Sunday, April 5, 2009

First Disneyland App for IPhone is great !

I was waiting for it and i'm even surprised that it took so long, but the first Disney theme park application for the Apple IPhone is now on sale on the Itunes Appstore for $2.99, and the app include a lot of interesting features. If you own an IPhone and want to purchase this new app on the app store, it's called: Disneyland Park Planner. Now, even if you don't own an Iphone, don't go away as i bet you'll be interested by how this nice little application is working.

When you open the app, the first thing you see is a Disneyland map. Thanks to the built-in GPS of your Iphone 3G, the app can locate you in the park and tell you which attraction, shop or restaurant is close to where you're standing.

All the attractions are listed with some infos like the minimum height required or if it has FastPass or not. For Disneyland addicts like you and me we don't really need these infos, but for any family who goes in the park only once or twice each year it's different.

The app also provide a list of Disneyland shops with the merchandise specialty for each. But wait, there is more, and now it's gonna be interesting...

Not only you also have a list of restaurants for each land, but also the MENU of each restaurant with prices, etc... Now, that's clever to have include all the restaurants menus in the app. Sometime you want to eat anything but not a hamburger, and you don't remember the menu of each restaurant... Thanks to this "Disneyland Park Planner" app you can find easily the restaurant with the food you're looking for. You can do your restaurant search by "land" or by "type" or by "price" or by "name", etc...very well done.

The "more" section really gives you more: A good idea for instance is this "i-parked" feature where you can enter the name of the parking lot where you've left your car, in which section and which aisle, etc... Anybody who once left his car in a Disney theme park parking lot and couldn't remember where it was will agree with me that this "i-parked" feature is precious.

Also, the "Hours and events" feature will allow you to don't miss the next collectible event at the park!

If you are a Annual Pass Holder, the "Passholders" section is welcome too. As we know for some of the annual passports there is some "blockout dates", where you can't access the park. All the problem is to remember when. Thanks to the "Passholders" feature, you won't have to think any more about that as the "blockout dates" are indicated in yellow colour.

One of the best feature is the "alert" section which allow you to have an alert when the waiting time for an attraction is under a number of minutes you've entered previously. Here is how it works: Let's say that you want to ride Indiana JOnes Adventure, but you don't want to wait an hour and a half. You choose the "alert" feature, and ask the app to alert you when the wait time is under, let's say, 30 minutes.

Now, i can hear you say: that's cool, but how is the application able to know what is the wait time? Well, the wait time info is based on guests who have the Disneyland Park Planner app on their IPhone and are currently at Disneyland. When they get in queue for an attraction, they enter in the app the wait time, and all this is analysed by the Disneyland Park Planner server which alerts you when the wait time matches with the one you entered. As more and more people will use the app, this feature will of course get better.

If you don't own an IPhone 3G but one from the 1st generation, everything will work, except of course the features which requires the use of the GPS, i.e the "find me" or "near me" features.

The app have a lot of others real cool features like a calendar, a "FastPass return time", etc... and as you've probably already understood, i recommand it strongly to you! You can find it on the ITunes appstore HERE.

Finally, i want to add that the app was not created by Disney but by a company called Hy Tech Professionals. Considering the tremendous success of the Iphone Appstore, it's pretty strange that Disney don't develop more applications for it. There is two or three Disney apps, but I mean why don't they develop not only theme parks apps like this one but also high-sophisticated games with beautiful graphics? Can you imagine how great - and successful - could be games inspired by Pixar "Cars" or "Monsters Inc", or "Toy Story"? The amount of money that developpers are making from their applications - specially the sophisticated games from Gameloft or Electronic Arts - is just phenomenal. Anytime soon Apple will announce they have sold for one BILLION dollars of IPhone app and 70% of this billion is for those who develop the applications. And when you remember that Pixar is own by Disney but still so close to Apple AND that Steve Jobs is part of the Disney board, it's even more strange that Disney don't develop more IPhone applications, isn't it?

IPhone screen capture pictures: copyright Hy Tech Professionals


LKSearcy said...

I have an iPod Touch. How do the menus, etc, get updated? Thanks!

john321 said...

Looks like a nice app, I don't think a real Disney fan would really need the map and attraction info, but the extra functionality looks really nice and even quite usable for real Disney fans.

This App is built by a third party other than Disney I presume?

It would be a great service from Disney themselves if they would offer the queue data per attraction to the public via something like a "webservice", we all know they have them somewhere centralized, since they have those nice "interactive" information signs since a few years in all their parks. (It's not like this data is a real trade secret, although they could regard them as such.) Now you have to rely on other people with the same application, which I don't think is very reliable.

B.t.w., the first iPhone also has a localization feature that uses Skyhook wireless for localization (it uses celltower ID and wifi data to determine your position). It is much faster than GPS, although not always as precise, they could easily allow the app to use that functionality, as it is as easy to implement as the GPS functionality.

PS: If you have an iPod Touch, the interactive functionality will not work, since you need a working Internet connection for that. Although there are like hundreds of Wifi networks in most Disney parks, most of them are for internal use only ;).

Alain Littaye said...

Yes, John, the app was not done by Disney but by a company called Hy Tech Professionals. I'm going to add this in the article.

Matthrix said...

When a app for disneyland Resort Paris ? :)
I looove this app, i will added it now on my iphone !!
Thanks Alain for this tip !


lancewf said...

There is new free web site called that allows users to view ride wait times for all the Disney and Universal parks. I believe that this site is better because it will work on all the mobile phones and computers. This site currently has good estimates on the ride wait times. This site also depends on user inputted ride wait time for predicting the times, but the user inputs only make the wait times more precise. I feel this site will work better, because it is available to more people to use thus making the ride wait time more accurate.