Disney embraces digital media
This past week we finally got back to Disney World (Orlando) after an 8 year absence and I was struck by the changes in the "happiest place in the world." Yes of course many things had remained the same - international employees from all over the world, waiting in line to meet Mickey and most of the nostalgic rides are all still there.
But one of the things that I noticed is so much different is the way Disney is allowing people to interact and get more out of their visits. In addition to the usual stuff, Facebook pages, You Tube Channels and one Twitter account with nearly 70k or so followers, Disney has gone above and beyond in their digital marketing efforts.
A few things I noticed about how Disney is using digital marketing to improve the customer experience:
1. Mobile applications - Mobile apps are now the rage everywhere and Disney is no different. Now you can find out in real time what the wait times are for various attractions, check on the show times and find out where your characters are throughout the park - all from your mobile device. So no more running across the park to find out what the wait time is for your favorite ride.
Not only is Disney sporting it's own mobile app, but there are tons of third part apps out there too (for a small fee of course). And it seems just about the only thing the new mobile apps can't do yet is secure a Fast Pass for you -but I'm sure that's coming soon too.
2. Book everything and anything online - I have to give credit to the Disney web guys as they have done a bang up job on the park websites. They are colorful, have a clean layout, and offer you the opportunity to book anything you can think of online. We booked several activities at the last minute in the hotel room right from websites and saved our receipts on our mobile devices - now that's 2010!
Hat's off to you Mickey
So as a fellow "digital marketer", my hat's off to the Disney folks for embracing new digital technology and making it a seamless part of visiting the parks.