Angry Birds and Words With Friends might be some of the most frequently used apps on my iPhone. Mind you, I was a reluctant BlackBerry convert, but there are actually lots of useful apps to use—especially living here in Orange County. Presenting my three favorite functional apps, all of which are FREE:
Whether you're a Disneyland Annual Passport holder or casual Disneyland visitor, this is a must for everyone. MouseWait is a frequently updated app that lets you check on wait times around Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. At Splash Mountain and want to get on Autopia . . . but only if the wait time is less than 45 minutes? MouseWait will tell you whether or not it'll be worth the trek to Tomorrowland.
MouseWait even includes character meet-and-greet spots, attractions such as the Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through, Little Red Wagon Corn Dogs, Disney Gallery, Captain EO, even the Dole Whip line. There's also a food section on the app that tells you what there is to eat where—complete with menus—from the parks and hotels to Downtown Disney and even the surrounding area. The Passholder section of the app provides a list of all blockout dates and discounts available. Not sure if your little one is tall enough to ride Indiana Jones? MouseWait sorts all rides by height requirement.
And if you're bored out of your mind while waiting 200 minutes for the new Star Tours, MouseWait also offers a Lounge page, on which you can chat with other Disney park-goers. Also available for Droid.
Yep, your favorite once-a-year provider of fried food on a stick has its own app. And it's actually pretty handy! Long gone are the little bugs of last year's version. The app helps you track the whereabouts of your favorite vendors (Australian batter-fried potatoes, why must you always be so difficult to find?), locate where you parked your car in the giant parking lot, buy tickets, schedule your day—it even gives you the weather forecast.
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BEST OF . . .
Wait, you didn't think I could get through this whole list without self-promoting a little, did you? But really, the Best Of . . . Voice Places app sorts through all the crap on other consumer review sites and lets you know what places offer the best of anything you're looking for.
Linked to our annual Best Of issue (which hits newstands in October), this sucker will let you know what our pick for the best pub, best pizza, best place to get a haircut to match your flaming-dice tattoo, best doughnuts, best self-basting birds is . . . according to your location. And it's handy for travel: The app is also hooked up to all our sister papers, from LA Weekly and SF Weekly to Miami New Times and Village Voice. Also available for Droid.
Follow Vickie on Twitter: @VickieChang!
This column appeared in print as "OC's Best Smartphone Apps!"