Major theme parks have been working with mobile technology providers to develop mobile app guides to their parks for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices. The apps provide maps with GPS positioning of the traveler within the park they are visiting. They also provide current waiting times at rides, including email alerts when lines are short, starting times for shows and attractions, nearest locations of bathrooms and restaurants, and park-related games to help pass the time waiting in lines. The apps, which have been available for more than a year, are being frequently updated, with some already in new 3.0 versions. Mobile users need to browse their cell phone provider web sites to learn the latest technology available.
Two of the most popular apps currently are "Disney Mobile Magic," available only through Verizon, providing a guide to all the Disney Orlando theme parks, and the "Universal Orlando Guide," available for iPhone and iPad users worldwide through the App Store online. Buyers pay a nominal charge for the ability to download the apps to their mobile devices. The Universal Guide now includes the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction that opened last year at Universal Studios Orlando. Travelers planning to visit Busch Gardens in Tampa or Sea World in Orlando can visit the web sites of those parks to sign up for text message alerts sent to their mobile devices with real time park information on the days they visit the parks.