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Disney looking at using Nintendo DS systems as an interactive guide map?

aka_emilicious

Well-Known Member
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That is so funny. I was at MK and saw tons of CMs using DS's. I wanted to ask them what was up because they looked so entertained. Sounds like good things are to come!
Lol, if you were in Fantasyland that was me. We were having a massive tournament of snap during our breaks!
 

NotAZoo

New Member
So you can't bring your own DS and use that?

Ev
For the Trial run right now, it is only using the devices provided. As for what the plans are in the future once they go live with this, well that remains to be seen. When asking this more than once to those Cast Members working on getting people engaged for the test run, none of them knew what the plan was. So hopefully someone will get to ask questions with someone more intimately involved with the marketing plan in the coming days to find out more.
 

MrBug

New Member
NotAZoo, were you able to observe if the device did indeed shut off once you reached an attraction? (And a big IF following a positive response - IF they do eventually allow guests to bring their own DS's, I wonder if those would get disabled too? I should think that could cause an uproar...)

Did either of you ask to try the DS when entering the park, or were you both offered it?
 

sweetpee_1993

Well-Known Member
My guess ((and it's strictly a guess)) is that they would want to make the program something you pay to download or access on your own DS. Can you imagine the number of units they would go thru if they rented the DS units? It would probably be much more lucrative in the end to just sell the program and maybe some Disney-design DS units kinda like they do the Pal Mickeys. Seriously, think of Pal Mickey. Didn't they initially rent those? I don't think they do that anymore, huh? I bought one of the 1st gen Pal Mickeys. He was cute but not at all useful or practical. We carried him for one trip. That's it. We rarely ever heard him do anything spontaneously or slowed down enough to try to activate him unless we were playing games with him in line. Pal Mickey's packed away somewhere along with the ones I bought my boys. :shrug:
 

dvitali

Active Member
Can someone please post a picture of the DS? Ds have a slot on the bottom for a cartridge and does it have a cartridge in it? That amount of data to run the program seem to me to be too much for the DS WI-FI to handle and would take a long time to download to the DS without help of a backup cartridge for the amount of guests planning on using it. About the idea about bringing your own DS to the park, the average park customer will not known how to program the DS for receiving the WI-FI signal at home than do it at Disney (which will be differ than the one you get at home) unless it was a cartridge base. I can see disney and Nintento selling a cartridge to program your DS rather than renting out thousands of DS in each park and losing hundreds of them each day from guest forgetting to return them.
 

NotAZoo

New Member
NotAZoo, were you able to observe if the device did indeed shut off once you reached an attraction? (And a big IF following a positive response - IF they do eventually allow guests to bring their own DS's, I wonder if those would get disabled too? I should think that could cause an uproar...)

Did either of you ask to try the DS when entering the park, or were you both offered it?
I guess I inadvertantly checked at one point. I was on the COP at the far end because I had my 1 year old with me and even though he is well behaved I didn't want to take any chances as crying kids in shows irk me. So to keep him entertained at one point because the show stopped for some reason, and he had nothing to watch because the sound and motion stopped I flipped open the DS for him to play with it briefly.....poke at it really, and it was on. So my guess is that it doesn't get turned off on rides as one would have hoped.

As for being part of the trial, I was approached by a Cast Member when entering the park right after the turnstiles on your right when facing the front. That to me would be the best place to be since they take you to Exposition Hall to get you set up.
 

NotAZoo

New Member
Can someone please post a picture of the DS? Ds have a slot on the bottom for a cartridge and does it have a cartridge in it? .
I really hope someone else got a photo of the unit as I never took one...however I think there is a cartridge of sorts in there, yet it is hard to tell. You may ask why.....well the entire unit had a foam like skin around it and at the very bottom the skin protruded outward as if it was protecting a cartridge. The neck strap was connected to the skin and it was something I couldn't easily remove as I played around with it a little yet was afraid of breaking something. So my guess is that the skin is protecting the device as well as provides a way of no one stealing the cartridge. I am kicking myself for not getting a photo, however once you see what I am talking about it is pretty evident.
 

starwood

Member
I will be at mk on April 20th and the 23rd! How could I go about getting this? Would I have to get to like the main street cinema first thing in the morning and hope they will let me try it out?
 

jmenjes

Well-Known Member
I really hope someone else got a photo of the unit as I never took one...however I think there is a cartridge of sorts in there, yet it is hard to tell. You may ask why.....well the entire unit had a foam like skin around it and at the very bottom the skin protruded outward as if it was protecting a cartridge. The neck strap was connected to the skin and it was something I couldn't easily remove as I played around with it a little yet was afraid of breaking something. So my guess is that the skin is protecting the device as well as provides a way of no one stealing the cartridge. I am kicking myself for not getting a photo, however once you see what I am talking about it is pretty evident.

The cart on the bottom of the unit is probably a DS Memory Expantion Pak, and that helps provide an extra 8MB of memory to the DS for internet functions. If you purchase the Nintendo DS Browser, you'll get a Memory Expansion Pak as part of the package.
 

Fido

Member
The cart on the bottom of the unit is probably a DS Memory Expantion Pak, and that helps provide an extra 8MB of memory to the DS for internet functions. If you purchase the Nintendo DS Browser, you'll get a Memory Expansion Pak as part of the package.
I had one of the original DS 'fatty' units, and I bought a DS Lite when they first came out. The DS game card slot is in the top of the unit, and DS games are about the size of a small flash card.
In the bottom of the DS is the Game Boy Advance card slot (for playing any GBA game). It is larger and this is also where expansion Pak goes.

Also, someone mentioned the DS needing a rumble pack. The game Metroid Prime Pinball actually came with one, and it went in that bottom slot as well. Anything in that slot will stick out a little bit, since the DS Lite is smaller than the original DS.

Having a DS in the park would be worth it just to play Mario Kart DS with strangers. 8 player racing goodness ....best handheld game ever. :animwink:
 

the-reason14

Well-Known Member
So basically you have to rent and use one of theirs, even if you have one yourself? I can see why, but I wont be using it since I already have one that Ill be using in the parks, no sense in handling two.
 

SewIn2Disney

Well-Known Member
The cart on the bottom of the unit is probably a DS Memory Expantion Pak, and that helps provide an extra 8MB of memory to the DS for internet functions. If you purchase the Nintendo DS Browser, you'll get a Memory Expansion Pak as part of the package.
Ok---my pics and review is coming in a minute---I just have a question----do you have the internet browser for your DS? I found that online the other day and it looks interesting. How well does it work? Is it worth it?

My pics should be done uploading in a few, and I'll be back!
 

SewIn2Disney

Well-Known Member
Ok---here we go. A little background info first-----I personally was not chosen to test this. My boyfriend and I were in the MK, and my bf's relatives (Aunt, Uncle and two young cousins) were meeting us in the MK later on Wednesday morning. On their way in they were chosen to test this (a CM just walked up to them and asked if they would like to participate).

Here is the area in the back of Exposition Hall where you are taken to set up your DS


When you get it, you enter in all names and "general ages" (it asks you if your very young, young, child, teen, adult, etc) This comes in later with the games. As far as we could tell, it seemed to be a cartridge, but if you turned it off and turned it back on, the game just came right up, and didn't go to the normal DS screen where you could choose to play a DS game, Advance game, pictochat, etc. They just tell people to open and shut the lid, not turn it off and on (the DS goes into Hibernate mode, and when you open it, it comes back to where you left it.

Here you can sort of see the grey padding that surrounds the DS


This is the main screen. It is GPS enabled, so it always shows right where you are standing. I don't know why it's not showing in this screen, but there are four buttons from here that you could press, one each on the top and bottom, and one each on left and right.


Each of those buttons brings you someplace different: information, characters, rides, and games.

Information Button brings you to a menu where you can select from a menu of items to locate such as ATM's, bathrooms, lockers, etc.




When you select an item, it brings you back to the main overview screen, and gives you a dotted line from where you are to the closest location of whatever you are looking for. In this case, the closest bathroom from where we were:


If you hit the Mickey shaped button, that brings you to a character menu. Here, it lists all MK characters, and allows you to check off which ones you would like to visit. But as stated before, the info here is incomplete. It just lists every character as always being around, and tells you to seek the nearest CM for details on where to find them


More to come.....
 

SewIn2Disney

Well-Known Member
If you pick the attractions button, you get a list of the attractions. This list can be broken down by shows and rides, and then each individual list can be shown in either alphabetical order, or wait time order. If you hilight an individual attraction, you get a page that gives you a description of the attraction, the current wait time, and the current fast pass distribution for the ride. You can also get to this page by clicking on the attraction from the main map page.
Here's alphabetical ride order:


Alphabetical show order


Here's Big Thunder Mtn.s page


Still a few more to come.....
 

SewIn2Disney

Well-Known Member
We tried to trick it by picking Splash Mtn (which is down for refurbishment)


And last is the game feature. The fantasyland game comes "unlocked" then to unlock the different games, you have to stand outside of the attraction. (Or it can be done while waiting in its line). In the beginning, you entered each persons name and age range, so the DS asks age-appropriate questions. The kid questions (the kids we were with were between 7-10) were mostly about movies, while the adult questions were def. harder and about movies and the parks. It tells which person is to read the question to which other person, and keeps track of all scoring. (This is good to ensure that everyone gets a turn)


The fantasyland trivia game


A sample question


And the last picture is a not-so-great pic of the whole system on the main page


Here you can see the whole park on the top screen, and the touch screen close up area on the bottom. The red rectangle on the top shows the highlighted area below. You can use the cursor or the touch pad to move around. From here you can also click on the resturants and attractions.

Overall, we loved the DS, and it was sorly missed the next day. Knowing the wait times of all the attractions was great----that way we knew which way to go, and if walking over to a certain fast pass was worth it (would it be during dinner time? Too late in the day? etc). The trivia was awesome for waiting in line, and the questions were very age appropriate. As far as I could tell, there was no sound for the game, and like I said we didn't witness the game shutoff on a attraction. (Now that I think about it though, the young girl we were with turned it on inside SM while riding on the TTA because she was afraid of the dark, and from what I could tell, it did work, but she just used it for light)
Other notes:
-On the menu of attractions, you can check off attractions you want to ride. As you are walking past them, a banner runs across the bottom of the top screen that states "an attraction on your wish list is nearby". But, one would have to be walking around with it open to see this.
-No one knows if it'll be for sale or rent yet, but I'm hoping for sale.
-Even I learned something from the trivia game (how many gargoyles are on Cinderella Castle? 13----we actually had to go look after that to go find them!)
-The GPS doesn't quite work perfectly yet. We were eating lunch in the Crystal Palace, and it said we were next to the partners statue, and one other time we were one "land" off. But on other occasions, we saw it pause and reposition itself to our current location. I don't know if it's satellite or anything, but there was heavy clouds that day, so it could have thrown it off.
-While at the Crystal Palace, Eeyore had a blast playing with it. It was cute.
-In retrospect, I have more suggestions for the DS---I wish you could check off the attractions you already visited, and possibly have it "unlock" more features based on how many attractions you've been on. Maybe more games or something. It allows you to check off a wish list of characters and attractions, but never really does anything with it later.

Our suggestions at the end of the day:
-The character application needs to be better, and have better directions as to where to find the character.
-Add menus to the resturant page
-Have a fastpass reminder. Something to the effect of an area where you can type in your times, and the DS dings or something to alert you.
-Have the game for sale, and have additional games that can be played when you get home
-Develop this software for all parks, possibly for the entire resort. (water parks, dtd, hotels, etc)
-Have a Hidden Mickey feature. Maybe it could tell you a list of HM's in the attraction, that way you could read up on it while waiting in line and then look for them on the attraction
-Something needs to be done about the battery life. Maybe dimming the screen or something, but our battery died in about 6 hours, and considering the average person spends probably 8+ hours in the park, this wouldn't work. When the battery died, we brought it back and they gave us a new one, but then we had to unlock all the games we had unlocked previously.

I think we had a few other suggestions. I'll have to ask my bf and get back to you. Other then our suggestions, we loved the DS, and I think it is great! The touch screen works great with this, and while the DS lite is still on the larger side, I wouldn't mind carrying it around during the day, if only for the current wait time and fast pass distribution of all attractions, and for the games to play while in line, waiting for food, etc. I hope they keep going with this, and cant wait to use it again!

Thanks for bearing with me through all of this.
 

raiden

Member
Looks awesome I cait wait to try it out. Lets hope they use this in all the parks! BTW the answer to the sample question is tinkerbell!!
 
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