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Amusement Park Bans PDAs and Smartphones 474

Posted by kdawson
from the cold-dead-fingers dept.
Ant writes in with news that an amusement park in the UK is trying out a ban on smartphones and PDAs, with the intent to enable families actually to have fun together. The press release says that from May 25 to June 1, adults found using a PDA will be asked to drop it off at a "PDA Drop Off Zone" — no word on what happens if they refuse. But both the Sun and BoingBoing, which picked up their brief story, strike a more ominous note with the claim that "special wardens" will confiscate the devices. If the experiment is deemed a success the park may make the ban permanent.
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Amusement Park Bans PDAs and Smartphones

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  • by Concerned Onlooker (473481) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:30PM (#23537157) Homepage Journal
    ...but stepping up and taking away someone's personal property is nothing but thuggery.
    • Oh Please... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Frosty Piss (770223) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:39PM (#23537237)

      ...but stepping up and taking away someone's personal property is nothing but thuggery.
      No it's not. They have a policy at a private amusement. I f you don't like it, you can "recreate" elsewhere.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by BorgDrone (64343)

        They have a policy at a private amusement.
        So ? A policy at whatever place cannot override the law. If I have a policy that says I'm allowed to kill you on my private property, I'm still going away for murder if I do.
        • Re:Oh Please... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by howlingfrog (211151) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `2002noynekmja'> on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:38PM (#23537679) Homepage Journal

          So ? A policy at whatever place cannot override the law. If I have a policy that says I'm allowed to kill you on my private property, I'm still going away for murder if I do.

          That's only vaguely true, and not even vaguely relevant. The owners of private property have every right, legally and ethically, to require visitors to that property to agree to (practically) any terms they want. The visitors are free to leave if they find the terms unacceptable. I can't imagine any US or UK court upholding terms that allow illegal behavior, but for anything short of that, what do you think "private property" means?

          And in this case, there's nothing remotely illegal about the terms being set. The amusement park operators are simply not allowing certain devices on their property, and offering a (free?) storage service for those disallowed devices. Visitors can leave their smartphones at home, or in the car, or in the park-provided storage. If you don't like those choices, don't go to that park.

          The real issues are:

          1. Would you personally visit an amusement park with this policy?
          2. Is this policy a sound business decision?
          My answers are no to both, as I assume yours are, but this is ABSOLUTELY NOT a legal/civil liberties issue.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            My answers are no to both, as I assume yours are, but this is ABSOLUTELY NOT a legal/civil liberties issue.

            I agree that anyone bothered by this should just take their business elsewhere. I also agree that this isn't a legal issue. But I disagree about it being a civil liberties issue. This is yet another little bit of presumptuous oversight that people will eventually acclimate to. It's not some huge step in Big Brother control, but it is yet another situation where people will get used to surrendering t
            • Re:Oh Please... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by timeOday (582209) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:42PM (#23538161)
              I think we're making too much of it. It's no different ethically or legally from movie theaters that ban outside food.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Petrushka (815171)
              You've got this the wrong way round. It would indeed be a civil liberties matter if the law prohibited people from exercising control over what comes onto their property and what does not. If you're for civil liberties, you should be on the amusement park's side here. Control over who and what comes onto your private property is a pretty important set of rights.
      • Re:Oh Please... (Score:4, Informative)

        by Concerned Onlooker (473481) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:00PM (#23537409) Homepage Journal
        Perhaps I should have expanded. Having a policy is fine. I have accidentally run afoul of a no cell phones policy at a country club. However, the difference is that I was asked to not use the phone rather than having someone take it away from me.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by stephanruby (542433)

          Perhaps I should have expanded. Having a policy is fine. I have accidentally run afoul of a no cell phones policy at a country club. However, the difference is that I was asked to not use the phone rather than having someone take it away from me.

          Yeah, but you didn't have your six year old with you with his noisy hand-held game.

          Country clubs are wise, they stop the problem right at the source. They don't just have a policy against devices, they have a policy against kids. They either prevent you from takin

      • Re:Oh Please... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dreamchaser (49529) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:00PM (#23537415) Homepage Journal
        As long as they have a huge sign posted out front BEFORE I PAY that's just fine with me. I would just take my money elsewhere.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Having a 'policy' doesn't allow you to confiscate someone's personal property. They always have the option of declining to abide by the rules and leave the premises.
        • by Dogtanian (588974)

          Having a 'policy' doesn't allow you to confiscate someone's personal property.
          Really? Are you *absolutely* about that or just repeating something you believe to be true? How do you know this anyway?

          (Also wondering if you've made a common-but-wrong assumption here).

          They always have the option of declining to abide by the rules and leave the premises.
          They always have the option of not going in the first place!
      • Re:Oh Please... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Culture20 (968837) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:26PM (#23537607)
        A local store has a sign they hang up that you can only see as you're leaving, which says "we reserve the right to inspect bags". Security guards ask nicely, but I walk past them with a sneer. How do I get away with it? They _don't_ have that right to begin with, so they can't reserve it.
        A manager at the store blocked my path once, immediately after I purchased something, and asked to see my bag.. the bag the check-out clerk just gave me. I told him to get out of my way or I'm calling the police. He first looked like he'd be happy to have the police there until a little spark went off in his little reptilian brain and he got out of my way.

        If I hang up a sign in my house saying "I reserve the right to cavity search" or "I reserve the right to confiscate your property", it doesn't mean I suddenly am exempt from laws against assault or theft perpetrated against people I asked onto my property.
      • I f you don't like it, you can "recreate" elsewhere.
        Did any of the other Farscape fans giggle at the thought of "recreating" at a theme-park?
    • I don't get it

      âoeItâ(TM)s important for parents and kids to focus on nothing more than having the best possible time.â

      What? Seriously, am I paranoid or does this sound so outrageously stupid that it's concealing a darker purpose?

      I can't figure out -- even in this insane world -- what that purpose might be, but ..
      • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:51PM (#23537311) Journal
        Well, I can think of a few people who would actually enforce a policy that stupid, but...

        First question: Are they confiscating all cell phones, or only smartphones?

        If it's only smartphones, it's a liveable policy -- provided you can buy everyone a non-smartphone. It's still moronic that they're trying to enforce fun -- it's not like it spoils anyone else's fun if you want to spoil your trip by playing Solitaire on your smartphone the whole time.

        If it's all phones, well, you've just eliminated a useful tool for finding lost kids, or for preventing kids from getting lost. It's all well and good to say "We'll meet here at 5:30," but it's nice to be able to call if they don't make it.
        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by arivanov (12034)

          It's still moronic that they're trying to enforce fun.

          Welcome to the UK mate. And we laugh at Germans about their ordnung and organisation...

          We should just look at ourselves. We run "mandatory entertainment" during kids birthdays, "entertainment" is regularyly brought to the nurseries for all notable occasions. And the kids that refuse to participate are tagged for referral to the SENCO (for the non-brits: Special Educational Needs COodinator) for fast track to meet the child psychologist.

          No wonder some people after that go and decide that when fun is deliv

        • by shilly (142940) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:07PM (#23537933)
          Christ, wouldja take a minute to think even briefly before typing. What are you on about, saying, "it's not like it spoils anyone else's fun if you want to spoil your trip by playing Solitaire on your smartphone the whole time"? This policy is not aimed at 19-year-old geeks who've turned up by themselves, it's aimed at parents. And yes it really will spoil your 10-year-old's day if you're playing Solitaire instead of joining them on the rides.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            This policy is not aimed at 19-year-old geeks who've turned up by themselves, it's aimed at parents. And yes it really will spoil your 10-year-old's day if you're playing Solitaire instead of joining them on the rides.
            And if you're that kind of parent, this policy isn't going to make you a better parent. It's probably going to result in you not going to the park at all.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Tassach (137772)

            And yes it really will spoil your 10-year-old's day if you're playing Solitaire instead of joining them on the rides.

            Not at much as me spewing my guts all over her and the rest of the family. I have an inner ear condition which make me very prone to motion sickness. I simply cannot ride many amusement park rides without becoming violently ill. Waiting at the ride exit playing solitaire while my wife takes our 5 and 10 year olds on the rides is a preferable alternative to projectile vomiting.

        • by houghi (78078) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:34PM (#23538125)

          If it's all phones, well, you've just eliminated a useful tool for finding lost kids, or for preventing kids from getting lost.
          Indeed the children, won't anybody think of the children.
    • by Mike1024 (184871) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:50PM (#23537309)

      stepping up and taking away someone's personal property is nothing but thuggery.
      Perhaps, but bear in mind they can retrieve their PDA when they leave, and one can avoid the issue altogether by leaving your PDA at home, turning it off, or just plain not using it.

      The fact is, private amusement parks can have rules, and can ask you to leave if you refuse to follow them. This is just an example of that.

      If you're so very important that you can't turn your blackberry off for a day, you have the option of not visiting Alton Towers. If you really are that important, maybe you should turn your PDA off anyway, so your employers can be prepared for if you ever die or move jobs.
      • and one can avoid the issue altogether by leaving your PDA at home, turning it off, or just plain not using it.
        How does one turn off a PDA without turning off the mobile phone that's joined to it at the hip?
        • by BVis (267028) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:17PM (#23537533)
          You don't. I think you're missing the point of the ban.

          IMHO this ban is protection from asshole bosses who think they own you 24/7/365. When you go to one of these places you can say "I took my kids to such and such, they don't allow cell phones inside."

          Clearly this doesn't work for anyone who has a job that requires 24/7 availability (for example, you need to be notified if your data center catches fire.) However, if your job is one where your availability ISN'T needed 24/7, but your asshole boss THINKS it is, then this works.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by caluml (551744)

            IMHO this ban is protection from asshole bosses who think they own you 24/7/365.
            This seems to be less common in the UK (where this park is).
            My boss has only once in 7 years rung me up out of hours, and he told me that he was very sorry, as it could be taken as harassment.
    • by xaxa (988988) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:51PM (#23537313)
      The word "ban" isn't really what they're doing.

      "Amusement Park Provides Secure Drop-Off Point for PDAs and Smartphones" would be more like it. To advertise this service they have a kid dressed as a policeman "banning" people from using PDAs and pointing them towards the drop-off point.
    • by Blue Stone (582566) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:47PM (#23537753) Homepage Journal
      They're not taking anything from anyone - it's just a little marketing gimmick accompanying a little 'family friendly' advice.

      Parents are being ASKED to relinquish/put away their PDAs etc, in order to spend 'quality' time with their children.

      The article says 'no word on what will happen if they refuse' because nothing will happen. There's no story here, no news, just an advertisement...

      ...and no need for any nerd to get their knickers in a knot. ;)

  • Just don't go. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by urbanriot (924981) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:31PM (#23537167)
    I require my phone, not just to stay in touch with my friends and loved ones, but also to keep in touch with my business. It's fine if I'm in a theatre for a few hours (I usually put it on vibrate), but if I have to be without it for a day... screw that, I'm not going to your place.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mindstormpt (728974)
      Hmmm... That's exactly the point. If you go to an amusement park with your family, they won't be thrilled if you can't spend more than a few hours without taking a call.
      • Re:Just don't go. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:53PM (#23537335) Journal
        None of their damned business, first of all. That's between him and his family.

        And second, being callable doesn't mean you'll necessarily take a call. My phone is always on, and always on me, short of airplane travel -- but I'm only rarely called.
      • If you go to an amusement park with your family, they won't be thrilled if you can't spend more than a few hours without taking a call.
        Even calls from other family members? Often, a family splits up: half go to one side of the park and half to the other, based on which attractions the different family members prefer. Mobile phones inside the park help family members find each other.
      • by ptbarnett (159784)

        If you go to an amusement park with your family, they won't be thrilled if you can't spend more than a few hours without taking a call.

        What if the alternative is not going at all? Mom or Dad can spend a few minutes taking a call while the kids have fun, instead of sitting home by the phone for a call that may or may not ever arrive.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by iviagnus (854023)
      And it is indeed your right not to go. But I might suggest that if you need to be tethered to your device when you go to an amusement park with your family, friends, or alone, that you need to seriously consider whether your current career choice is more valuable to you than your own vacation or time off. Many people want too much in life, and suffer working too many hours to compensate. If owning the toys you really can live without is more important than quality time with your family, then you shouldn'
  • Not just PDAs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by muellerr1 (868578) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:33PM (#23537183) Homepage
    This reminds me of a restaurant in Colorado Springs that prided itself on cutting your tie in half if you stupidly showed up with one on. Casual diners only!
  • texting on the PDA? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by YrWrstNtmr (564987)
    Why yes...I'm talking to my kid who is waiting in line at another ride. You have a problem with that?

    Kiss my ass.
  • Smart... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:34PM (#23537199) Journal
    So the policy allows kids phones for safety purposes.

    Who are they going to call? The parents without the cell phones?

    • Good point! If only there was a centralized, standard number in each country that people could call and be connected to emergency services such as police, paramedics, etc. Someone should develop that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Rob Kaper (5960)
        Do you really think it's a good idea to bother emergency services with countless "I lost my mommy" calls?
      • There's a whole world between 911 and, say, checking with your parents if they actually know this person they just sent you to pick you up.
    • I think they will allow phone calls, just not the tapping away that you see when people are checking up on their emails from the office. And on another note, this preview feature takes a long time.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:36PM (#23537215)
    I would hate to see attendance figures as they plummet - how many teenagers would want to go to a place where they have to give up the cell phone?

    Instead they should be going the other way, and see how they can integrate mobile devices into the "fun" they are offering. Disney does this today in a limited way in an attraction at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World, called the "Laugh Factry" or something like that. It's an animated live stand-up comic show, where while you are waiting to get in you can text jokes you like to them and they use some of them in the routine.

    That's pretty limited, but you could imagine parks texting you when a show or parade you signed up for was about to start, or having some mobile app that could somehow integrate into a ride or receive SMS messages with pictures of you on a ride.

    Anyway, there are lots of better things they could be doing that trying to strip away technology from people who will be very reluctant to do so.

    • That's pretty limited, but you could imagine parks texting you when a show or parade you signed up for was about to start, or having some mobile app that could somehow integrate into a ride or receive SMS messages with pictures of you on a ride.
      But then they couldn't rent you a pager that tells you when your place in the que is getting close.
    • by vux984 (928602)
      Instead they should be going the other way, and... ...see how they can integrate mobile devices into the "fun" they are offering. ..."see how they can make mobile devices a source of revenue."

      There. Fixed that for you.

      Like when you are watching TV and they implore you to text an answer to a quiz, or vote, or some other MORONIC activity during the show. Send in your answer now! Every entry gives a chance to win a ringtone!!! Send in your answer now, send in your answer often! Only $1.99 per TXT.

      Personally I
  • Forced fun? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tango42 (662363) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:38PM (#23537227)
    I'm not sure forced fun is going to work. It's a worthy cause, but I don't think this is the way to do it...
  • Isn't it usually more the problem with having kinds leave their gameboys and nintendo ds's in the cars, rather than adults spending time on their smartphones?
  • While I can understand where they're coming from (using a Blackberry when you're out with your family on holiday is plain bloody sad as well as rude - let's just face it), but I'd love to know how they propose to 'enforce' this. A phone or a PDA is someone's personal property, just about everyone has a mobile phone, and some people sadly do need to remain contactable just in case.
    • by xaxa (988988) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:44PM (#23537275)
      They aren't going to "enforce" it. It's just a way to remind dad that maybe, just maybe, he should be spending time with the kids rather than being glued to his PDA.
    • Heh... I still remember first weekend in the previous town I've lived in. So it was a beautiful day of may, with sunshine, flowers and all. And I had to go through a park. Well, maybe not "have", but it was a bit of a detour to go via the other side. Anyway, so the birds were chirping, the sun was high, the breeze was warm, and you could see couples of teenagers everywhere.

      But the couple that stuck to my mind were a boy and a girl having a picnic on a blanket on the grass. Well, when I say 'picnic', it was
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by kullnd (760403)
        Funny you should combine the two, as last month I was at the lake doing some scuba diving when the call came in that work needed some emergency router configuration changes... Got my laptop, put in the cell card, and did the work I needed to do at the lake between dives... Sure am glad that I was able to use the available technology vs. having to leave the park, drive to work, and do what I needed to do, which would have ruined the remainder of my fun for the day...
      • by Wooky_linuxer (685371) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:11PM (#23537491)
        Walked straight to them, and with authority, proclaimed yourself as Park Police. Whatever that means. Then, after explaining the Park policy of not allowing work with a laptop in its premises, explain ed the penalty: - I am sorry, sir, but I will be forced to confiscate. - No way, this is my private property and I am doing important work here. - I mean the girl.
    • by Ashtead (654610)

      From what I gather from the featured article, the amusement park officials apparently will confiscate PDAs upon sight, and place them in a storage for the day, so the owner gets it back when they leave with their family in the evening. I'd imagine that the de-PDA'd owner will get some kind of claim check for it, to be returned for the PDA upon leaving. Similar to how coats are checked-in and checked-out at some restaurants during the winter.

      Also, I think they better have the security details for this stor

  • Stupid. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@g m a i l .com> on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:41PM (#23537251) Journal
    I understand the sentiment, but if a parent is such a jackass to not be able to ignore their phone for a single day to go have fun with their kid, there is no way the park is going to be able to "force" them to b a good parent by stealing their phone.

    I've tried telling the office to only call me for emergencies when I'm on vacation. That didn't work. Now they know that I'll check my messages at night, and if they haven't fixed the problem, I'll remote in and fix it when I get a minute.

    Vacation means vacation. The fact that they're not willing to hire someone else who can take some of the load off of me, doesn't mean that I'm going to give up my vacation time (says the puppy, posting from work on Sunday on a holiday weekend).

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:43PM (#23537269)
    Remember - to be affected by this policy, you'd a) have to be in a relationship; and b) have to venture outside. So breathe easy!
  • So, by encouraging people who are wealthy enough that they have smartphones to either a) not have them on their persons in case of an emergency or b) leave them in the trust of a total stranger who could just hock their iPhones without a second thought...

    this is a good business decision?
    • by pembo13 (770295)
      The summary didn't suggest they were going to be searching people. How would they know if you just had a PDA on you in case of an emergency?
  • Define 'fun' ? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rob Kaper (5960)
    Just imagine all the fun! You can't take any pictures or videos, you can't text or ring when you lose sight of each other, therefore you'll have to stick with the group even when your auntie visits the loo for the tenth time before lunch.. but the highlight must be when your best mate dies of an overdose because you have no way of reaching 999 (the UK equivalent of 911/112).

    Fun fun fun!
  • by Angostura (703910) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:46PM (#23537285)
    Alton Towers gets free publicity in the papers, a debate ensues, no-one actually gets their PDAs removed. Nothing to see here, move along please.
    • by Angostura (703910)
      Musn't post on too little sleep, that should have said "This is what we call a PR gimmick".
  • Good for them! (Score:2, Insightful)

    I think this is a great idea!

    A corresponding story:
    I think I am the only one in my family who actually hates sitting down for dinner because either 1. no one ever sits down for dinner at the same time, or more importantly and more relevant 2. everyone turns to watch whatever is on the TV at the moment, even if their back is to the TV they'll take a bite and turn around to watch while continuing to chew their food. (And before anyone tries to cry foul and point out the obvious, yes, I have mentioned my extre
  • by neokushan (932374) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:53PM (#23537337)
    My friends and I go to Alton Towers all the time (We have season tickets), the staff there are generally very helpful and friendly, so I doubt they're going to change that policy just to make families feel a bit better, there's a good chance it's more of a tongue-in-cheek sort of thing to help Dad relax on his day off rather than to cause real distress.

    I highly doubt they're going to kick up a fuss or cause an argument for the sake of it, they'll more than likely go to the kids and be all "hey kids, tell daddy to put the phone away! I'll even take it off his hands and put it in a safe place, how about that?!". As cheesy as it sounds, it might ACTUALLY work.
  • by gelfling (6534) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @02:55PM (#23537357) Homepage Journal
    Ban everything everywhere. Ban it. You WILL have fun goddamnit.
  • People who bring a PDA/Smartphone and wip it out all of the time at an amusement park are likely missing the whole point of the amusement park. No loss if they don't go anyway.

    I think the ban is just as much for the kids as the grown ups. You are missing half of the amusement park experience if you don't pull your eyes away from the PDA every once in a while. You stop noticing things like the smells of the food etc.

    Talking on a cell phone can be obnoxious, making other paying customers enjoy their e

  • by IonOtter (629215) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:24PM (#23537595) Homepage
    Good Daycycle, Citizen, and welcome to Alton Towers, where fun is mandatory! Please bear in mind that failure to have fun is considered Treason, and is punishable by painful death reserved for Commie Mutant Traitors and those Citizens who failed to have fun.

    Thank you for your cooperation, Citizen, and remember to have fun!

    Your Friend,

    The Computer
  • The UK is already becoming known as a nation of sheep that allows the government and private corporations to do whatever they want to their citizens - but the US is quickly catching up! If drastic action is not taken, the US may actually take the title of super-nanny-police-state-that-only-speaks-in-doublespeak.

    Actions like this, where large multi-million euro corporations arbitrarily impose their will without regard go a long way towards reinforcing the attitude of British Subjects that they are merely un
    • by nbannerman (974715) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @03:40PM (#23537693)
      Whoa, hang on a minute.

      A few things to think about;

      1. England != UK. Confusing the two is bad form; our Scots and Welsh brethren will surely kick up a stink at that. 2. Alton Towers are free to trial this. The fact they are trialling it first is a good way to go about things. 3. We use the Pound (Sterling) as our currency - you'll prise it from my euro-sceptic-dead-hands.

      Considering the pasting that Labour are getting in the papers and at the polling booths, I'd say us 'British Subjects' are still quite capable of fighting back, in the more general sense of the political climate here at the moment.
  • What about those using their phones/PDAs as cameras? Seems like a flawed strategy if you ask me.
  • Why not partner with a mobile company and offer a special service (for non pdas ;) ) and offer a "text to book your place" type thing. Could make the whole park thing a lot more pleasurable AND generate advertising for mobile company. Then it could text you 10 minutes before your ride is ready.

  • This actually makes perfect sense - if implemented properly, that is. And by implementing properly I mean that people are provided secure boxes to store their stuff in. It would also make perfect sense if they would give out portable radio sets for free in exchange of the phones for the duration of the stay, so that family members still can communicate while inside the park even if they split.

    Otherwise, this is good. The age of information really calls for some changes to the unwritten laws of common courte
  • this will backfire (Score:3, Insightful)

    by moxley (895517) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:02PM (#23537881)
    Assuming they are even doing this for the reason they claim, I understand what they're doing, but I think it's completely retarded and will probably backfire - and here's why:

    The type of person who is going to be using their smartphone/PDA at an amusement park generally isn't going to be doing so because they think it's more fun than hanging out with their family or going on rides, they're going to be doing it in most cases because they have to be able to have those communication options to even be able to get away. If the person's family doesn't have a problem with it, then why should the park?

    What about people who want to have their smartphone AS A PHONE?

    This is just so stupid and I think that it will cost them business. For any person who would find this appealing, there are going to more than twice as many who will hate it.
  • by RaigetheFury (1000827) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:29PM (#23538091)
    I read about 100 comments in this post and I have to admit most were about "I wouldn't go there then" or "They are taking away our rights".

    Correct me if I'm wrong since I'm in the US... but where in the UK law does it say "Right to bear cell phone"... it doesn't you twits.

    This is a terrific idea made by a PRIVATE entity on THEIR property. I cannot tell you how often I hear loud obnoxious people on cell phones distracting from MY fun. How the families they are with are like "Come on dad" or "Honey can't you do that later" and they reply "Just one sec" while being blissfully ignorant of the line behind them.

    I WOULD go to this theme park simply because it removes the ADD enhancing objects in our lives and lets us focus on conversation with each other and paying attention to ones surroundings.
  • by wikinerd (809585) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @04:32PM (#23538111) Journal
    I like to carry a laptop or subnotebook in my hands while I walk and work with it, and that's what I did last time I went to a zoo park: Writing code while lemurs and rabbits were jumping all around me (but you have to take care as lemurs sometimes have the tendency to jump on your head!). I had fun playing with the lemurs AND more fun writing code. The last thing I want is a PDA police telling me how to have fun, and if they came to me I'd tell them it's not a PDA :)
  • by misterhypno (978442) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @05:27PM (#23538425)
    "Special wardens will confiscate such devices" as a possible outcome.

    How will those who are doctors, law enforcement officials and such who are on call or other emergency personnel be able to remain in touch with their call-in stations then and who are required to carry such devices (and may even be issued them as part of their standard equipment)?

    And isn't that called "theft?" Or, at least violation of personal property under UK law?

    While I appreciate the idea of not having to be interrupted at every turn by some idiot either playing a video game or answering a mindless "WHASSUP?!" call in the middle of a show, there should be some better way to do this.

    And what happens when someone loses their claim ticket or, worse, the park loses their smart device? The cost to the park will be far in excess of the "social savings" this ban might give them.

    From this side of the pond, it's just another sign that every petty administrator, everywhere, wants to control a little slice of the lives that come into their sphere of influence.

    They are going to have a LOT of very angry people to contend with when they try this because, more and more, smart devices are becoming the norm, rather than the exception. What a wonderful way to turn the happiest place on earth into a focus for seething animosity!

    Well done, park officious officials!
  • by kylehase (982334) on Sunday May 25, 2008 @07:20PM (#23539113)
    They paid their entrance fee so they can do whatever they want as long as it does not disrupt the experience for other parties (or break the law of course) and I don't see how using a PDA would disrupt others. It may create a less engaged experience for one's own family but that's a private matter.

    If the PDA addict's wife says to put it away that's another story.
  • It's not uncommon for a boss to be unable to grant a request for time off if the employee will be unreachable. It's also not uncommon for the EMPLOYEE to be unwilling to take time off if they will be unreachable.

    Given such a situation, this attempt to encourage family togetherness could just result in LESS family togetherness.

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