Disney World Report

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Randy Savicky
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Disney World Report

Well I'm back from Disney World. It was a much more pleasant experience than August 2003 which was muggy, hot, and long lines at the attractions.

This time my wife and I did our homework. We got to the parks at the opening (instead of sleeping in late), used the FastPass system efficiently this time around, and were able to cover an entire park by 1:30pm each day and then go back to the hotel and relax by the pool.

I took some GPS coordinates of various Disney attractions. I'll post a link in my blog in a few days. Let me know if you find them useful.

The GPS (Destinator software running on an iPaq) really came in handy when driving the rental car to the parks and back to the hotel.

I saw one car filled with a family of 6 pull over to the median on a highway on-ramp, and I could see the driver (couldn't see if the husband or wife) with a map rolled out onto the steering wheel.

What ever happened to the passenger being the navigator? Maybe the passenger is bad at reading maps, who knows?

In any event, as I passed him on the on-ramp, I could only smile as my trusty GPS was guiding me back to my hotel. I was tempted to pat my trusty GPS like I would one of my two dogs, but I didn't want my wife to think I'm crazy. She already thinks I've got "gadget on the brain".

Now here's a really interesting use of GPS. If you've ever been to Disney World and parked in their parking lots, you know how massive they are and how difficult it can be to find your car.

Well, not for me! I simply parked my car, pulled out my Ipaq, loaded Pocket Streets, and mapped the coordinates. When using Pocket Streets it doesn't give you audio cues so I had to visually navigate myself back to the car, but it sure helped save time!

In fact, one night while my wife was back at the hotel I went to EPCOT. Now, I knew I had to be out of the park quickly after the Illuminations fireworks/laser show. Once that ends, thousands of people make a mass exodus resulting in long delays getting out of there.

Well you should have seen me run holding the iPaq in one hand and the car's remote keyless entry remote in the other. You should have seen the looks I got as I ran as fast as I could with this bright glowing screen being held in front of my face!

As I "honed" in on my "target" using the GPS I was frantically pressing the car remote to set off the car horn so I could find the car quickly. Time was of the essence!

The GPS was only accurate to about 30 feet, so pressing the remote definitely helped. I was one aisle over from the car.

I quickly dashed to the car, hooked up the GPS and was one of the first cars out of the lot! phew, I made it before the mass exodus arrived!

As I am fond of saying - "I'm all about the efficiency!" : )

UPDATE: 08/13/04 I added the Disney GPS Coordinates to this blog entry:
My Favorite Disney GPS Coordinates



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