Guests of Disneyland and Walt Disney World will soon have a new virtual layer to explore while at the parks with the all-new Play Disney Parks app. Coming this summer for iOS and Android users, the free mobile app will add exclusive play experiences allowing guests to interact with the surrounding environment.
This promises to take the concept of Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom to a whole new level by turning wait time into play time with family and friends at certain locations.
Although not many details were released, one could imagine situations where you play a game on the Play Disney Parks app and your party is rewarded with a Fastpass or exclusive character meet and greet. Virtual treasure hunts could lead select guests to unlock new games. The opportunities are near endless.
There was a time not too long ago that Disney designed interactive queues with the goal to get guests off their mobile devices and into the story line Disney’s Imagineers developed. An app like this is step in another direction and an acknowledgement that today’s guests are a different animal than those who visited the parks just a few years ago.
Disney has been working behind the scenes on a number of interactive experiences including augmented reality and location specific information. Some of that has come to the My Disney Experience app. Now with the Play app, Disney will have a new platform to try ideas to enhance the guest experience.
How do you feel about this idea. Do you think mobile app integration is inevitable or should Disney continue to encourage guests to step away from the outside world when their in the parks?
I’d rather have ACTUAL interactive play with REAL Disney magic. So things happening around you that engage you, that enhance the story. We should be able to throw away our phones and get immersed in stories through the parks.
I guess I’m officially old, because my reaction to this is very negative. People need to get their their heads out of their devices and spend time in the REAL Disney parks. Yes, I use my iPhone a lot at the parks — I check FastPass times, check entertainment schedules, take photos, text members of my family — but I hate the idea of even more guests spending their entire time at the parks not ever looking up from their devices.
That’s a good point, perhaps the app can introduce new interactive games with other members of your group while you wait for rides. What do you think? Kinda like Ellen’s Heads Up.