Disney & Nintendo DS

Quite some time ago I had read that Disney had been testing a new venture. They were going to setup a system that would use Nintendo DS units as virtual guides. They had designed software so that there was an interactive map, wait times, and more.


While I think Disney could come up with a new way to have their park maps put out, I don’t think that the DS way is the best. Between possible theft, and also possible breakage, there lies a lot of issues that could arise.

Has anyone heard anything further on this idea of Disney’s?

Disney could go one better, and find a way to make a system that would work on cell phones. Everyone has them, and then there is nothing anyone can blame, other than themselves. I have been to a few sites that have already put there own wait times, and such for the general public.

While Disney seems to be 100% into something now, they will gradually drop to 50% productivity. This will then cause Disney to scrap yet another good thing that they have, just like they did to VMK. (Disney’s Virtual Magic Kingdom) Basically they must realize that they aren’t making money like they were when they started the venture, so they phase it out. My Pal Mickey was another venture that Disney had, and now they are only selling what is left in inventory. The system is “Stated” as fully operational, but I am sure that some of that computer server has been delegated elsewhere, or will be in the future.

What would Walt really think of the parks as they have become today?

Would Walt have done any of these things?

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2 Responses to Disney & Nintendo DS

  1. I think Walt would have definitely tried each and every one of these things. He loved new technology and would have been enchanted with this stuff. And he would have been on Facebook and tweeted and all of it!

    I think part of the reason Pal Mickey didn’t go over all that well was the cost. It was just soooo expensive for a stuffed character, even one that did something. And I actually never wanted to carry something that big around the parks, although I could see a little kid wanting to do so.

    Next time we go to the parks we’ll definitely be taking the kid’s DS with us. Knowing him, he’ll want to carry it himself so I won’t get to use it (since we seldom spend the entire day together anymore). But it looks like fun and I’d at least like to try it.

    As for cell phones, Disney has something going with (I think) Verizon right now where Verizon users get some kind of content on their phones when they’re in the park. At least I guess it’s still going. The deal with Verizon was announced not too long after the iPhone came out. I remember wondering why they teamed up with Verizon instead of Apple/AT&T but then I realized the thing was probably in the works long before the advent of the iPhone. Works for me, though, since Verizon just bought Alltel and I should be able to get that content on my phone soon I hope. Wooot!!!!

  2. The idea about cell phones is solid. Many of the manufacturers today are putting GPS Systems into theirs. It is a consumer option to order the service or not. Back two or so years ago, Disney was in the cell phone business. One of its features was the child locator. I can’t tell you exactly how it worked but it did until Disney pulled the plug in the U. S. although I heard rumors that it was still marketed elsewhere in the world.

    Now my point is this if technology can locate a child with a telephone signal then technology should be able to locate a place with a telephone signal. I don’t have a Nintendo DOS nor do I intend to get one. My computer and my PlayStation III are quite enough to amuse me. I also have a top of the line cell phone with a game feature that I have never tried.

    Sounds to me that Disney is marketing again. A couple of years back they has Wii’s in Epcot so the children could play on them. Good way to promote sales for the manufacturer. I know Disney contracts with all the companies that supply it. It’s likely that Nintendo Corporate, Japan offered it a deal it couldn’t refuse in exchange for advertising exposure.

    Pal Mickey was supposed to help visitors navigate lines. It was canned by Disney about the same time Nintendo discussion began. The technological issues executives cited could have been fixed. Did new Imagineering cut him in a money chase? Incidentally stuffed Mickeys looking like Pal Mickey were out for sale in most shops. Their price tag was high if one takes into account they had no computer technology. Disney manages to stay on top.

    I think paper maps fold nicely, don’t use batteries, and come free with the schedule of daily events. Get every family member one and use it. Plan the days events together. Set up a safe spot to go to if people get separated. Don’t worry about things like loss, theft, or breakage.
    Furthermore, for what a day at the parks costs, enjoy the attractions instead of flicking fingers….

    But who am I to tell anyone how to run his life and raise his kids?