Checking In for Fun at Disney


They could rank up there with baseball and apple pie as things that are quintessentially American, and now Disney Parks are getting on board with LBS (location-based services).

Now when families go on the rite-of-passage journey to Walt Disney World or Disneyland, they can share their specific locations within the parks via Gowalla. The social networking/LBS service allows people to check-in with their mobile device at specific locations, and then share that information with friends. Users also collect “stamps” from the places they visit.

Thanks to the collaboration with Disney, Gowalla users can now collect custom Passport Stamps developed for specific Disney attractions, such as Haunted Mansion and Sleeping Beauty Castle. Additionally, the Gowalla service can almost function as a game, allowing visitors to collect special Pins if they check-in at featured spots, or collect virtual items placed around the parks.

“This is the first time we’ve developed a partnership this comprehensive with a brand and it’s only possible because of the remarkable number of places and experiences the Disney parks have to discover,” says Andy Ellwood, business development director, Gowalla.  

Part of the goal of the service is to encourage visitors to share their experiences with others. Users can share the places they have visited via Facebook and Twitter.

Gowalla is also helping visitors decide on the best attractions for them to see while in the parks. Called Gowalla Trips, these are bundles of locations sorted by age or interest. Visitors can follow along with the trip, checking in at the stops along the way. For example, the “Seasons Greetings” trip at Disneyland includes “Santa’s Reindeer Roundup,” “ Holiday Magic” fireworks, and Sleeping Beauty Winter Castle.

Gowalla’s cooperation with Disney Parks shows just how far LBS has come, as it is being integrated into family activities, such as theme park visits. Now if only there was a magic check-in that let you skip the lines.

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