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  • Smartphones and Disney

    So, as someone who doesn't like smart phones, I wonder about the nitty-gritty details of how much I would have to "give in" to be able to enjoy the park. Specifically, what do I have to have when I go to actually ride ROTR? I am not trying to figure out a way to sell my spot, cheat the system, etc. I just am trying to visualize (for my hypothetical 2023, MANY things have changed, visit) If I could theoretically turn the beastly piece of plastic on in the a.m., buy my Lightning Lane pass, and then be able to get in line with just my entry media (be it magic band or ticket, whatever). Try explaining it as though I am 70 years old and never used MaxPass. I am about that crotchety, I guess. I just think about "losing" the file, running out of battery power, dropping my phone, cracking the screen... the more I think about it, the reseservation can't be entirely dependent on the actual phone, right? More the "Mydisneyexperience" type of thing? Attached to my admission/entry media?

    What do the line workers ask for when I go up to Spidey or ROTR? Do I have to have my smartphone? I imagine it must be tied to an individual in some way, otherwise people could "sell" their ROTR reservations by handing someone their phone? (I don't want to do that) So...is it in the admission media? I survive without smartphone by printing out those black code-y looking things that people scan, sort of like what UPC bar codes used to be...don't know what they're called. Then I carry that paper around with me.

    Also, anyone know if it will be possible to buy a Lightning Lane WITHOUT buying the Genie+ (maxpass). With my kids, we'll be exploring the park and just enjoying the ambience and won't have any problem waiting in regular lines (famous last words...), so I really just would want to do ROTR. Eeeek, maybe I'll have to wait until the youngest is tall enough...what's the height requirement?
    Last edited by nostalgic; 10-14-2021, 12:56 PM.

  • #2
    In my experience (and others), virtual queues are entirely dependent on the phone. Once your boarding group is "called" (you are notified via the app), you have to tap a button to receive your official boarding pass, and then show that boarding pass to the cast members for them to scan. I think they may have halted physical boarding passes before the closure. I've seen tiny children ride ROTR, so I wouldn't be too concerned about height.

    I can't speak for the other "what ifs", but if your phone is running low on power, Disney has fuel rod stations in stores throughout the park. You pay $30 for a swappable battery. I've had mine for 2 years now and I believe it's now worth the price given the number of times I've swapped during my visits to the parks.

    You can definitely enjoy a day at Disney without your phone, but you will be missing out on the perks (i.e. virtual queues, dining reservations), and you might find yourself in frustrating situations ("sorry, we only do mobile order here."). If you buy a day ticket, they hand you a paper pass at the turnstile, and if by chance you experience a breakdown, you can use that paper ticket to receive an *ahem* fast pass genie thing?

    My recommendation is that if you were thinking about dropping money to visit Disney, you should utilize your phone to ensure that you can at least have a fair chance at experiencing the full scope of the parks, and not selling yourself short by avoiding the app. While it's not ideal, well... Disney doesn't seem to be accommodating these days, so the guest should make do with what they are given.

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    • #3
      I hate using my phone for everything. I'm old, too. We got paper tickets for our Magic Key passes. They accept them in most places. I don't know, but you might be able to get your boarding group on your computer at home at 7:00AM, then print out the pass and take it to the park. Of course you might have to keep checking group numbers throughout the day.
      If you are with a group, you can link tickets and passes with someone that has a smart phone. They could do everything for "the group".
      Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.
      Mark Twain

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      • #4
        IIRC Some folks have gotten boarding passes through guest relations if something goes askance. But like, get a case for your phone and stop worrying about it. How many times in your daily life do you drop your phone or run out of battery?

        But it really is as simple as opening the app and pressing a few buttons at the right time.

        open the Disneyland app, scroll until you see this:


        tap "Join Virtual Queue," which will bring you to this screen ( since I'm not in the park nor is it 7am, the "join" button doesn't appear)

        ​​​​​​

        Note: the following screenshots are from Jan 2020, names redacted. May look slightly different in app now. But the screen will look something like this:


        you press join, and you go to this screen, with the animated droid, while it looks for (and in this case finds) a boarding group:
        ​​​​​​

        When your boarding group is called, you will get a notification on your phone and your barcode(s) will show up for each person in your group:


        The cast members will scan this barcode for entry.
        Last edited by JLee1226; 10-12-2021, 11:45 AM. Reason: Edit: don't know why thumbnails aren't working...added direct links to screenshots

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        • #5
          I don't have a smartphone.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by merlinjones View Post
            I don't have a smartphone.
            Ok, and?

            Are you suddenly interested in Star Wars, Galaxy's Edge, and ROTR?

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            • #7
              Gosh no. But I might want a bottle of water, or a Dole Whip.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by merlinjones View Post
                Gosh no. But I might want a bottle of water, or a Dole Whip.
                Bottled water is sold at most open carts (if not all), and they do not require mobile orders. During my last two trips, the Tiki Juice Bar required mobile orders. Again, there's a way to enjoy Disney without a smartphone, but it would be naive of anyone to think that cast members will break away from current protocol to satisfy the "back in my day" Disney guest. I mean that in the kindest way possible.

                Hopefully, they open more registers soon but given a lot of factors, it might be best to a) wait, b) purchase an older version of a smartphone, or c) bring someone with a smartphone with you.

                P.S. I'll also use a recent example to further illustrate a "frustrating situation"... I mobile-ordered from Bengal Barbecue. 3 windows were devoted to mobile orders. My pick-up was seamless. Only one window was open for standby, and the line stretched a little past Tarzan's Treehouse. I did not envy anyone waiting in that line while my jolly self picked up those skewers in less than a minute.
                Last edited by Captain Andy; 10-12-2021, 02:00 PM.

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                • #9
                  From a business perspective (data collection, reduced staffing expenses, etc.) I get why Disney is aggressively making smart phone usage a more crucial component of the parks experience (I kinda think Disney picked this up a little from the cruise industry)

                  I just think Disney moved to fast to roll this out (like mobile ordering, boarding groups, etc.) without more fully developing the operations support infrastructure and guest incentives to support it.

                  I wonder had Disney rolled this out over 2-3 years incrementally (like reduce 25% cashier stations in yr 1, another 25% reduction in yr 2 etc.) if this would have helped both guests and ops. better accept these changes?


                  For myself, I just realize if I want to enjoy ‘phone-free’ time with my family, I have better luck doing this at our national and state parks rather than Disney parks.

                  I am much more focused on reducing, rather than increasing, experiences with my family that require each of us to use a smart phone. Only times I tend to use the smart phone during these experiences is for pictures.

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                  • #10
                    I'm personally still bugged they didn't implement the magic bands as an option which could have a similar effect without needing the cell phone as much. Sadly though, I feel like Disney's move to rely heavily on cell phones is so they can sell a ton of recharge packs. I mean hell, Disney knows how much people use cell phones (normally since I almost never look at my cellphone), and they know many individuals need to recharge their phones daily, and add in the $30 + tax cost, and Disney makes a ton of money each day. So pushing for phone use is heavily reliant on Disney's want to make as much money as possible, and when the portable rechargers hold a single charge, means Disney may get $60-90 off you per visit.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jish5555 View Post
                      I'm personally still bugged they didn't implement the magic bands as an option which could have a similar effect without needing the cell phone as much. Sadly though, I feel like Disney's move to rely heavily on cell phones is so they can sell a ton of recharge packs. I mean hell, Disney knows how much people use cell phones (normally since I almost never look at my cellphone), and they know many individuals need to recharge their phones daily, and add in the $30 + tax cost, and Disney makes a ton of money each day. So pushing for phone use is heavily reliant on Disney's want to make as much money as possible, and when the portable rechargers hold a single charge, means Disney may get $60-90 off you per visit.
                      Disney's move to rely heavily on cell phones
                      Some other Issue's using your Cell Phone.....
                      Disney App can be use for tracking ,and information can be collected
                      even sold to 3rd party.
                      As for me "NO THANK YOU"

                      Soaring like an EAGLE !

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jish5555 View Post
                        I'm personally still bugged they didn't implement the magic bands as an option which could have a similar effect without needing the cell phone as much. Sadly though, I feel like Disney's move to rely heavily on cell phones is so they can sell a ton of recharge packs. I mean hell, Disney knows how much people use cell phones (normally since I almost never look at my cellphone), and they know many individuals need to recharge their phones daily, and add in the $30 + tax cost, and Disney makes a ton of money each day. So pushing for phone use is heavily reliant on Disney's want to make as much money as possible, and when the portable rechargers hold a single charge, means Disney may get $60-90 off you per visit.
                        I want to give Disney a little bit of credit here... the fuel rod is a one-time purchase of $30, and you can swap it as many times as you like throughout the day/week/year / however long those machines stick around. There is definitely a possibility that Disney changes the phone charging game to make extra profit, but for now, the average guest only needs to pay once and they are set for however long they bring the fuel rod with them.

                        I always have the fuel rod on my checklist when I am packing for a Disney day.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by merlinjones View Post
                          I don't have a smartphone.
                          B-b-but then... how will you be able to participate in the Genie+ Magic Experience™? During those tedious hours in Standby queues, how will you text friends back home? Check your work emails? Browse headline news? Stay connected with the world outside the berm?

                          Worst of all, how will Disney be able to collect marketing data on your preferences and purchases?!
                          "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                          it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                          together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                          designed to appeal to everyone."

                          - Walt Disney

                          "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                          - Michael Eisner

                          "It's very symbiotic."
                          - Bob Chapek

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            How about this. You use your smartphone to order some kabobs from Bengal BBQ.. two hours in advance is the next open “window” available to pick up your order. So when you’re eating breakfast, start ordering lunch. When you’re eating lunch, you better order dinner. You click the phone screen a couple more times prior to pickup because you have to confirm that you want it. Then confirm that you’re at your pickup location. Then, you wait twenty more mins to actually get your food. Then, you ain’t finding no place to sit down and eat it. How’s this sound? The phone has slowed down and delayed almost everything you do inside the park.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Thumperrrrr View Post
                              How about this. You use your smartphone to order some kabobs from Bengal BBQ.. two hours in advance is the next open “window” available to pick up your order. So when you’re eating breakfast, start ordering lunch. When you’re eating lunch, you better order dinner. You click the phone screen a couple more times prior to pickup because you have to confirm that you want it. Then confirm that you’re at your pickup location. Then, you wait twenty more mins to actually get your food. Then, you ain’t finding no place to sit down and eat it. How’s this sound? The phone has slowed down and delayed almost everything you do inside the park.
                              Sounds like Bob Chapek is Knott's Berry Farm's best friend.

                              "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                              it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                              together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                              designed to appeal to everyone."

                              - Walt Disney

                              "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                              - Michael Eisner

                              "It's very symbiotic."
                              - Bob Chapek

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Captain Andy View Post

                                I want to give Disney a little bit of credit here... the fuel rod is a one-time purchase of $30, and you can swap it as many times as you like throughout the day/week/year / however long those machines stick around. There is definitely a possibility that Disney changes the phone charging game to make extra profit, but for now, the average guest only needs to pay once and they are set for however long they bring the fuel rod with them.

                                I always have the fuel rod on my checklist when I am packing for a Disney day.
                                I didn't know you could take them out of the park with you? I just bring 2 fully charged power banks each day, I couldn't do the parks without them with how much I'm on my phone!


                                Facebook me!
                                Join in the Disney fun at MyVMK!

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by IzzyInWonderland View Post

                                  I didn't know you could take them out of the park with you? I just bring 2 fully charged power banks each day, I couldn't do the parks without them with how much I'm on my phone!
                                  Yep! You can take the rod with you, and bring it right back. It feels like a steal now that I’ve used it so many times and swapped as much as I have!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I would bet the farm they are also going to be selling your data.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Thumperrrrr View Post
                                      How about this. You use your smartphone to order some kabobs from Bengal BBQ.. two hours in advance is the next open “window” available to pick up your order. So when you’re eating breakfast, start ordering lunch. When you’re eating lunch, you better order dinner. You click the phone screen a couple more times prior to pickup because you have to confirm that you want it. Then confirm that you’re at your pickup location. Then, you wait twenty more mins to actually get your food. Then, you ain’t finding no place to sit down and eat it. How’s this sound? The phone has slowed down and delayed almost everything you do inside the park.
                                      This is true, but the phone is the lesser of two evils. I wouldn’t want to wait 45 minutes to order the kabobs and have no where to sit when I could be waiting in line for another attraction, promptly get the kabobs after said attraction, and then have no where to sit.

                                      (I had somewhere to sit, but again, I get your drift.)

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Captain Andy View Post

                                        This is true, but the phone is the lesser of two evils. I wouldn’t want to wait 45 minutes to order the kabobs and have no where to sit when I could be waiting in line for another attraction, promptly get the kabobs after said attraction, and then have no where to sit.

                                        (I had somewhere to sit, but again, I get your drift.)
                                        Mobile ordering in and of itself is fine, everywhere has started to do it. It's just ridiculous that they took a relatively painless experience, standing in one of many cashier lines to get food when your group was actually hungry and decided what they wanted, and turned it into a ridiculously micro managed facet of the park. Bring in mobile order, it's a simple pick up and go that really only needs a single register at each location. Keep the standby and its win win; I really can't believe that it has not hurt their bottom line yet. The fact that I hear story after story about people simply eating less in the park or grabbing fewer snacks because they want something "now" instead of 40 minutes from now would supposedly mean there is at least some loss. Maybe there is and they are really just trying to push it? or maybe people are just bowing to the Mouse again and suffering yet another "Mcdonaldization" of their park's experience, pretty soon you'll need to grab your own cutlery at sit downs.

                                        Comment

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