|Click for larger version.|
This coming week starts a new age of Walt Disney World Guide Maps, one that seems to have learned from the mistakes and problems of the previous, while embracing new design and technology.
- Death By Labels
|Magic Kingdom, November 2012. Click for larger version.|
- Unimportant Features
|Disney Hollywood Studios, November 2012. Click for larger version.|
The AT-AT in the room here is the focus on eye candy and action over visual guidance.
- Up is Down, Cats and Dogs Living in Harmony
|Epcot, November 2012. Click for larger version.|
|Animal Kingdom, November 2012. Click for larger version.|
|Animal Kingdom, March 2013. Click for larger version.|
- Logical Labels
|Magic Kingdom, March 2013. Click for larger version.|
Numbers only! Reduction on unnecessary icons and symbols! Only restaurants and attractions are numbered and the amount of symbols used is drastically reduced to life saving devices, restrooms, smoking areas, and characters. Photo spots, PhotoPass, parade parking, and more are cut adrift for a more cohesive visual theme.
- Reduction of Clutter
|Disney Hollywood Studios, March 2013. Click for larger version.|
Okay okay, there's still ONE explosion. A significant amount of visual clutter has been removed compared to the old maps. Trees are textures & tall structures are viewed from an overhead perspective and not highlighted to stand out. Visual stimulation for stimulation's sake has been removed. Tacky fonts and logos have also been removed or scaled down (ex: no New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom map).
- True North & Scale
|Epcot, March 2013. Click for larger version.|
True north allows for directional reference; that's good for Epcot. And by getting rid of isometric views and sticking with a straight down perspective, what you see is what you get for scale and location. The scale no longer is skewed for features deemed more important. Whole attractions are not the size of lands, icons don't stand 300 feet tall, and walkways and their locations are accurately depicted. Distances and sizes are no longer obfuscated, allowing for easier traversal of the parks.
The new WDW Guide Maps are an improvement compared to the style-over-substance last generation of maps. My Disney Experience app is integrated and embraced for those looking for more information and a personalized experience (though Mickey's index finger does look freaky ET like). Overall, it's an improvement, and hopefully one signifying a shift in how the parks are viewed and advertised; less surpufulbous fluff, more what the parks actually offer.