Testing New Features On The My Disney Experience App – And How Does These Additional Features Affect My Phone Battery?

We’ve previously shared a few new features that can now be found on the My Disney Experience App, but until now, we haven’t been able to try them out firsthand. Well, that all changed this week.

What do we think about these new additions?

Mobile Ordering

This is one of the older “new” features on the App. It was first released last year, but at the time we were there, Mobile ordering was not yet available for those on the Dining Plan. Anything bought on the App would have to be purchased with a credit card. And why pay for food when we had an abundance of Meal and Snack Credits to use?

Now that the Dining Plan is accepted for Mobile Ordering, we decided to give it a try.

We LOVED it! It’s like a fastpass, but for food! My parents aren’t “tech” people, so they walked through the regular queue. Not only did I have my order within a couple minutes, we were done eating before my parents made it back to the table.

If you have the opportunity to use Mobile Ordering, do it! It was 100% worth it!

**Be sure to be on the look out for a Review of our time in Toy Story Land**

Opening your door with your phone

I was very excited to try out this feature. Although I wasn’t sure how handy it would be, it sounded fun. so I wanted to try it out.

With my phone in hand, I pressed the “Open door” button and pressed my phone against the Mickey Symbol on the door. It worked perfectly and even had the Magical Sounds to let you know that your door has “magically” been unlocked.

While I found this to be really cute and a great idea, it’s still easier to use your MagicBand. I’m someone who always wears their MagicBand, so having the capability to open my door with my phone isn’t a necessity. But, it’s a great feeling to know that if I did forget my Band, I wouldn’t be locked out of my room.

And the Magical Sounds is totally worth having to open the App up to use it. I opened the door a few times with my phone, just so I could hear it. Lol

Bus Times

I have always found that waiting for the next bus to come is the most excruciating part of any Disney Vacation. I’d gladly wait in line for an attraction over waiting for the bus, especially when it’s located directly in the sun.

So, we thought this was a great addition. Sure, there are screens telling you what time the next bus is estimated to arrive. But, even with our sunglasses on, we couldn’t always see them from the line because of the glare from the sun. So, the app came in handy.

But, as much as we enjoyed this feature at Pop Century, we found it most useful when we were returning to our Resort, from the Parks. Bus times aren’t posted in these areas, so it was always a guessing game of when the next bus will be coming.

While the App clearly states that the Return times are not yet available, what the App does tell you is the estimated time that bus is arriving at the Park. Obviously, once those Guests get off the bus, you board that same bus, so we always had an estimated time the next bus was coming. And since the times were updated in real time, we found it to be accurate.

Shop Merchandise

I didn’t expect to use this feature as much as I did this past week. Space is always an issue when we fly since we don’t fly with super large luggage. So, we scanned barcodes to see if the same exact item was available online, in case we wanted to purchase it later and have it shipped home.

We also found a number of items that had no signage, so we also used the scanner to find the prices. Some of the stores were busy, so it was nice to not have to bother cast members for price checks.

Play Disney

This was one part of the app that I was most excited to try out. Waiting in lines can get boring, and we weren’t able to grab a FastPass for Slinky Dog Dash, so I was looking forward to playing the game as a way to pass time with my family. No matter what the wait time was, my sister and I were determined to get on this year (spoiler…it wasn’t very long at all! But, more into that later on.)

To be honest, we found this addition to be underwhelming. I don’t subscribe to Apple Play, so I couldn’t listen to the music (not that i could hear in the Parks anyway).

And while I did earn “achievements” for waiting in line for certain attractions, I either didn’t have long enough of a wait to enjoy it, or I forgot about the app altogether. Bluetooth has to be enabled to earn these achievements, so even when I didn’t open the app, I got a cute little “sticker” to mark going on the ride. And you have to admit, they’re pretty darn cute!

The only Quest we had time to actually read a little bit of was in Animal Kingdom. But because we were waiting for a Mickey and Minnie Meet-and-Greet, inside of Adventurers Outpost, we weren’t near The Tree of Life, where a lot of the photos and questions were referring to.

We played a little bit, took a couple pictures they asked us to take (turning my son into a couple animals), but in the end, it didn’t really capture our attention much.

With all the App activity going on, how did it affect my phone battery?

I was pleasantly surprised at how well my phone did, battery-wise. Of course, I did have to charge it while I was in the Parks, but not nearly as much as I thought I would have to.

First of all, I attribute a lot of this to the Low Battery Mode setting. It made a HUGE difference in the life of my battery.

I was taking lots of  pictures, opening the My Disney App up, and trying out the new features all day. But, because my phone was in Low Battery Mode, it lost power significantly less than my mom’s phone, even though she barely used hers all week (and we both have Apple phones).

Although I advised her to put her phone on her Battery Saver and to either turn Wifi off or to use Disney’s free Wifi, she didn’t take my advice. SMH… 🙂  My phone automatically connects to Disney’s WiFi (a true indicator that you are “home” 🙂 ) So, as a result, I was using significantly less power than she way, even though I used my phone a lot more.

Fuel rod

Secondly, I owe a lot to the Fuel Rod (not an affiliate link!) If you recall, I wrote a post on these little things a while ago. Although I knew the benefits of having one, I wasn’t sure I wanted to pay the $30 sticker price that Disney charges.

So, I bought mine online and had it sent to my house prior to this trip. Even with the shipping cost, it was still less than what Disney is selling these for.

I don’t know why it took me so long to get one. For one, it’s a lot smaller than my solar-powered charger. And because there are Fuel Rod machines in all the Parks and Resorts, I only needed to bring one little charger with me.

I didn’t have to worry about charging another device at night or forgetting it in the Hotel Room each morning. I left it in my Park bag and just swapped out for a fresh one every morning, on the way to the buses. Although I had unlimited Swaps, I only swapped it out in the morning. Between Low Battery mode and the Fuel Rod, I had all the power I needed all day long.

Have you tried out any of these new features? How do you like them?


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