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Old 02-11-2011, 10:41 PM   #1
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Are you a smartphone zombie? (Or, getting the most of apps in parks)

Has anyone else had problems using their iPhone/Andriod/Blackberry Disney apps in the parks? I don't mean a problem with the apps functioning. What I'm talking about is, do you feel like using the apps and being so focused on a little electronic device takes away from your Disney vacation experience?

I have a ton of Disney apps to help with wait times, restaurant menus, park planning strategies, etc. I always plan ahead as much as possible before we get into the parks, but sometimes there are things that come up that require you to re-work you plans. On our recent trip I noticed it was particularly hard for me to use the apps well and still be "in the moment" of enjoying my vacation. I found myself either trying to access information while walking between attractions (and therefore missing out on soaking up the Disney atmosphere), or trying to read information while waiting in line (thus making me feel rude towards my family members as I was focused on my phone and not on interacting with them).

Of course there are some really long, boring lines where the smartphone apps are a great distraction, but overall I was annoyed with myself whenever I had to look things up in the midst of enjoying my vacation. The only time I found it really convenient to be delving into the smartphone realm was when we were on a bus or at the hotel.

Just wondering if anyone else agrees. Don't get me wrong, I love having all the info right at my fingertips, and in the long run I think it does save time during our trip. But I hate the feeling of becoming a smartphone zombie while on vacation.
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:01 AM   #2
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No, I love sending messages to friends saying I'm on vacation... again.

Also, I find the apps -- especially Lines -- to be very useful in the parks.
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:19 AM   #3
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I also had fun playing with Gowalla on my last trip to WDW - collecting the check-in stamps was almost like a mini-scavenger hunt!
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:44 AM   #4
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We go in the summer and I have a dedicated weather radar app on my iphone. I use it as much as the line apps. I have radarscope. Best $10.00 I ever spent.
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:27 AM   #5
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Fortunately mine was somewhat self-limiting: it is such a battery hog that I shut down mobile web any time I wasn't actively searching for something.

This was my first Disney trip following the explosion of smartphones, and I didn't find it too distracting. The website is somewhat useful for planning, but it's not like it gives you exact times or advanced information. I probably checked it a dozen times a day, then immediately put it away. And I'm usually a freak about my phone.

I decided that I'd much rather spend time with my wife than check facebook every 5 minutes. And when I happened to check the news while sitting at the Boardwalk and found out Giffords had been shot, I wished I hadn't brought my phone at all that day.
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:52 AM   #6
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I love my iphone and love having it at Disney (or any vacation for that matter). It was neat to see the line wait times while in the park but generally I didn't pull out the phone unless we were standing in line. It was a great way to occupy all of us in line - check emails, take pictures, send a text, and play games. But generally we don't have the phone out and about as we are in the parks walking around.
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:57 AM   #7
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I think the apps enhance our trip...especially the wait time apps and restaurant apps...so useful for pre-planning or touring on the fly. Of course I'm not talking about FaceBooking, checking scores or keeping up with work and e-mail...in those cases I would definitely feel like I was not fully into the vacation.
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:01 AM   #8
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Oh and I agree with Tinkerbellie about passing time in line...my earlier comment was just about me personally since I can get totally engrossed in work, e-mail etc...it's my addictive personality I guess so I have to monitor my own activity!!
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:42 PM   #9
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Iphone appps.........

We were just there, first week of December and I have the free apps wait times on my phone....first day into the trip at the parks and said this is more of a pain then a help. we weren't about to traipse across the parks to different attractions.....we follow CW or CCW thru a park and take it as it comes....if the line is longer than we care to wait, we skip it and try again later or on another day. I left my phone in the room the rest of the trip...no other need for it since we never split up and it's just a pain to carry and when I'm on vacation...I want to be just that....away from the phone and computer......no problem being without either the whole vacation....really saw no help from the wait times...for us.
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Old 02-12-2011, 01:25 PM   #10
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I'm looking forward to tweeting "I'm boarding RnRC for the 3rd time today".

I'm sure I'll check things like FB and email while waiting in line, and definitely use Lines to get an ETA on wait times on the other side of the park ... but I won't let my phone rule our vacation either! A quick check on an app and then its back in my purse!

Or ... if the line is longer than we expected, DS5 can play one of his games so he doesn't get frustrated.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:33 PM   #11
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DH and I are usually phone zombies most of the time anyway. I'm thinking being focused on Disney aps takes us away from work emails and calls (work email gets turned off on vacation) - so it's still part of our vacation mode
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:37 PM   #12
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I love having my iPhone at WDW. The Disney apps are great, but I also tweet from the parks and resort, post photos to Facebook, and play games when the TSM line is long.

I also like using the video camera on there, cuts down on me having to bring a camcorder.
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:52 AM   #13
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Smartphones at the parks

I'm looking forward to using the Gowalla and Foursquare apps on my next WDW & DL trips. I tend to use my iPhone quite a bit on my solo trips. I find smartphones to be very helpful because I can "talk" to friends or play games or learn Disney trivia while waiting in line. The wait times, restaurant locators and menus are great! This year I'm taking the iPad (in a padded case) to WDW. During my trip last year I saw several people with them and I'm thinking of sending a video vacation report back to friends and the possibility of Skype'ing with friends from the parks.

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Old 03-29-2011, 03:07 AM   #14
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I can see where you're coming from where it could be too much. I tried to keep it in the moment. I used Lines more than I needed too, but I was comparing it to the actual posted wait times. It was quite the novelty for me.

I didn't wait in any lines cause we use TGM.

I did use it on Spaceship Earth though, cause DD sat with DH and that ride is BORING!

Hoping the novelty of Lines has worn off for me this trip and I only use it for when rides are down.
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:38 AM   #15
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Ours is the simple verizon one, and it was helpful knowing which attractions/rides are currently down or have gone down, when they are back up etc. it helps to not plan on going to a specific location only to find out it is not operating at that time - and I can break it to the kids if it is a favorite.
otherwise I have found I don't really use it, however I do bring my phone in case of 'emergency' calls - but most times if it rings more than once from the same person it must be important and I pick up.
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