Gowalla gets a boost from new Disney Parks partnership

Disney fans with smartphones are in luck today with news they can collect some sweet virtual Disneyabilia.

The mouse has bypassed the most popular geolocation game, Foursquare, in favor of a partnership with similar service Gowalla at Disney Parks and properties. Gowalla is far less widely used by the check-ins crowd, but the app does have less of a party vibe and more of an “explorer” feel. Gowalla also sports a more robust user interface, with more complex badge design that seems to be a good fit for the Imagineers at Disney.

Mashable points out how the selection of Gowalla is a Disney-princess like underdog tale with the protagonist overcoming the bigger badder rivals Foursquare and Facebook Places:

This is a major win for Gowalla; Disney is the world’s most-recognized entertainment brand, and any form of promotion by Disney should drive new users and extra attention to the location-based service. It’s struggled to keep a high profile in the face of stiff competition from Foursquare, which raised $20 million earlier this year, and Facebook, whose Places feature recently got a new deals platform.

I briefly used Gowalla, but the constant connection errors all but drove me off the service fairly rapidly. Still, the pretty badges and Disney connection could drive more users to the app. Given the frenzy over pins when Disney introduced them to parks, this really could be huge for Gowalla- the page on their site is already pretty active with check-ins. Are you planning on using Gowalla for your next Disney vacation?

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