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Better social media at Hollywood Studios

This past week saw Disney use a dedicated Twitter account to help guests stay up-to-date with what was happening in Walt Disney World during this busy time of the year.  Unfortunately, the Twitter account was anything but useful as it just tweeted information that most people already knew and none of the information was really relevant to the guests in the parks that day.  It was disappointing to see this opportunity wasted with trivial and boring tweets.  While we commend Disney for trying something new, we wish it was a lot better and so that got me thinking how Disney could use Twitter to improve the guest experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

The most obvious way to use Twitter in a theme park experience to benefit guests is to give them attraction updates.  How about reminders when certain shows are going to start?  Or how about a notice when a show is full?  Or even wait times for the busiest attractions?  None of these were used by the Disney account but letting guests know that the wait at Tower of Terror is 60 minutes but Great  Movie Ride is only at 15 might be really useful.  Real time updates like that are gold to park guests and while it would be annoying to get these sort of updates every few minutes, perhaps hourly or every few hours each day would be a good idea.

Just as difficult to get into as rides are the restaurants.  Disney could bolster its sales at its sit down restaurants by letting guests know via tweets there's availability for lunch at the Hollywood Brown Derby.  I know the concept of discounts is like a Saudi paying more than a $1 for gas, but offering a free appetizer with the mention of today's tweet at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater would all but guarantee an up-tick in walk ups. 

Twitter could also be used to help alert guests when their favorite characters are available to meet and where.  All too often we get engrossed in theme park touring that we really only think about meet characters when we run across them.  By using Twitter, they could let guests know that Mater and Lightning are available to meet right now and the line is short and help distribute guests better.

So far these ideas are really applicable to any Disney park, so let's dive into ways we can benefit just Hollywood Studios.  Here are a few of my ideas

  • Tweet updates for Fantasmic! (theater is 1/4 full, half full, standing room only, etc)
  • Send tweet photos of the newest snacks available at Sunswet Sweets or Writer's Stop
  • Promote American Idol Experience audition process with a video that is tweeted out
  • Retweet the photos guests tweet out in Hollywood Studios

The bottom line is guests want information we can use that isn't available anywhere else.  We know the tipboard lists wait times or there are air conditioned attractions (yes, they did tweet that).  Give us real-time information and Disney will have happier guests.

What other ways do you want Disney to use Twitter in the parks?

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About this column

A regular look into Disney's Hollywood Studios, both past and present, with commentary and analysis from Matt Hochberg.


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Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 by