Fandango Launches Program to Help Moviegoers Go Back to Theaters

Movie ticketing site Fandango has launched a program to help moviegoers go back to theaters as cinemas reopen across the country.

Starting June 23, and Fandango mobile apps will begin rolling out new resources and product functionality, including social distance seating maps, a one-stop guide to safety policies provided by more than 100 theater chains, a special search filter to find reopened theaters by location, instructional videos, and more.

“At Fandango, our mission has always been super-serving fans with their entertainment needs, and we cannot wait to help fans get back to the big screen safely and at the right time,” Fandango president Paul Yanover said in a statement. “It’s a complicated rollout, with various states, cities and counties opening their venues in different phases.  We hope Fandango will serve as a helpful one-stop resource for fans to find all the information and services they need for a comfortable return to their local theaters.”

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In Fandango’s guide to health and safety policies provided by theaters across the country, moviegoers can find information that theaters have provided about auditorium occupancy and social distance seating, mask and protective equipment policies, enhanced cleaning measures, special concession services, and more.

“We are working closely with our friends in exhibition to help get their ticketing back online and film fans back in seats with peace of mind,” Melissa Heller, Fandango VP of domestic ticketing, said in a statement. “In addition to our new product features, Fandango’s mobile ticketing will be an added benefit, helping moviegoers and cinema employees reduce the number of contact points at the box office and throughout the theater.”

When theaters begin to reopen, Fandango plans to mobilize many of its other digital properties, including Rotten Tomatoes, Movieclips on YouTube, and its media and performance marketing platforms to help moviegoers get the resources and information they need, according to the company. The company is also planning to support the reopening of theaters and new films scheduled to release this summer with original video, editorial and social content, celebrating the moviegoing experience.

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For members of Fandango’s free-to-join VIP+ loyalty program, Fandango is extending expired rewards for an additional 60 days so that Fandango customers will have more time to use the rewards they’ve earned. Fandango offers the ability to refund and exchange ticket purchases up to the posted showtime. In addition, Fandango customers can now self-process refunds as a guest user, with no account required.

Walt Disney World Cancels All Reservations, ‘FastPass’ Access, Behind-the-Scenes Tours Through End of the Year

Disney’s rush to re-open shuttered theme parks in Florida has run into the reality that is social distancing.

With all of the media giant’s domestic theme parks shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, Disney had been taking reservations 180 days out for dining, behind-the-scenes tours and other events for a phased re-opening of Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., on July 11.

With consumer demand escalating, Disney realized it could no longer accept reservations and still meet its own and CDC-recommended social distancing guidelines.

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“As a result of the limited capacity, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all existing dining reservations and experience bookings, including Disney dining plans included in packages, through the end of the year,” Disney wrote on the website.

Disney said it was switching from a 180-day booking window to 60-day to give consumers better control of planning for their visit. In addition, the park’s popular “FastPass” feature giving holders easier access to rides and attractions has been suspended.

“Our focus remains on the health and well being of the entire Disney community — including ‘cast members’ who are caring for and securing our parks and resorts during the closure,” Disney said.

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