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Walt Disney

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has chosen to partner with social networking service


, over more recognizable services such as Facebook or Foursquare, to give visitors a new way to explore Disney World and Disneyland parks and resorts.

Visitors can use their smart phones to check in to locations in Disney World and Disneyland to earn customized digital badges. Gowalla features more than one hundred Disney attractions, challenges, and insider trips for Disney visitors, with corresponding digital stamps and badges.

While social check-in services such as Foursquare and Facebook may be higher profile networking services than Gowalla, Ben Parr, editor of social media guide

, said the partnership made some sense to him.

"Neither Foursquare nor Facebook seem suited for creating the type of exploration experience that Disney likely wanted to deliver to its audience," he said.

In the third quarter, Disney saw its revenue fall 1.3% to $9.74 billion from $9.87 billion.

Its parks and resorts division, one of its largest business segments, saw its revenue decline slightly to $2.82 billion from $2.84 billion in the year prior, reflecting higher expenses at its domestic resorts and lower results at Disney Vacation Club.

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-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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