Renowned guidebook authors TouringPlans.com have unveiled a new mobile web application which predicts wait times for attractions at Walt Disney World.
Lines is available for iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Palm webOS smartphones and can be accessed through the device's web browser at https://m.touringplans.com/. It is currently free to access as part of a beta period, but is likely to be a paid-for service in future.
Rather than display actual wait times, Lines displays estimates based on historical data and user-submitted wait times. It uses the same underlying data and technology that is used to generate the optimised touring plans that are featured in the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. The application's developers are hoping to gain an understanding of how accurate its estimates are during the initial trial period.
In addition to wait times, Lines also provides estimates of crowd-levels at the park on any given day, and when FASTPASSes for a particular attraction will run out. More basic data, such as details of planned ride refurbishments and park hours are included, while users are able to report unplanned attraction closures.
A growing number of mobile applications are emerging to provide information to users while they tour theme parks. Disney recently released its subscription-based Mobile Magic application for Verizon Wireless subscribers, which provides attraction information, wait times and navigation around Disney parks. Rival Universal Studios Hollywood recently launched a similar application for iPhone and Android smartphones, although it was only available during Universal's Halloween Horror Nights events.
What are your thoughts on using mobile applications within theme parks? What would you like to see added to the existing crop of apps? Let us know in the comment section below - we'll be publishing a feature on the potential of mobile applications in theme parks within the next couple of weeks.