More theme park iPhone apps appear in app store

Posted Friday, June 26, 2009 12:22 PM | Contributed by Jeff

An iPhone app called Wait Watchers, which can help Disney and Universal theme park visitors cut their wait times, is being rolled out with a display that shows how long it will take to get on a ride. The app, which costs 99 cents on the online iTunes App Store, makes it easier for users to decide which attraction to ride next, creator Brent Pope said. Users can view and post wait times on a message board list of all the parks' attractions.

Read more from The Tampa Tribune.

Friday, June 26, 2009 1:29 PM

My nephew's mom Tina was at MK on Mon/Tues earlier this week, and ran into one of the main developers for this app (might have actually been Pope - she didn't get his name). The product originally had a different name, apparently, but had to be changed to avoid confusion with a similarly named product on the market. She even told me about the GPS validation thing, which prevents people NOT in the park from updating the wait times. The guy she was talking to (I really am thinking it was Pope) had to be in the park to gather wait times for the App until enough users took over that task for him.

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Friday, June 26, 2009 2:27 PM

GPS Validation?? Wow now that sounds Gucci. I already could see people in Canada posting wait times for ToT for a laugh. So if this is true.. Brilliant checksum.

This app would seem to have some great potential.. Hope it gains popularity..

I need to hurry up and learn to code for the iPhone before someone takes all the good ideas.. Course looking at the app store.. theres is a lot of bla ideas in there as well, so I may be just as good.

Though after yesterdays ip0rn storm, I think Apple knows well which app sells fast (and which gets ripped off the list fast too). :)

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Friday, June 26, 2009 5:23 PM

I hate to spoil the party, but I've heard from more than one person that these apps suck. They're too dependent on other users participation to be of any use and they require too much work from those participating that it just spoils the fun. It's much easier to read trip reports and follow historical crowd patterns to create a great visit versus worry about what is happening at that moment.

Hersheypark actually provides something that is worthwhile. They have a mobile web site that they update that lists closed rides.

http://www.hersheypark.com/mobile/ride_info/closures.php

That's useful. Crowd patterns don't change enough to warrant these apps and while I like the iPhone the majority of cell phone users are using some other device so they can't even use these apps.

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Friday, June 26, 2009 5:32 PM

Don't worry, you haven't spoiled anything. We said the same things a couple weeks ago. :)

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Friday, June 26, 2009 6:27 PM

ridemcoaster said:
I need to hurry up and learn to code for the iPhone before someone takes all the good ideas.. Course looking at the app store.. theres is a lot of bla ideas in there as well, so I may be just as good.

My god you're a geek! ;)

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Friday, June 26, 2009 6:48 PM

Just sayin' is all..

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Friday, June 26, 2009 6:53 PM

Just teasin' is all..

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Friday, June 26, 2009 8:51 PM

I missed that thread. Unless you have a great app or money to publicize then your app gets stuffed at the bottom of the barrel.

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Friday, June 26, 2009 9:41 PM

If this becomes a reliable app and used on thrill rides at some of our favorite parks, look for iPhones/iPods to be laying all over the ground under the coasters. lol

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Friday, June 26, 2009 10:40 PM

Wouldn't it be worthwhile for some of the parks to create an app like this and update it with official wait times? The money that they would make from the people purchasing the app would probably cover the costs.

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Friday, June 26, 2009 10:52 PM

LostKause said:
Wouldn't it be worthwhile for some of the parks to create an app like this and update it with official wait times? The money that they would make from the people purchasing the app would probably cover the costs.

Yep. What a great idea! ;)

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Friday, June 26, 2009 10:55 PM

Looks like there's already a user-written one out there for Disney. It appears that users can send info from anywhere in the park, and the author has a server that sends out updates.

Check it out here.

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Friday, June 26, 2009 10:56 PM

Yes! :)

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Friday, June 26, 2009 11:57 PM

Why do I have a sense of deja vu in this thread?

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Saturday, June 27, 2009 12:05 AM

My god you're a geek! ;)

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Saturday, June 27, 2009 2:00 AM

There are more than 50,000 apps out there already. It's less about finding a good idea and more about trying to figure out how to stand out in that massive crowd.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009 8:57 AM

Hmm an app that serves as a data base for all the coasters, with ability to keep count for the credit whores.

I see one that measures the Gs for coasters using the phones accelerometer, but thats about it. (though I like the "we are not responsible if phone is lost" disclaimer).

Course thats too specialized an app.. may get a few hundred people but certainly not stand out in a crowd. Guess its back to iporn.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009 12:26 PM

This app is only as good as it users input.
Say I am standing in line for dueling dragons
So I input that hulk just went down
and wait time is ride is down.
then once I ride DD i head over to ride hulk with fewer people in front of me :)
I know there is a hole in this logic that if enough people are using it to change the number of people in line.
then my 1 report will be thrown out.
but what if you are with a group of 4 or 5

Kevin38

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Sunday, June 28, 2009 12:09 AM

Hi, it's me, the guy talked about in the article.

Just want to say I'm glad there's interest, and yes, I've met and talked with many people in the park.

FWIW, it takes me about 8 seconds to update a ride wait time in the park. I think that's pretty easy. So when enough people are using the app, wait times will be pretty plentiful and generally accurate (since users can flag inaccurate times and since the licenses agreement stipulates [paraphrasing] that if you show a pattern of posting grossly inaccurate times, we reserve the right to disable the app on your phone).

Disney is indeed trying to work out something with Verizon. And as much as I appreciate Disney's data, (and would love to have access to it) the wait time shown by Disney at the ride entrance (let alone in one place in the park) isn't accurate. I'd rather see a group of users telling me a ride has between a 20-25 minute wait, etc.

The first app launched a couple of weeks ago and the rest of the apps launched yesterday. I've already been seeing people post updates for each other, which is really cool. I really don't think it will be too long before it's really really useful.

Let me know if I can answer any other questions.

See you in the parks!

-brent

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