Posts tagged Disneyland iPhone
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!
Due to MouseWait’s HUGE user base, historical algorithm, and massive amount of real-time historical data (MouseWait averages 15-20 wait time submissons per minute during peak times), we are launching something that will benefit the entire Disneyland community – the MouseWait Crowd Index (MWCI). This is a number from 1-100 that accurately shows you the current crowd level at the park.
If you are wondering whether or not to head to the parks today, check the MWCI – we will also be providing MWCI forecasts to the public as well. This will help you plan your trips and it will help annual passholders decide whether it is worth it or not to head down to Disneyland.
How is this number accurate? MouseWait has the most real-time wait time submissions in the world and we have designed our advanced algorithm to select the most accurate times, mixed with several other factors, to generate the MWCI real-time. We also have a large amount of MouseWaiters in the park at any given time.
Below is a graph that shows you the benchmarks the MouseWait Crowd Index so it is easy to decipher the current MWCI. For example, if we post a 85 MWCI – based on the benchmarks below, you can see that 85 represents a typical, busy summer day at the parks. If you have ever been to Disneyland in the summer, you know that it is crowded, but they are usually running more trains/cars than a slower Fall day.
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for MWCI Reports – also if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch download the best Disneyland iPhone app in the world and get crowd updates real-time in the Lounge. MouseWait will soon be available on more platforms! Stay tuned for details.
This is from a recent MouseWait press release – special thanks goes to the MouseWait community, we couldn’t do it without you!
It took only two months for MouseWait, the first social Disneyland iPhone wait time app, to become the highest rated Disneyland app in the history of the app store.
This happened after the recent release of MouseWait 1.5 – which is a total redesign that includes full Facebook and Twitter integration, and a lot more. The creators of MouseWait, app316.com, put so many features into MouseWait 1.5 that some can’t believe it is still a 100% free app – which is evident by the overwhelming written reviews. MouseWait has the most five star ratings of any Disneyland iPhone application and also has the highest overall rating.
One of the biggest additions to MouseWait is a brand-new behind the scenes technology called MouseRank® which leverages user authority to generate accurate wait times. MouseRank® mixed with the existing and ever-evolving complex server-side algorithm has the ability to revolutionize wait times by scientifically mixing hundreds of separate factors at one time. In fact the combination of MouseRank® and a fine tuned algorithm has the potential of reporting the most accurate wait times available from any service.
A patent for MouseRank® was filed earlier this year.
Kelly Johns, who started development on MouseWait when the app store officially launched in 2008, credits the success of MouseWait to the amazing community of loyal iPhone and Disneyland fans. “The credit goes to the overwhelming number of people who use MouseWait on a daily basis. We just developed a mobile gateway for them so they could experience Disneyland from all over the world and we try to listen and implement as many requests as possible.”
MouseWait is the first Disneyland iPhone app to fully integrate social networking giants Facebook and Twitter. People can post the current wait time of a ride directly to Twitter or Facebook. They can also update their own status on both networks directly from the app. MouseWait also utilizes FriendFeed, Flickr, Hahlo and even the new Google real-time search features. On the Facebook tab, you can click a button and see all of your Facebook friends who have MouseWait installed ( called your Disneyland Friends) – you can also check your newsfeed, access your Facebook phone list, see events, notifications, comment on your friends posts, and more.
Another major addition to MouseWait is the brand-new Hidden Mickey checklist which streams a large list of Hidden Mickeys for the user to check off as they find them. MouseWait keeps track of which ones you have found. This was a highly requested feature from the MouseWait community and was added based on user feedback.
Johns says that MouseWait 2.0 is already in the works and a majority of the upgrade was completed months ago. app316.com is anticipating a January release for 2.0. The new version will include several new innovations that have never been attempted before and he believes the MouseWait community will be pleasantly surprised.
See our discount tabs on the Annual Passholder page in MouseWait to take advantage of all the benefits of your annual pass. Please comment below and let us know about your annual passholder tips!
- Photopass TIP (Updated Nov 24): Instead of buying individual pictures, buy the CD – they put all of your pictures on one disk for one price (I think it is $59 at this time) – this is a great deal because you can put an UNLIMITED amount of pictures on one disk! The Photopass card is good for 30 days, so if you are an Annual Passholder, you can load as many pictures on there as you want for 30 days, then put them all on one disk for one price! I also heard that if you wait for around 25 days to login to the Photopass site to see your pictures, you get an additional 30 days to load the card up! Great deal and the Disneyland photographers are the best!Here is a great tip from Christi, a former Photopass Cast Member: ” I was a Photopass CM and the CD is the way to go. The trick with logging on to the website works sometimes, but don’t count on it. After you log on you will get emails telling you when your photos are about to expire.
Two tips: 1. Use a sharpie and write your name on your card. Make sure you get YOUR card back from the photographer. They do get switched every once in a while. 2. Make a record of your card number and keep it somewhere separate from your card. If you lose your card or wallet, the CM can punch in the number manually.
- NO DOWN PAYMENT – if you renew your pass before it expires, you don’t have to pay the $75 down payment with the new payment plan option! You also still get a discount for renewing before your expiration date (on Premium and Deluxe only you save $20).
- Don’t try to get your way by saying you are an Annual Passholder – it doesn’t work! Just be nice and pray you get the right Cast Member to help.
- Hotel Discounts: Once a year they send out AP discounts for the hotels, but if you call, sometimes you can still get good discounts with your pass, never hurts to ask.
- If you forget your pass when you get to the park, they will usually give you a temporary pass – but I think they will only do it once.
- These days, Disney gives Annual Passholders discounts on just about everything, go to our Discount tabs in MouseWait to see which stores accept it. If you are unsure, just ask wherever you are buying something whether you are in the parks or Downtown Disney, most vendors will give you a discount.
- AAA Discounts: There are a few places, like the Plaza Inn (great chicken dinner!) that will give you a discount for AAA. If you know of more please post below!
We just started this page, so we will add more – check back soon!
Here is a list of Disneyland Secrets you can impress your friends with while you are at the park. If you have an iPhone – you can access this list INSIDE of the MouseWait iPhone app – download it for FREE here! Feel free to comment below to add your own secrets – or lets us know if you think these are not true! We are adding to this list daily. PLEASE COMMENT BELOW!
- The Plaza Inn is one of the best food deals in Disneyland – their full fried chicken dinner is awesome and it is only $13.49 (that is how much an omelette costs across the street at IHOP if you can believe that). The Cast Members are always super friendly here, it has tons of seating, and the Christmas decorations are awesome. Also, you can get unlimited refills on drinks there (self-serve) and they will even give you to go cups when you are done. We go here all the time and use our Annual Passholder discount – the corn dog cart is next door for the kids!
- Photopass TIP (Updated Nov 12): Instead of buying individual pictures, buy the CD – they put all of your pictures on one disk for one price (I think it is $59 at this time) – this is a great deal because you can put an UNLIMITED amount of pictures on one disk! The Photopass card is good for 30 days, so if you are an Annual Passholder, you can load as many pictures on there as you want for 30 days, then put them all on one disk for one price! I also heard that if you wait for around 25 days to login to the Photopass site to see your pictures, you get an additional 30 days to load the card up! Great deal and the Disneyland photographers are the best!
- Nursing mother rooms: Did you know that at the end of Main Street on the right side next to the Little Red Wagon Corn Dog Cart, Disneyland has a nursing mother’s room called the Baby Care center that has a dark quiet room with rocking chairs, a feeding area with high chairs cleaned after every use, a changing room with multiple changing stations that are cleaned and sanitized after every use, and mini potty chairs for toddlers that are sanitized after every use. It is really an amazing setup.
- Did you know you can get WIFI inside of California Adventure (great for iPod Touch users)? Just sit in one of the inlets across from the Rushin’ River Outfitters and you can get on to the Grand Californian Wifi – it has a very strong signal, I was still connected walking all the way down past the Redwook Creek Challenge Trail. The key is to stay close to the hotel and you should be able to stay online.
- BALLOONS AND SOUVENIRS REPLACED: Also, if you buy a balloon and it pops or is damaged, any vendor will give you a free balloon (they should since they cost $12!) – we do know this is true because they replaced one of our balloons less than a month ago. Also, they usually will replace any souvenir that breaks – my son has broken many pirate swords while we were at the park. We just take the broken one in and they always replace it for us.
- There is a Magic Lamp in a store across from the Jungle Cruise – for a buck you can rub the lamp and hear funny jokes
- The Goofy Water in Toon Town (at the gas station) turns colors at night.
- The Matterhorn basketball court: Some say that in an effort to pass a city ordinance, Disney had to install a full court basketball court inside Matterhorn mountain so it qualified as a sports facility. Some even say it was certified as an official Olympic Stadium in 1984. According to Snopes, this is not true. They say there is only a small attic-like space near the top of the Matterhorn that does contain a half court complete with a hoop. This area is used as a rest area for costumed climbers. Check out the video proof of the Matterhorn Basketball court here
- Call Disneyland and get a live person: Did you know that you can call and get a live person at this number 714-781-4565
- Main Street is supposed to be set in 1910 and Tomorrowland is set for 1986. These years were picked because they were the years of Hailey’s Comet
- Prior to opening day, Walt visited a few of the local churches and invited a handful of the best behaved children from the Sunday School classes to attend the opening day festivities (source HiddenMickeys.org)
- Did you know you can ride in the front car of the monorail if you ask?
- Did you know you can ride in the front of the Disneyland train with the conductor too? (tip thanks to MickeyFan below)
- CAT HOUSES: Reportedly there are cat houses in Disneyland, one is behind the Hungry Bear restaurant and you can see them if you look to the right while on the train.
- Disneyland vendors will replace broken spray bottles, broken swords, pretty much anything you buy there, if it breaks, they will give you a new one.
- Everyone knows that Walt Disney had an apartment located above the Fire Station next to City Hall. The light in that apartment is always left on to remind everyone he is always there with him. However, this light is turned off when his daughters are in the park, out of respect for their loss. (Source: FindingMickey.com)
- Club 33 has been a part of New Orleans Square since 1967, it is the only place where alcohol is served and it supposedly has a 5 year waiting list for memberships. Membership fees range from $9500 to $25000 with annual fees of $3000+!
- The organ that was in 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea is presently located in the ballroom of the Haunted Mansion
- Johnny Depp frequently stays at the Grand Californian Hotel, some say here is there once every two months with his family.
- Smellitzers on Main Street: Candy Palace & Candy Kitchen – Main Street USA: A photo of the Candy Kitchen Cast Members hard at work. Under the window is a vent that sends the wonderful candy aromas out onto Main Street. Note: Invented at Walt Disney World by Imagineer Bob McCarthy, the Smellitzer, is akin to the famed artillery howitzer - used to launch smells instead of shells. (Courtesy of FindingMickey.com)
- Tarzan’s Treehouse: Take a good look around the kitchen area underneath Tarzan’s Treehouse. Mrs. Potts and Chip, from Beauty & the Beast, can be sitting on top of a wooden crate. (Source: FindingMickey.com)
- Raiders of the Lost Ark Mercedes Truck: Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye: An interesting Disney detail is parked outside of the Indiana Jones attraction. The olive green truck appears to be the one from the famous Raiders of the Lost Ark chase scene, in which Indy chases after the Nazi convoy transporting the Ark of the Covenant. The truck’s body type, license plate and missing hood ornament, match features from the vehicle used in the famous Raiders of the Lost Ark stunt sequence. (Source: FindingMickey.com)
- Go to Toon Town right when the park opens, it isn’t as busy then.
- Eeyore Parking Sign in the Indiana Jones Ride: An old Eeyore parking sign is hidden up in the rafters high above the projection room (in the queue). The sign pays homage to the Eeyore Parking Lot, which gave way to the current Indiana Jones attraction. (Source: FindingMickey.com)
- Forced Perspective: Disneyland is famous for using a photographic illusion called “forced perspective”. This gives the buildings on Main Street the illusion of height. The second story windows, signs, and accessories of the buildings on Main Street are smaller than the first level. Also the buildings angle slightly inward which creates the illusion that the Castle is much farther than it actually is. When you leave Disneyland the reverse effect happens – it doesn’t look that far away so you tend to want to walk slower and visit the shops. The Matterhorn is also designed using forced perspective – larger trees are placed toward the bottom, but as you go up, the trees get smaller. Disney used two foot pinion trees at the treeline of the Matterhorn to make it look bigger than it actually is (it is only 147 feet).
- Lines are usually shorter at dinner time when people are eating.
- Start from Adventureland and go clockwise: This saves time because you are not criss-crossing throughout the park and most people seem to go counterclock-wise starting with Tomorrowland. (Source: DisneylandVacationTips.com)
- The Matterhorn line that wraps around the Tomorrowland side is usually shorter. Also the left track is a faster ride than the right.
This is a cool Disney Secrets tour of Frontierland:
We are adding more daily so check back!