for most all of your photos!! Being able to turn the flash off has loads of benefits. First, it saves batteries!! That’s a HUGE deal when on vacay and you want to make the most of your phone’s battery life. It also, eliminates those pesky red-eyed demons that most everyone has encountered. Let’s just not go there. And my favorite reason (and one of my biggest pet peeves at WDW) is that by turning the flash off, you’re being kind to everyone around you! This is most important because you can still take photos of the amazing dark rides while refraining from ruining the experience with momentary pops of bright light that tend to reveal things on the rides that the imagineers never intended you to see. The lighting on the rides is VERY deliberate and it’s not fair to everyone enjoying the ride to have it ruined because you just HAD to have a photo of Hook teetering in tic-toc’s jaws. And worse yet? The photos that have the flash on during dark rides are terrible anyway because the light you’re seeing while riding is changed once the flash light hits it. Let’s just suffice it say, you’ll be happy you turned it off!! (There’s only ONE exception to this rule and it occurs towards the beginning of a dark ride in Epcot. Anyone know what I’m talking about???)
This app has gotten SO. MUCH. BETTER. Seriously, within the last several years Disney has greatly improved this app and it’s now loaded with features! Even if you’re not planning a trip currently, it’s a fun app to use to explore everything that WDW has to offer. From attractions, characters, and dining, to trip planning and ticket linking, this app is brimming with fun features. This is another to download and use BEFORE you leave for your trip. It’s always nice to know how an app works and where to find important bits of into before you’re there because any new app can be frustrating if you’re looking for info like times or menus while you’re whole party is waiting on you to “play” on your phone.
If you’ve been reading along with me, you all know that I’m a big Touring plans fan and highly recommend it to anyone who’s traveling to Disney Parks. (And yes, they even have Disneyland and the parks-that-must-not-be-named!) This app is great because you can pretty much do anything that you can on their website right from your phone/device. It stores any touring plans you make and gives you real-time info on park wait times based on their own unique algorithm that factors in Disney’s own posted wait times with the wait times from users submitted from within the app. Which means that you get a more realistic idea of how long the wait should be! And you can submit your own wait times too! It’s also great if you’re looking for something yummy to eat that’s close to you because you can search dining by locations and even check out their prices and menus! The best part however, is the Crowd Tracker and crowd levels estimates. Those will help you plan which days to be in which parks and can even help you nail down which week to book. This app rounds out my top 3 must-have apps.
There are loads of other apps to use too, both by Disney and third-parties. Here’s a few notable ones:
•Instagram, because duh! If you’re at WDW and want to share that precious photo of baby kissing Mickey’s nose, that’s the way to go! Tag yourself with #disneyside and your photo may even be featured on Disney’s website!
•DisneyMoviesAnywhere, because you’ll totally want to download your kids’ favorite Disney movies to watch while waiting in lines, etc. Trust me.
•DisneyGiftCard. I’ve added this one because I just happened to find it while looking for fun Disney apps. I’ve havent gotten to try it yet, but it looks like a great way to add all of your Disney gift cards (you know, the ones that you purchased to pay for your trip with at Target to get your 5% back with the red card!) into one card. Anyone want to try it out and let us know how it works?
•Memories HD. This is a Disney app that allows you to do fun things with your photos! It’s free, so check it out.
•Story, this is another Disney app for photos. This one, however, is for those Moms who can’t just pick one photo. It allows you create “stories” with multiple photos and videos and add text to create a special memory. Definitely one to use AFTER your Disney trip.
•HiddenMickeys, (Disneyland and Walt Disney World) and before you have a heart-attack at the price, let me just say that you’ll see the very same books sold throughout the resorts and parks and by not purchasing the physical copy you’re not only saving paper, but you’re giving yourself an opportunity to play along! Because with this app, it allows you to track and mark each and every hidden Mickey you find and when! Boo and I loved playing along on our last trip. This is an app that would be fun for kids to play while there because when they’re searching for hidden Mickeys, running around the parks is truly a blast!
•Lots To Do In Line. (Disneyland and Walt Disney World) This app is made for those who want to play Disney trivia that’s specific to the ride or attraction that you’re currently waiting in line for! Yep! Gotta wait 90 mins for test track?? It’s cool. Just open it up and impress your friends with your impressive knowledge of why test track originally featured red and yellow colors!
•Ride Counter. This is for those who just wanna show how many times they can stomach the Yeti’s vengeance on Everest because it lets you create multiple riders and track ride counts for each.
So, there you have it. My favorites, but I’d love to what I’ve missed. So please comment and share and let us know your favorite apps for traveling to Disney. And thanks for reading along. TTFN! ~M °o°