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New iPhone Apps Lists Wait Times for Rides at Disney and Universal


It's a scenario that's all too familiar to anyone who's visited a theme park. You walk all the way the to one side of the park, only to find the attraction you wanted to ride has a 90 minute wait. If only you had known that another ride you were interested in had only a 20 minute wait, you could have gone to that ride instead.

Wait Watchers™, a new app for the iPhone, is helping park visitors at Disney World and Universal avoid long lines. “It's not about weight loss. It's about waiting less,” said app creator Brent Pope. Just released in time for the heart of the summer travel season, the app displays wait times for every attraction in the park, making it easier for users to decide which attraction to ride next.
“I can't tell you how many times I've thought to myself, 'Somebody needs to invent a way you can know what the wait times are for all the rides.' Finally, I got tired of waiting for someone to do it and I did it myself,” said app Pope.

The app displays the wait times for all the rides right at start up, without any further navigation. The app works like a streamlined message board, with users both viewing and posting wait times from a list of all the attractions in the park. “It helps people help each other,” Pope said. “The development team and I designed it to be both easy to 'consume' wait times and 'contribute' wait times. Like I say, it's an app and it's a community.”

Each of the Wait Watchers™ apps sells for $.99 at the iTunes App Store. Plus, Pope also plans to be in the Orlando parks as much as he can this summer, entering wait times himself. “It doesn't take many app users in the park for it to be useful, but I want to be here to 'seed' the community now. The more users that are involved, the better the the app will be.”

Given the application's reliance on input from users, there was initial concern among the development team about malicious users posting bogus wait times. But Pope says they have built in safeguards against that, such as automatic GPS validation. “You can look at wait times from anywhere. But you have to be in the park to submit them.” Also, users who show a pattern of grossly inaccurate updates can have the app disabled on their phone.

Because of the app's potential to help people find the rides with the shortest waits, Pope said he expects the app to be popular, especially among families who have already spent large sums of money just to get into a theme park. “Whether this is your first time at the part or your an experienced passholder, this app can help you get more out of money you spent on your visit,” said Pope.

Wait Watchers™ Magic Kingdom® edition (formerly Wait Times Magic Kingdom® edition) has been on sale at the iTunes app store since June 9, with many people already downloading it and contributing wait times for rides. Now versions for each of the other Disney non-water parks and the two Universal parks in Orlando as well as the Disney and Universal Parks in California are available. “I hope people will be as excited about this as I am,” Pope said. “After all, no one plans a vacation just so they can waste time standing in long lines.”

Visit the website for more information: http://www.themeparkwaittimes.com/

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