Five Reasons You Need the Play Disney Parks App: Entertain Your Family in Line

Have you heard of the new Disney Parks Play app? This first-of-its-kind phone app debuted on June 30 and is already creating quite a stir among Disney park-goers for its fun and interactive features. But is it for you? We sure think so.

There are five main features of the app that we’ll be exploring in this post. Keep in mind as you read this that all the features are completely FREE! This is sure a great way to spend the time in line at Disneyland or Walt Disney World.

Disney just recently unlocked trivia in the app that you’d normally have to be present in the parks to play which is a great way to pass the time during the COVID-19 closure at Disneyland!

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1. Play Interactive Games While You Wait In Line at DisneyGroup of three people play the game standing in line for Toy Story Midway Mania

All avid Disney-goers have probably had the experience of waiting in a long line to experience a popular attraction. I remember the first time I rode Radiator Springs Racers in Disneyland, I waited almost three hours (spoiler alert: It was worth it). But thanks to Play, you can turn wait time into play time!

Several ride queues now feature games that allow you to interact with in-person elements. Because interaction is such a key element, these games cannot be unlocked until you are physically in line for the ride, making them exclusive and exciting.

Here are the ride queues that you can interact with using the Disney Parks Play app in Disneyland:

  • Toy Story Midway Mania!
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Space Mountain
  • Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
  • Rise of the Resistance

Additionally, keeping with the theme of interaction, the games are designed to interact with your family and friends. You may even be engaging with others waiting in line with you. Rather than a typical gaming app on your phone, creators wanted the experience to feel like a family game night. This means that many of the games are designed to be played on a single phone that is passed between players.

You’ll be buckling up and enjoying the ride in no time.

You can also play interactive games at other areas of the park aside from line queues! Here are some other popular areas to find the interactive features:

  • New Orleans Square- The Tall Tales of Fortune Red
    • Get your fortune red by the pirate Fortune Red!
  • Main Street, U.S.A.- Esmeralda the Fortune Teller
    • Visit the Penny Arcade and get your fortune told by Esmeralda.

Here are the attractions that you can interact with using the Disney Parks Play app in Walt Disney World:

  • Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail – Disney’s Animal Kingdom park
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek – Disney’s Animal Kingdom park
  • Peter Pan’s Flight – Magic Kingdom park
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Conservation Station – Disney’s Animal Kingdom park
  • Slinky Dog Dash – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway- Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Space Mountain – Magic Kingdom park
  • Toy Story Mania! – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Tree of Life – Disney’s Animal Kingdom park
  • Soarin’ Challenge at Soarin’ Around the World – Epcot
  • Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure – Epcot

And that’s not all, the biggest addition to the Disney Parks Play App is the addition of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge ‘Datapad’ feature!

Star Wars: Datapad

A galactic handheld mobile device displays symbols and characters in Aurebesh, a language used in Star Wars, as a starship looms nearby on the landing pad

Guests use the Datapad to translate the language of Aurebesh, a galactic language in the Star Wars universe, and find hidden crates and containers, play in-queue games, message characters, and participate in land specific missions. Some hardcore Star Wars fans have even created phone cases that look the part so their phones can truly become a Datapad!

The four tools you use in the Star Wars: Datapad app are Hack, Scan, Translate and Tune.

  • hack into the devices of the land, control panels, and droids
  • scan cargo and digital goods as you discover objects around the spaceport- including hidden items
    translate languages
  • tune into communications sent by the planet’s residents- uncover stories and secrets
  • Guests can accept jobs from the ‘job board’ inside the app. These variety of jobs (which are truly just games) vary in time to complete and all encourage you to explore the land. There is a main game that is the center of the app that allows people to side with the Resistance or the First Order and then they can compete with others in the area to acquire land. And with each job you complete, you receive digital rewards like ship schematics, star maps, galactic credits and more!

Everything will save to your profile so you can keep building on it with each visit! Your actions define your true allegiance as either Resistance, First Order, or Scoundrel.

Guests can use the app to interact with the elements in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge like droids, ships, media screens, door panels, antenna arrays and even drinking fountains. The app is meant to encourage guests to look up and around the land so no one will be walking around with their head buried in their phone.

2. Listen to Playlists Inspired by Disney Parks and AttractionsScreenshot of phone with the music play list

Another fun feature of the Play app is a plethora of creative playlists inspired by Disney Parks, lands, characters, and attractions. These playlists are accessible regardless of your location, which means you can turn up the tunes and pretend you’re enjoying Fantasyland in the middle of your workday.

With over 30 curated playlists inspired by everything from Main Street, U.S.A. to Pixar and even a roadtrip playlist you can enjoy on your way to the parks (to find this, go to the parking lot on your app and look for the music note on a little car!), there is something for the whole family to enjoy.

Apple Music subscribers will be able to download these playlists directly onto their Apple Music libraries. If you’d like to give Apple Music a try, you can sign up for a FREE three-month trial. Again, the app itself and all of its features are completely free.

It’s truly supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Yes, I did spell that from memory. Impressed?

3. Earn Achievements During Your Disney VacationPerson holding up phone with the Play app open

You can now collect virtual achievements as you enjoy your Disney vacation. Achievements are available for everything from riding certain rides to visiting attractions to simply exploring the park.

Collecting achievements can turn into fun competitions among family and friends. Plus, it may motivate you to explore areas of the park you usually do not visit or ride attractions you usually skip so you don’t miss an ounce of fun. If you’d like to show off for those at home, you can even share your earned achievements on social media.


4. Challenge Yourself With Disney TriviaLittle girl in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle holding up her phone

Self-proclaimed Disney experts love proving their know-how. Now they can challenge themselves in their Disney knowledge with new trivia games available on the Play app. Like the playlists, these are available both in the park if you have some downtime, or at home, for those who like to add a little magic to their everyday routine.

As you’re exploring the park map on the app, you’ll find several markers with sparkly question marks on them. Typically, these will be found in the various lands or areas of the parks. Each round features 10 random questions about everything from Disney movies to facts about rides to Disney history. After you make your guess, correct answers will be displayed, so you can expand your Disney know-how. Of course, you can earn achievements for answering questions correctly, too.

Game on!

5. Find Surprises Throughout the ParksMap of the parks with Disney Play App

We can’t reveal too much, but creators of the app have made it clear that they’ve hidden several Easter eggs, animations, secrets, and surprises for guests to discover as they explore the app and the Disney parks. Favorite characters like Figment or porgs may pop out at you if you explore the app enough.

Apparently, there are some existing physical elements within queues already that have been integrated with the app for some fun surprises right in front of your eyes. We hear they’re so seamlessly blended into the guest experience that you’ll likely miss them if you aren’t specifically looking for them. Want an example? Next time you’re in Disneyland, check out the Tinker Bell lantern in the queue of Peter Pan’s flight to see some special effects added just for app users.

The most exciting part of this is that they’re consistently working on new surprises within the Play app, so your job as an explorer will never be finished.

Adventure is out there!

Ready to Enjoy the Disney Parks Play App?

Now that you have the app all downloaded and know how it works, why not start planning your next Disney vacation? The best way to start is to become an exclusive member of our e-mailing list to receive deals that you won’t find anywhere else. Interested? Sign up HERE.

Don’t forget to check out some of our other articles written to make your vacation as magical as it can be!

Thanks for joining us! Have a magical day!

Disclosure: We have used all the products recommended on Mickey Visit. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products featured.

About Miriam Jean

Miriam is a recent graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science in Family Advocacy and Policy. Her advocacy efforts include working as an intern with multiple political think tanks as well as serving as a delegate at the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women. She currently works in higher education training student leaders and teaching leadership classes. In her spare time she loves the arts, especially singing and the theatre. She recently played the title role in ”Mary Poppins” alongside her husband who played Bert, an especially memorable experience. She first fell in love with Disney when she dressed as Winnie-the-Pooh for her second Halloween and has never looked back. An avid history buff, she especially enjoys researching all historical aspects of the Disney franchise and celebrating the company's legacy and growth. Miriam loves spending time with her wonderful family, watching black-and-white movies, and eating anything with sprinkles.

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