n May 2008, Google Earth and Disney 3D became available. When I say Disney, I mean Disney World – and all of it!
Now, I am huge fan of Google Earth to begin with, and I have always found myself flying over Disney World to get that bird’s eye view.
But let me tell you, having an interactive aerial map of Disney World in 3D right at my fingertips is an absolute joy – not to mention a great way to pass the time between trips!
So how did they create this 3D world? Well, eight photographers spent ten days photographing every inch of the entire resort. They took over 100,000 photographs, which were then turned into 1,500 three-dimensional models. It is the most amazing thing! They photographed everything, from the iconic Castle down to the park benches and flowers! Google also added over 200 pictures, renderings and descriptions provided by other people and companies.
For now, only the exteriors of the buildings are available, though future plans definitely include making the interiors available as well. “It’s a virtual walk-through of the whole property … the most amazing virtual tour of any place in the world,” says Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Jay Rasulo. “It’s one small step from actually being there.” I’ll say!
You can explore 3D versions of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and 22 Disney hotels and resorts. If you zoom in far enough and change your angle of view, you really get the illusion of walking through the parks at ground level.
In addition, the map has interactive features. You can obtain official Disney information by clicking on an attraction or resort. For example, if you click on Splash Mountain you will get important information like the height restrictions. The potential for this is endless!
Think of Google Earth as the ultimate planning tool for your Disney World vacation. You can virtually visit each park and poke around the various resorts when choosing your accommodations. You’ll also see links for videos of the rides themselves or even the ability to check availability and make reservations online.
Tips for using Google Earth and Disney 3D
- If you want to be at ground level, zoom all the way in and then change your angle of view until it seems that you are walking around.
- If you want to capture the scene on your screen, just go up to EDIT and select COPY IMAGE. Then you can paste it into any paint or editing program.
- You can add or remove the different layers, like the roads, terrain, or points of interest.
- Try playing around with the sun. You can create some really cool night-time scenes by doing this! Why not try editing in some fireworks? That would be neat!
Here are some screen shots using Google Earth and Disney 3D: