Walt Disney World without extra technology

Feeling overwhelmed by all of the technology that appears necessary for navigating the Walt Disney World Resort? Whether you don’t own a smart phone, or you just do not consider yourself to be very tech savvy, there are plenty of ways to plan for and enjoy your next Disney trip without relying on a mobile app.

Plan your trip using a computer

My Disney Experience

Image: Disney

If you do not have a smart phone or tablet but you’re still reading this article, it’s safe to say that one thing you do have is a computer. You can visit Walt Disney World’s official website to take advantage of all of the features you would be able to access while you’re physically in the parks without a smart phone.

From this website, you can still book and update your resort and dining reservations, make FastPass+ selections, view character meeting times, PhotoPass pictures, and essentially anything else that you can do on the My Disney Experience mobile app. The interface on the website is a slightly less user friendly because the app is really designed to be used on the go, so it needs to be easy to understand so that guests are not spending their vacations trying to figure out how to use it. Though the website has all of the same information, you may find that you need to do some extra clicking around through different menus and categories to get to it.

Outside of the use of a computer, there is always the option to call Disney directly, though doing so will only give you advance access to resort bookings, vacation packages, and dining reservations as the rest of what is offered both on the website and the app is not available over the phone.

The old fashioned way

My Disney Experience

Image: Disney

The most difficult obstacle in planning a Disney trip using only a computer comes with lacking the portability of a smart phone of tablet. Maybe viewing PhotoPass photos can wait until you return home from your trip, but making FastPass selections and checking entertainment schedules on the go will take some extra effort.

For FastPass selections that you’ve made at home prior to your trip, you’ll want to either print out the confirmation pages or the planning page of your My Disney Experience account from the website, and bring it with you to the parks. You won’t need to print out entertainment schedules, character meet and greets, and park hours, however you may feel that you’ve lost the ability to factor these events into your day without having a way to streamline your plans in the same way the app would allow you to do.

MagicBand touch point

Image: Disney

If carrying around sheets of paper doesn’t sound like something you’d be interested in doing on your vacation, you could also take pictures of the information you need to have with you. Whether you use a regular cell phone or a camera, doing so can actually come in handy for more than one reason. Taking pictures of your FastPass selections or dining reservations is obviously useful, but taking pictures of things like the number on the back of your park tickets can help if you ever lose your card or MagicBand. Unrelated to the technological aspect of a Disney vacation, many guests also take pictures of their contact information (in case their camera is lost and someone finds it) of of their child’s outfit each morning (in case they become separated so that cast members know who to look for).

Grab your map and times guide!

Magic Kingdom 40th Anniversary Map

Image: Disney

If you are staying at a Disney resort, you will be able to pick up park maps and times guides before you hop in the car or on the bus. One useful resource that you typically only see at resorts or at Guest Relations in the parks is the times guide that includes information for all of the parks. This can be especially helpful because it is really the only resource (aside from stopping to ask a cast member of course) that can tell you the hours and event schedules for all of the parks regardless of your location.

If you are more of an advanced planner (meaning you would probably use the planning features of the My Disney Experience app if you had a smart phone or tablet) you can also view park hours and other information online before your trip and bring that information with you. Before the days of smart phones and tablets, it wasn’t uncommon for some guests to either print out or hand-write detailed itineraries they had made before leaving home.


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