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Tokyo Disney Resort launches smartphone app to ease congestion

Tokyo Disneyland at Tokyo Disney Resort

Tokyo Disney Resort is to get its own smartphone app as part of the efforts by operator Oriental Land to relieve overcrowding issues.

The app will allow customers to buy tickets, make hotel and restaurant reservations, view park maps and see estimated wait times for attractions, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. It will also be compatible with the Tokyo Disney Resort smartphone-based e-ticketing system recently introduced.

An in-park shopping feature will allow guests to shop on their phone while walking around the park or waiting in line, collecting their purchases when they leave the park or having them delivered. It is hoped that this will ease congestion at park shops at the end of the day.

The app will only be available in Japanese initially but Oriental Land plans to add more languages for international visitors. The company will also use the app to collect data on users’ activities within its parks with a plan to use it to develop new services.

Overcrowding has been an issue at the resort for some time. In 2016, it welcomed 30 million visitors with the increased congestion having a negative impact on customer satisfaction.

In a survey by the Japan Productivity Center, Tokyo Disney Resort has fallen from second place in 2014 to 11th in 2015 and 27th in 2016 in customer satisfaction rankings.

To tackle the issue, Oriental Land has been in discussions with Disney regarding expanding. One of the possibilities for the expansion would be to create a new park with a “sky” theme. Currently, the resort is made up of two parks, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.

Oriental Land is also investing ¥12bn ($111m) by 2020 to remodel the Tokyo Disneyland entrance as well as install automatic ticket machines and facial recognition systems for holders of annual passes.

Image: c. Tokyo Disney Resort.

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Sam McCaffrey

Journalist. Likes immersive entertainment experiences, museums, zoos and the odd go on a Waltzer.

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