Saturday, May 12, 2012

112. Disney World InPark Assistant

When I look for new apps to feature on Digital Disney World, I am always looking for ones that stand out or that have unique functions. I recently came across an app that was released about six weeks ago that certainly fits that description. There are several good Disney World iPhone apps that contain maps of the theme parks. Some are completely map focused while others include some map functions. To my knowledge, there has been none that have taken this technology to the "next level" until the creation of the Disney World InPark Assistant app.

The InPark Assistant was created by Sebastian Wedeniwski. It is a "first-of-its-kind" app that does something that adds a new level of usefulness to your iPhone. It actually gives you turn-by-turn directions to all of the attractions, restaurants, shops, and even restrooms in each of the four Walt Disney World parks. Using the GPS function, the app will show your location on the park map and draw your route to your desired destination. Not only does it draw the route, it will tell you what landmarks you will be near for every turn you need to make. This is a fantastic tool that can be so helpful to guests who aren't familiar with the park layouts. Even Disney World veterans can utilize this tool to help them navigate to some of the more obscure restaurants and shops.

If Sebastian developed the InPark Assistant to simply give directions to different locations in the Disney parks, it would have been a good app. However, he included some addition functions that really make it shine. First, you have the ability to use the app even without GPS or even cell phone signal. It will still give the turn by turn directions, but the starting point will always be the park entrance and the map will be a simple diagram. With the GPS and cell signal operating, you get the directions from wherever you are standing. In addition, you have the option for satellite and hybrid images. There are also nice descriptions of each location in the park as well as a corresponding picture. Sebastian even includes pictures of what the bathrooms look like. This can come in really handy when you need to find one in a hurry! Finally, he has the current wait times listed beside each attraction, which are submitted by other users of the app.

The InPark Assistant app is also user friendly. When you initially download it, you have to first download the software and then the park data from each of the four parks. Sebastian designed it this way so that the info is always current. After all of the data is on your iPhone, you simply choose which park you are in and start navigating. The list of locations defaults to attractions and shows, but you can tap on the category button to search for things like shops and restaurants. You can view the information in alphabetical order or by using the "Nearby" function. Either way, you will see the exact distance to each location listed below it. Again, if you are looking for a restroom or quick snack, this can be very handy info to have at your fingertips. Finally, you have the ability to customize the app by tapping on the "Options" tab. You can toggle the GPS, change the distance units, and make other display changes from this spot.

When comparing the Disney World InPark Assistant to other map apps in the iTunes store, you'd expect to pay more for this one because of the added functionality. However, I think you will be happily surprised to learn that this app is absolutely FREE! I highly recommend downloading it as soon as possible. Even if Sebastian decided to charge a few bucks for the InPark Assistant, it would be worth every penny. I would not be surprised to see this one become very popular as the word begins to spread. I'm looking forward to seeing what is coming next from this talented developer!

Have a Disneyriffic day and remember to keep moving forward. See ya real soon!

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