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Disneyland leaves Mobile Magic users on hold

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On December 23, Disney quietly discontinued the Mobile Magic app, which provided interactive maps, schedule and wait time information for the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World. The app was developed in partnership with Verizon, and launched in 2009 with a $9.99 price tag. By late 2011 Disney had made the app free, and added an iPhone version in early 2012.

The app is no longer available for download via the Android Market or iTunes Store, and Disney is no longer updating or pushing data to it. If you have the app installed on your phone, you may as well delete it now and free up the memory on your device.

With Mobile Magic no longer available, Disneyland recommends that visitors use the mobile version of Disneyland.com, follow the @DisneylandToday and @DCAToday accounts on Twitter or call the Ask Otto! automated phone system (714-520-7090) with their questions, but these are not viable replacements for the Mobile Magic app.

Of course, the unofficial guide apps like TouringPlans (a MousePlanet sponsor) and MouseWait are still around, and their owners are likely thrilled to see that Disneyland has essentially abandoned the wait time app market for now.

There are two things about this decision which really confuse me. One is the timing why discontinue a service like this at the start of the busiest season of the year? If there's ever a time where an official guide app is useful, it's when you're trying to plan out a trip to Disneyland during Christmas. Disney has spent the better part of four years trying to lure visitors to their official app; dropping the service now defies logic. Whatever contractual issues may have been involved, surely there was a way to expand the service two more weeks?

Second, why was there no replacement app ready for Disneyland visitors? Walt Disney World has been gearing up their replacement since August 2012 when they launched their new My Disney Experience app, but Disneyland visitors have no official replacement. Granted, Disneyland visitors are still years away from being able to use all of the features of the My Disney Experience app, like advance FastPass reservations and in-app dining reservations, but surely even a "My Magic Light" app would have provided a better experience for Disneyland users than just dropping out of the mobile app market entirely?

If you're visiting Disneyland this week, we recommend that you check out TouringPlans' free Lines app or the free MouseWait app (both available via the Android Market or iTunes Store).

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