MouseWait 5.0: Taking Disneyland Apps to an Unprecedented New Level (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)
Ever since MouseWait debuted in the App Store in 2009, I’ve been in awe of the community that’s developed from a simple iPhone app. Today, we have over 100,000 registered users, 43,000 followers on Twitter, almost 10,000 on Facebook, and we get almost 400,000 unique visitors per month with over 50 million page views. MouseWait is the most updated Disneyland mobile app in history and with version 5.0, I wanted to rebuild our system from scratch to optimize for speed. We dug deep and took a big risk implementing a brand new design, and we added over 100 new features. My goal is to connect Disneyland fans around the world and let them share their love for Disney in one place – no matter where they are.
The Storybook Theme
Most people refer to MouseWait as a “Mobile Gateway to Disneyland”. When you’re on MouseWait, you’re viewing a real-life, real-time, unfolding story of what is happening at Disneyland. This is what inspired me to create a “Storybook” theme which turns your iPhone into a magical real-time gateway that gives you a glimpse into the daily events, atmosphere, and ambiance of the Disneyland Resort. MouseWait is a place where you can escape from reality and be transported inside the storied gates Walt created – no matter where you are in the world. I always dreamed of creating something that could deliver a constant live feed of pictures and videos from the Happiest Place on Earth. There’s something special (and therapeutic) about seeing live pictures from Disneyland and our users love viewing them. I hired an artist to design rich wood navigation bars along with a border that resembles the binding of an old-style storybook. Since there are so many wonderful people involved in our community who constantly share their experiences at Disneyland, MouseWait is able to tell the story of people having fun on vacation, people making friends, having fun with big groups in the Parks, and the simple joy of walking down Main Street USA. MouseWait shows you real time news and other events as they unfold. We tell the continual daily story of what’s happening at the most famous theme park in the world. That is why I decided to go with this elegant, Storybook theme for the new version of MouseWait. The theme also coincides with the rich tradition of storytelling started by Walt Disney himself who was, of course, the master storyteller. In addition, we used canvas designs throughout the app to commemorate Walt’s early days as an artist and animator. The canvas is also symbolic of Walt’s belief that Disneyland would never be complete, and that it would continue to grow as long as there was imagination left in the world.
A Whole New World on the Wait Time Screens!
When you click on an attraction from the wait time screens, you now have several options. You can see the Wikipedia listing for the attraction, the Yelp page, a Youtube video, and you can enter a whole new world through Lounge pages dedicated to each attraction! This allows you to post your favorite tips, talk with other MouseWaiters, and more – directly on the wait time screens!
Keep track of the comments and replies to ALL of your conversations in one place! When you get a Push notification, the notification takes you directly to your central Notifications page. This allows you to keep in touch with everyone a lot easier.
FULL Retina Display Support
We added full Retina graphics to the iPad and iPhone apps so everything is crystal clear on your Retina device!
MouseWait Radio Improvements
We fixed a lot of issues with our Radio feature. Now you can play MouseWait Radio in the background while you use other apps. If you double click on your Home button, you can also pause tracks and send the track to your Apple TV or other AirPlay enabled device. We have almost 200 tracks for your listening pleasure. A lot of people listen to Radio while they are using MouseWait, because it makes them feel like they are at the Parks.
We’ve spent a lot of money over the years on server upgrades and other functionality in an effort to increase speed. With 5.0, you should notice a significant speed increase in the Lounge and when viewing and entering wait times. We rebuilt our entire infrastructure to make things faster.
Now you can purchase MouseWait Credits directly in the app! Credits allow you to purchase virtual collector items and let you unlock new features (although almost all features are unlocked right now). Credits help us improve MouseWait and generate more revenue. Credits can be used in ALL of our apps, including our upcoming games (MagicRace and GoatEffect). You also have the ability to earn Credits by contributing to the app. As your MouseRank increases, your Credits increase as well.
We have the most extensive Disneyland (and surrounding area) food section anywhere. Our dedicated Food feature lets you find food near you fast. We also have detailed food reviews from the community and even a Food Blog that is constantly updated. If you are trying to find something good to eat at Disneyland, we’ve got you covered! MouseWait is the only app that shows you wait times for most restaurants and other eateries in the Park like the Dole Whip Line, Blue Bayou, Corn Dog Castle, and more!
With all the Retina display devices on the market today, we wanted to design the new MouseWait to take advantage of these high resolution screens. We totally rebuilt the design to match our Storybook theme – wait until you see it, it is gorgeous on a Retina enabled iPad. With the iPad, we have access to more screen real estate, so we can keep the Dashboard open on the left at all times which allows you navigate quickly through all of our functions. You can also access both the mobile and web version of the Lounge (the web version is launched from the Lounge icon on the bottom nav bar).
iPhone 5 Compatible!
MouseWait 5.0 is iPhone 5 ready – which means our design is optimized for the longer screen. This makes a huge difference with MouseWait because it allows you to take in more info at one time, and it looks awesome! MouseWait runs at blistering speeds on the new iPhone 5, especially when you are in LTE range. Slow data speeds in the Park have inhibited our development and growth for years. Faster data will allow us to integrate more groundbreaking features.
Since MouseWait is the largest mobile Disneyland discussion in the world, we have so much valuable information stored in the Lounge. We made our Search feature faster so you can find what you are looking for – almost instantaneously (depending on your current connection). You can search directly from the Dashboard, or from inside the Lounge and the results show much faster than before. Looking for ice cream or salmon in the Park? Do a quick one word search and find results that you would never find on Google or anywhere else! If you want to check for info regarding a recent event or attraction, just search for it and you will find real time updated info on that subject. This comes in handy when you need fast info inside the Park or on the way (or at home – where most people use MouseWait!).
FIND POSTS IN THE LOUNGE EASIER!
We just added a new feature that lets you view posts from any date in the past. For example, if you click the More button (you need to be logged into your account to see this feature), you can click “Today” and you will be shown all posts for today from newest to oldest! You can also click “Yesterday” or enter a custom date range. This lets you mine the treasures of the Lounge, relive special events as they happened, and so much more!
Improved Crowd Index:
We’re constantly working to improve our Crowd Index, each month it gets more and more accurate. We recently made modifications to generate a near real-time number, and we are continuing to work on it so the Crowd Index reflects the quieter times at the Park more accurately.
Improved Wait Time Algorithm:
Thanks to our massive loyal user base, we always have an army of people at the Parks entering wait times. What most people don’t know, is we also have an algorithm that steps in and helps with estimates when there isn’t an updated time on the list. This algorithm has been around since the beginning and we keep meticulous track of exact wait times, the day they are on, the month, etc. This gives us an incredibly accurate estimate due to the sheer number of real time submissions we’ve accumulated since 2009.
Attraction Status Reports:
If an attraction is down for refurbishment, we show this on the wait time tabs. We also show when it is scheduled to reopen. This saves you time because you don’t have to go somewhere else to figure out why it is closed.
We launched a new feature in the Lounge that lets you see ALL Disneyland Resort News in ONE place. Whether you are planning a visit, or just want to know what is going on before you get there, just hit NEWS and you will be brought up to date no matter what device you are on.
Watch a real time feed of wait times being entered Resort-wide. Pulse also gives you thirty minute warnings before shows start. We stream the Best of the Day from the Lounge, as well as important announcements through Pulse. It is great if you are looking for things to do in the Park, because you can watch as things update in real-time. Just as the name suggests, it lets you keep tabs on the “pulse” of the Resort at a glance. Watch for more improvements to Pulse over the next few months.
New HD Backgrounds
We added more amazing backgrounds in stunning HD which look fantastic with the new design. You can download these in the Settings tab – Change Background. Special thanks to chris. for providing his amazing photography which adds a beautiful new element to MouseWait 5.0.
Better GPS Features
Knowing what’s around you is important, which is why we have several GPS functions built into MouseWait. whatNEXT? shows you attractions, food, events, and more – all on one page. “Find Food Near You,” “Find Restrooms Near You,” and “Events Near You” help you find the things you need with one click.
In the Lounge, we have a list that shows the Top 100 Quality leaders. We reward and recognize people who submit quality content. This allows you to identify and follow people who post great information, pictures, and videos. You can Follow any user in the Lounge and create your own personal MouseWait magazine called MyFEED. MyFEED lets you customize the Lounge by giving you a real-time feed that consists of only the users you select.
We have an algorithm for wait times, and now we have one for the Lounge as well! This algorithm helps the great content rise to the top and get more exposure. This leads to a better reading experience.
It’s Easier to Use!
We made several improvements based on user feedback which make this version easier to navigate. We changed the way certain pages load, like the Search results and other views, so everything is uniform throughout the app.
Set reminders for your next Fastpass, shows, and more. We send you a Push notification whenever you tell us to.
Still in beta, mousetopia is a private network built into your existing MouseWait account. You select and approve your friends, and you can talk and share images in a more private setting. For more information about mousetopia go here. The great thing is it works seamlessly with your MouseWait account so there is nothing new to sign up for.
The Hojo Mattercam and Mattercam Land:
Not only is the Hojo Anaheim a great supporter of MouseWait, they also provide the wonderful Mattercam that gives us a live view of the Parks from several angles. You can view this live camera from your mobile device inside MouseWait, you can even stream it to your Apple TV! We also created something called Mattercam Land which is a place to watch the camera while chatting with other MouseWaiters. People use this Land to watch fireworks and just hang out while watching the live feeds from Anaheim.
You can’t put a price on friendship. I am so grateful for a generous community who contributes their time, talent, and treasure to make MouseWait a better place. If this sounds like a bunch of hype, go read and watch real stories of how the MouseWait community has changed lives.
More to come…
We have more upgrades coming soon including a totally redesigned Dashboard that will give you everything you need to know on ONE page! This new Dashboard will also serve as a springboard for jumping to your favorite features. Our desire is to connect Disney fans worldwide. Our proprietary software is designed to give you the tools to share your love for Disneyland with the world – or with just your closest friends. MouseWait has something for everybody and it is driven by a love for Disneyland and Walt’s Dream.
Oh and it’s FREE!
MouseWait is FREE in the app store just like it has been since we started back in October of 2009. If you would like to help us with our maintenance expenses and our continued development you can donate via PayPal at the top right of our web version pages here or you can purchase Credits. MouseWait also gets up to 15% of your Amazon purchases if you use this link immediately before ordering. Thank you for your support!
To our loyal Android MouseWaiters: don’t worry, many of these updates will also be in your version of the Lounge. Also, other upgrades will appear in upcoming Android releases, thanks for being patient!
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