Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Disney Trips, Right Behind your Tech's Display

In 2011, Bethany took her very first trip to Disney World, as I have mentioned before, but what I might not have mentioned that she is a photographer. For her first trip, she of course takes her best camera, plus a small one, and her phone. The first day in Magic Kingdom, she had taken over 200 by 1 o'clock. A lot of those where from the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. 

This past trip we were on Main Street watching Wishes, and I found myself watching the show through my phone, because I wanted that perfect picture for my background. About the time the Blue fairy showed up, I realized that I had missed the show all together. So I pocketed the phone and paid attention to what was happening. 

This brings me to the point, how often are you behind a display of a phone or camera while at Disney? 

A recent study by researchers at Harvard, Columbia, and University of Wisconsin-Madison show that people that use a camera don't actually remember everything that has happened, and use their pictures on the internet as a means of accessing that memory. 

I should mention that I do not have kids, so all of this might come off ignorant. However, I have stood in plenty of lines for characters, sat on the curb of enough parades and fireworks that I have watched families and what they do. And in some cases I have done what I am talking about. 

If you don't get to go down to Disney World as often as some, maybe it's just one time for you and your children, are you really going to need the video of the fireworks that is online already, and miss out on your kid's reaction to what could be the biggest and best fireworks show they see?

Is it that important that you get everything that happens on your trip on video or in a picture, but not know the story behind it until you see it again? Personally I would love to be able to tell stories about what happened walking around the parks or a character interaction and not have to look at a picture to remember the story. 

I am not saying that you need to leave your camera at home. There will always be those times that you child does something so cute, that you just have to have a picture of it. 

Castmembers are great for helping you take pictures of your family at different places. On a few occasions, we have had regular castmembers (non-photopass photographers) take pictures for us. They may not be the best because their training doesn't entail cameras, but you can be in the picture with your family. 

Let me take this little time to plug the Memory Makers program that Disney offers. You don't have to worry about taking pictures yourself, Disney's photopass photographers will take care of that, yes it's costly ($150 pre trip, and $200 at the park), but it not only allows you to watch and enjoy the interactions, and even take part in it. 

How many times have you been in the hub, trying to watch a show, and can't get a good view because of tablets and cellphones up in the air blocking your view? You remember when it was happy children on parent's shoulders that blocked your view, and while you got mad you understood? Think about how you feel when you pick that camera up to video the show, once again it's already on the internet, and most the time in a better quality than what you are about to get, when people are in front of you blocking your view, what are about to do to the people behind you?

Will you allow me to take a right turn on the camera subject? And go to the smartphone topic?

How many times have you gotten in a 30, 60, or even 120 minute standby line and said, "I wonder what's going on on Facebook or Twitter?" And to pass the time look at whos doing what, then go to text that friend or family member that is watching the house and pets. 

I am heavily guilty on this. Now that I blog  about Disney, if I see something then I want to tweet it or put it on our page. Maybe it was just an idea for something on an article I want to pass by Jared, so I text him, and Beth gets mad. Because I am not paying attention to what's going on. 

Attraction Magazine

You pay a lot of money for your magical trip with your family, but you are wasting your time on your smartphone. Having a half minded conversation with your children  in the queue while your surfing Facebook and texting is not what you spent that money on. You can do that at home for a lot cheaper. They are excited to see who they are there to see it ride that popular ride. What would you rather remember, your child's excitement or what happened in someone else's life while you were on vacation?

Disney has caught on to this. Have you noticed the more interactive queues that are going up? Big Thunder Mountain just got out of refurbishment to add an interactive queue. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh has an interactive queue. When they moved the Dumbo ride and built Under the Sea they put in interactive queues in to the attractions. That's just Magic Kingdom (and not even all of it), I could go on about all the queue changes that are happening all over the World. The point is that Disney has noticed that adults are on their phones not paying attention to their surroundings, missing out on the magic that their children are experiencing. 

As I say all this Disney has launched, in the past year, My Disney Experience, a cell phone app that allows you to check wait times and change Fastpass plus and reservations on a whim. This is a great app, but use it spearingly. Disney also knows that you are using it, therefore they put the charging station at Rapunzel's tower, but they also put multiple kiosks around the parks so that you can utilize those. Take advantage of them instead of your phone if you can. It gets the family involved with the decision making. 

The Disney Parks are a family experience, and if you are on your phone, what type of family experience is that? What will you remember from your trip? What will you be able to tell your friends and family when you return or a few years down the road?

Are you looking to go on  a Disney Vactation? Contact Brittney at Main Street Mermories, to help you plan the perfect Disney trip for your family!


  1. Good post and brings up many very good points. At the same time Disney is racing to expand wireless coverage at the parks, have you noticed you can actually tweet on the guest wifi on non peak days now? I agree totally that you need to limit your tech time while at Disney and spend time with the people that are the reason you are at the parks and not sitting at home. We're all guilty of it as you said. Again good post!

    1. Thanks! I tend not to get on the Wifi, because of battery life. But I did notice it over Marathon Weekend.