- Greg Antonelle has helped book thousands of Disney trips with his company MickeyTravels.
- When he’s not planning vacations for others, he’s spending the day at Walt Disney World.
- Antonelle told Insider he never goes to Disney World without two portable phone chargers.
Greg Antonelle is the founder of MickeyTravels, a Disney travel agency. He works with a team of 250 travel agents to help book Disney trips for everyone from budget travelers to celebrity clients and estimates he’s been to the parks more than a thousand times.
When he packs for a Disney trip, there’s one item he never forgets to bring. Well, technically it’s more than one: portable phone chargers, and he always packs two.
That’s because much of Disney is accessed through your phone, Antonelle said. And while a portable charger used to be helpful years ago; today, he said it’s a necessity. Here’s why.
From accessing fast passes to mobile dining, visitors need a fully charged phone
Antonelle said one of the biggest mistakes travelers make when visiting Disney is that they don’t realize how much they’re going to need their cell phones. In fact, Antonelle said it’s nearly impossible right now to visit Disney without a phone and the My Disney Experience app.
On the app, guests can purchase Disney tickets, reserve a spot at a park through the company’s new Park Pass reservation system, order mobile dining, see wait times for rides, and book fast passes.
Even things like your resort room key can now be accessed via your phone, he said.
Beyond needing a phone for the Disney app, Antonelle said you’ll likely take pictures and post on social media throughout the day. And if you have kids, phone games are a great way to keep them distracted while waiting in long Disney lines.
All of this can quickly drain your phone’s battery, Antonelle said. So he recommends packing a portable charger, and if you have enough room, pack two to be on the safe side, he said. Antonelle’s favorite is the Anker Power Bank, which holds can recharge a phone 10 times and costs $140, but Antonelle said you can find other options for less.
“If your cell phone is not charged, you’re in trouble,” he said.
Disney does portable chargers, but Antonelle said it’s better to have your own
At Disney parks and resorts, guests can access “FuelRods stations,” which are kiosks where visitors can purchase a charging kit to bring home for $30 that comes with a portable charger and cords, according to Disney’s website.
From experience, Antonelle said “the life on the FuelRods is really short” compared to some of the portable chargers he’s used. Antonelle said if your phone dies in the morning, you might need to use multiple FuelRods throughout the day. Not only will this cost more money, but it also takes up time waiting in lines and finding a kiosk, Antonelle said.
The easiest solution? Pack your own.
“You always want to bring a charger,” he said. “Your cell phone is basically everything.”