As Web Watch asked in our DISNEYLAND PARK PLANNER iPHONE APPLICATION article a few weeks ago:
“One would only hope that they’ll follow this up with appropriate apps for Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySEA, Universal Studios Hollywood, New York City subway trains, or any other amusement park, event, travel, or entertainment facility that would benefit from the social technology that the iPhones and similar devices make available.”
And now the floodgates have opened as more apps just like what we described have begun to arrive:
Twitter is an app that is designed, obviously it seems, to make it easy to instantly share wait times with others. All you have to do is follow any number of existing Twitter accounts that were created specifically to track ride wait times. (I’d mention one website found on this site’s comments as a possibility, but the site appears to be deleted. So no soup for you.)
If you have a cell phone with Internet access enabled, you can access the mobile-web friendly COASTER Q website. COASTER Q is setup to track wait times at each of the US Disney parks (Disneyland, California Adventure, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom), along with all three Universal parks (Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Florida, and Islands of Adventure). COASTER Q is not exclusive to those major tourist destinations, as Six Flags Magic Mountain is also included, with the promise of more parks to be added.
The great thing about COASTER Q is that it is not limited to only iPhone users – anyone with a web-enabled phone should be able to use the Q COASTER site without any problem. You don’t even need a web-enabled phone if you want to check the site from your home or office, as Q COASTER works in any standard browser as well (although the usefulness of checking from home may be a bit limited except for the most passionate park fan).
I know that I will be using at least one of these apps on my next trip to the parks… but I know to keep one thing in mind: whichever application you decide to use in your Disney or other theme park vacation will still suffer from one major problem — using any of them will distract you from the main reason you are on vacation in the first place: to get away from the technology carried on your hip. While I will appreciate the usefulness of seeing ride wait times almost instantly, there are times that I just won’t care.
Why? Instead of experiencing the parks as they were meant to be discovered, any of these apps will make you focus solely on what the little screen in your pocket tells you to do next, and you could end up missing some of the surprises that hide around every corner. (On a similar vein, why be that guy with the video camera strapped to your head, filming the attraction so you can watch it at home later, when you can simply experience the attraction first-hand, unencumbered? But that’s a different discussion for a different day.)