57 years after Walt Disney first opened the gates to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, would-be visitors to Sleeping Beauty’s castle no longer have to travel to see the magic. Now there’s an app for that. OK, not really, very little beats the look in a child’s eyes when they first meet Mickey or a favorite princess on Main Street. But for those planning a trip, or those for whom one is still in the amorphous future, the folks at Disney have “Imagineered” an app: Disneyland Explorer for iPad. It takes virtual visitors on a pretty extensive tour of the entire California Disney experience.
Families can use a standard navigation menu, or simply swipe through the two parks – Disneyland and it’s younger sibling Disney California Adventure – to discover not just the rides, but also the restaurants, nightlife, shopping and hotels. There are 100 “touch points” in the app – that is 100 things to find and tap. Many just describe the associated attraction, but others offer photographs, short videos, and a few toggle some interactive treats kids will enjoy including a chance to choreograph a fireworks show or ride up – and then plummeting down – the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
This “happiest app on earth” is free to download and while its primary purpose is to get us calling our travel agents and packing our bags, as souvenir, wish, or a peek at what’s changed in oh, say, 35 years, it’s admirable as a stand-alone product. As always when Imagineers get behind a project, the presentation is slick, seamless, and will leave tourists past and future wanting more.