Suggested Enhancement for Disneyland App

JohnR5101

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
I would like to see two more improvements to the app by adding a user selectable sorting ability to the Attraction List. One would be to sort the rides by the current wait time. The other would be to sort the rides by the current FastPass return time. Here is why I would like to see that:

When I'm using the app it always sorts the attraction list alphabetically (Alice comes up first - if you don't have any of the filters on). But I would like to see the list sorted by shortest wait time. That is often what I am looking for (and if that's not what I'm looking for, then sort alpha is OK). I realize that the map shows each of the wait times and that's fine, but I would also like to improve the list.

The other sorting option would let me see which attraction has the next available FastPass return time. That is often what I do mentally by poking through each of the attractions of interest, after having to scroll down the alphabetical list to get to what I want (yes I know I could click on them in the map but that is slow too).
A very simple enhancement that would be almost as good as sorting by return time would be to just show the return time (the start is all we would need) in the main list of attractions. So in effect we would see something like:
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
45 minute wait, 5:45 PM FastPass return
Buzz Lightyear
25 minute wait, 2:55 PM FastPass return
etc...

The benefit to me would be less wasted time trying to figure out my strategy for the next FastPass. This seems like a very simple enhancement to the existing app.
I do find that the filters are quite helpful. It's useful to filter by Park, then use the FastPass filter to show just the fastpass attractions in one park. That makes the list shorter to scroll through. But if we just had those sort options, or all the info at the main list, that would be so sweet.
 
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JohnR5101

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
<<WARNING>> Nerd discussion approaching...

Being a software developer, I got to thinking if there was some way to hack into the information that the app contains and make myself a strategy app. First of all, I'm pretty sure that it is NOT possible, for reasons of security.

I do know that the app developers can expose their data to other apps that they wish to cooperate with. But I'm not holding out much hope for that. But if it was to happen...

Here is what I think could be done. The current app connects with a fairly dynamic database that keeps track of wait times (I believe these come from the CM's entering the information periodically into some sort of terminal they have - using either actual times from the cards they hand to people in the line, or from experienced estimates based on the length of the queue). It also keeps track of the fastpass "reservoir" for each ride. That information is updated in their database system as it hands out passes (paper or MaxPass). All of this dynamic database info is what the existing Disneyland app reads and displays to us in a usable way.

I'm quite sure this is done as a "thin client" thing, just sending simple data of each ride, wait time, and return time (for ones with fastpass). The alternative would be sending out graphical information exactly as you see it displayed - WAY too much data to send and that would certainly choke the system. So, this simple data would be so easy to share with another app, that could then present it in a different order (sort by wait time, return time, or alphabetically).

If this data was available to an app developer, then you could come up with a very slick strategy app that takes into account the actual times right at the moment. Think of how having such a "next generation" touring plan would benefit you! Personally, I think it would allow me to get my head out of the phone and give me more time to look at and enjoy the park. And it might even allow me to spend more time purchasing food, snacks, and souvenirs (a little nudge to Disney).
 

JohnR5101

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Yesterday I started collecting some data on wait times and FP return times. I collected wait times for ALL rides, and FP returns obviously just for the ones with FP. I gathered it for various times through the day. Today (Friday May 10, 2019), I started earlier and so far have collected the data at 9:30, 10:20,11:15, 12:05, and 1:20.

I plan to plot some graphs that show through the day how standby times vary, how FP return times change, and how the standby time compares to the FP return time. Also, planning to gather data for each day of the week, over different seasons. The goal is to get a really good picture of when you might want to pull a FP or just wait in standby. Of course, if you are already holding a FP and not eligible to get another, then standby (or single rider) is your only choice at that time. And when will FPs run out for particular attractions - Radiator Springs and GOTG both were out at my last check at 1:20. Interesting to watch the graph and predict when they will run out.

The weather conditions has interesting effects too. Today its been cool (62) up through mid day. So Splash and Grizzly River are less popular. Those FP return times are immediate, meaning if you pull a FP you can go right in. Of course, the standby times are also really short (5 min) except for the most recent Splash which was 20 min.

I would love to automate this so that I could just launch a program that polls the data at some reasonable time interval (maybe every 10 minutes). That would allow for a more complete picture and not distract me from working. I can't see that it would be any burden on their database server since I would be 1 out of thousands hitting that database. I have some ideas how I might be able to tie into this.
 
  • JohnR5101

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2018
    The other sorting option would let me see which attraction has the next available FastPass return time.
    A very simple enhancement that would be almost as good as sorting by return time would be to just show the return time (the start is all we would need) in the main list of attractions.
    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! To the app developers. You listened! I just noticed this today when I looked at the app. It now has the FP return time shown in the map mode when you click on an attraction. AND when you look at the list and filter just for the FastPass attractions you see the current wait time and the FP return time. That is so convenient for figuring out which one you want to grab next. It eliminates a lot of refreshing. Other than being able to sort by FP return time, this is everything that I was asking for.
     

    JohnR5101

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2018
    I posted a thread back in January about enhancements I would like to see on the app. Lots of geeky details. I never saw a single reply to the thread (felt like I was being ignored :). But now I realized that I posted it to the "Disneyland Community Board" which is not where I intended. Silly me. Well there have been some developments on the app that was in line with what I was suggesting and I replied to that. So, I will summarize the original suggestions and what the advancements have been. Just for a little wider audience... Here's the original stuff:

    I would like to see two more improvements to the app by adding a user selectable sorting ability to the Attraction List. One would be to sort the rides by the current wait time. The other would be to sort the rides by the current FastPass return time.
     

    JohnR5101

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2018
    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! To the app developers. You listened! I just noticed this today when I looked at the app. It now has the FP return time shown in the map mode when you click on an attraction. AND when you look at the list and filter just for the FastPass attractions you see the current wait time and the FP return time. That is so convenient for figuring out which one you want to grab next. It eliminates a lot of refreshing. Other than being able to sort by FP return time, this is everything that I was asking for.
     

    shooting4life

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2018
    On every screen in the app have a button that says “use fastpass” so tired of waiting for people to figure out what to do in the app with fastpass.
     
  • JohnR5101

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2018
    On every screen in the app have a button that says “use fastpass” so tired of waiting for people to figure out what to do in the app with fastpass.
    Ah, I get it. When a group stands in front of the reader, blocking other people and are trying to figure out how to get to, and use the fastpass. But probably no matter what makes it easier on the app, there will still be people blocking the way who are not actually ready to scan in for whatever reason. Big group having each one pull it up on their phone, too early, looking for tickets, generally confused...
    Just some common courtesy of standing aside to let others pass would be helpful.
     

    JohnR5101

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2018
    I just noticed another small improvement. If I'm looking at the list and I have scrolled down through it, in the past it would refresh every few minutes and would put me back at the top of the list. Annoying if I'm looking at something farther down. Now when it refreshes, you can see it update but it does not automatically go back to the top of the list.
    These may seem like small insignificant things. But it all contributes to making the app more intuitive to use. Good UI design.
     

    tsumgirl

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2019
    I'm really looking forward to using the new features you've mentioned on my next trip. It was mildly annoying trying to scroll through all the FP times in MP just to check the current return times. Now, at least there's a quick way to check if FP times have reached the times I'm looking for when stacking evening FPs.

    I just updated the app, so I can play around with the new features. Thanks for the updates on what you're noticing!
     
  • Erin M

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2018
    Thank you for pointing this out. Such great improvement, and yes it will save all that scrolling and refreshing! Can’t wait to book some fast passes in a few weeks!
     

    avalon451

    Errrr... what?
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2008
    Yes, this is very helpful, I hadn’t noticed the FP return times showing on the list view. Also I didn’t realize how much easier the filtering made it. Hello, FP and park filter!
     


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