Google Street View now available for Universal Orlando
We previously reported that Legoland in California was the first
theme park U.S. theme park to have a Street View on Google maps. But now Universal Orlando has been added. There’s no link for the Street View while looking at the normal top-down view on Google maps, but as you can see above, all of the areas highlighted in blue are available.
Click on the arrows to move from place to place. You can also click and drag on the screen to look around.
In addition to the Universal Studios theme park, you are also able to virtually walk through all of CityWalk and Islands of Adventure. I expect an update will be needed next spring when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter area opens.
After walking virtually through all areas, here are some things I noticed:
• It seems most of the views were recorded early this past summer, as you can see the Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster is up but not open yet, but there are some areas that seemed to have been photographed a year or more ago. Take one step a certain direction and the Rip Ride Rockit disappears. The same with the new fast food restaurants in CityWalk. One step you’re seeing Burger King, Moes and Panda Express and the next the old Dapy store is still there.
• As you move around you can see they photographed most of the time while the park was open, but go to certain areas and you can tell the park is closed.
• All of the guests faces are blurred, but they also accidentally blurred some of the character’s faces. Jimmy Neutron is one of them.
• It seems there are a lot of characters out in the parks. I don’t usually see this many, but they do bring more out in the summer. Or did they purposely put more characters out since Google was recording? I even saw a character I’ve never seen in the parks –
Witch Hazel Broom Hilda.
• On some scenes, you can see the shadow of the bike that’s doing the recording.
• Another sign it was recorded during early summer: You can see many tour groups around the parks.
• The street names don’t always match up with what the official park maps list them as. I saw some street names on Google that aren’t on the park maps anywhere.
• Not all of the streets are mapped and some don’t connect to others like you’d expect. In Universal Studios, you can get down by the Horror Make-Up Show, but you have to turn left. You can’t get through the Kidzone area. You have to go around the park. In Island’s of Adventure, you can’t go across the new bridge that connects The Lost Continent to Jurassic Park, and you can’t get all the way down to the Dueling Dragons entrance.
• If you have a large screen, I recommend clicking through to the larger version on Google’s site and making your browser window as large as you can.
Here’s a look at how the Legoland park was mapped, using a bicycle of sorts with cameras mounted on the back half of it. A similar technique was likely used to map Universal Orlando’s theme parks.
Neat! But minor clarification, LEGOLAND was actually the first in the US, but not the first globally. That honor goes to Disneyland Paris, in which they actually drove the Google street view car through the park. LEGOLAND was one of the first to use the new trike you pictured above though which was a necessity due to the narrowness of some of the paths that the regular vehicle couldn’t negotiate.
https://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/08/bringing-street-view-to-attraction-near.html for more info on LEGOLAND
and https://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/06/disneyland-paris-in-street-view.html for Disneyland Paris
How nice of their face blurring algorithm blurring out characters too, though oddly enough, Dora’s face isn’t.
Thanks Brad. I’ve corrected it above.
I hope that Disneyworld is next before the Spring/Summer Vacation season begins.
I noted the tour groups too in the Street View, which makes it joyfully interesting – I’m sending one of my articles regarding tour groups today to the mag, if possible.
I hope more attractions are online soon!
There are a some some pretty cool European Theme parks on Google Street View
I wish Google would go into a ride when it’s empty so it can be previewed without people in it.
Just for some clarification (although my reply is extremely late), Universal actually had the Google CAR driving through some (or all) of the park. Hope this sheds some light on the mystery!