Despite Disney being the "Happiest Place on Earth," there are a few things—long lines, getting lost, and finding your parking spot, just to name a few—that can really put a damper on your good time...and if you've been to any theme park, not just Disney World, you've experienced at least some of these.
So, I was intrigued when I heard about this increasingly popular iPhone app developed by Undercover Tourist, a discount ticket and travel website, that would supposedly be able to alleviate—or at least provide a solution to—many of these woes. I downloaded the app and gave it a whirl.
The app, called, simply enough, The Undercover Tourist App is pretty seamless. (You'll know you have the right one when you see its logo: a cute, green frog donning a cowboy hat.) Prominently displayed at the top of the app are featured deals from Undercover Tourist. But directly below that—the park maps and wait times—is where the real magic is.
You can choose any of the four theme parks—Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom—in one of two views: map and list. While the list view gives you a clean, simple view of everything you can do, broken down by park section, the map is the most useful. A detailed, color map of the park appears with the most popular site attractions pinpointed. When you click on the attraction, you're taken to a mini profile page that includes the wait time*, the height and age requirements, a description, fun fact, and—if available for that particular ride—the option to buy a FASTPASS ticket so you can avoid the wait altogether.
One other really great feature is its "Where Did I Park?" function. Using either GPS or manual mapping (your choice), you pinpoint your parking spot, enter a description if you like, and save it.
A final feature worth pointing out is for families or groups who decide to go their separate ways once getting to the park. The app has a "Find a Friend" tool that will pinpoint where in the park the rest of your group has wandered. Gone are the days of finding a quiet place to call and figure out the best route to meet up.
The app has a few other fun features—a memory game, photo record of tickets purchased, and the option to peruse Undercover Tourist's discount tickets, among other things—but the three I described are by far the most beneficial. And coolest.
Anyone up for a ride around Thunder Mountain?
*My testing of the app was done from an iPod touch and from my apartment in NYC, so unfortunately, the one aspect I couldn't actually test was the accuracy of the wait times. So if any of you reading this have the chance to use the app at the parks, please report back. I'd love to hear about your experiences!
Joshua Pramis is an online associate editor at Travel + Leisure.