In a post-FASTPASS world, Disney World fanatics are not only unwilling to wait in line for rides; they also want to spend much of their time at the parks sifting through the most updated ride and attraction information with smart phone mobile apps.
Disney's Mobile Magic application debuted this week, offering park guests continuously updated information on wait times, precise GPS directions and park maps, FASTPASS information, character greeting times and locations, and much more.
All of which begs the question: How much is too much technology when you're on vacation? What will come next? Perhaps future apps will feature accurate information on monorail service wait times, shortest quick service restaurant and restroom lines, least crowded lands in the Magic Kingdom, open parade viewing spots, and fastest ticket and gift shop queues.
Curiously, while new mobile apps are a dime a dozen, public wireless access is severely lacking at the Disney parks and resort hotels. Even Disney's newest resort hotel, Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort, requires guests to connect to the Internet through an ethernet cable, although nearby Holiday Inns and even McDonald's offer Wi-Fi access. Moreover, Disney blocks access to its internal wireless infrastructure at most of its resort hotels and theme parks. Why Disney would install an outdated Internet connection service at its most contemporary resort hotel boggles the mind, especially since some Disney hotels (including Disney's Beach Club Resort) offer complimentary Wi-Fi service inside lobbies, restaurants, and poolside.
The pace of technological change has already made Disney's Internet infrastructure obsolete. While it is commendable to release new mobile apps for cell phones, it would be a great boon to improve Wi-Fi access throughout the Walt Disney World resort.
Peggy Macdonald is a WDW Twourist who writes about Walt Disney World daily for Examiner.com.