May 28th, 2015

Of Theme Parks and Digital Ride Photos

Obviously, an operation as big as Disney has its own, inhouse, extensive IT department and rolls its own solution to ride photos. But what do smaller operations do, that would like to provide (and monetize!) a photo souvenir and recognize that paper is just not All That any more?

Last December, we rode on the ferris wheel in Seattle on the waterfront. Picsolve was the solution provider for their family photo taken before the ride. And picsolve is also the solution provider for StoryLand, which has only this season introduced digital ride photos (they continue to offer the paper prints, key chains, snowflake ornaments, etc.). Santa's Village, by contrast, continues to offer a thumb drive for $30 on which you can put up to 6 pictures. I am reasonably confident that the picsolve solution will be the dominant one going forward.

What happens if you go to enter your code and it doesn't work? Well, step one is to get you to wait -- when the park is busy, they don't keep up with uploads, but they catch up each night with a batch upload, so the following morning everything from the previous day should be available. While we had no trouble with one booth at StoryLand (Roarasaurus), Bamboo Chutes photos were not available (I was getting an invalid code error). I waited until I got home, then sent an email off to picsolve customer service, which is located in the UK. I got an immediate automated reply with a ticket number and saying reply to this if you have further info, which I used to submit receipt photos. After a while, I got a reply saying the problem should be fixed, but it was not. Because this exchange occurred during the business day in the UK, I almost immediately received a further reply with links to my photos. The codes still don't work, but my problem has been solved.

I say _almost_ immediately, because I had time to go over to StoryLand's contact us page and sent them a message speculating that they might want to look into this because it might not have been just me, and it might be an ongoing problem with that particular photo kiosk. Oh well; I sent them another message indicating my problem was solved.

Very little in life rolls out completely smoothly. I'm extremely pleased to see that there are solution providers out their for small parks that would like to provide digital photos to their customers who are increasingly accustomed to them -- and who honestly are at a bit of a loss now what to do with paper photos. And I'm happy that their customer service teams are working hard to get those photos to those customers, even when things don't work completely smoothly.