Walt Disney World updated the My Disney Experience app to simplify the process for family & friends to link their accounts, share plans, make Lightning Lane & Genie+ ride reservations, ADRs, and more. This post is here to walk you through the process for adding guests to your family & friends the easy way.
Linking Disney accounts to your family and friends via My Disney Experience is highly recommended. It enables those individuals to see your plans (and vice-versa), plus PhotoPass images, Advance Dining Reservations, Genie+ and Lightning Lane Reservations, resort stays, and more.
More importantly, it allows others in your Walt Disney World traveling party to take on some of the shared planning responsibilities. We hear from a lot of readers who are the only ones with their own My Disney Experience account, as they serve as the Schedule Master or Keeper of the Sacred WDW Plans for their group. That’s certainly a viable approach, especially if everyone else is a child or “Disney Disinclined” adult. However, it puts you at a strategic disadvantage in some scenarios.
Prior to this My Disney Experience update, the process for linking Disney accounts was incredibly cumbersome. You had to start by entering the email of the person you want to add to your Family and Friends. They would then receive an email (or maybe not!) and would have to click a link to confirm they actually knew you, and weren’t just some sketchy stranger trying to find love connections or some other weird thing via My Disney Experience.
That process might not sound complicated, but anything with moving parts and Disney IT invariably involves headaches. The following lines, among others, may or may not have been uttered by various individuals associated with this blog: “Did you get it yet?”
“Try refreshing your email.”
“Maybe you should check your SPAM folder.”
“What about now?”
“Did you enter the right email address? It’s Sarah with an ‘h'”
“Are you sure you clicked the right button?”
“Do you not know how to computer?”
“WHY IS THIS TAKING SO LONG?!?!”
In the grand scheme of things, it was hardly the biggest problem facing Walt Disney World guests. Nevertheless, it caused its fair share of annoyances and is something that should’ve been addressed years ago.
Thankfully, with QR codes making a comeback for the ages, there’s a new way to easily scan and connect all within My Disney Experience. This streamlines the whole process and makes things significantly easier.
Start by opening the My Disney Experience App and making sure that you’re logged in. (My “pro tip” for this is giving MDX about 20 seconds to fully “boot up” before trying to do anything. I’ve found that it decreases the likelihood of subsequent errors/crashes/etc.)
Click the hamburger button (three horizontal lines) on the bottom right corner of the app, then scroll down past the tiles, and select the “My Profile” line item link immediately below.
That brings you to the above “My Account” screen. Note the ability to toggle between “My Profile” and “Family & Friends List” at the top. That’ll be relevant in just a minute.
For now, scroll down until you see “Show My Linking Code.”
Upon clicking that, you’ll see a “Just a Moment” message warning you about all of the things someone can see upon scanning your linking code. You could click the blue dropdown for a full rundown of this ‘stranger danger,’ but what’s a Walt Disney World vacation without a little risk? Afraid your relatives or casual acquaintances will see the look of indifference in your eyes the oddly-placed Frozen Ever After on-ride camera captures?!
Once you’re done reading or ignoring this message, click “Show My Linking Code.”
As the button suggests, this will display your linking QR code. Mine has been blurred out above to protect the innocent. Sorry, but you all aren’t ready for my rad ride facial expressions.
With the first “half” of this process complete, repeat the first two steps in the above process until you’re at the aforementioned Family & Friends List.
From there, scroll down past your previously linked accounts (if you have any) until you see the above.
Click the blue + Add a Guest button.
You’re now given a trio of options, with the first two being the more tedious choices. The third is “scan their linking code.”
Select that, and then the “Scan Linking Code” blue button at the bottom.
Take the first phone and align it with the second phone’s camera, and the linking process should be almost instantaneous. If there’s an issue for some reason (never rule that out when it comes to My Disney Experience) try to manually enter the code. Failing that, generate a new QR code–it’s possible the previous one expired.
This is one of those things that step-by-step instructions probably sounds more complicated than it actually is. In practice, this whole process takes less than one minute and is much (much!) easier than the old way of linking accounts.
Finally, one question we receive a lot in response to our Guide to Genie+ at Walt Disney World & Lightning Lane FAQis whether multiple My Disney Experience accounts are actually necessary or if two people can simultaneously be logged into the same account. Technically, either way is possible.
However, I’m hesitant to offer advice with regard to the latter approach as it’s something we’ve literally never done. I think it presents a higher probability for problems (like triggering account verification emails). I can’t say that with 100% certainty since it’s something I’ve never done and wouldn’t do. From our perspective, each capable adult having their own account is the “best practice,” as is linking the accounts via this method.
Sarah and I often try to do the exact same thing at the exact same thing (e.g. booking ADRs) and there have been numerous occasions when one of our accounts had an issue, but not the other. There are also some potential scenarios–like booking Genie+ for Slinky Dog Dash and Individual Lightning Lanes for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance–where you’ll want multiple adults working multiple phones at 7 am.
Ultimately, this streamlined process for linking My Disney Experience accounts helps with all of that. It’s obviously not some revolutionary improvement or a game changer, but the bar for MDX is so low that even incremental improvements that should’ve been made years ago get me excited at this point. There’s been a lot of negative news when it comes to Walt Disney World and/or Disney IT in the last couple of years, so I’ll savor the small victories that involve both!
What do you think of this new process for linking Family & Friends via My Disney Experience? When visiting Walt Disney World, does each adult in your party have their own account, or does one “Schedule Master” control everything and everyone? Do you agree or disagree with our advice? 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!