Disney Updates ‘Shop Disney Parks’ App to Add Resort Delivery & Front of Park Pick-Up

Shop Disney

Disney has updated the ‘Shop Disney Parks’ app that adds new functionality for guests on-site at Walt Disney World.

In addition to the option to ship items to a home address, the app now includes the ability to have an order delivered to a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, or to be shipped to the front of the park for later pick-up.

Delivery to a resort hotel requires a reservation linked to My Disney Experience, and ship to front of the park requires you to be actually inside the park.

The app is available for download now from the app store.

New Disney Side App Transforms You into Disney Parks Characters

Disney Side App - Characters

Disney’s newest app, Show Your Disney Side, is now available for download and we think it’s going to be one of your favorites. The app brings your Disney Side – that side of you that comes out to play the moment you step through the gates at Disney Parks – to life like never before, transforming you into characters from our most popular park attractions and experiences.

With the Show Your Disney Side app, you can become an X-Wing Pilot from the Star Tours – The Adventures Continue attraction, a swashbuckler from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, a princess from “Frozen” and even a favorite Disney villain, Maleficent. And If you visit Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort, you can unlock special Haunted Mansion characters like the Hitchhiking Ghost and Madame Leota. It’s also possible to unlock these special characters by sharing three creations on Facebook or Twitter.

Once you download the app from the Apple iTunes store, facial mapping technology transforms you into a 3D moving character. To begin, the first step is to snap a selfie or have someone take a photo of your face. Here are a few tips:

  • Smile big – but without your teeth showing.
  • Make sure your hair isn’t blocking your face.
  • Try to take your photo in front of a plain background.

You can personalize your Disney Side character with different costumes and frames. Then, by tapping or swiping the screen, your Disney Side will come to life with special effects, unique for each character. To share your creation, simply press the share button on the app and pick your favorite social network.

The app was created by TYFFON, an entertainment app developer and one of the participants of the 2014 Disney Accelerator, a highly selective, immersive mentorship and investment program for technology-enabled startups in the media and entertainment space.

Show Your Disney Side is now available for free on the Apple App Store for iPhone and iPod touch at http://DisneySideApp.com.

My Disney Experience App on iOS Updated

my-disney-experience-app

The iOS version of the My Disney Experience app has just been updated to version 2.2 and is now available via the Apple App Store. The update is available for both iPhone, iPod and iPad.

Improvements include:

  • Significantly improved the app’s launch time and overall performance
  • Included refresh capabilities to auto-update restaurants, shows, attractions and FastPass+ experiences
  • Fixed bugs affecting Character Dining search results
  • Corrected the camera orientation and font sizes for iPad
  • Enabled scrolling on the FastPass+ landing screen for devices with 3.5″ display

A TV App From Disney Lets Travelers Browse Its Vacation Offerings

Disney Parks Smart TV App

Taken from the New York Times

A SMART TV app being introduced by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts on Thursday will let potential travelers use their remote controls to research vacations at theme parks and hotels and on cruise ships and packaged tours.

Brad Baker, director of digital marketing for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said the advent of smart, or Internet-connected, TVs had created “a really interesting space for us, since there is now a new way for us to be able to tell our story.”

The app — which will be free and available initially through the Samsung smart TV app store, and in early April, through the LG smart TV app store and on Blu-ray players — was developed with BrightLine, an interactive television advertising and technology company based in New York. It aggregates videos, photographs, interactive theme park maps and other information from the websites of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts businesses and from their social media channels. New to the app is a trivia quiz as well as some videos. It also lets viewers request additional information, by submitting their email address.

Rob Aksman, co-founder and chief experience officer of BrightLine, said it was appropriate for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to commission an app because it had “a lot of rich content consumers care about.” The large size of screens on many high-definition smart TVs should also benefit Disney, he added, because “screen size matters when it comes to influencing consumer behavior.”

David Bank, who follows the Walt Disney Company for RBC Capital Markets, said Walt Disney Parks and Resorts generated approximately 20 percent of the parent company’s annual operating income. The businesses in that division include Disneyland Resort; Walt Disney World Resort; Disney resorts in Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong, and one scheduled to open in Shanghai in 2015; Disney Cruise Line; Disney Vacation Club, a time-share company; Aulani, a Hawaiian resort; Adventures by Disney, a tour operation; and Walt Disney Imagineering, a company that designs and builds Disney parks, ships and resorts.

Mr. Baker said the app was intended to cater to families gathered around their high-definition, smart TVs. The app will be offered at present only in the United States market; Mr. Baker said if it were widely used, it could be offered through additional smart TV systems featuring Roku boxes and other technology.

He declined to quantify what Walt Disney Parks and Resorts was spending on the app’s development. According to Kantar Media, advertising spending, in all media, by Adventures by Disney, Aulani, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, Disneyland and Walt Disney World ranged from $32 million in 2010 to $79 million last year.

John Greening, a professor of branding and marketing communications at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, said “the real magic of what Disney is doing is the depth of the experiences they’re showing; for example, there are over 40 videos on the different types of experiences you can have at theme parks. These things are going to be very effective in moving people down the pathway to purchase.”

Barbara Jones, a professor at the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, praised Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for “going to where people are. They’re spending more time with television, because this is arguably the golden age of television.”

Bjorn Hanson, divisional dean of the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at N.Y.U., predicted the app would help those prospective Disney guests who might be “intimidated” by the scale of Walt Disney World and the brand’s multiple offerings “feel more confident” about making their choices.