Disneyland Paris is launching an unprecedented iPhone application

NewsParcs has been invited this Saturday by Disneyland Paris to attend the launch of its first iPhone application. The first tourist destination in Europe (15.4 million visitors last year) would like to improve the visitor experience by providing an interactive guide designed to complement the park maps.

This application was developed internally in a playful and innovation spirit, specific to the brand and Disney products, with a colorful and creative design, that is used in "landscape" mode as a video game! Its contents will be automatically updated and will be adapted to current events such as Halloween or Christmas season.

Primarily dedicated to visitors already in the parks, it will be useful for potential visitors looking for information and preparing a stay.

Indeed, before his visit, the visitors may:

- Get information about the destination (descriptions of the Disney Parks and Hotels) and check opening hours for the parks, attractions, shows, parades, restaurants, shops and services
- Find out the various admission rates to the parks and about special offers, with the possibility of directly contacting our central reservation office to make a booking
- Customise their experience with recommended itineraries according to what they are seeking (thrills or family adventure), and with lots of advice to help get organised once on site
- Watch videos of the latest attractions at the parks

Once on site, using geolocation, visitors may:

- Look up the expected waiting time at attractions in real time
- Organize their schedule by setting alarms that will issue reminders of the times of the shows they want to see- Get their bearings effortlessly using the interactive map which displays all the points of interest, shows, parades, restaurants, shops and services that are nearby.
- Look up useful, fun and entertaining information, including anecdotes about the attractions, provided via augmented reality. Indicated by the 3D symbol (on iPhone 3GS and 4), it shows the parks through the iPhone camera, positioning the points of interest in real-time.
- Find an attraction according to type (thrills, for young children, etc) or a restaurant according to price or category.

Near 250 points of interest have been registered, waiting times are updated continuously and the GPS feature of the iPhone gives you the opportunity to see yourself moving on the park map, with amazing precision!

To illustrate, here are some screenshots (click to enlarge):
The welcome screen when your are on site.
Informations are available for both parks, Disney Village and Disney's Hotels

You can find a point of interests according to what you are looking for.

The GPS helps you to find your way on the map!

You can get more info and details about each rides, shows, restaurants, etc.

In that case, Phantom Manor. You can add the attraction on your personal agenda. 

 You organize your agenda, and will be notified for shows and parades if you asked for.

Via augmented reality, you can find everything you want!

You can even book your tickets for the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show!

We had the opportunity to talk with Nicolas Gougenheim, Operations Optimization Director, and with Thibaut De Saint Martin, Digital Marketing Manager Europe at Disneyland Paris.

NewsParcs: Since when do you work on this project?

Nicolas Gougenheim: It is difficult to say how long... It had been announced earlier this year by our CEO, Mr. Philippe Gas, at the General Assembly. This required at least 8 months of development.

NP: This is not the first attempt at Disneyland Paris in the digital approach?

Thibaut de Saint Martin: Yes, we already had digital information panels in our parks, and had successfully tested the Bluetooth to Walt Disney Studios and a system of Flashcode. These elements have allowed us to understand visitors' needs in terms of information during their visit. We are in a process of innovation, and today we found a quality tool!

NP: At one time, you were reluctant to give the waiting time in this way, right?

NG: I don't think so, the wait time has always been an useful information for our visitors. This is why we installed the digital information panels! It is a very useful data to improve the day of our visitors.

NP: If the application is complete, we note for example that there is no information on the availability of Fast Pass. Will other features be added in the future?

T.D.S.M. : Absolutely, we could describe this first version as a "software driver". We still have points to develop, such as Fast Pass, but also the Disney characters meet & greet. Everything will depend on feedback from visitors!

NP: Exactly how do you plan to measure these feedbacks?

NG: We will of course observe the number of downloads of the application, but also conducted on-line surveys. We will also pay attention to reviews on the Web!

NP: How will you promote this app?

NG We will already do a lot of internal communication to invite our cast members to advise visitors. In the future, the application will also be highlighted on our website and through posters in hotels and guest relations centers.
NP: The application is available in how many languages? And on which kind of iPhone ?

TDSM: Regarding languages, it is available in French and English. We performed tests on the iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4, including the iPhone EDGE. Other specifications are available at the Apple Store.

NP: The application seems to have been developed with great care for detail, can you tell us more?

TDSM: For example, we centered each point of interest based on its exact location in the park. Big Thunder Mountain, for example, the point is located at the entrance of the attraction. Also, in the "augmented reality", it is impossible for the user not finding what they want! So we created a search engine and a sorting function which allows you to organize and select points of interest based on what is desired (eg children's attractions, Tex-Mex restaurants, etc.).

NP: One last question, is there any plans to create an Android application?

TDSM: Currently, it is not yet scheduled. We focused on the iPhone because it is a cellphone that is widely used today and which has many advantages for geolocation. Android, it will depend on feedback from visitors and demand.

NP: Thank you!

Nicolas Gougenheim, Operations Optimization Director, and Thibaut De Saint Martin, Digital Marketing Manager Europe.

To conclude this article, we will say that we loved it! This application is essential to better organize the day and to not miss the main attractions and shows. It is well done, fast, convenient and accurate, and should satisfy both regulars visitors, and visitors visiting for the first time. Moreover, it is completely free!

Go on iTunes to get more details for the download.


  1. Here is my review of the app, in which I link to your article: http://disneyecho.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/new-official-disney-parks-app-features-augmented-reality-and-official-wait-times/

  2. Great detailed information, I ll be visiting you more frequently, here is very interesting information.

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