I just spent a week in Walt Disney World with six apps. This is the third in a serious survey of the apps, what they can do for you and deciding on the best ones to load onto your iPhone or iPod touch to make the most out your visit to see the mouse.
After the fairly bad taste the first two apps left in my mouth, it’s time for a bit of palate cleansing, and I found it in Disney World at Work - Magic Kingdom US$4.99 from Time Stream Software. This one won’t help you get around easier but if you’re anything like me — someone who wants to know just how all the clockwork goes together — I think you’ll find this fascinating. This one just covers the Magic Kingdom. There is another for Epcot, but I couldn’t get my hands on that before my trip.
Disney at Work - Disney World
This app is really not a tour guide at all but rather a management consulting seminar. The reason for its being is to to explore exactly why things are as they are in the Magic Kingdom and how how that can affect other businesses. It tells stories and uses metaphors letting you behind the curtain on the Disney philosophy and implementation. Item by item covering Main Street and all the lands, it teaches a management lessons that can be used in corporate environments.
For example, in discussing Town Square, the entrance to the Magic Kingdom, the app tells that most people are right handed and we drive on the right side of the road. Americans have a “right” tendency, which is why the products and services you need such as film, lockers, wheelchairs and strollers, are on the right. Further down Main Street, the snacks are on the right. The walkways leading to Tomorrowland are wider than those leading to Adventureland causing a natural flow.
The stores do most of their business as people are leaving and are found, of course, on the right as you leave the park. Questions asked at the end of the section include: “When people go look for key products and services we offer, how do they tend to look towards the right, and how do you answer to that?” And: “Virtually, what does this look like? How do our customers move from left to right when they are online?”
This app provides some rich food for thought, but sometimes the metaphor gets pushed a bit too far, such as when discussing how the Haunted Mansion shows the un-dead trying to pry their way out of coffins, a question is asked: “How do you think outside the box?”
This is a minor quibble. The app itself is fascinating and being a Disneyphile — if there is such a word — I was absolutely entranced by the insights found in this thoughtful app.
This app, designed for iPhone and iPod touch, requires iOS 3.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.
PROS: A wealth of specific information on the thought processes that went into nearly every aspect of the design and operation of the Magic Kingdom; discussion questions to see how Disney’s methods might affect just about any business involvedi in customer service; exceptionally well researched and designed.
CONS: Sometimes there is a bit of filler as they try to cover every attraction and service without having the information to go to the heart of the matter; infrequently metaphors are stretched a bit too thin.
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