June 30 was a big day for Disney Parks. Not only did Toy Story Land open (it looks soooo amazing!), but the Play Disney Parks app launched! This free app is available on both iOS and Android, and is super fun even for those of us stuck at home for the next 76 days.
I pre-ordered the app a few weeks before launch date, and woke up to it already downloaded. I’ve spent a few days playing around with it, and while of course I can’t get the full experience until our next Disney trip, there are still so many neat things to explore from home.
As soon as you open the app, you’re asked to select a destination. You can do that immediately, or you can tap the circle in the top left of the screen to log in to your My Disney Experience account. The game works without logging in, but if you do log in you can earn achievements! I am all about earning badges – even virtual badges!
I’m a WDW gal, so I clicked on the blue balloon, where I was greeted with the choice of all 4 parks. Naturally, I started with the Magic Kingdom. What can I say, I like the classics!
You’ll notice little symbols all over the Magic Kingdom map. The music note symbols bring up playlists of Disney songs – by the Castle is the “Happily Ever After” playlist, in Adventureland is the “Magic Kingdom Adventureland” playlist, and there’s even a little car outside the park with a “Disney Road Trip Tracks” playlist… plus so much more!
The little star symbols relate to their respective attractions, like “it’s a small world” or Space Mountain. If you have your Bluetooth enabled, walking up to the attraction will earn you achievements (yay!). Some attractions also have a a bigger ride-specific symbol that brings up a game for you to play while standing in line.
And the question mark symbols bring up Disney trivia – which you can totally play in the parks OR at home!
I think this is an amazing and frankly brilliant move for Disney. Lets face it… standing in long lines is not exactly magical. Disney queues are admittedly beautiful and well-done, but there is only so long you can admire a mosaic next to you when you’re just standing there for 45 minutes. We like to talk to each other, to others in line, and to look for Hidden Mickeys… but we also spend the time playing Pokémon Go or checking email or otherwise not being totally immersed in Disney.
I’ve seen muttering on the interwebz that this move is just making us that much more impersonal and checking out of our vacations, but I like to think this is just another way to add some Disney magic to our vacation. I’m already in love with Play Disney Parks and can’t wait to try it out actually in the parks!