How many of us “fondly” remember embarking upon a series of odd events while trying to retrace our steps and find our lost car in a Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort parking lot? Well, say goodbye to that!
In what I can only assume is a synergy play to promote the classic film Dude, Where’s My Car on Hulu or Disney+ (depending upon your region), the company is adding a new car locator feature to the My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps. The feature will first launch at Walt Disney World this summer and will be available at Disneyland Resort later this year, presumably in time for Disney+ Day!
The (dude) where’s my car locator is a free feature that uses location technology to find and save your parking details in the My Disney Experience app for Walt Disney World and the Disneyland app. The feature functions best when you enable Location Services, Bluetooth, and Notifications on your iPhone or other mobile device.
At Walt Disney World, the (dude) where’s my car feature will be available at all four theme parks, Disney Springs, water parks, and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. All you have to do is open the My Disney Experience app and tap the car locator card on your home screen—or you can use the hamburger menu (☰) for access.
After that, follow the prompts to enter your parking information. If you choose to enable location permissions on your device, (dude) where’s my car locator can help fill in the details for you. When you’re ready to leave, return to (dude) where’s my car locator for your parking information.
In addition to helping you find your car at the end of the day, you can tap into the app for a variety of other convenient features to make your visit to Walt Disney World easier. From mobile merchandise checkout and mobile food ordering to the direct-to-room service at Disney Resort hotels, the My Disney Experience app helps free up more time for you to enjoy attractions and experiences.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the MagicMobile service, which is a great contactless way to enter the theme parks and enjoy other helpful features like linking your Disney PhotoPass photos. (We’ve been using that more in the last several months, and it’s been working flawlessly.)
The (dude) where’s my car locator feature coming to My Disney Experience and the Disneyland app is just one of a growing number of ways to find your car.
First, there’s the tried and true way of making a note of the section where you parked or, as I prefer, sending that info to Sarah (regardless of whether she’s with me) via text message. You can also share via social media for the ultimate humblebrag that you’re at the parks.
Not that you care, but we originally bought them for Yossarian the Cat, a prolific escape artist despite being terrified of pretty much everything outdoors. We had extras so we put them in the car and our luggage. For those keeping score at home, we’ve already used AirTags several times to find our vehicle, a couple times to monitor checked bags, and once when Yossarian decided to be a free range wild cat. (Which, meant breaking out, running down the street, immediately getting scared of something, and hiding under a bush until we rescued him.)
I’m most curious about how well the feature will work at Disneyland in the enormous Mickey & Friends and Pixar Pals parking structures. There have been a couple of occasions we’ve spent a long time trying to find our car, wandering aimlessly up, down, and all around. While we’ve mostly learned our lesson there…mistakes still happen from time to time.
Those gigantic structures and the Transportation and Ticket Center at Walt Disney World are definitely the worst places to lose your car. Disney Springs would also rank pretty high on the list, but we typically park in the same spot (or close to it) there, so we’ve never had issues.
On a list ranking the “difficulty” of locating our car, we’d say EPCOT and Animal Kingdom are about the same, and Hollywood Studios is easiest. Obviously, your mileage may vary with all of this.
With that said, it’s hard to see how this feature will be significantly better than any of the aforementioned techniques for car finding. It doesn’t appear that this will be automated or use any technology exclusive to Disney. To the contrary, it sort of just feels like a way for the company to plug a sponsorship. On that note…
State Farm is sponsoring the new car locator feature. The insurance company is also sponsoring the brand-new planDisney Podcast that offers tips, suggestions, and info for guests preparing for an upcoming Disney Parks vacation as ways to help Disney introduce more magical experiences to its guests.
If the nonstop television commercials I see with Jake and famous athletes are any indication, here’s hoping State Farm becomes the sponsor for Journey into Imagination. Not because insurance is in any way imaginative (except perhaps the claims denial process), but because the company has a limitless marketing budget. If that’s what it takes to restore Figment and Dreamfinder to their former glory, I’ll happily jump aboard the good neighbor train.
Be sure to have the latest update of the My Disney Experience app so you’re ready when the (dude) where’s my car locator launches this summer. Later this year, the feature will also debut at Disneyland Resort. Stay tuned for more updates, as we’re hopeful more changes are coming to the MDX app soon.
Will you use the new (dude) where’s my car locator in the My Disney Experience app? Do you have another method for finding your vehicle at the parks? Or, do you not drive at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, making this irrelevant to you? Any other features you’d like Disney to add to the apps? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!