An Appetite for Disney on the iPhone

Whether you’re on the fly in Walt Disney World or planning your adventure ahead of time, the WDW Dining application is the preeminent iPhone application for the Disney dining experience. It’s also a fun app for completists and fanatics alike who like to see what kind of offerings WDW has to offer or just daydream about dining in a castle, a temple or at the base of a Tibetan mountain.

The application sorts restaurants out by the four main theme parks, Downtown Disney, and each of the resorts. When you click on your selection, you are brought to a list of that park or resort’s dining options. The initial list includes indications of price range and Disney Dining Plan eligibility. Clicking on the dining option will give you a brief synopsis of the restaurant along with a picture, location, suggestions, keywords and dining plan details. Click on the individual menus (if applicable) for breakfast, lunch or dinner to see the menu options and pricing for that meal.

This is the part where I think the App really went the extra mile. In the wave of applications (particularly Disney-themed) that have come out since iTunes' App store launched, many developers have rolled out uninspired product, rushing to cash in on the App craze and the lure of impulse buying on iTunes. The WDW Dining application doesn't skimp for information, explaining each menu item in detail as would the actual menu. If you’re like me and want to plot out your next Disney vacation with a spouse who has stricter dietary preferences, this really helps narrow down the places you’d like to visit. Of course, I understand it would make more sense to reference a website like AllEars.net instead of huddling around a cell phone but regarding portability, especially if you’re referencing this mid-vacation, this is an incredibly handy tool. And for those of you fans who just like to eat up anything Disney and have perhaps been disappointed with many of the poor Disney-related applications available on iTunes, this is a worthy purchase.

The software utilizes iPhone’s familiar graphic interface with a simple graphics key. As with most iPhone apps, you can easily backtrack to previous pages. There’s a link to call WDW-DINE from every restaurant’s main page, a smart touch despite the obviousness of Disney’s dining reservation line. More importantly, they came out with an update fairly quickly for both aesthetic (adding photos) and practical (noting Tables in Wonderland discounts) reasons. It remains to be seen how quickly they update the ever-changing prices but for now this seems to be a trustworthy app. And at $0.99, you’re spending a lot less than you’d ever spend at the theme park!

Developed by VersaEdge Software and available here at the iTunes store.