By Brady Macdonald, The Orange County Register
A new smartphone app will help forgetful Disneyland visitors remember where they parked their car after a long day at the Anaheim theme park resort — as long as they don’t forget to use the app when they first arrive at the parks.
Disney’s new car locator feature will debut later this year on the Disneyland app. The car finder feature launches later this summer at Walt Disney World in Florida.
The free feature uses location technology on your smartphone to save your parking details and help you find your car later. You’ll need to enable Bluetooth and location services as well as notifications for the car finder feature to work best.
The Disney car locator feature will be on the home screens and the drop down menus of the Disneyland and Disney World apps.
When you arrive at the parks, you’ll need to enter your parking information by following the prompts in the apps. The car locator feature will fill in the details for you if you’ve enabled location services on your phone.
At the end of your visit, simply return to the car locator feature in the app to retrieve your parking information.
As a long-time theme park reporter, I’ve heard many stories through the years about Disneyland visitors who couldn’t find their parked cars after a long day at the parks. Disneyland security guards and good Samaritans have given rides around the garages to visitors searching for their lost vehicles. Disneyland’s parking staff can estimate where cars should be parked based on a visitor’s arrival time. I’ve seen families hopelessly wandering the parking structures at night clicking their car remotes in hopes of hearing their car horn and locating their lost car.
The story I’ve heard the most involves truly tired souls who get on the Toy Story lot tram when their car is parked at the Mickey & Friends or Pixar Pals garages — or vice versa. Those folks usually realize the mistake when they get to a parking lot with no garage in sight — or vice versa. If you can’t remember whether you left your car in a parking lot or a covered garage, then you’ve got bigger problems than a misplaced car — or you’ve had a really long day at Disneyland.
Of course, a car finder app still requires you to have the forethought to input your parking data or enable location services on your mobile phone when you first arrive at Disneyland. It doesn’t help to realize “there’s an app for that” at the end of the night if you’re the forgetful type who has a history of misplacing your car.
My surefire tip for remembering where I parked my car at Disneyland is to take a photo with my smartphone of the colour-coded lane markers on the pillars in the garages and street lights in the lots. That system never fails me — as long as I don’t lose my phone on the Incredicoaster.
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