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Say that again! That’s right, news broke a few weeks back regarding Walt Disney World 3D mapping the parks. But, why? What could Disney be working on? Like any Disney rumor, there are many directions it could take us and this especially holds true with the Disney World 3D mapping project. The time has come to take a birds-eye view of the different options. Just like 3D mapping, the only way to get a birds-eye view is from a helicopter!

Helicopter doing the Disney World 3D Mapping

Breaking News

On June 17, 2020, news broke around the possible of Walt Disney World 3D mapping the Magic Kingdom. Thanks to BlogMickey, we got information on a low flying helicopter making a grid pattern over the house of the mouse. Attached to the front of the chopper was a special camera that was later confirmed to be for 3D mapping. Fast-forward a few days and we saw the same grid pattern take place over the other Disney World parks.

If Disney were looking for an opportunity to 3D map the parks, there is no time like the present. It’s not often Disney has the opportunity to film the parks empty, especially midday. With the Disney World parks gearing up to begin reopening on July 11, 2020, Disney is definitely making the most of the opportunity.

Passholder Insights: When the Disney World parks reopen all guests will be required to make a park reservation for entry to any of the parks. For information on how to make parks reservations please reference the following guide.

Close of the camera doing the Disney World 3D Mapping

Option One

Park Operations. As Aladdin would say, it’s a whole new world. One of the options for the Disney World 3D mapping is around managing crowds as it relates to social distancing. By creating a 3D environment Parks Operations and Imagineering could in theory test out every possible vantage point for new nighttime shows while keeping social distancing measures in check. For example, fireworks at the Magic Kingdom that would not require all guests to be in front of the castle. Instead, Disney could use the majority of the park to create viewing areas to keep guest social distant while providing a nighttime show.

Additionally, Park Options could apply this technology to a variety of situations from character caravans to how to best handle crowd control when the parks close for the night.

Passholder Insights: History tells us that Disney create a variety of projects that we as guests may or may not see.

Option Two

Imagineering. Have you seen the Imagineering Story on Disney Plus? If you haven’t, as part of the show Disney shows you a room where the Imagineers can use Virtual Reality (VR) to see how new ideas fit within the parks. The framework of the current VR technology uses basic graphics. Think of a simple layout like Animal Crossing on the Nintendo Switch. The second option for the Disney World 3D mapping is for an upgrade version of the Imagineering VR technology.

With an updated VR the Imagineers could use the new Disney World 3D mapping of the parks for better visualizations on how new rides, shows, and experiences could fit into the park. We could see this being used for more realistic presentations on potential projects and how they’re revealed and viewed within the parks, in conjunction with the infamous concept art of the project.

Passholder Insights: At Disney Springs you’ll find an AR experience called the VOID. The VOID usually offers a couple of different environments to explore and partake in like Star Wars and Wreck-It Ralph.

flight path for the Disney World 3D mapping of the Magic Kingdom

Option Three

You leave the best for last, right? Is that how this blogging thing goes? Well, we hope so or we’ve been doing it all wrong. The last option for the Disney World 3D mapping is for the guest experience. We’re talking updated maps either within the My Disney Experience app or potentially a new app. This would be similar to the 3D mapping you’d find within Google maps today. Could you imagine clicking on a restaurant and getting a 3D map on how to find it?

The guest experience expands beyond just the maps. What if Disney used the technology to improve Memory Maker? No one wants a castle picture with the cranes in the background. If Cinderella’s Castle and the surrounding areas are mapped Disney could remove aspects of the picture like the cranes very easily.

Passholder Insights: The traditional castle picture is in front of the castle. If you’re looking for a different angle head towards Sleepy Hollow Refreshments and look for the PhotoPass photographer for a side angle picture.

Our Thoughts

The options are endless. Disney could go a variety of options with the Disney World 3D mapping. At the moment, Disney has not announced or stated how they plan to use the 3D maps. More than likely we may never find out, especially if the project is used for behind the scenes type of work. For now, we can let our imaginations run while on what Disney could be up to. Alright, looks like it’s time to land this helicopter!