Hands-on with the new 'Get Directions' feature of My Disney Experience

Jul 18, 2016 in "MyMagic+"

Posted: Monday July 18, 2016 1:35pm EDT by WDWMAGIC Staff

The new version of My Disney Experience with "Get Directions" functionality is now available on the App Store and Google Play.

From any attraction, restaurant, shop or hotel's page, you can touch 'Get Directions,' and then choose where you are departing from.

Entering a few characters produces a short list of possible matches. You also have the option to reverse the 'From' and 'To' locations.

Once the 'To' and 'From' locations are entered, hitting search shows the suggested route, and 4 possible methods of getting to the destination. By foot, by bus, by monorail, and by boat.

In this example of Space Mountain to Splash Mountain, it is only available by foot, and the app gives an estimation of the walk time, in this case, 10 minutes, and an overview map of the route.

Touching 'See Walking Directions' details a turn-by-turn route plan.

As you can see from the example above, the turn-by-turn directions might not be the best, suggesting things such as head southwest, and turn right - without any indication of distances.

However, if you are inside the park, the app will give you turn-by-turn directions with your current position shown on the map, just like a car GPS nav.

If planning offsite, the series of left, right, left directions will be hard to follow. But the overview map at least gives a good idea of where you are heading.

You can also get directions across property. In this example, Space Mountain to Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs. The system offered up a bus route, monorail route and boat route - ranging in time between 44 minutes and 74 minutes.

The directions are sometimes not at all clear, in this case, even mentioning Pleasure Island.

Opting to do that same route via monorail, and the directions mention Magical Express, which is the service that transports guests to Orlando International Airport.

Although there are certainly some issues with some of the results, the 'Get Directions' feature will be of a huge help to many guests who have no idea where they are going, and might even suggest some new routes that repeat visitors may not be aware of.

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matt9112May 16, 2017

I agree

Cesar R MMay 16, 2017

And considering they might have some sort of tracking already. I do not see the issue other than add better infrastructure to support the hitload after adding it on the app.

RSoxNo1May 16, 2017

FYI, app now only shows Satu'li Canteen has mobile ordering

COProgressFanMay 16, 2017

Sort of like how NYC cabs have a shift change at 4pm. Geniuses at work.

ABQMay 16, 2017

Yup, just like the Uber app. I want to see where my bus, plus a photo of the prone to incorrect info, driver and plate #. Honestly, this can and should be done now.

Cesar R MMay 16, 2017

Or even better, have tracking the buses in real time, just like you can track planes now.

MansionButler84May 16, 2017

Ok but I only ever get on a bus prior to 9, between 1 and 5, and at park close. Isn't it wonderfully-clever when a staffing shift occurs right when the fireworks end? Definitely the best time to have a switch-over.

LitaMay 16, 2017

The Bus system has two different ways buses are Dispatched, In the Mornings prior to 11 am, The Buses are Dispatched from the closest Theme Park Location, (Meaning for instance, Magic Kingdom Bus Area dispatches all the park routes going to and from the MK Area Resorts), , After 11 am the buses are Dispatched by the Location itself so a Bus going to Animal Kingdom would come from the Animal Kingdom area when picking up at the Contemporary, Poly, Grand or Fort Wilderness. Magic Kingdom doesn't handle the Dispatch for routes going to other parks from the MK Area Resorts after the 11 am time. What happens though, is there is a Transition time from when MK drops the route and the AK picks up the responsibility to send the Bus and many times there are Delays during that time.

MansionButler84May 16, 2017

Yes. Still don't think that explains the literal minute-by-minute changes that occur until the bus arrives. FWIW, my last two trips have been Kidani and Wilderness Lodge, which are typically the first stop if they are combining. Interesting that you've seen improvement at places with just one stop. It still boggles my mind that NYC can have a bus arrive at 7:58 am each day but not WDW.

peter11435May 16, 2017

Well every wheelchair/ECV load easily adds 5 minutes to the trip. I think you are correct that the time does not appear until the bus is dispatched but there are often stops in between. This is why I've found the bus times much more accurate at resorts such as art of animation where the bus is only making one stop. If a bus is dispatched to the grand Floridian from Disney springs an approximate arrival time is displayed at the GF. Let's say traffic/lights delay things slightly and the arrival falls back 2 minutes. Then the bus arrives at the Polynesian first where an EVC is waiting. Now the arrival time at GF has fallen back 7 minutes.

MansionButler84May 16, 2017

I don't see how that can explain sometimes 15+ minute delays over the originally posted time. If I were programming such a system, the time wouldn't appear until the bus was dispatched from its previous location (I thought that's what Disney was doing, honestly). It would be foolish to post before the bus even departs. Further, if they are posting while a bus is ostensibly loading guests in ECVs, why do we often arrive to find no time posted yet? There clearly is some point at which an arrival time is sent out.

peter11435May 16, 2017

The problem truly is the wheelchair and EVC loading

MansionButler84May 16, 2017

The issue continues to be that their tracking is awful. They still have those comical-if-it-wasn't-your-vacation minute-by-minute adjustments to arrival times that render the arrival boards almost useless. I don't know why they can't fix the technology. Somehow bus systems in every major city manage to maintain a set schedule. If I'm at Wilderness Lodge and the next MK bus first appears as arriving at 8:40 am and it continually adjusts until it arrives at 8:59 am (actual experience of mine), it was never going to arrive at 8:40 and the software is useless.

Kman101May 16, 2017

I don't but know why they haven't done this.