My Review of the Shop Disney Parks App

by on February 1, 2016 17 Comments

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by Disney

by Disney

I’m about to let you in on my latest and most favorite Disney secret? Are you ready? Okay, it’s the Shop Disney Parks App, which allows iPhone, iPad, and Android users to search and browse pretty much everything available at the Walt Disney World Resort and to purchase such items through the app in the parks and at home. Yes, you can now buy items from Walt Disney World at home! Seriously, this is revolutionary fellow Disney shopaholics and it has completely changed my Disney shopping experience. I’ve used the app myself multiple times in recent months and I’m here to give you my review of the Shop Disney Parks App.

Now with Disney Store locations and the DisneyStore.com, you may be asking why is the Shop Disney Parks App even necessary? Well, the Disney Store locations and the website only carry certain merchandise and in actuality barely scratch the surface of all that’s available at the parks and resorts. But the Shop Disney Parks App allows users to purchase products from the different Disney World Resorts, Epcot’s World Showcase pavilions, and even select Disneyland 60th Anniversary items. The only catch is that some products, particularly food items and those that are exclusive to special events or labeled as limited editions, can only be purchased in-store.

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Where a selected souvenir can be found at the Magic Kingdom

The app is the perfect shopping tool for when shopping are at the Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts. Users who have found an item they like on the app can simply select the Find on Map icon to see where at Walt Disney World the item is being sold. The app also shows the stock levels of the stores in which it is available too. This is a huge help for those of us who have spent valuable vacation time in the past hopping from store to store to find that one souvenir they just can’t leave without. The app also features a scanner so that when users find an item they like in a store, they can simply scan the item’s barcode to know where else it can be found on Disney World Property. Lastly, for further convenience, app users can send their purchases to their Disney World Resort or to the front of the park to skip the lines at the registers and having to lug shopping bags around for the rest of the day. They can also directly send their purchases to their home address, perfect for users who may not have enough space in their luggage for the flight home.

Now let’s move on to my personal experience with the Shop Disney Parks app…

I first downloaded the Shop Disney Parks app on my iPhone last November for the sake of Christmas shopping, as most of the members of my family love Disney World and park merch just like I do. I ordered through the app several times during the holiday season, and have even made a purchase or two since then. Here’s what I liked, and also what I didn’t…

What I Liked:

imageSavings & Discounts – Shopping through the Shop Disney Parks App has been the equivalent in cost of shopping in person at the parks and resorts, and occasionally even cheaper due to several free shipping offers and discounts. Something that really won me over was the number of discounted items offered during the week of Black Friday which I was able to couple with free shipping! Annual Passholders can save even more as their discount can be used on app purchases.

Themed Categories – The Shop Disney Parks app organizes items into categories, just like any shopping app or website would do; but the app also has featured themed categories for users to browse too ranging from holiday merchandise, to new arrivals, to merch from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Disney Pins – Like many other Disney World guests, I love Disney Pins! They are some of my favorite souvenirs and I love adding to my collection. The Shop Disney Parks App showcases the Walt Disney World Resort’s pin inventory and allows me to do a little pin collecting from home, or to know what I want to pick up on my next trip.

Store Information – Another thing I liked about the Shop Disney Parks App was the information provided about the different stores around the Walt Disney World Resort. I love being able to see which stores had what items, their locations, stock levels, and even their store hours!

Easy to Use – For having so many functions, I’ve found the app very user-friendly. All of its features were easy to find and understand, and even making a purchase was much simpler than I anticipated. I especially like how the app allows me to sign-in before making a purchase through Touch ID, as I hate typing in my email and password all the time. I also feel that it adds an extra layer of security. Also, as the app is connected to my Disney account, it automatically applies my Annual Pass discount to my purchases for me. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

What I Didn’t Like:

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All of these items were only available in-store; and yes, that is aluminum foil.

Hard to Search – As there are so many items to look through on the Shop Disney Parks App, it can be hard to find the one item you’re looking for. The categories are helpful to narrow things down, but there is still so much to scroll through. Now the app does offer a search, but in my experience you have to use just the right keyword to get the right results. Before the holidays, I was using the app to search for merch from Hollywood Studios’ Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights with little success. It wasn’t until I searched just the word “lights” that I actually found something.

Can’t Order Everything – As I’ve already explained, not everything on the app can be purchased through the app. In some ways, I appreciate this because some Walt Disney World items should be exclusive to those on property; but it’s frustrating for those who forgot to pick-up something in the parks during their stay, or that was sold out, and want to use the app to get it once they get home, only to find that it’s only available in-park.

Unboxing:

I used the app to do a little Christmas shopping, but I admit that might have used it for a little personal shopping too. In fact, I recently ordered a Valentine’s Day pin through the app as a personal splurge and took a few photos to show how it arrived.

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When I opened the box, I found a lovely thank you from Disney Theme Park Merchandise.

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The pin was wrapped in layers of Disney tissue paper and sealed with the Disney Shop Parks App logo sticker. The box was surprisingly large for a pin, but the large size and layers of thick paper underneath made sure that the pin arrived safely and in perfect condition.

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The pin was exactly as I would’ve found it at Walt Disney World and I love it! The Valentine’s Day themed card is pretty great too, don’t you think?

So I absolutely love the Shop Disney Parks App. I’ve had nothing but positive experiences so far, and I especially appreciate how it serves multiple uses, some of which are applicable while I’m in the parks and others for when I’m at home. Also, just as an avid Disney Fan, I love getting a little dose of Disney just by scrolling through the app to see what’s new! Be sure to check it out!

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Posted on February 1, 2016

17 Responses to “My Review of the Shop Disney Parks App”

  • Where do i find the app to download to my phone ? Any chance you post a link?

    • Rebekah, the app is currently available in the Apple App Store and Google Play, as well as for Android. I searched for the app in the Apple App Store and found it right away. For more info, check out Disneyworld.com/ShopParks. Hope you enjoy the app!

    • Slam dunkin like Shaquille O’Neal, if he wrote invfmratioe articles.

  • I used the app a week ago for a 12.00 purchase. A few days later two boxes arrived. Small box with my order and a large box with the Disney parks Christmas train set. Was not charged for it thank goodness since I did not order it.
    I emailed them, still waiting for a response! :)

  • I have used the app many times since the week it rolled-out. I can say, for the most part experiences have been positive. However, my largest order (35 items, $400+) which was in late November was my most problematic. I had just come back from 2 weeks in the parks and had almost $500 in left over Disney gift cards I had not spent while on vacation. It was my intent to use these instead of paying cash. This decision ended up not being the best one. It was only AFTER I spent HOURS on the app shopping and picking out a ton of Christmas decorations and gifts that I found I could NOT check out. This app does not take Disney gift cards. The Disney Store app does but this one does not. I had to call the number for the Shop Disney Parks app (which was nearly impossible to get thru to) and give the poor (but incredibly friendly and helpful) Cadt Member my entire order, item by item. Ugggg…
    The large order above and a few orders since have also shipped in pieces. No big thing but something to know. I agree with the review that searching can be a little tricky and you really must type in almost the exact name of the item you desire. Finally, (and may sound really trivial) you cannot pinch zoom the picture of the item to really view some details on smaller items.
    But all in all..I love having a way to enjoy park items long after I have arrived home and am feeling “homesick” for the parks.

    • Steve C, great point about not being able to pinch zoom the picture. That’s something that I too experienced, but failed to mention. Also, thanks so much for letting readers know about the current inability to use gift cards. That’s definitely something to note!

  • I like the idea of the app, but the execution and customer service are particularly poor. I ordered a MagicBand in early December as a Christmas gift. It arrived just before the holiday, and the packaging was destroyed and the MagicBand was badly bent. They had shipped it in an envelope only, which was crushed in the mail. I emailed customer service on Dec. 18 to express my disappointment (I couldn’t give a damaged item as a gift) and didn’t hear back for more than a month. I finally received an email on Jan. 23 asking for a good time for them to call me the following Monday. Despite providing several times, no one contacted me.

    • Erin, so sorry to hear that and how frustrating! I hope it works out for you and that Disney will live up to their standard of customer service in regards to the app in the future. Thanks for sharing!

  • Let me add another big positive for this app. It’s time consuming shopping for gifts for the folks back home when on vacation and those gifts take up space in one’s luggage. I’ve already purchased gifts from the app prior to our family trip to Disney World this upcoming August. As an added bonus, the purchases were tax-free and there was no shipping charge this past January. Our family has also looked over potential purchases for ourselves when we go so we’ll have an idea what items to look for. All in all, a great app.

  • I used the app after discovering it during my WDW trip in January. I really like it, and it was helpful to figure out if things I saw at a store but didn’t buy then would be available at the next park we were going to (when I decided I wanted them). I didn’t end up buying anything through the app, though, specifically because it wouldn’t let me apply the Disney Visa discount nor our AP discount. I’m surprised the AP discount worked for the author. Was it automatically applied or was there a code to enter?

    • TsuKata, thanks so much for commenting and I’m so glad you found the app helpful too! My AP discount was automatically applied when I logged in to make my purchase. I think this is because the account I have for the app is the same as my Disney account. You may want to make sure your AP is linked to your Disney account, as this can be a problem sometimes. I hope your issue gets resolved and thanks again for your comment!

  • I have enjoyed the app itself, but each time I have ordered something the packaging has been terrible! One time I ordered a $250 Dooney purse and it arrived in a box without tissue paper or bubble wrap! It was worth ordering it on the app vs online for the AP discount but that was just tacky!

  • I used the app a couple of times while I was at WDW in December. It is difficult to search for things on it, but once you do find them, it is helpful. We were looking for a specific toy as a gift and used it to find out it was only available at the gift store at Caribbean Beach Resort. Also, a member of our party saw a magic band they wanted, but didn’t purchase it at the time so we used the app to find another store that was more convenient to purchase the band.

  • I find it incredibly frustrating that when I was there in November, I was constantly hearing about this app, being given flyers for it from CMs, and I thought it was a really exciting idea. I even passed up some things because I hoped I would be able to order them when I was back at home and a little more money was rolling back in. I was seriously unimpressed that this is not available to anyone outside the US (you can’t even search for the app on the Play Store if you’re not in the US). I was looking forward to using it, but maybe it’s for the best!

    • I agree with Gillian – I found it very frustrating that I could not download the app while as was at WDW because my iTunes account is not a US-based one. If I wasn’t traveling with a family member who does live in the US, I wouldn’t have been able to look to see in what store certain items could be found. It would be great if the app becomes available elsewhere, even if there the functionality is limited to in park use.

      • I agree, they need to open it up to international guests, even if all we can do is order items to be delivered to our resort hotel.

        If you log-in using your MDE details maybe they could even check that you have a hotel reservation to ensure you aren’t ordering things you will never collect :)

  • We went to DL in October 2015. I was disappointed that the app is WDW-centric. My son found a cool car at DCA he wanted but we didn’t want to mess with carrying it all day and at the end of the day I just didn’t have it in me to walk back to the back of the park and we didn’t find it at any of the stores on the way out or the next day at DL. I told him we could just order it off the app…but they don’t have the same things at WDW. I’ll keep looking.