Disney transportation is a wonderful, wonderful thing. But not being able to get from resort to resort via the internal bus system? That really sucks.
Because my husband and I don’t rent a car and can’t always afford to take a cab, we often find ourselves at the mercy of the bus system, which can add unnecessary stress to an otherwise magical vacation.
Not only is the time wasted an issue—waiting for a bus, going to Destination A, waiting for another bus, going to Destination B—but there’s also the added stress of wondering: Could I have taken another bus? Would I already be there?
Enter the Our Laughing Place Transportation Wizard or TWiz. I’ve always believed that the best apps do one thing really well. This brilliant piece of software absolutely lives up to that.
For starters, you select your current location. The app includes a listing of all of the Disney Parks as well as the resorts, including Shades of Green and the Swan and Dolphin. The interface couldn’t be more simple: located your location on the list and tap it. You can also use the search bar at the top of the screen.
Once you’ve selected your location, select your destination. Again, all of the Parks, recreation areas and resort hotels are listed and selecting your destination is as easy as tapping.
I do wish that you could search for restaurants and spas. For example, I know Kouzina is on the Boardwalk, but if I’m an infrequent Disney traveler looking for a decadent breakfast, and I remember reading that this Greek-inspired spot fits the bill … well, I am totally out of luck if I can’t remember where the restaurant is. Honestly, though, that’s the only major drawback here.
Once you’ve selected your location, the screen flips, and with a little bit of pixie dust, processes your request. The “loading” process takes no more than a micro-second if you have a strong Internet connection, but I love the little dose of magic. The whole app, from the drawing on the cover to the charming little details, feels homegrown and authentic, and I appreciate the folksy flair. We are, after all, in search of fun when we load up this app!
After processing your request, the app displays two to five route suggestions. Here, I’ve asked for directions from Pop Century (my poor girl, solo-traveling resort of choice) to Caribbean Beach (I find the Market Street Food Court charming). As you can see, the TWiz recommends a taxi, which is by far the quickest route, but also supplies a smart bus strategy as well.
Some interesting extras: after each recommendation, the app asks you to share your own time or tip. When you select that option, the first screen on the left appears. You can share the route with a friend via e-mail (beware: it copies the app developer in on your message), make a suggestion about the app (which sends an e-mail to the app developer) or rate the route.
I’m all in favor of crowd sourcing, so I think the “rate the route” option is fantastic. It allows you to offer a simple “thumbs up” or “thumbs down,” as well as leave a comment about the route. Unfortunately, it is sorely underused, so it doesn’t offer much value.
The second screen in the above screenshot shows what happens when you click on the actual route itself: a list of tips about the route. In this case, it reminds us that CBR has multiple bus stops. When I selected a route that included the Boardwalk, it reminded me that the Inn and Villas share a bus stop. It also told me that the boat launch is on the other side of the building from the bus stop.
Of course, no app would be compete without an info screen. TWiz is no different. This screen includes an e-mail address where you can send concerns as well as a link to the Our Laughing Place website.
To say I use this app in Disney World is sort of an understatement. It’s simple, fun to use and extremely useful when you’re reliant on resort transportation. And, as a bonus, there’s a web-based version of the software as well! Before I had an iPhone, I used this site all the time while planning my upcoming trips (in fact, I have included in our list of favorite planning tools).
|App Name:||WDW Transportation Wizard (iTunes, Google Marketplace)|
|Developer:||Our Laughing Place Apps|
|Version:||v4.4 for Apple / v1.0.5 for Google|
|Size:||1.3 MB on Apple / 160 K on Google|
|Available on:||iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (requires iOS 3.0 or later)
Android (requires 1.6 and up)
|Price:||$1.99 on all platforms|
|Overall:||Download it before your next trip!|