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My Disney Experience – A DVC Duo Back to Basics Guide

There’s an app for that! Words to live by thanks to Apple and the iPhone. Walt Disney World is no different as they have their own called My Disney Experience. Whether you’re heading down for your first visit or a Disneyphile veteran, you’ll want to know the ins and outs of My Disney Experience. We’ve been told from some very wise people that there is no better place to start than at the beginning. We agree. Grab your phone, or your laptop, or both, we’re getting back to basics with our DVC Duo guide to the My Disney Experience app and web page.

Logo for My Disney Experience

What is it? Beside an App

Whether you book through a Disney certified travel agent or do everything yourself, you’ll hear about creating a My Disney Experience account. My Disney Experience at its core is a vacation planning tool to help you book all your activities for your Walt Disney World trip. From the moment you book your hotel until the day your depart on the Magical Express, the app will provide tons of information about what is happening both in the parks and around Disney.

My Disney Experience is available for the iPhone, Android, and through the Disney website.

Passholder Insight: We recommend checking for updates for your phone on a regular basis. Disney continually makes updates and we’ve found having an out of date version can cause a lot of issues.

Sign In screen of My Disney Experience
My Disney Experience Sign In Screen

Creating Profiles – The First Step

First things first, you’ll need to create a profile either through the app on your phone or the website. The system will ask you for the standard information we’re all familiar with, name, address, etc. Then comes our favorite part, picking a Disney character for your profile picture. Just like that you have a My Disney Experience profile.

Now it’s time to create profiles for the rest of your group. You’ll want to go to the “My Family & Friends” section to add additional people. It’s located under the My Account section on both the app and website. You’ll have three options to add people.

  1. Find Through Connected Guests
  2. Import from a Walt Disney World hotel reservation
  3. Enter their name and age

If this your first time using the My Disney Experience you’ll want to use either option 2 or 3. Option one is great if you’ve previously used the app and would like to add people from previous vacations.

The second option works well if you’re staying on Disney property and are looking to create profiles for everyone on your reservation. All you’ll need to do is pick out your characters!

The last option is very straight forward. All that’s required is a name and age to create each profile. Repeat as needed.  

Passholder Insights: If you have members of your party that would like their own My Disney Experience profiles, you’ll want to do the following. After creating their profile click “update”, then at the very top right is an invite to connect button. Click this and send them an email to finish their profile. This will also let them see all the plans on their device.

Profile creation screen in My Disney Experience
My Disney Experience Profile Creation Screen

Adding the Key Information  

After your profile is created you can start adding your hotel (if you’re staying at a Disney resort) and ticket information. This is very important to do, as it will enable you to make dining reservations and FastPass+ reservations in advance. To add both hotel and park tickets to your account, you’ll want to go to the my plans section of the app and website. Add your confirmation numbers and pick your friends or family member to assign to the reservations and you’re good to go!

My Disney Experience My Plan Selection
My Plans Selection

Success! Now the Fun Stuff  

Once you have all your reservations added to My Disney Experience you’re ready for the good stuff – FastPass+, Dining and so much more. Let’s kick it off with the pre-vacation things to do within the app. Number 1 is make your Advance Dining Reservations, you may hear Disneyphiles refer to these as ADRs (we love our acronyms! It’s like alphabet soup). Beginning 180 days prior to your arrival you’ll be able to make your ADR’s, and you’ll definitely want to do this for those extra special meals. The ADR system opens up at 7 am EST on your 180 day mark for each day of your vacation.

If you’re staying on Disney property, you’re able to start booking at the 180 mark plus up to additional 10 days forward or the length of your trip (whichever is shorter). What this means is on the 180 day mark of the first day of your vacation you can start booking ADRs for that day, as well as each day forward up to ten days. You can knockout all your ADRs at one time.

Passholder Insights: For the extremely hard to get ADR’s a trick we use is trying to book them towards the end of your vacation when you’re staying on Disney property. You can use the plus 10 days to make it a little easy for the ADR.

Similar to making ADRs, FastPasses work the same way for booking. For more information on booking FastPasses and how everything works check out the FastPass Essentials Guide.

Screenshots of My Disney Experience Mobile App
Mobile Experience

Woohoo, We’re at Walt Disney!

We’ve made it, we’re rolling into Disney World! Besides your Magicband, your next best friend while at the parks will be the My Disney Experience app on your smartphone. Below is a breakdown of the key areas within the app:

  • Wait Times – Within the app you’re able to see attraction wait times both on a map and list view. If you have location services turned on, the map would adjust to the park you’re at.
  • Showtimes – For the most updated times on shows and nighttime speculars. It’s good to check this section as times may change without notice.
  • Park Hours – Beyond just park hours this section shows you which parks have extra magic hours, and which attractions are closed for refurbishment. You can see park hours up to 6 months in advance, please note hours can and do change. We always recommend checking back.
  • My Plans – In the My Plans selection is where you can see and make both ADRs and FastPass+ reservations. As well as modify any of your FastPass+ bookings. Lastly you’ll find Mobile Ordering within my plans.
  • Photos – You’ll be able to view your photos from attractions and photopass photographers here. Additionally, you’re able to add Memory Maker if you would like.
  • Merchandise – You can order park merchandise directly from the app and have it shipped to your house. The coolest part is you can scan a barcode and the app will tell you where else in Walt Disney World you can find the merchandise. This works great in you find something you like, but they don’t have your size at the location you’re at.

Overall the My Disney Experience app is great for planning your Disney vacation. We would recommend downloading the app ahead of your trip to become familiar with it, this will make your experience that much more seamless. Enjoy!

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