Foursquare competitor Gowalla has had a tough time gaining users and brands with foursquare and Facebook Places stealing much of the location-based limelight, but today they’ve landed one of the biggest fish there is. They’ve partnered with Disney Parks to offer stamps and pins for users checking in around Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
Gowalla has created hundreds of stamps for attractions all over the parks â€” from the grim, grinning ghosts of the Haunted Mansion to the colorful Mary Blair designs of It’s a Small World. They’ve also added a series of trips users will be able to complete and earn custom pins, like the Walk in Walt’s Footsteps tour that encourages people to check in at some of Walt Disney’s favorite attractions. The partnership also features a custom Disney Parks page that features recent photos Gowalla users have posted from the parks, a nice tie-in with Disney’s current Let the Memories Begin campaign.
This looks to be a huge win for Gowalla. It’s certain to bring more attention to the service and attract new users among the legions of Disney fans eager to earn the custom stamps and pins.
It’s not clear why Disney went with Gowalla over foursquare for this partnership. Foursquare has almost 10 times the users of Gowalla, so Disney partnering with the smaller player is a big surprise. It seems the trips they’ve added could have been just as easily accomplished with foursquare badges. Was Gowalla able to move faster to create custom work? Were they attracted by Gowalla’s slick design? Or is a foursquare partnership also in the works?
Having recently visited Disney World, I’m not sure how excited I’d be to check in at each attraction I visited in order to earn all the custom stamps. Things move so fast that there’s barely time to pull out your phone, much less check in. I’d be much more likely to make an effort check in at specific places to earn pins or badges, though, if I knew what they were in advance.
As a Disney fan, I’m glad to see they’ve seen the value in location-based services, and as a foursquare fan, I hope they’re open to partnering with more than one service to promote their goals. What do you think of the Disney partnership with Gowalla?