Our quest for a mobile app started over a year ago at SeaWorld San Antonio. We knew this was something our guests were looking for and none of our parks had an official app. SeaWorld San Antonio volunteered to be the first park to create the app and pave the way for our sister parks. We began the process by meeting with several developers and quickly realized the options of how to build and operate the app were endless. After doing our homework, we hired a company called DeFi Global. This company seemed the best fit for us and understood that we were building this app as a free service to our guests.
Members of our corporate team collaborated with us at the park to start the process of building our first official SeaWorld park app. Many of us were already using iPhones and had developed likes and dislikes of our own apps. We discussed what functionalities we wanted as well as the overall look of the app to make it easy for our guests.
We started by utilizing our frequently asked guest questions and comments to be the basis of our app. We felt guest wanted a tool that made their day easier at the park, and that would remove some of the stress that can be associated with vacationing. SeaWorld San Antonio is the world’s largest marine park, so a GPS enabled park map was the first step and also the most complicated since each point of interest had to literally be built from scratch. Building these locations included creating descriptions, pictures and the GPS location on our park map. This is the function we are most proud of. From any location in the park you can search for what you want to visit and the map will draw you a highlighted route, much like a car’s GPS does, and take you to the location in the park. You are represented by a blue dot that literally moves as you do throughout the park
Next we created a wheel that had eight main selections for guests as our main page and we prioritized these. Guests really want to know about the animals and where they are. Our animal shows are always popular and we wanted guests to know what the show was about and when the show times were that day. When you open this page it will tell you not only the show times for that day, but also what time the next show is.
Always popular with the parents is “where are the restrooms” and “where is the food,” so these were no brainers. You can search restrooms and the app will point out the two that are closest to you. You can enter a word such as “pizza” into our search engine, and the app will show you all the places in the park you can get pizza AND how to get there!
Our park has several roller coasters, water rides and a waterpark, so ride wait times are something are guests are always asking about; we knew we needed to find a way to do this. Inside the app, we update any wait times every hour to help guests better plan their day and ride our attractions when the wait is the lowest.
Other things our app offers include: a link to our conservation message and sites, up to the minute live weather and forecast from our onsite weather station, ways for guest to connect with us on social media sites, a camera that allows you to take pictures without leaving the app, points of interest categories that can turned on and off on the actual app map, links and phone numbers to make reservations for tours, dines and other amenities, park calendar with park hours, directions to the park from your location and ways to contact us.
This iPhone app offers so much help in the park there is just too much to list, and oh, did we mention…IT’S FREE! Download “SeaWorld” and enjoy! Droid users don’t worry, your version will be out soon at SeaWorld San Antonio.
Download the SeaWorld app from iTunes now: http://bit.ly/seaworldapp
What do you think of our new app?