Disney Partners with Verizon for In Park Facts and Fun

I’ll start by saying I’m not in favor of platform dependent services when it comes to mobile or wireless internet services. That said, I understand that this is the way things get built at Disney Parks. You have a great idea, you find a partner, and then you work with them to make it a win-win for both sides. Hopefully the guests get something good out of it too.

So what’s the big deal coming to the U.S. based Disney theme parks? How about a park guide with real time information on your mobile phone? It’s about time, I say. The ability to know how long a queue is without having to walk to the attraction yourself is practically invaluable to the Disney park goer. Finding last minute dining reservations, special deals, interactive games and adventures, and so much more offers to enrich the theme park experience dramatically.

Beginning next year, guests will be able to access an array of features on their Verizon Wireless phones while at the Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort to help them make the most of their Disney experiences. Planned services include an exclusive mobile application that will give guests with Verizon Wireless service the ability to easily locate shows, restaurants and the Disney characters anywhere inside the Parks; get real-time attraction availability information; access mobile games; receive messages from characters and more. Verizon Wireless is also continuing to invest in its wireless network from coast to coast, and the relationship with Disney means the wireless users will benefit from further enhancements to the Verizon Wireless network in the Parks.

Verizon gets access to millions of Disney guests each year and a good chance of converting frequent theme park visitors to their service. I hope they’ll also offer ‘test’ units to those who don’t currently have Verizon as a provider. If it’s cool and useful, it might be enough to make me switch. Any current Verizon Wireless users want to chime in with your experiences?

The full press release is below the cut:


Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Teams Up with Verizon to Bring Mobile Magic to U.S. Parks
Companies Align to Bring Unprecedented New Experiences to Guests at Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort…and Right on Their Verizon Wireless Phones

Marking a first in both the travel and mobile industries, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Verizon are teaming up for a multi-year relationship designed to enhance the guest experience – before, during and after guests arrive at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. This alignment allows guests to have a personal tour guide right in their wireless phones along with reliable new services at the parks. Early next year guests will also use Verizon Wireless’ technology when experiencing Disney’s Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure, an ultra-interactive attraction coming to Epcot in Walt Disney World Resort.

“With more than 90 percent of families bringing a mobile phone into our Parks, our objective was to enhance the magical Disney experience through innovative wireless technology,” said Jay Rasulo, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Imagine receiving up to the minute tips on special Park activities with just the touch of a button or receiving a call from Buzz Lightyear welcoming you to the Magic Kingdom.”

Beginning next year, guests will be able to access an array of features on their Verizon Wireless phones while at the Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort to help them make the most of their Disney experiences. Planned services include an exclusive mobile application that will give guests with Verizon Wireless service the ability to easily locate shows, restaurants and the Disney characters anywhere inside the Parks; get real-time attraction availability information; access mobile games; receive messages from characters and more. Verizon Wireless is also continuing to invest in its wireless network from coast to coast, and the relationship with Disney means the wireless users will benefit from further enhancements to the Verizon Wireless network in the Parks.

John Harrobin, senior vice president of digital media and marketing for Verizon, said, “All of our efforts focus on one goal: making the Disney experience even better for our customers. There are few life experiences that are more memorable than visiting a Disney Park, and now guests with Verizon Wireless service will unlock even more magic from their visit – by navigating the Parks easier and faster with instant access to key information such as ‘Where’s Mickey now?’ and other special features – even when they travel home and share their experiences with family and friends.”

In addition, guests visiting Epcot in Walt Disney World Resort in early 2009 will be among the first to experience Disney’s Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure. An ultra-interactive attraction, Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure invites guests of all ages to team up with members of Team Possible to save the world from various comical villains and their mad inventions. Armed with an official Verizon Wireless “Kimmunicator,” guests will use these handheld devices to help maneuver through the mission. The interactive wireless theme park game was inspired by Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning animated series, “Kim Possible.”

While Verizon Wireless customers will have exclusive access to an array of enhanced features, Disney and Verizon are also working to ensure that some mobile information such as dining locations, show times and locations will be available to all Parks visitors, regardless of their wireless company.

Additional details will be available next year as the companies expect to add a suite of services and functionalities to help guests at Disney Parks have the most magical experience. For more information about Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, visit www.disney.com. For more information about Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.

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3 Responses to Disney Partners with Verizon for In Park Facts and Fun

  1. Rick Countryman says:

    I loved Verizon. I made the switch when I purchased an iphone. ATT is okay, but I really liked Verizon’s customer service. If I lived near a park I would consider switching services. I love my iPhone, but I really love Disney parks and would really enjoy the services that are going to be offered to Verizon customer.

    Great idea I think.

  2. Tom says:

    I hope Disney hasn’t signed an exclusive contract with Verizon. I’d still love to see them develop the same App. for the iPhone.

  3. JayMonster says:

    They don’t give a lot of details here, and being a Verizon Wireless customer for many years, I will tell you that… I am leery about this.

    This may wind up being a “VZApps” program that you have to download to the phone, in which case, the actual application will probably be clunky and a bit confusing. Note the lack of detail on just how this will work. (A hallmark of Brew applications running on standard Verizon Wireless phones is that they are pretty basic menu driven and clunky to try and navigate quickly).

    My initial expectation is that since you will need to buy the app (even if it is a small fee), and the fact that either minutes or data plan requirements will apply (so that Verizon makes their money), that there will not be “test units” for others.

Comments are closed.