Look at this photo of the Magic Kingdom; it’s actually a screen shot of a Google map. Years ago I discovered the serious time-wasting fun of Google Earth maps for taking a little virtual vacation through the Disney parks and resorts.
Google Earth had two different vantage points, the regular satellite shot and a 3D rendering feature that allowed you to “look around” the resorts and parks at the street level, even going through the buildings. There wasn’t anything to see once you were “inside” the resorts, however, but it was still cool, even for a 40-year-old mom who last played a video game in 1988. That game was Pac-Man, by the way, for you old schoolers.
So imagine my surprise when I went to research Disney lunch buffet prices and happened to notice this cool Google Map. These map drawings remind me so much of the Disney parks maps you get at the park entrances. I didn’t notice an actual name, but I refer to this map as the “Google Parks Maps.”
The map photos you see are screen shots, but I provide several links at the bottom of the page. Using the link, just click on the map and scroll over to your favorite resort. I started with Wilderness Lodge. The only way this could be any cooler is to be able to get a little closer to ground level, and to see inside…
Then I headed over to Bay Lake Tower. Mentally, I am on that skyway, walking over to get a cupcake at the Contempo Cafe at the Contemporary Resort. I just love the little “Google” pool chairs and umbrellas.
Haven’t been able to get to Orando see the new Fantasyland portion of the Magic Kingdom park? Just scroll the map over to the Magic Kingdom, use the little map tools, and zoom in on Fantasyland. This map photo doesn’t show the new Seven Dwarves Mine Train ride construction, but it should soon enough.
I love physically walking around the Disney resorts, but I have this full-time job in Alabama, eight hours away from Orlando, and I don’t get to Disney World as often as I would like. These maps are such an excellent *FREE* way to take a little mental vacation, when perhaps you had a rough day at work, or when you just need a few minutes of “Disney” time while you save your money for your next trip.
Want to take a virtual vacation on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon? Scroll the map over to the resort. Can you hear the sounds of kids splashing in the Volcano pool, wind in your hair, warm sunshine…
The Polynesian Resort pool not big enough? Scroll the map over to Typhoon Lagoon water park. Now this is a map I need to seriously study, because if I’m not at the Typhoon wave pool, I am LOST! Everything seems to look the same to me from the ground level. This photo is not zoomed in all that far, so you can get a closer view using the Google tools.
Best of all, you can use the higher Google map views to see entire resorts and parks. Don’t know your way around all the parks that well? Zoom in on the map and start learning your way through the parks without exhausting yourself walking miles and miles.
How do you find this “parks maps” view? Use this link to go to Disney World.com. This link goes to the Bay Lake Tower Resort page, and the map is right under the room price. Starting at $484 a night, the closest I may ever get is a virtual map view!
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