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I don't know if this has been talked about much on this site. Yes the search is my friend but found nothing. I recently downloaded Ride Hopper app and noticed nobody really submits times. As a community if everyone starts to input times it might catch on. It would help me out since I go to a lot of parks for the first time and really don't know anything more than what the park index on this website tells me. I have used the Undercover tourist one for Disney and Universal but I was hoping we can make a difference at other parks. So what is your opinion? Can we all start submitting time and help these apps take off or say screw it they can fend for themselves? I will start submitting Kings Island since I average 35 visits a year. I will even do Stricker's Grove this weekend.

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It really depends on the park you're at when it comes to using RH. SFMM is where I've seen the strongest RH activity and has actually been pretty useful both during WCB and during my trip back in April. My area parks (CGA/SFDK) are purely driven off of estimates though I've seen a few real entries at SFDK.

 

It would be nice/neat if everyone did contribute to this, for those who have a smart phone.

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These types of apps are only as good as the users submitting...popular locations like Disney and Universal will tend to be more updated than local parks like Kings Island. Really, parks themselves should be creating apps or mobile sites that have wait times, as they will be the most accurate and immune to users incorrectly putting in times. Disney is already on this with the MDX app, I'm sure we'll see other parks fall in line over the next few years.

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These types of apps are only as good as the users submitting...popular locations like Disney and Universal will tend to be more updated than local parks like Kings Island. Really, parks themselves should be creating apps or mobile sites that have wait times, as they will be the most accurate and immune to users incorrectly putting in times. Disney is already on this with the MDX app, I'm sure we'll see other parks fall in line over the next few years.

 

Good point, forgot about the fact that users can troll the times...just for giggles, I even went as far as putting down a wait time for X2 at WCB

 

Many parks including my home park have apps and if they implemented wait times in their own official app, it would be huge! Now the burning question is would Six Flags or Cedar Fair want to invest in those time boards like what Disney has, and give those 'check in cards' to guest so the can accurately monitor the time? Until then, especially with my home park, I have a pretty solid idea of how long waits are based on line length.

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These types of apps are only as good as the users submitting...popular locations like Disney and Universal will tend to be more updated than local parks like Kings Island. Really, parks themselves should be creating apps or mobile sites that have wait times, as they will be the most accurate and immune to users incorrectly putting in times. Disney is already on this with the MDX app, I'm sure we'll see other parks fall in line over the next few years.

Hersheypark has wait-times in their mobile app and they are pretty accurate and are constantly updated. Let's just say that they are addictive to have as once you go to a different park, you wish they have this type of thing implemented. Hopefully more parks follow suit and go this route.

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These types of apps are only as good as the users submitting...popular locations like Disney and Universal will tend to be more updated than local parks like Kings Island. Really, parks themselves should be creating apps or mobile sites that have wait times, as they will be the most accurate and immune to users incorrectly putting in times. Disney is already on this with the MDX app, I'm sure we'll see other parks fall in line over the next few years.

 

Good point, forgot about the fact that users can troll the times...just for giggles, I even went as far as putting down a wait time for X2 at WCB

 

Many parks including my home park have apps and if they implemented wait times in their own official app, it would be huge! Now the burning question is would Six Flags or Cedar Fair want to invest in those time boards like what Disney has, and give those 'check in cards' to guest so the can accurately monitor the time? Until then, especially with my home park, I have a pretty solid idea of how long waits are based on line length.

Ive been a pretty big advocate of RideHopper (I have nothing to do with it, Id be just as happy about any official apps that came out), and what you both say is true. The information is only as good as the users submitting it and the accuracy of the information they submit.

 

Clearly it would be nice if the park had an app that posted wait times, although that's not fool proof either, I have found SFMM to post incorrect wait times at the park (sometimes very incorrect), presumably just because they had neglected to update the sign, and the same could happen with an official app. The information is still as good as the person entering it, and in my experience Disney > Cedar Fair > Six Flags in this department.

 

RideHopper does at least attempt to minimize bad information, it checks GPS and only allows a submission if GPS reports you to be inside the park you are submitting for, and it does offer a "check in" feature where you can click check in when you get in line which starts a timer and then you check out to post the accurate time when you are about to board.

 

Gumball is right it works best for SFMM since there is the most activity there...you even get submissions for Single Rider lines or Flash Pass lines. The app is also pretty effective on busier days at Cedar Point. At SFDK it works really good early in the day but usually by 12 or 1 in the afternoon there are no more submissions...Im assuming the small group people using it are kinda like myself and get there early and bug out before it gets too late. I've tried using the app for CGA or SCBB but there is absolutely no one else using it, so it's useless.

 

tl;dr: the more people use it the better the info is going to be, but I always take the information with a grain of salt anyway. I rarely look for the exact wait time for a ride as much as I look at the overall picture of how busy a park is.

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Disney already has the great app; USH has USHwaittimes.com too. I think most parks will be gravitating towards their own apps in the next few years.

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I went to SFOG and RH had the estimates that were posted at the entrance to the park. The first half of the day they were not even close because the park was empty. By the end of the day their estimates were good. I of course updated them. My theory is parks don't have wait times on their apps because if the lines were long, people would check before they came to the park and not come to the park. This way people don't know the crowd and drive all the way to the park. Since they are there, they go in and spend money in the park even with long lines.

 

Sunday you can check Stricker's Grove. I will keep them updated.

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Unless you are at Disney or Universal I have found that the times aren't very accurate. I have been to a lot of parks where the wait times are way off what is posted at the entrance.

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  • 7 months later...

I don't think a topic like this is anywhere on here, but if so, I apologize.

 

With the prevalence of smart phones, I would think that parks would do more to utilize park specific apps to better their customers experience. This year I have been to 5 parks: Disney World, Silver Dollar City, SFGAm, Holiday World, and Kings Island. Of those parks, only Disney, SDC, and Kings Island had apps available on Apple app store.

 

As far as usability goes, Disney's app My Disney Experience is a well designed app that can really impact the way you experience Disney. You can reserve dining, Fast Passes, see current wait times, show times, use a GPS enabled park map, and many other things. The app is huge and depending on what you are doing at Disney, you may never use a lot of the app, but it is by far the most useful theme park app that I have seen/used.

 

SDC's app was pretty solid for a smaller park. The app has a GPS enabled map, and current wait times for their more popular rides. It is a fairly bare boned app, but I found it to be quite useful during my 2.5 days in the park. To be honest, I was surprised to see wait times on SDC's app when other larger companies do not have that capability...yet.

 

I was very disappointed with the Kings Island app. The app is basically a mobile version of their web page. They do have a GPS enabled park map, but I found it to be cumbersome and difficult to use. So much so, that I preferred to use the paper map at the park. There is a way to see show times, but it would be nice to show the days performance schedule instead of having to go to each show to see when it is being performed. The biggest omission of this app is the lack of wait times. The app was so useless to me in the park, I never used it. From what I've seen, Cedar Point's app is very similar to KI, which is a major disappointment and I would assume that all Cedar Fair park apps are similar.

 

So this leads me to some questions for all of you:

Would you use a smart phone app for a park that you were visiting?

What parks have you visited with smart phone apps? Did you use it when you were at the park and what were your thoughts?

What are some of the most important things for a smart phone Park app to have to make it useful for you?

 

Feel free to post your thoughts on the use of a park app.

 

Thanks.

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Great idea for a thread, I'd love to see a post with all of the apps and reviews about them. There's really no excuse nowadays for parks to not have even a simple app with a map and current wait times.

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I downloaded the Busch Gardens app when I was down in Tampa a couple weekends ago, and while there were things that looked good, the big thing I was looking for was accurate wait times. But the park couldn't keep their wait times consistent:

 

For instance, the app said the wait for Montu was 40 minutes; the big digital marquee signs said 25 minutes; the little clock thing right outside said 45 minutes; but then the wait was only actually 5-10 minutes.

 

Also, the wait times on the app never seemed to update throughout the day.

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This sort of thing is what I'm researching for one of the components of my thesis project. I really think that Disney is doing it right - I really like how they're finding ways to change the way we experience theme parks rather than what we experience inside them.

 

I don't know if anyone knows about what Apple is doing with its iOS7 iBeacons - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6048?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

 

Instead of relying on GPS location iBeacons use a really low-power signal, kind of like Bluetooth. Based on how close you get to a certain iBeacon in a certain time, software could relay that as like, five minutes of wait time.

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^^I agree...It should not be that difficult to get close to accurate wait times on an app. If SDC can get an app with decently accurate wait times there is no excuse for larger parks and chains to get it working. In some ways, more surprisingly is that Six Flags does not even have an app. Plus from what I understand, their website uses so much flash that you can not really do anything useful like buy tickets and whatnot on their site from a smart phone. To me, Six Flags is missing huge opportunities by not having an app.

 

^Disney by far seems to have the best grasp on what an app can do for customer experience and iBeacons sound interesting and could be really cool in a theme park environment.

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The Valleyfair mobile app by CF has outdated GPS and Park Maps. The Park Map is from 2012 and the GPS one is from 2013. I emailed VF on opening day with no response still, they usually respond within a couple of days when I email them but it looks like I will need to try again. Not a good impression when the app is featured on the back of the map being handed out at the park this year. Anyone else download a CF park app and experience the same thing? I wish it had wait times for rides included in the app.

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^^I agree...It should not be that difficult to get close to accurate wait times on an app. If SDC can get an app with decently accurate wait times there is no excuse for larger parks and chains to get it working. In some ways, more surprisingly is that Six Flags does not even have an app. Plus from what I understand, their website uses so much flash that you can not really do anything useful like buy tickets and whatnot on their site from a smart phone. To me, Six Flags is missing huge opportunities by not having an app.

 

^Disney by far seems to have the best grasp on what an app can do for customer experience and iBeacons sound interesting and could be really cool in a theme park environment.

 

It's true that the Six Flags parks has so much Flash running on it you cannot use some features on a mobile device. When I was last at SFGA in 2012 for X-Flight the ONLY app you could download then was a Windows version due to an agreement SF had with Microsoft to try and promote the Nokia phones that MS just recently bought at the time. Good luck with that market share. I agree that Six Flags is missing opportunities on this.

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There's this iPhone app called RideHopper, and it basically allows anyone to submit a wait time for a given ride at given park. It has most of the major parks in most countries, as well as a bunch of smaller parks. The problem is that it is always empty for most parks on there, probably because it's not very popular. If more people downloaded it and used it, it would be a much more useful app, but until then, I'll probably still be seeing a lot of stuff like this...

image.thumb.jpg.8428b9d5f368315acbf15becfad26e6b.jpg

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I have the Knott's app (my home park), and I will admit that it is complete poo. Everything is a pain to use. I'm going to Cedar Point and Kings Island this summer, so I downloaded those apps, and they are the exact same as Knott's, except for a different color, shows, GPS map, etc. I really hope Cedar Fair redesigns their mobile apps, because the ones they have now are just...blah. Just adding wait times would greatly improve them. The smartphone market is constantly growing, so having a friendly, easy-to-use app is almost essential when visiting a theme park (especially if it's a new park for you).

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There's this iPhone app called RideHopper, and it basically allows anyone to submit a wait time for a given ride at given park. It has most of the major parks in most countries, as well as a bunch of smaller parks. The problem is that it is always empty for most parks on there, probably because it's not very popular.

That's the biggest issue with RideHopper. It's crowdsourced, and in reality only theme park and coaster enthusiasts are willing to submit wait times on a regular basis. Everyone else just wants to know what the wait time is.

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I posted the Ride Hopper App on KICentral and have noticed a few more people are using it for KI. So hopefully my home park of KI will have times on it more often. Today I will be putting times in for small rides with my small kids. Next week I am headed out to different parks and I always submit wait times on Ride Hopper. Too bad the parks I am going to nobody cares about wait times. SFA, Dixie Landin, and maybe KK.

 

Edit- True most people don't submit but if we as an enthusist community submitted times, maybe word could spread and others would use it.

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While in theory Ride Hopper with enough user support could be fantastic, this something the parks should be doing on their own and not rely on their customers giving a better experience to other customers.

 

With the prevalence of technology, there is no excuse for a park to not have an app that can give decently accurate wait times or operational status updates. Case in point is SDC. If a park the size of SDC can have an app that gives decently accurate wait times, there is no excuse for larger park chains (CF and SF) to not have any of this implemented by now. To me it just shows a lack of interest on their part, which is frustrating and disappointing as a fan/consumer in their parks.

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I completely understand why parks don't post wait times. If I can go to their website and see long waits, I won't go to the park. If I don't know wait times I will have to go and if I go and there are long waits I would stay for a little. Since I am already there I should grab some food or drink and the park makes money that they wouldn't have if I saw wait times from the comfort of my home.

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I completely understand why parks don't post wait times. If I can go to their website and see long waits, I won't go to the park. If I don't know wait times I will have to go and if I go and there are long waits I would stay for a little. Since I am already there I should grab some food or drink and the park makes money that they wouldn't have if I saw wait times from the comfort of my home.

This sort of thing is a thing, but it really only applies to parks that are local to you. Generally families already have vacations / weekend trips planned ahead of time and will go regardless of wait times posted on the website which will probably be different the day they actually set foot into the park.

 

What a park smartphone app and / or something like RideHopper can do for guests is let them come up with a "battle plan" of sorts, and not have to resort to asking a park employee or scouring the park for a wait times board which I rarely see in parks at all anymore.

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