5 Stealthy Changes to My Disney Experience You Need to Know About

5 Stealthy Changes to My Disney Experience You Need to Know About

Oiginally published in Theme Park Tourist 

When MyMagic+ first came on the scene several years ago, we all knew that this massive system would eventually be used for way more than just FastPass+ reservations. And in the years since it debuted, we’ve seen MyMagic+ and the My Disney Experience app used to help guests make advance dining reservations, view PhotoPass pictures, purchase theme park and special event tickets, and more.

Earlier this week, the My Disney Experience app got yet another update that brought significant changes to this essential tool. From new add-ons that will help guests customize their PhotoPass photos to new ways to find wait times and navigate around the park, here are all the changes that have been made to My Disney Experience over the past few days that you might not have noticed!

1. PhotoPass customization and editing comes straight to your smartphone

Disney has updated the iOS version of My Disney Experience to include a brand new editing feature for PhotoPass photos. Guests who access My Disney Experience via an iPhone, iPad or iPod will now be able to launch the PhotoPass photo viewers feature and can then add special stickers, filters and borders to images that have been purchased or are tied to an account with Memory Maker. Guests can also use this new editing tool to crop images as well. As with regular PhotoPass images, edited pictures can be saved directly to your device’s camera roll and easily shared to social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter.

Interestingly, changes made to photos using this app do not sync across all versions of My Disney Experience, and can only be saved locally on a users’ device, which means if you want hard copies made, you’ll need to print them at home, as these images will not be tied to your official PhotoPass account. If you want official prints with stickers, frames, and more, you can still use the official online web-based PhotoPass editor (which has the same stickers, borders, etc.), which can be found here.

2. New holiday-themed animated magic shots now available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Magic Kingdom

Image: Disney

And speaking of PhotoPass, if you have taken some photos around Walt Disney World this holiday season, you might be surprised to find some brand new Magic Shots inside your My Disney Experience app. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios near Tailors to the Stars on Hollywood Boulevard (in front of the Great Movie Ride), guests can take an Animated Magic Shot inspired by the brand new Jingle Bell Jingle BAM show that features members of the elite Prep & Landing unit, currently seen in this nighttime spectacular.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is also home to another new Magic Shot featuring Sven the reindeer from Frozen. This fun character jingles all the way into guests’ photos when they visit a PhotoPass Photographer stationed at the Disney’s Hollywood Studios Christmas tree.

Finally, guests who attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party can have a festively-dressed Tinker Bell appear in special photos taken on Main Street, U.S.A. This particular Magic Shot is excusive to this after-hours event.

Guests can purchase these new Magic Shots right from within My Disney Experience for immediate download. Guests who have Memory Marker (or an annual pass that includes this entitlement) can download these new animated images free of charge.

3. Enhanced, location-based wait time list now available for iOS users

In addition to the new PhotoPass functionality, iOS users who download the latest update will find some improvements to the app’s current wait time function. According to the official app description, wait times will now use location services as well as enhanced Bluetooth technology to show calculate more accurate wait times around the park. Though we don’t quite know exactly how this will work, being able to budget time more effectively in the park is always a good thing.

4. Fewer log ins required for iOS users

Though this isn’t exactly a huge change, Disney has responded to recent guest feedback and has reduced the amount of times guests will need to log in to access My Disney Experience. Though a previous security update required guests to log in every time they re-opened the My Disney Experience app after it went idle (which could be up to a dozen times a day if you are in the park and using this app frequently), Disney is now only requiring guests to log in now when the app is relaunched after being closed, or when something sensitive or involving a transaction (like theme park ticket purchases) is taking place.

5. Android users get a redesigned interface

Image: Disney 

Though the most dramatic changes that were made to the My Disney Experience mobile app this week were for the iOS version of this app, it looks like Android users got a bit of an update a few days ago as well. According to Laughing Place, Android users who open this app will now be able to enjoy a redesigned interface that opens directly to the park map, with posted attraction wait times.

This new interface also includes a shortcut that allowed guests swipe up on their chosen character icon to display the next resort, dining or FastPass+ reservation. Guests can also quickly view a list of attractions that are closed for refurbishment or temporarily closed at the bottom of the current wait time list in this new redesigned interface.

While the need to use My Disney Experience for so much of the Walt Disney World experience hasn’t exactly been popular with all guests, there’s no denying that this service does make certain aspects of a Walt Disney World more convenient. Will you be using any of these new and enhanced elements of My Disney Experience on your next trip to the resort?

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Don Korta
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