Mary Connor

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Having a Cell Phone is Mandatory in the Parks These Days

3 tips for making the most out of your battery

Don’t you hate that moment when you pull out your phone to take a great shot of your kids doing something so darn cute in the parks to find that your battery had died?

It’s happened to all of us at some time or another.  But in the parks it seems to be much more critical.  From using My Disney Experience to taking photos to finding others in your party – we all depend on our phones.

So today I am sharing my tips with you to keep the power going as long as possible.

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Tip 1 | Turn Off Wifi

Walt Disney World has complimentary wifi across property.  This covers you at the resort and in all 4 parks and 2 water parks.  BUT this does not mean you should always be using it.

To maintain such good coverage Disney has had to install multiple wifi amplifiers (think cell phone towers) across the park.  Your phone is constantly bouncing back and forth between them as you walk around.  This constant hunt for a new wifi signal really draws on a battery.

This gets even worse if you are inside an attraction.  You could eat through a lot of your battery just riding soarin.  Let’s not do this.

My recommendation is to turn off the wifi until you need it. It is easy enough to turn on and off and your cell phone battery will thank you.

Wifi and cellular amplifiers are hidden in plain sight.  An example of this is that there is one in the bell tower above the Hall of Presidents.

If you don’t need your cell phone to receive call or texts I would also recommend going to airplane mode.  This options will save the most amount of power.

But I do understand that people will want to find each other using the cell phones so you will need to balance the needs of each signal.  But do think about it, it is that important.

Tip 2 | Close Unnecessary Apps

Another huge draw on your cell phone’s battery are all those apps that are checking in and giving you updates.  A good rule of thumb is if you are getting a notification from an app then is it always running in the background.  There are also a lot of apps you never know are running in the background.  Honestly, it is a bit scary.

This also goes for your gps.  If you don’t need it – turn it off.

Since it is not that easy to figure out what is running in the background you may want to try a power saving app.  On my last visit to Disney I tried out the Greenify app for Android.

This app’s purpose is to identify what apps are running in the background and then you can choose which ones to ‘hibernate’ so they don’t draw on your battery.  It worked exactly as designed and I could instantly tell the difference.

Tip 3 | Carry Back Up

If you follow the first two tips you can most likely make it to dinner with some power still intact.   But there is still a chance that you may still need a little extra to make it through the evening.

There are a couple of options here and I might recommend doing the first two so you always have a back up.

External Battery Pack

These days external battery packs are quite economical and easy to come by.  Having one of these in your park bag is a must.

Power Cords

Always pack your power cord in your day bag.  There are many places withing the parks where you can plug in for a bit.

There are official power stations set up in numerous locations – one is at the back the Space Mountain gift shop.  There are also a lot of quiet areas where you can find an outlet.  One of my favorites is the hallway behind Innoventions in Epcot.  You can charge up and take a nap at the same time.

Disney is also adding outlest into some of the dining areas.  The perfect options is to charge your phone will eating dinner.  So keep your eyes open.  They are around.

In Park Fuel Rod Charger Exchange

A new option to the parks are these Fuel Rod Charging stations.

Getting one of these means you will never run out of juice.  In the park you pay ($30 at the time of this post) for a battery pack ($20 in you buy it off site – like the Orlando airport). The initial battery pack includes the fuel rod, carrying case and a USB cord with basic adapters.  The adapters included a micro usb and the apple charger.  If you have a different size than that then you will need to have your own adapter.

Once you buy the original pack there are no additional charges.   When you want a new power rod you just walk up to the kiosk and load it in (just the fuel rod – non of the other elements); a fully charged one will come out at the bottom.

I used this on out last trip and I loved it.  Always knew I had power and no need to keep charging things in the room.  One thing to note is there are not fast charging to don’t wait until your phone is dead before getting one.

Finals Thoughts

With a little planning you never need to run out of power in the parks.

And even better is that with a little planning you may never even need an external battery pack.  Running out of power is probably one of the most stressful things to worry about during your day.  You don’t want to miss that photo or not be able to access MyDisneyExperierence.  So take time when you plan to think about that annoying little (but impact) power issue.

For more Disney apps, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail! Magical Blogorail Blue | Best Disney Apps” at Disney

By | 2017-10-13T05:45:21+00:00 October 19th, 2016|

About the Author:

Full time working mom making the most out of time with my family through travel, crafts & photography. Owner/designer of Capturing Magical Memories® and co-owner of the Magical Blogorail travel co-operative. In my free time it is all spas, wineries and concierge.

4 Comments

  1. Naomi October 20, 2016 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    I had never heard of a Fuel Rod Charging Station. That is certainly an interesting concept! I always carry my extra charger with me, so I’m usually good. Turning off wifi is an excellent suggestion, though!

  2. Christina October 23, 2016 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    When we were down this past spring with the band we had a horrible time finding places to charge cell phones. The students all needed their phones since that is how they were notified of times to meet and check in. I was actually disappointed since the last two parks we had been too had dedicated cell phone charging stations everywhere. I know Disney doesn’t want to make them standout but it would be helpful if they were noted on the park maps of where you can go to charge your phone. Every restaurant we ate in we asked to be seated near a plug and were told there were no plugs in the dining areas. 🙁

  3. Rosanne October 25, 2016 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Investing in a portable charger was one of the best decisions I made. It’s so much easier just to plug in when I need it. If you’re using your phone for photos constantly it drains your phone so quickly! Apps are great, but if you can’t keep your phone charged, then it doesn’t matter.

  4. Ryan October 25, 2016 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    Christina, we’re working on a WDW version of our app Mouselets, which maps out 160 free power outlets around Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. We found outlets in planters, walls, and best of all, in restaurants where you can recharge while eating. If you’re hitting DLR, it’s worth a download. More into, demo video and download links at http://www.mouseletsapp.com.
    Hoping to have WDW version done in early 2017.

    Great article on saving your battery in the park!

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