Best iPhone Apps for Disneyland California

  • 01 of 04

    Best Apps for Disneyland Visitors

    Using Apps on an iPhone at Disneyland
    ••• Best Disneyland Apps. ©2016 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    A few apps for your smart mobile device can be a big help at Disneyland, but it's hard to know which ones work best and even harder to evaluate them when you aren't in the park itself.

    Some Disneyland apps are travel guides intended for trip planning. If you're just planning and reading general information about Disneyland, it's much easier to do that using a traditional web browser. For that reason, this list does not include the Disneyland travel guide apps.

    Others are for use at the park. The most common app used is some kind of wait time or itinerary app, but you can also get apps that take you on a treasure hunt or keep you entertained when standing in line.

    Disneyland Explorer App :This app is so cute and has the most gorgeous graphic ever and Disney-style music. You can swipe to see all the attractions, view detailed photos and like the ones you want to enjoy. It also includes a few games to play while waiting in line or before you go. It's more for entertainment than real trip...MORE planning, though.

    Best Itinerary App: Ridemax RideMax Mobile is a great Disneyland scheduler. It's not an app, but a web-based product that can run on any smartphone. Read a review.

    Signal Strength Issues

    Before you think about using smartphones at Disneyland, you should know about signals and reception. Signal strength and data availability have improved inside Disneyland over the past few years but it's still possible that your Disneyland app or mobile browser-based product might not be available when you need it most.

    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    Disneyland Wait Time and Convenience Apps

    Mouse WaitBesides providing lots of Disneyland information, Mouse Wait is also a social media app, linked to Twitter and Facebook and with the self-proclaimed "largest real-time Disneyland discussion in the world."

    • Price: Free
    • Pros: Lots of users, which yields up-to-date wait time data. Lots of fun information that includes a Hidden Mickey Checklist, places to eat, live webcams, and more. IT also has whatNEXT Advisor which suggests rides to try next based on wait times. MouseWait is easy to use for finding rides with short lines. However, on a less-busy day, they may substitute average waits for real-time data.
    • Cons: Navigation is sometimes slightly confusing. This free app is supported by advertisements, which means no annoying In-App purchases but the ads take up a small section of the screen and are sometimes annoying themselves. If you don't care to join their community, MouseWait can make you feel a little like an outsider.
    • Don't ignore the (Resources) link at the bottom of...MORE the screen. It links to a Disneyland Character Finder, list of coin presses, rides listed by height, music, and a phone list along with tips to improve your Toy Story Mania score and a decoder for the hieroglyphics in the Indiana Jones queue.

    Disneyland App: Its strength is that it's connected to Disney's wait time databse.

    • Price: Free
    • Pros: It's direct from Disney and uses the same graphics as you see online or in the parks. Wait shown superimposed over the park map or you can see it in list form. You can also use it to check out where the characters are and who's out greeting guests. It also shows current return times for FASTPASSES. You can order tickets through the app and how your barcode at the gate on your phone. And it's GPS-enabled so it can help you navigate. On less-busy days when MouseWait doesn't have enough people in the park to report wait times, the ones you find on the Disneyland app may be more accurate. This app is also best for finding the closest restroom to your location.
    • Cons: You can't see everything on the same map or list. If you're trying to balance wait time for lunch with wait time for a ride, it will be harder with this app.

    MouseaddictRunner up for a wait time app is Mouseaddict. They have a couple of features that others don't, such as a wait watching feature that lets you input how long you're willing to wait for a ride and lets you know when that happens. They also have a crowd predictor, but you can find several of those online. They don't clutter up the screen with ads, but too many of their useful features are In-App purchases.

    Shop ParksDo you just love those Mouse Ears you just saw? Don't waste time trekking around to every store in the park just to find them. And don't carry them around with you all day, either. Just look them up on the Shop Parks app and you can order them to be delivered to your home. Or if you just can't wait, it can also tell you where they can be purchased at the Disneyland Resort.

    Mouselets: for a Place to Charge Up. If your mobile device tends to run out of charge before the day is over (an easy thing to happen if you take photos and access social media all day) you'll need a place to charge up. This simple app does just one thing, but it does it well. It catalogs every electrical outlet in the park with maps and a photo of where they're hidden.

    Starbucks App: Starbucks is the coffee provider of choice at the Disneyland Resort. Using their app, you can order your drinks ahead of time, pay for them through your Starbucks account and then just dash in and pick them up, bypassing all the lines. 

    You can find Starbucks in both parks, but pre-ordering is only available at the two Starbuck locations in Downtown Disney. Starbucks Downtown Disney is closest to the security gates and the East location is closer to the Disneyland Hotel.

    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    In-Park Entertainment Apps for Disneyland

    These apps are intended just for fun.

    Even with the best wait time apps and strategies, you may still find yourself standing in the occasional line or staking out your spot to watch the evening parade and fireworks a long time before they start.

    Heads Up! Created by talk show host Ellen Degeneres, this charades-style game has a Disney Parks-themed deck. After purchasing the app, guests visiting Disneyland Resort can unlock the Disney Parks themed deck for free. It's a great way to pass the time while standing in line.

    Disneyland Secrets GoldDisneyland Secrets calls itself a "notescast," like a podcast but written instead of audio. It's basically a mini-guide to Disneyland trivia, organized into tours of each part of the park.

    • Price: Free
    • Pros: Has some interesting information
    • Cons: We wanted to love this app and on the surface, it looked like one we'd write if we were doing it ourselves, with lots of interesting information and trivia about the rides that to keep you entertained while...MORE standing in line. It's a start in that direction but hampered by putting many rides on the same screen, which makes them hard to find and causes excessive scrolling. Only a small percentage of rides are covered so far, and the writing style is better suited for printed media than for a quick, screen-based read.
    • Their other product, Disneyland Secrets Gold is similar and for $2.99 adds some nice photos, but we don't think they're necessary when you're in the park.
    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    More Apps You May Need

    Disneyland's Toy Story Parking Lot
    ••• Disneyland's Toy Story Parking Lot. Google Maps

    Car FinderIf you're walking to Disneyland from your hotel, you won't need this. But if you end up in the Toy Story Lot, that place is enormous. It's far too easy to lose to track of where you parked and things look different at night than they did in the morning.

    All you have to do is turn it on, click and it marks your parking spot. On the way back, it leads you to your starting point using a friendly arrow that points the way.

    Yelp: You may also need to find something in the area that isn't on the Disneyland map, like a grocery store, a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf shop or a pharmacy. Yelp is good for more than just ratings and has a good local area search function that can help you with that.