Disney launches location-based platform with Gowalla to engage park visitors

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Disney Parks and Resorts launched a location-based initiative November 18 with mobile check-in service Gowalla to engage visitors through their mobile devices.

Consumers can view Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts through custom “passport” pages on Gowalla that include a check-in stream, a list of popular pages and recommended trips.

Throughout the parks, consumers can collect Gowalla-created stamps that they can place in a virtual scrapbook and share via custom Disney Gowalla pages. Consumers can also collect pins when they visit certain locations throughout the parks.

Consumers can share their check-ins through Facebook and Twitter.

“We are seeking to extend our engagement with our guests and encourage their advocacy by providing an exciting program that inspires them to share their experiences and memories with their friends and families,” said Christie Volastro, director of digital marketing at Disney Parks and Resorts, via e-mail. “With Gowalla, we're giving our fans something unique to collect, and a new way to share their Disney memories as they happen.”

Volastro said Disney will measure how many guests participate in the service, their level of engagement and whether or not they share check-ins through social networks.

“This is our first foray into location-based services, and we are looking forward to learning and enhancing our efforts,” she said.

Volastro did not answer questions via e-mail about whether Disney will collect consumer information or retarget participating guests.

AJ Rhodes, director of strategy and marketing at Disney, said last month at the DMA: 2010 Conference & Exhibition in San Francisco that the company would soon roll out location-based services.  

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