The Magic Kingdom. The Happiest Pace on Earth. A family vacation in the Florida sun. Nothing could disturb this paradiseâ€¦ until your three-year-old has to respond to natureâ€™s call right now.
But waitâ€”you donâ€™t have to begin a mad dash from one end of the Magic Kingdom to the other. Just whip out your iPhone, launch any one of UPinPoint.comâ€™s mobile guides to Disney World, and discover, via the appâ€™s helpful maps that thereâ€™s a restroom behind the Cinderella store just a few steps away. And with that, your Disney vacation is saved.
UPinPoint.com sells several different pocket guides for Disneyâ€™s Florida theme parks. Theyâ€™re essentially maps that help you navigate your way around the park, helping you find attractions, dining options, andâ€”yes, fellow parents of small childrenâ€”restrooms. As of this writing, UPinPoint sells three mini guides, covering the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Epcot Center. It also offers the WDW Maps Box Set, which combines those three apps plus ones for Hollywood Studios and Downtown Disney. (The developer says a map for Disneyâ€™s Blizzard Beach will be added to the Box Set soon.)
With these mini guide maps loaded onto your phone, you might be standing in a crowd between the chipmunks, ducks and giant mice, and yet, with a touch on your iPhone, get a Tinkerbellâ€™s-eye view of the whole park so you can plot your path through the crowd and get to the next attraction.
The Gangâ€™s All Here: WDW Maps Box Set includes guides to multiple Disney World properties. (The developer has just added a map for the Hollywood Studios park.)
With the Box Setâ€”on sale for $4 as of this writingâ€”you can be in any Disney Orlando property, click the locate button in the bottom left-hand corner and your iPhone will find you on the Disney map. (This GPS-friendly feature works in each of the individual maps as well.)
Each of the individual Mini Guides provides an artfully rendered map of the pertinent theme park. Within the map, you can find the location of every attraction, restaurant and restroom. You can navigate by touching icons and dragging around on the map, or you can search for a specific place and then have it located for you on the map.
Beyond the mapping, the apps offer additional information. Tapping the icon for an attraction or restaurant reveals more detailsâ€”in the restaurantâ€™s case, for example, a description, cost range, and Web link to menus for lunch, dinner and, a kidâ€™s menu (if applicable). For attractions, you get a short description, estimated length of ride, and the type of experience you can expect (e.g., slow moving boat ride.) All of this is very useful to inform the decision of â€œShould we wait in this 60-minute line behind these screaming babies?â€
If youâ€™re planning a trip to Orlando any time soon, the box setâ€”or any of the individual $1 mapsâ€”make for a fine traveling companion.
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