Monday, October 12, 2009

Check Out Universal Studios—Through Google!

Up until recently, Legoland in California was the only U.S. theme park to be featured on Google Maps Street View. Now we can add Universal Studios Orlando Resort to the Google Street View crew! This is a great feature for any theme park fanatic, especially those of you that are die hard Universal Studios fans. We’re not sure if other Orlando theme parks will be added to the satellite map feature, but we can only hope other parks follow suit with Universal, because this is a great way to check out the theme parks and pre-plan before booking your trip.

Once you access the general map of Universal Studios, you will see certain areas highlighted in blue. Those are the areas which were photographed for the Google Street View feature. You can then zoom in on to street view level and “walk” through the entire park. You can see the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit over at Universal Studios and most of the features of Islands of Adventure and CityWalk as well. You don’t have to worry about identity issues, since the faces of the people have been blurred. The Google crew rode through Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and CityWalk on a bicycle mounted with a high-tech camera and filmed the theme parks in order to create this feature. While there are some glitches, such as disappearing restaurants or an inability to “go” in certain directions, overall it’s a great option for the technologically savvy.

One attraction you won’t find is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Apparently the parks seemed to have been captured before construction started on Islands of Adventure’s newest (and most anticipated) attraction. The Harry Potter island has yet to be completed but the park officials have already announced a spring 2010 opening. We know that “muggles” around the world are waiting on pins and needles for this island to open, and we’re pretty sure Google will return to the park to add the new island to their Street View feature. The first park to ever be featured on Google Street View was Disneyland Paris—could the Walt Disney World Resort be next?


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