My Day without a Wallet: Walt Disney World

Life without a Wallet Becomes a Magical Moment

By Katy Parsons on May 13, 2015

This is part of our ‘Day Without a Wallet’ series exploring what can be done without a wallet and only a smartphone in various cities across the country.

When most parents envision their first trip to Walt Disney World with a child, the daydream is part magic and part panic attack. While the thought of your toddler meeting his/her hero – Mickey Mouse – for the first time is exciting, the sheer anxiety over the long lines, Florida heat, rain potential and gift shop meltdowns are enough to consider a day at the museum instead. Fortunately for parents, mobile technology has made this magically stressful moment a true celebration of imagination and family.

In taking our son to Walt Disney World for the first time, we were amazed at the ability to navigate the entire experience without our wallets.

The key to a successful wallet-free experience is the great relationship between your mobile device, the reliable Verizon Wireless network and the Disney Magic Band. With a kid, stroller and backpack full of distractions (snacks, toys and games) we were thankful that fumbling to find a wallet, credit card or I.D. would be the least of our worries.

We start our day, boarding the bus from the hotel to the Animal Kingdom Park. On board, we do a quick check of the weather using the Accuweather app to get a sense of when the heat will be at its peak – thankfully, it’s right at naptime.  

Given that getting out of the door with a 2-year-old is never timely, once inside the park we use the My Disney Experience app on our Samsung Galaxy S4 to shift our FastPass time slots for the day.

Disney World 1

Just before noon we check into our character lunch reservation at Tusker House. Once we’ve fueled up on food, we put our phone cameras to work taking pictures and video of our son with any and every Disney character available. We text all the grandparents updates and share on Facebook and Instagram – everyone must experience the cuteness that is lunch with Donald Duck.

Later in the day, it’s time for one more ride before we head back to the hotel for nap time. While the little guy gets his magical rest, my husband and I continue planning our afternoon and next day, all from our mobile device. We check the weather again, re-schedule our FastPasses and search for dinner reservations.

Disney World 2

We also view our daily account message, which is emailed daily from the hotel, and check on the money we’ve spent using our Magic Bands – not too bad when we can keep track from the phone.  

Back to the park for round two. Rides, snacks, shows and fun are endless, but no afternoon at a theme park would be complete without a souvenir. Before we call it a day, we pick up some great presents for ourselves and family without having to run a card or drop loose change.  

As we head back to the hotel after one of the most exhausting days in history, we are ecstatic that our son had the opportunity to spend a full day in the “most magical place on earth,” without mom or dad losing their cool.

From buying treats and treasures to tracking our spending, making and changing reservations and taking photo and video of every minute, coverage across the entire park was impeccable and fast. If my entire life could be as seamless and wallet free, life with a toddler would be the “most magical place on earth.”

The thoughts, opinions and suggestions of the author may not necessarily reflect those of Verizon Wireless.

Tags: Disney World, Mobile Wallet, smartphone mobile wallet, Samsung Galaxy, mobile apps, Verizon Wireless network