Volker Klaiber, Europa-Park, Germany (pictured): We offer our guests the Europa-Park Guide app, which consists of several components.
Journey Planner provides you with a route to Europa-Park and estimated arrival time, while Park Navigator helps get your bearings once inside. A menu with different filters will allow you to display the places and information you choose: attractions, shows, restaurants, shopping or services (toilets, information desks, cash dispensers etc). The Parking Place Assistant memorises the position of you vehicle on the Europa-Park parking lot so that you can find it easily after a day of adventures. We also have a weather forecast function, e-mail contact facility and direct link to our YouTube channel via Europa-Park TV. The app can be downloaded for €0.79, however we do not consider this as a revenue stream, but as a service that we want to provide to our guests.
Christopher Thorpe, Darien Lake Theme Park, USA: We created our first Darien Lake iPhone and Android applications in 2010, giving us the ability to communicate to a large segment of our guest base. Mobile apps are proving to be effective due to their ability to deliver improved service and enhance the guest experience. Whether it’s a quick peek at the park map and guide or a scroll through our food service menu offerings, guests now have the luxury and convenience of information and suggestions at their fingertips. This unique communication tool helps us make meaningful connections with our guests and ultimately memories worth repeating.
Håkon Lund, Kongeparken, Norway: The Lund Group offers two iPhone applications, one for our amusement park guests, and the other for graduating high school students attending the large music festival we host in the park each May. The Kongeparken app is very basic and was developed at an early stage when it comes to mobile applications. The app shows the different attractions in the park together with a map and individual height requirements for each attraction. The app for the music festival is a lot more in-depth and includes the latest festival news, information about the artists performing and the ability for guests to compile their own concert programme. The festival map is integrated with Google Maps, so that you get the GPS co-ordinates and see exactly where you are within the site. There’s also information on catering, public transport, frequently asked questions and direct links to iTunes, Spotify, YouTube and Facebook, plus our guests can upload messages and pictures to our big screen via the app, which can be downloaded for free from iTunes. With a 70% share of the smartphone market, the iPhone is definitely the winner. This compares to about 20% for Android phones and the remaining 10% for Windows, Blackberry and Symbian (Nokia) platforms. There is always a cost when it comes to developing a tool like an iPhone app, but we look at it as a long-term investment and something we are going to use for several years. However, with the festival app we feature push notifications directing users to third party applications, and here there is definitely some room for a return on investment.
Stephen Pastusak, Jolly Roger Park, USA: We have already made our website mobile friendly and our app for iPhones and Android phones will be operational by the summer. With smartphones becoming the norm we believe that it will make a big difference to our guests. From personal experience I don’t know how I lived without my smartphone and I know I am not the only one like this.