Disney working with Verizon to bring location based info to phones

Posted Wednesday, November 12, 2008 10:39 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Disney and Verizon bill it as a way to enhance the "theme park experience," enabling parkgoers to use their mobile phones for tasks such as saving a spot in line at a popular ride and zeroing in on where Cinderella can be found signing autographs.

Read more from The LA Times.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 11:21 AM

Isn't this what you have been waiting for, Gonch?

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 12:16 PM

Not necessarily what I've been waiting for - more like what I've been predicting someone would do next.

But you know, as usual, if you go dig up some of those threads, I was mostly told I was crazy and things like this would never work and people wouldn't want to use them. :)

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 2:25 PM

I can see its usefulness for characters. I swear, when I was a kid, it seems like it was a lot easier to get your picture with Mickey. Now there are lines and chaos. I'd really like to get a shot with Pluto and my son, but I never know when he's going to show up.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 2:50 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
But you know, as usual, if you go dig up some of those threads, I was mostly told I was crazy and things like this would never work and people wouldn't want to use them. :)

Aww, I hereby declare this Lord Gonchar day. Have you hugged your Gonch today? ;)

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 3:19 PM

I somehow was able to turn smugness into sympathy. Yay me! :)

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 3:25 PM

janfrederick said:
I can see its usefulness for characters. I swear, when I was a kid, it seems like it was a lot easier to get your picture with Mickey. Now there are lines and chaos. I'd really like to get a shot with Pluto and my son, but I never know when he's going to show up.

Meeting characters used to be a relatively impromptu, organic thing where characters showed up and you got some hugs and wacky gesturing and you move on. Today you get corralled into a pen and you get to wait to see Cinderella at a certain time at a certain place and if you spend too long then you get shoved along to make room for others.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 3:42 PM

I'm not sure what to think of this whole autograph thing. I mean, kids eat that stuff up. I'm all for the suspension of disbelief and indulging in fantasy, but seriously. I'm just bitter because Kim Possible wouldn't hook me up. ;)

I see this particular effort as an interim solution. We've seen with iPhones that more generic and simple services are easy to deploy and use, and the location based tech is getting more idiot proof (v2.2, allegedly coming in another week or two, has walking directions with photos of where you are). In the long run, you won't need to partner with a carrier or do anything special, you'll just put your junk on the Web just as you would a Web site, for use with the common devices everyone has.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 8:56 PM

This is true, and having been to the future I can vouch for it. By 2019, Disney will begin experimenting with floating holographic displays tailored to passing individuals (as seen in Minority Report). And then, much later, people will complain when they start inserting Disney characters into these (by then) "classic" displays.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008 8:53 AM

I'd really like to get a shot with Pluto and my son, but I never know when he's going to show up.

You can ask any character handler where he might be and when. If that fails, you can ask any Cast Member with access to a telephone to call the "Character hotline" to see what his schedule might be in that park that day.

The easiest way, though, is to just book a character meal where he appears.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008 9:28 AM

I don't even see a reason why they need to partner with anyone unless Verizon is giving it to them for free.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008 9:39 AM

janfrederick said:
I can see its usefulness for characters. I swear, when I was a kid, it seems like it was a lot easier to get your picture with Mickey. Now there are lines and chaos. I'd really like to get a shot with Pluto and my son, but I never know when he's going to show up.

I blame Mickey's Birthday Land for this (now known as the County Fair). They had the origional big idea of a mega meet and greet for Mickey, and it became so popular they adapted it to other sizes and shapes. People's desire to know when a certain character will be and the advent of the dreaded paid photo people sealed the deal...

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