I’ve had a blast reviewing these Walt Disney World Notescasts this week. Last time, I reviewed the WDW Secrets and WDW Secrets Gold Notescasts. I chose to review those together because they are so closely related. Originally, I was going review them alongside these two apps as well because they all four take you on tours to find the hidden secrets of Walt Disney World. I didn’t want to try to cram everything together, though, so I decided to split them into two reviews. If you’re ready to some more touring, click below to read my review. And keep your iPhone or iPod Touch close at hand: you may need to visit the App Store!
I think you know the drill of my app review by now. I base my reviews on three categories: navigation, content, and appearance. These are the categories I feel make or break an app. So far, I’ve been very happy with the TimeStream Software Walt Disney World apps. They’re pretty solid in all three categories. The WDW Secrets: Hidden Mickeys and WDW Secrets: Main Street, USA Windows apps continue your search for those fun details hidden throughout Walt Disney World. Let’s jump in…
I don’t want to spend a whole lot of time in this category. This part of the review is going to be almost identical to the review of the other two WDW Secrets apps. Navigation is solid, and the controls are exactly the same. This is a good thing. The formula works; it doesn’t need tweaked. Plus, it keeps the user experience consistent. If you’ve downloaded any of these apps (and you should), you can move to any other app and feel like you’ve got a handle on it. That’s one good thing about Notescasts, you’re not going to deviate on the user experience hardly at all.
My comments on navigation are very similar to my comments last time. In the first review I wrote on the WDW Guide Notescast, I was concerned about adding links to other parts of the app and adding a button or link to allow navigation to the next “chapter.” In the WDW Secrets and WDW Secrets Gold apps, however, I wasn’t worried about this as much. The same holds true here. The only place I would suggest a “Next” button would be in the Search Game for the Main Street Windows. It would be nice to go from one set of clues straight to the next set of clues without having to go back to the previous menu. Other than that, I see no navigation problems in the two apps.
I’m going to take this section one app at a time, because there are things in each app I want to discuss separately. Let’s start with Hidden Mickeys. The App Store description says that the app has over 120 hidden Mickeys. I didn’t count them, but I’m sure that’s true. There’s enough to keep you busy for a couple hours in each park. The bad news? If you have one of the other Notescasts I reviewed (the WDW Guide or either WDW Secrets), you already have around 80 of these hidden Mickey clues. They state this in the description, so it isn’t a surprise or anything. I just would have liked to see more exclusive hidden Mickeys in the app. The good news? You now get a new way to go on a hidden Mickey tour: with photos. The tour without photos is a little more of a challenge, but if you want some extra visual clues the tour with photos is a nice addition. In the screenshot above, you can see four examples of a hidden Mickey tour with photos.
If you’re a Disney geek like I am, you probably know that the windows on Main Street, USA in the Magic Kingdom are often labeled with a little tribute to the company’s influential people and Imagineers. WDW Secrets: Main Street, USA Windows actually takes the with/without photos tour a step further. Once again, you can choose to complete a tour with photos if you’re only interested in finding the windows. If you want to do some searching, the tour without photos is a little more challenging. These window descriptions are ordered so you can find them as you walk straight down Main Street. The third option (and this would be a fun option to incorporate into the hidden Mickeys app) is a Search Game. In this game, all of the windows are scrambled and it’s your job to roam Main Street and find the window. It’s a great way to spend a few hours exploring, so I really love this idea. I also love the fact that the Main Street Windows app includes short bios of the names in the windows. You may have a blast finding Yale Gracey’s windows, but it means even more if you can appreciate what the person accomplished and why the window says what it does.
The content in both of these apps is easily worth the price tag. You’re going to get a good amount of time out of each app, and I think it will give you something fun to do on your vacation besides rush to your next dining reservation or make a beeline for the next ride queue. I only wish that WDW Secrets: Hidden Mickeys had more exclusive rodents to find. I love my WDW Guide app and the WDW Secrets apps, and the Mickey tours in those make the Hidden Mickey app feel like something I’ve already done. I know there are around 40 exclusive Mickeys, but I would like to see more.
If there’s been a common theme throughout these reviews, it’s been that I love the pictures in the apps. It’s the same here. All of these pictures are very high quality. They definitely add to the app.
Although I don’t have the screenshots here to prove it, the title screen follows the same template at the other Notescasts I’ve looked at: a background image that looks like yellow notebook paper, the title of the app, and the app’s respective logo. The logo also appears in the menu as an icon for each menu item (you can see that in the navigation section).
This is another stellar entry in the appearance category. I can’t stress enough that these apps are worth the $.99 for the images alone. They’re a steal at that price anyway, but the images make it an even better deal.
Both of these apps are great, and they’re completely worth the $.99 to download. In fact, at that price they are an amazing deal. I think the Main Street Windows app is a better deal because it packs more exclusive content. The Hidden Mickeys app is still very much worth the download, especially because of the pictures. It can be kind of frustrating being stuck looking for something you can’t find, so the visual cues are very much appreciated. If you’re heading to Walt Disney World, or if you want to relive the vacation from home, get the WDW Notescasts. I’ve reviewed all five that they have in the App Store, and you can collect them all for less than $8 (or a dollar less if you just get the WDW Secrets Gold since it includes everything from the WDW Secrets standard version). That’s some excellent touring material for a bargain price. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.