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I first visited Disneyland in 2018. Up until then, the only US Disney park I’d visited was Walt Disney World. I expected the wifi at Disneyland to be just as strong and effective as the wifi at Disney World.
Boy was I wrong, and it really threw a wrench into my first Disneyland trip!
The wifi at Disneyland being awful probably isn’t a huge deal if you live in the US and have a cellphone data plan.
However, if you don’t live in the US (like me), then you need to know how to plan for the Disneyland wifi situation.
Because you can’t rely on the wifi in the parks to get you through the day (unfortunately).
You need a plan on how you’re going to access the internet at Disneyland outside of the wifi provided free to guests.
Don’t Think You Can Get by Without Accessing the Internet
The first thing you need to know about the wifi at Disneyland is you can’t live without it.
With the introduction of Genie+ and Lightening Lanes, it is more important now than ever before that you can access the internet while at Disneyland.
And reliably access the internet!
You do so much on your phone through the My Disney Experience app that you can’t do a Disneyland trip anymore without using the internet on a regular basis.
You can mobile order food, check wait times, get Lightening Lane passes, see food menus, when parades and shows are for the day, and so much more on your phone through the My Disney Experience app.
Not to mention you’ll probably want to share your photos on Instagram to make your friends and family jealous of your amazing trip!
So, if you’re on the fence and think you may not need to use the internet while at Disneyland, now you know you need to use the internet to have a full and efficient Disneyland trip.
Now, let’s talk about how to have reliable access to the internet and not solely rely on the wifi at Disneyland.
Have a Plan Before You Go
Don’t be like me and not have a plan on how you’re going to access the internet at Disneyland.
And relying on the wifi at Disneyland isn’t the plan you think it is. 😉
Using Data on a US Phone Plan
If you live in the US and have a data plan, then your plan is pretty easy. Just use your phone’s data and be on your merry way.
This is by far the easiest way to reliably access the internet while in Disneyland without having to rely on the wifi at Disneyland.
Using Data on a Foreign Phone Plan
However, if you’re like me and aren’t from the US, things get a little trickier.
If your phone plan offers it, you can use your phone’s data and pay for the extra daily charge for using your data outside your home country.
For example, I’m Canadian, and my phone plan charges me an extra $8 per day to use my data while in the United States.
You have to set up this option on your phone before you use your data in a foreign country, but you can easily do it online in less than five minutes.
If you don’t set up this option on your account, you’ll be shocked at your phone bill when you get home because you’ll be charged a ridiculous amount per megabyte of data you used while at Disneyland.
You don’t want to be stuck paying that phone bill!
This is a great option if you’re travelling to Disneyland alone.
It is the most affordable, and you know you’ll get reliable access to the internet.
Using Pocket Wifi
Using your phone’s data plan is a good way to access the internet at Disneyland for solo travellers; however, there is a more cost effective way to access the internet if you’re travelling with a group of people.
And that is pocket wifi.
I always use pocket wifi when I’m at Disneyland with friends or family. You can rent one pocket wifi device and connect all your phones to it.
Most pocket wifi devices allow you to connect 6 to 10 different phones to a single device, and they often don’t cost more than $10 a day!
So, if you’re visiting Disneyland with a group of people, it is without a doubt more cost effective to rent one pocket wifi device and connect everybody to it rather than everybody paying to use their data for the day.
Of course, there are a few downsides to pocket wifi.
The main one being that you have to be within a certain distance of the device in order to access the internet.
Normally is isn’t more than a couple hundred of feet, so if you and your party are splitting up for a large portion of the day, you may not want to rely on pocket wifi to access the internet at Disneyland.
You can pick up a Sumo pocket wifi device at LAX and return it there when you leave as well. It is very convenient.
To be transparent, I’ve never used Sumo pocket wifi, so I can’t vouch for how good or bad their product is. It is the best one I could find when doing my research through.
I personally use my Solis Wifi when I’m at Disneyland.
It is my own personal pocket wifi device that I purchased back in 2019 and use whenever I travel.
For me as a frequent traveller, owning a pocket wifi device and not having to rent pocket wifi everywhere I visit is a huge advantage.
I’ve used my Solis at Disneyland twice now and both times it has worked perfectly.
I’m able to quickly access the internet, do what I need to do on the My Disney Experience app, and stay in touch with family and friends.
I don’t recommend Solis Wifi for people who don’t travel all that often. It is an investment.
Actually, I think the base price of buying a Solis is very fair. It is the cost of accessing the internet that I wish were a little more affordable.
But, the easy way around the cost of the daily wifi passes is purchasing a monthly wifi pass. It ends up being much more affordable as long as you use your Solis to access the internet at least seven days a month.
If you like the sound of Solis Wifi but aren’t a frequent traveller or want to try it out before committing to buying it, you can rent a Solis Wifi device for your trip.
It is super easy to rent Solis pocket wifi, and they mail it directly to your home.
You don’t have to worry about wasting your time at the airport trying to find the pocket wifi rental place and then dropping it off when you’re done with it.
It certainly isn’t the option for everybody, it is a really good option for frequent travellers.
I know my Solis has elevated my travel experience ever since I started using it!
Know Where You Can and Can’t (Theoretically) Access Wifi
If you do decide to risk it and want to rely on the wifi at Disneyland, you need to know where you can and cannot access the wifi.
You theoretically should be able to access the wifi at Disneyland in both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
Again, your luck may vary because the internet is so weak.
You can also access free wifi at Disneyland hotels even if you’re not staying at one.
You cannot access the free wifi at Disneyland when exploring Downtown Disney, which is very unfortunate.
Some table service restaurants offer their own complimentary wifi, but not all of them do.
And you won’t be able to access the internet while wandering around the stores and street of Downtown Disney.
Fingers crossed one day they expand the complimentary wifi to the Downtown Disney area. (and make the wifi signal good enough that everybody can easily connect and use the internet).
Be Internet Safe
It is essential that you’re safe when you use the wifi at Disneyland.
It is an open wifi network without a password that thousands of people use per day, so it puts you at high risk of having your online data and information stolen.
Most people who access the free wifi at Disneyland are using it for the same reason you are: to use the My Disney Experience app and social media.
However, it only takes one person with the wrong intentions to have all your online information stolen.
You don’t want to go through the trouble of having to cancel bank accounts and credit cards because somebody stolen your banking information while you were trying to have a fun day at Disney!
The only way you can protect your online information while travelling is by installing a VPN on your devices.
A VPN essentially puts a forcefield around your phone that prevents prying eyes from seeing your online information.
It makes using a public wifi network just as safe as using your personal home wifi where you’re the only person who knows the password.
You may not think it is worth the effort to install a VPN on your devices, but it only takes a few minutes and can save you a huge headache down the road.
My Favourite VPN
I’ve used a lot of different VPNs over my years of travel and hated most of them.
VPNs are notorious for slowing your phone down to the point where using the internet is frustrating because you can’t get anything done.
My frustrations with VPNs changed when I discovered NordVPN. I’ve been using them for years and years now and have no plans to ever change to a different VPN company.
The reason I like them so much (and why I recommend them to my fellow travel lovers) is because NordVPN is the fastest VPN on the market.
I’ve never noticed it slowing my phone or laptop down, and I’m able to use the internet exactly as I do at home without a VPN on.
This is especially important for a trip to Disneyland. The wifi at Disneyland is already slow enough, and you don’t need a VPN slowing down your phone even more!
You can connect up to six different devices to a single NordVPN subscription, so you can easily protect your entire family for one low price.
It costs less than the price of a single latte per month for a NordVPN subscription, so you have no excuse not to protect your online data and privacy.
My philosophy is that if you can afford to travel (especially to Disneyland), you can afford to protect your online privacy and information with a VPN subscription.
Just Get a Photopass Card and Worry About Downloading Them at the End of Your Trip
If you choose to splurge and get Disney Photopass (or purchase Disney Genie+ where Photopass is included), save yourself the headache and just use a Photopass card rather than trying to scan the code on your phone.
It takes a lot of your phone’s battery to open the My Disney Experience app, open the Photopass section, and have the Photopass photographer scan your barcode.
It is a thousand times easier and faster to just get a physical Photopass card from the first photographer you take photos with an use it for the entirety of your trip.
You can scan the barcode of the Photopass card and download the images onto your phone quickly and easily anytime you want and as often as you want.
I know this isn’t really a tip about using the wifi at Disneyland, but it is an essential phone tip, so I thought I would include it!
Screenshot Any Lightening Lane Reservations
If you purchase Disney Genie+ or any individual attraction Lightening Lane reservations, take a screen shot of your reservation as soon as it is confirmed.
This is especially important if you’re only relying on the wifi at Disneyland rather than data or pocket wifi.
I cannot tell you how frustrating it was the first time I was at Disneyland using MaxPass trying to access my Fastpass (may it rest it peace) barcode through the My Disney Experience app and not being able to because the internet was so bad.
Taking a screen shot of your reservation totally eliminates the possibility of getting to the attraction and not being able to get into the Lightening Lane because you can’t access your reservation through the app.
You can just pull up the screen shot and be on your merry way!
Need to Prove Disney Genie+ Purchase for Photos at Hotels
This is an interesting little tip and thing to consider when using the wifi at Disneyland.
If you have a meal at a hotel that includes a Photopass photo, you need to prove your purchase of Disney Genie+ that includes Photopass to get the photo for free.
When I dined at Goofy’s Kitchen (highly recommend!), I had to prove to the person who came around with the photos I took with Mickey before the meal that I had Photopass included in my MaxPass purchase.
That was back in the good ol’ days before MaxPass died. May it rest in peace as well.
To do this, I had to open the My Disney Experience app and make a Fastpass reservation (know known as Lightening Lanes).
To access the My Disney Experience app, you need access to the internet. Even in the restaurant inside the Disneyland Hotel, I wasn’t able to properly connect to the complimentary Disneyland wifi and had to use my phone’s data.
Now, I haven’t been to a hotel character meal with a Photopass photo opportunity since the introduction of Genie+.
I’m not sure if the process is still the same or not, but it is something to keep in mind when you’re coming up with a strategy on how to access the internet at Disneyland.
Take a Deep Breath and Don’t Get Too Frustrated
Okay. Admittedly, I need to take my own advice here, but try not to get too frustrated if you have troubles connecting to the internet at Disneyland.
You’re on an epic vacation in one of the most fantastic places. If you can’t connect to the wifi at Disneyland, try to take a deep breath and stay calm.
Eventually, you’ll find a solution or wander to a lonely corner of the park and be able to access the wifi.
I know it is easier said than done.
Especially if you’re trying to get a Lightening Lane reservation, but there is not sense getting worked up and ruining your Disneyland vacation over the wifi at Disneyland.
I sincerely hope you don’t have any issues accessing the wifi at Disneyland. I hope your trip goes smoothly, and there are no bumps in the road.
However, that probably won’t be the case, and it is in your best interest to have a plan on how to access the internet while at Disneyland.
If you have a US phone plan, you’ve got it easy! You can just use your phone’s data and easily fix the problem.
It is a bit trickier for people who don’t have a US phone plan.
You either need to pay to use your phone’s data in a foreign country, rent pocket wifi, or bring your own wifi device.
All three options work, but you need to figure out what option you’re going to use before you arrive at Disneyland.
Have a magical trip!
Oh! Please say hi to Mickey for me when you’re at Disneyland!