July 3, 2007

Virtual Disney

A site called WDWLIVE has this webcam that overlooks Main Street USA in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. At first, it is easy to be fooled, because it isn't actually a live shot. Only the Disney company could set up a live cam in the park, so what WDWLIVE has done is the next best thing. Here is their explanation:

Is this a LIVE web cam? Of course not. Only Disney could offer something like that. Instead, we offer you dynamic video footage looking down Main Street U.S.A. Depending on the time of day you visit our web cam, the video adjusts itself to reflect real "daylight" conditions. Our unique algorithm also randomizes the video you see within the time block of your visit. And if you visit at just the right time, you might be lucky enough to get a glimpse of Share a Dream Come True, SpectroMagic or Wishes!

The footage was filmed over several trips to the World, starting in 2004 (like the near-empty Main Street video that plays late at night) and the latest being in September 2006 (that's why the Castle has the mirror but not all the spirals). In all there are about 300 clips and almost 4 hours of footage. Some clips play at specific times, like Share a Dream at about 3:10 pm, Spectromagic around 9:00 pm and Wishes at 10:00 pm. Other time periods have a set of clips (usually around 10 to 20) that randomly play (but not the same twice in a row). The SAME SET of 300 clips play every day.

The cam is not perfect. It will not match the sunlight conditions 100% perfectly, nor will it match the weather in anyway. In short, do not take the cam too seriously. It is just something that has been created for fun … something to give WDW fans (like myself) their greatly needed Walt Disney World "fix" ... to get that feeling of "being there" without actually being there. Enjoy it for what it is.

What struck me initially about the footage are all the sounds. It actually sounds like the happiest place on Earth! Check it out.

Here's a pretty good video someone made in the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland (practically identical to the one at Disney World):

This is video (mostly dark, but great sounds) of the Peter Pan's Flight (probably my favorite the last time I was there back in 1976) at Disneyworld:

And a great video of the Alice in Wonderland ride in Fantasyland at Disneyland:

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