Cell phone connection relief on the way for Disney World and Disneyland?
Disney Parks today announced a deal to make AT&T the official wireless provider
at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.
The deal includes sponsorship of some runDisney and other sports events, but the element that should catch the attention of theme park fans (at least those with cell phones on the AT&T network) is that the telecom company will improve its transmission network at both resorts.
Better cell reception might make it worth your while to use the free electrical outlets near the Magic Kingdom's new Tangled restrooms.
According to the press release, here are the planned network enhancements, which should help guests now frustrated with poor cell and data reception during peak visiting times:
More than 25 distributed antenna systems to increase the wireless capacity in areas with high mobile trafficMore than 350 small cells to extend network connectivity10 cell sites across Walt Disney World Resort to provide wide-ranging mobile service to guestsMore than 40 repeaters to further enhance the mobile experience for both guests and Cast Members
Other than the one mention of Disney World, there's no other word in the release as to what will go in which resort, or what the current infrastructure looks like. But, from personal experience as an AT&T customer at Disneyland, I've seen my connection speed drop to zero as crowds grow at the park. Free WiFi, available from the Grand Californian's network at Disneyland in selected locations at the WDW Resort, helps, but a more robust cell data network will make using Disney's apps and other online resources (did you know that ThemeParkInsider.com works pretty darned well on an iPhone?) easier for visitors.
I'm more curious where the tangled section of the park is. Did that open with new fantasyland?
@Tracy Bates - "Tangled Restroom & Recharge Zone" is located where old Skyway station near the Haunted Mansion used to stand.
It over next to Small World, which was where the old skyride station used to be. They finished it late last fall.
Sounds like this should be good news for AT&T customers. As an international visitor, though, I'm still hoping for a significant expansion of free WiFi across the parks, since roaming data charges make it prohibitively expensive. With the MyMagic+/Fastpass+ seeming to rely heavily on guests having internet access at the parks, you'd think providing reliable access would be a no-brainer.
Yes to more wifi but more cell coverage is also great news. Have had zero bars at runDisney events (outside gates) making it hard to reunite with one's party among 15,000 participants and all their supporters. Good news Disney / AT&T.
My Verizon data connection drops to nothing in the parks too and I guess this won't help that. I find it rather easy to stay off the smartphone and enjoy the park itself while I'm at Disneyland of course, but sometimes you want to get that great photo I got of my kid meeting Mickey on Facebook or check out the Disney Parks app to get wait time estimates, and then a better connection would be handy.
So what about the Disney Parks app? I think I was most sad about losing this when I switched to AT&T!
The Disney Parks app hasn't been exclusive to Verizon customers for sometime. It's available for iPhone and Android users. However, most of the awesome useful information is tied to your phone's location. If you're not in the parks then you can't access info like wait times, well unless you've hacked your phone like I have.
I have Verizon, and an Android phone, and have never had problems with connectivity at Disneyland. Calls, web access, apps - you name it. And I have no trouble getting info via MouseWait from my home area of Scottsdale, AZ. Wait times, FastPass return times, it's all there.
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