The Best Theme Park Virtual Tours Ever?
The Busch theme parks (now known collectively as SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment) have teamed up with Google to provide virtual walk-through tours using Google Maps Street View. In case you’ve been living under a rock, or still use MapQuest :), Street View allows you to get an on-the-ground view of streets in Google Maps. Until now, these views have only been available where cars could travel to capture the images. Recently, Google came up with the Google Trike that will allow them to shoot places where cars can’t go, like theme parks. Here’s a screen shot and some details from the official press release.
Soon, Street View for other popular parks, including Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay and Williamsburg, Va., Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa., Adventure Island in Tampa and Water Country USA in Williamsburg, will be available. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment operates 10 U.S. theme parks.
Nearly every inch of the 10 theme parks was mapped using one of Google’s “Trikes.” A state-of-the-art camera automatically gathered photographs from the back of a modified bicycle. Google software then blended the images, creating the famous, interactive and completely moveable 360-degree scenes Street View is known for.
And the best way to make sure every show, splash, adventure and world-class thrill ride was mapped? The 250-pound Trike, complete with camera and GPS mounted on a mast, was pedal-powered by a Google staff member. Consider it the ultimate mix of technology, both high and low. -SeaWorld Orlando
The Best Team Up Since Jay-Z & Linkin Park
I’m going to try temper my excitement a bit, but this is a very cool collaboration from two of my favorite companies. When the Busch Gardens parks street views are available, I’ll finally be able to show my friends who haven’t been to the parks, just how great those parks look. Whether you’re a mega fan of these parks or not, you have to admit that this is about the best way to check out a park before you visit it. I’m sure that Street View will be available for more parks in the future. Although, I guess some parks might not want these kind of views available online if they think that there’s something that might turn potential visitors off. The Busch parks have nothing to worry about because their parks (at least the three that I’ve visited) are immaculate. Read the full press release.
Check out this video of the Google Trike mapping SeaWorld Orlando:
What’s Your Take?
While I know that you can’t be as excited as I am about this, what do you think of the new Google Street Views of the Busch Parks? Leave a comment below.