The toughest thing to do in Disneyland — besides convincing your 3-year-old you can't go on It's a Small World because each doll is possessed by a demon — is preventing severe line-onset boredom from crushing your family's spirit.
On Saturday, June 30, Disney is releasing the Play Disney Parks app, filled with games and songs designed to make that 75-minute wait for Space Mountain seem like 75 minutes of fun time, punctuated with the joy that comes with moving forward several feet at a time.
It includes various games and activities. A handful of attractions even include their own games. If you're in line at Toy Story Mania, for example, you'll find Playset Party, which is, well, not really sure as Disney hasn't offered much of an explanation. Something about building playsets. But it's got to be way more fun than staring at all the people in front of you and wondering if maybe you should come back later when it may be less crowded (it won't be).
You'll find other ride-specific games at Peter Pan's Flight and Space Mountain, as well as at the new Slinky Dog Dash in Disney's Hollywood Studios. Don't be surprised to see other attractions added if the app proves popular.
Play Disney Parks also offers Disney-based trivia games as well as a host of Disney-specific songs. Need another Disney tune to banish “It’s a Small World” from deep in your gray matter? The app puts it at your fingertips, though attempts to remove all traces of “It’s a Small World” are fruitless.
We know what you’re thinking. Why use Play Disney Parks when you and the kids can easily fill the time with mindless matching games or videos of skateboard fails, just like you always do? Two reasons.
It keeps you in that “family vacation” spirit (not applicable to families with teens last seen heading for Haunted Mansion while promising occasional texts).
There is as yet no mechanism to trade those digital achievements for, say, a discount on churros, but that’s a great idea. Your move, Disney.
While the app goes live Saturday, you can pre-order it now. Remember, some the features work only inside the park, and yes, Disney will know when you're inside the parks.
Now if only there were apps revealing the demons within the It’s a Small World dolls. There are parents who would pay as much as $20 for that, especially if it used augmented reality.
“See the horned serpents coming out of those can-can dancers? Now they may follow us home unless we promise never again to go on this ride and disturb their sleep.”
That’s a freebie, Disney. Run with it.
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