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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Walt Disney World Resort & Google Earth Team-up To Launch 3-D Park Maps

    It's a small world, thanks to Google Earth



    By Kitty Bean Yancey
    USA TODAY
    May 15, 2008

    Starting this month, you can tour realistic re-creations of Disney's Florida theme parks and resorts simply by clicking your computer mouse.

    In a pioneering partnership aiming to go online Tuesday, Google Earth and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts will make it easy to take a virtual trip to Walt Disney World's Epcot Center, Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios and 22 Disney hotels and resorts.

    Computer users will click on maps that show about 1,500 rides, restaurants and attractions in 3-D.
    The mega-map, with interactive features, will be available via disneyworld.com/3dparks or Google Earth (earth.google.com) for free.

    "It's a virtual walk-through of the whole property the most amazing virtual tour of any place in the world," Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Jay Rasulo says.

    While Google Earth offers a growing number of 3-D images and gives bird's-eye views of theme parks, with links to information about them, the Disney project is the most ambitious and detailed 3-D production yet. It's "truly innovative and unique," says Google Earth maps director John Hanke.

    Disney's Rasulo expects the map to serve as a cutting-edge trip planner ("it's one small step from actually being there") and an armchair diversion for legions of Disney World fans. Up to three-quarters of Disney World visitors are repeaters, Rasulo says; about one-third are adults. Disney does not release attendance figures.

    The map began with eight photographers who canvassed every inch of Disney World for 10 days. Then their images were rendered in 3-D.

    Click on Space Mountain, for instance, and you can view a video of the ride and get information such as height requirements. Put your mouse on the Grand Floridian and a video of the resort pops up. You also can check availability and rates and make a reservation.

    For now, the map shows only exteriors. In the future, Web visitors can stroll into Cinderella's Castle or walk into a room at a Disney resort. Photographers are at work to map Disneyland Resort Paris (Euro Disney); other Disney properties may be next.

    Disney is just one of many traveler-friendly additions to fast-growing Google Earth in recent months.

    In April, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced the posting of its digital map of U.S. wetlands there. The information is useful to bird-watchers and fishermen, among others, says Fish & Wildlife Service spokesman Joshua Winchell.

    "It's an attempt to make the data more available to (everyday) people," he says. Google Earth "is a figurative sandbox, and anyone can jump in" and play.

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  3. #2
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    Cool!! I just hope my poor old computer has enough OOMPH to keep up with all the clicking I am likely to do! I also hope they have enough computing power behind the whole thing so it can keep up with what I would expect to be a whole heck of a lot of use!

  4. #3
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    Wow!!! That is soooooooo cool!

    WDW- '71, '74, '83, '88, '89, '97, '98, '99, '00 (x2), '01, NYE '02/'03, '03, '04, '05, '06, '07 (x2), '08, '09 (x2)
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    DVC Member Since 2000 (Vero, BC & Saratoga)

  5. #4
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    This looks so awesome! What a cool thing to view in between trips for a quick Disney fix.
    ~Ashley~
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  6. #5
    BMan62 is offline Team INTERCOT Cast Member
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    Something else to get me in trouble at work!!

    I can't wait!

  7. #6
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    Talk about a great use of technology! Can't wait to see it!
    Everybody else is thinking it, I'm just saying it. - Mr Gibbs
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  8. #7
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    Very Cool
    ŴĐŴ∫ňăŧĭć aka David o

  9. #8
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    I absolutely cannot wait to see this!
    Carol (aka KylesMom)
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  10. #9
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    That's really cool!!! I can't wait. This will be great for that Disney fix!!!
    Carol


    May 14 ???
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  11. #10
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    I absolutely cannot wait to see this come online!! How cool will it be... I'm so excited!!
    Blythe

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  12. #11
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    Talking

    Anxiously awaiting the Disneyland Resort version. A very exciting addition to planning a Disney vacation or just a great source to relive times already spent at the parks.
    Linda aka tinkwest
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  13. #12
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    Cant wait till Tuesday! Thanks figment!!

  14. #13
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks Jason!
    o David, Lisa, Aaron and Allison
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  15. #14
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    Are we going to have to download a new version of Google Earth, or some sort of new software to get this? I already have Google Earth on my computer...
    Son of Jor-El.. Kneel before Zod...

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  16. #15
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    This is one of the most exciting developments I've read about on here. May 20th can't come fast enough.
    26 years staying at the Polynesian
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    Twenty six straight years staying at the Polynesian
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  17. #16
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    Sweeeeeeeeeeeeet!!!!!!!

    The current Google Earth maps of WDW are just not cutting it.
    Natalie
    INTERCOT Staff: Disneyland Resort-California, The Water Cooler

  18. #17
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    I just downloaded the new version of Google Earth. It is totally cool!! I won't be going down to WDW until Aug, 82 more days , and this is a great fix. There has to be 100 pics of Cindy's Castle from every angle and every time of day!! My DS (6) and DD (4) are going to love this...yeah, I did it for my kids...
    23 Trips in 21 Years, Including 5 Disney Cruises, From Chicago
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  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkwest View Post
    Anxiously awaiting the Disneyland Resort version. A very exciting addition to planning a Disney vacation or just a great source to relive times already spent at the parks.
    I can't wait for this! I've never been to DLR and this will be so cool to compare the two.
    Genna
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  20. #19
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    Smile

    SO COOL!!!!
    Can't wait to check it out!
    "Im a storyteller. Of all the things I've ever done, I'd like to be remembered as a storyteller." Walt Disney

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  21. #20
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    I'm excited about this! Walt Disney World Explorer 2008.
    Casey (aka DisneyWizard, Wizzy)

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