Ten years ago, a day at any theme park meant riding rides, getting to see your favorite characters, and indulging in the amusement park foods that we all know and love. Today, park-goers are wanting more from their theme park experience. Thrill seekers are on their phones in between rides and while they wait in lines, and they’re expecting an interactive, immersive, and innovative experience to accompany their excitement packed day.
Coming to an Amusement Park Near You: Snapchat!
Even though it’s not recommended to record a video while you’re riding a rollercoaster, it’s really common for park guests to use Snapchat to take pictures and videos while their feet are still safely on the ground. And some big-name theme parks have taken notice! Teaming up with Snapchat, popular theme parks including Disney, Universal, and Six Flags have all created unique AR experiences for their customers to enjoy while in the parks. These experiences allow the 191 million daily users of Snapchat to have a more memorable experience when visiting the select parks, and use some really cutting edge technology without ever leaving the comfort of an app they use all the time!
Disney has always been a leader of innovation, so it’s no surprise that they are one of the first to incorporate AR into a Snapchat experience for their guests. At Disney parks in Orlando, Anaheim, Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, visitors can turn themselves into Mickey and Minnie to create the perfect Disney themed selfie.
Whether they’re taking breaks from all the rides or standing in line for one, attendees at Universal Studios in Orlando and Hollywood can watch the antics of the Minions on their camera view all throughout the park.
At Six Flags parks across the U.S. and Mexico, park-goers have the ability to turn themselves into Superman, or watch him save the day via a 3D bitmoji lens. This is the first on-location Snapchat experience for Six Flags parks.
The Need for Mobile in Theme Parks
Snapchat is just the beginning! Gone are the days where amusement parks can simply give out a paper maps and brochures and expect their guests to be satisfied. Today’s generation of park-goers is expecting mobile-driven solutions for all of their frustrations so their families can enjoy a seamless guest experience. In fact, 81 percent of theme park visitors want to use interactive maps, 76 percent of visitors want smartphone apps that send notifications that alert them when their room is ready, and 66 percent want park apps that provide them with features like a personalized itinerary.
As an annual theme park attendee myself, I love reading about all the different ways that parks are utilizing the endless possibilities of mobile to enhance the quality of their guest experience. And while today it’s Snapchat and AR, who knows what innovations Disney will come up with next. After all, it is the place where magic happens.