Going on vacation is all about unwinding, relaxing and often, completely unplugging from the daily grind. Even if you do want to leave technology behind, it pays to stay connected for certain parts of your vacation. Numerous apps exist that take the stress and guesswork out of your Orlando vacation. Before you head out of town, download these apps that help you navigate the city and get the most out of your visit.
My Disney Experience: From passing time when waiting for rides to making restaurant reservations, the My Disney Experience is a must-have. The fully-equipped app has a GPS-enabled map that offers turn-by-turn directions to get you where you want to go. Check attraction wait times and showtimes for parades and fireworks, as well as find character meet-and-greet times. When the stomachs start grumbling, use the app to look at restaurant menus and make reservations. You can even place mobile orders at the quick-serve restaurants. The planning portion allows you to by park tickets, organize your itinerary, manage your MagicBands and modify your FastPass. Other features include interactive games, Disney PhotoPass photo viewer and merchandise shop.
Universal Orlando Resort App: The Universal Orlando Resort is like a purse, guidebook and map all rolled into one. Use it to purchase park tickets and as your ticket — just scan your barcode at the gate. You can also use it for all payments — food, souvenirs, etc. — at Volcano Bay, so you don’t need a wallet. The app allows you to check ride wait times, show times and hours for restaurants. Find your way around the park with interactive maps, locate all restrooms and keep track of your car in the parking lot. You can keep a list of your favorite rides, attractions and restaurants and set alerts for when wait times are low. Other features include location-based announcements from the park and the ability to pre-order food.
Plug In Orlando: Created by the Orlando Sentinel, Plug In Orlando is chocked full of local city information. More than just a list of restaurants, events and shopping options, the app provides reviews from locals. Use the app to find the coolest new bar, a trendy pop-up restaurant or fun concerts in town. It also offers suggestions for outdoor activities, classes and workshops, festivals, and cultural events like gallery openings and ballet performances. You can buy tickets directly from the app, bookmark your favorites and share with friends. The Orlando My Way app, from Orlando WESH TV, offers many of the same features.
The Weather Channel App: Orlando enjoys amazing year-round weather, but it’s not always predictable. The Weather Channel App helps you stay on top of the weather. Set up alerts for the Orlando area to receive texts and notifications when pop-up thunderstorms are heading your way. Checking the weather each morning also helps you plan the day’s outfit accordingly. If the weather is cooler, you’ll want a jacket or a poncho for rainy days.
Hidden Mickeys: Based on the books by Steven M. Barrett, the Hidden Mickeys app provides a little entertainment for those long ride lines. Use the app to find the over 800 hidden Mickeys scattered all throughout Disney World. The Mickeys are located in all the parks and give the kids a little something extra to do during their visit.
Florida 511: Don’t let traffic keep you from a fun day at the theme parks. The Florida 511 app from the Florida Department of Transportation gives you traffic updates including delays, accidents and detours. You can add in up to three door-to-door routes that help you avoid traffic and construction backups.
Casiola’s vacation rentals come with complimentary WiFi so you can easily download and check your apps before you head out for the day.