PlanningThe ParksTips

Essential Preparations: Prepare Your My Disney Experience From Home

There is a lot that goes into a Walt Disney World vacation. From determining what Disney Resort you want to stay at, what Disney Park you want to visit, choosing where to eat, and creating an overall plan, a vacation to Walt Disney World takes a lot of pre-trip work.

A considerable part of your Walt Disney World vacation is being prepared when you arrive. We have five must-do things you should do at home before your trip to Disney. Taking time at home to practice these things will make you feel more prepared and relaxed when you arrive at Walt Disney World.

Look at these must-do things, and test them before you arrive at Walt Disney World. Doing this while in the comfort of your home won’t take long, but it will have a big impact on your Walt Disney World trip.

My Disney Experience
My Disney Experience

Download My Disney Experience

Before arriving at Walt Disney World, downloading and signing into your My Disney Experience app is crucial. This is the official app of Walt Disney World. Through this app, the majority of our other must-dos will be located.

A lot of great information is found within the My Disney Experience app, but it can be overwhelming. By downloading it before your trip, you will be more comfortable with it when you arrive.

Our next must-dos will be features that you can find within the app. You can practice navigating these features before arriving at Walt Disney World.

Map of Magic Kingdom showing Tron
Map of Magic Kingdom showing Tron

Park Maps

Once you have downloaded My Disney Experience, review the Park Maps. Getting familiar with where things are located in Walt Disney World and within the specific Parks will make you more comfortable when you arrive.

Get a general feel for how Disney Parks are laid out and look at where some of the more popular rides are located within those Parks. The Walt Disney World Resort is huge. If you take some time with the Park maps before you arrive, you will feel safer in the Parks when on vacation.

my disney experience family walking in magic kingdom
my disney experience

Wait Times

An excellent way to get familiar with the Park Maps is to look at the wait times. My Disney Experience displays these for Guests in either a map or list form. Have fun before your trip, reviewing the different wait times throughout the day.

As you get familiar with where rides are located within the Parks, you can become more familiar with the wait time trends for these must-do attractions. We have fun with this as a family, making it a game. Everyone gets to guess what they think the current wait time is for a specific attraction such as Pirates of the Caribbean. The winner is whoever is the closest to the actual posted wait time.

Although wait time trends change, getting familiar with how to find those wait times, as we all have a general understanding of wait time trends from home, will be extremely helpful when you arrive at Walt Disney World.

mobile order walkthrough

Practice Mobile Ordering

Mobile ordering through the My Disney Experience app can save you much time and even frustration during your trip. Guests can mobile order at quick service locations throughout the Disney Parks and select Disney Resorts.

This is something you can practice before you arrive at Walt Disney World. Get familiar with the process by choosing a quick service location such as Sleepy Hollow in Magic Kingdom. Then select your items to add to your cart. You don’t need to go through the payment process; however, we do recommend double-checking you have a payment on file. This is an excellent way to check that if you don’t, add one to your My Disney Experience profile before your trip.

If you accidentally go through payment, you can cancel your order, so don’t panic. Remember, food isn’t prepared for Guests until you have selected “I’m Here. Prepare My Order”. You don’t want to do that from home, but practicing the general mobile process is good.

mobile order walkthrough

Walk-Up Wait List

Another dining tip you can look at from home is the walk-up wait lists. Select table-service locations throughout Walt Disney World now have a walk-up waitlist option. This allows Guests that don’t have current reservations to join a standby option for these restaurants.

You do have to be near the dining location to join the waitlist, but you can navigate the overall system from home. One way to do this is by clicking the plus button when opening My Disney Experience. From there, you can select “Check dining availability.”

This will give you available reservations and locations that allow walk-ups. When you are at Walt Disney World, this can be a great feature to use. You can also find this information by selecting the location icon and choosing dining from the drop-down menu.

Knowing how to do this will give you more dining options at Walt Disney World and might prevent meltdowns.

Genie Tip Board

Set Up Tip Board

Within My Disney Experience, Guests can use Disney Genie. This free planning feature will help Guests navigate the Parks throughout their vacation. Disney Genie offers daily tips and tricks based on Guests’ selections.

You can set up your tip board before your trip if you wish to do so. Once you have tickets linked to your account, you can go into the Tip Board and choose your rides, shows, and other must-do attractions. Disney Genie will then help you once you arrive at the Park by suggesting when to visit those experiences.

If you are unfamiliar with Walt Disney World, Disney Genie is a great feature that can help make navigating Disney Parks easier.

Make sure you are ready for your Walt Disney World vacation by learning where these essential features are within My Disney Experience. This will make your trip to Walt Disney World a lot easier.



Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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