Google to Provide Virtual Tours

Disney Parks and Resorts is working on a joint venture with Google Earth to provide virtual tours of its Walt Disney World theme parks and 22 Disney resort hotels.

An article by USA Today's Kitty Bean Yancy details how Disney and Google are working together to bring the Disney parks and resorts to computer desktops around the world.  Utilizing Google's 3-D technology, visitors to the site will be able to take virtual tours of everything from theme park attractions to restaurants to hotel guest rooms. 

"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.

According to USA Today, a team of eight photographers spent ten days at Walt Disney World.  The photos they captured were converted into 3D virtual tours of their subjects.  The virtual features will be combined with other on-line technologies which will enable site visitors to stream videos and even make reservations as they browse the site.

The features will debut later this month at www.disneyworld.com/3dparks and Google Earth.  Plans call for similar tours of Disneyland Paris to be produced.

Source:  USA Today

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