Walt Disney World

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Walt Disney World, Florida
latitude: 28.38, longitude: -81.56
Browse Walt Disney World map 28° 22′ 48″ N, 81° 33′ 36″ W
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Walt Disney World is a resort complex in Florida at latitude 28° 22′ 48″ North, longitude 81° 33′ 36″ West.

Walt Disney World Resort is an enormous resort complex located to the south of Orlando, it is currently in the process of being mapped and this page is intended to serve as a log of the conventions used to map out one of the world's most popular tourist destinations. The property is considerably different than most areas, because it's a full municipal system designed from the ground up as a tourist destination.

One consequence of this design is that most roads are designed to move traffic as efficiently as possible, so there are many long, sweeping turns and one-way streets with complicated interchanges even inside less significant roads like parking aisles. Another example is that the property is very much a network of barriers. From gates preventing access to service roads and "back-stage" areas to bollards separating parking lots from tram lines, from toll booths and bag checks at the parks to permission gates at the resorts, there's a large number of barriers involved that should be mapped properly in order to route properly.

In addition, there are really two different types of mapping involved at a complex like Walt Disney World. Outside the parks themselves, mapping follows typical street mapping procedures, but inside the gates, the pedestrian is king, so mapping is more focused on buildings and footways. There are some areas where some vehicles are permitted, but only by park employees for show purposes, so there's no real reason to mark them as accessible by any vehicles at all.

Data sources

In accordance with OSM policy, no copyrighted maps may be used for reference during this process. Therefore, none of Disney's official maps can be used, even just for reference of attraction names and relative locations.

The best source of reference available for most areas of the resort (as of 2010) is the Yahoo aerials that can be seen in Potlatch at zoom 20. The images were taken in 2006, though, so any changes that have taken place since then will not be pictured.

An alternative source is a set of aerial photographs provided in the public domain by the Florida Department of Transportation. Matt has put together a tile server at http://matt.dev.openstreetmap.org/, which can be used within Potlatch by entering http://matt.dev.openstreetmap.org/disney/!/!/!.png as a custom URL. These images can also be used with the SlippyMap Plugin in JOSM. The images are from 2008, so they incorporate more recent changes to the property, but they get a bit blocky at zoom 19 (the deepest available in this image set).

Beyond the aerial images, the main information we're currently allowed to use are personal observation on the property itself. If you've been there recently enough to remember details, feel free to add or correct information based on that. If you're planning a trip to the resort in the near future, please consider bringing a GPS to log your activity, so we have some traces to work with. In addition, any pictures of the streets and parks, particularly signage, would be appreciated, so we can verify things.

Lastly, Wikipedia can be used to verify the spelling of attraction names or the types of various attractions.

REMEMBER: Aerial images provided by Google Maps are off-limits for reference with OSM. Even though Potlatch doesn't support it anyway, it's tempting to peek at Google, because their images are much more up to date (sometime in 2010, it seems). You can obviously use Google for other reasons, but if you see something there that should be mapped here, do not map it without first finding it on an alternate (OSM-compliant) data source.

Throughout the property

TIGER fixup has been essentially completed on Disney property. National Hydrography Dataset data has been added for water features; swamps (natural=wetland) need some checking.

Parking lots

Walt Disney World is home to some of the largest, most complicated parking lots in North America. There are dozens of oneway parking aisles, which can be easily identified by their angled parking spots. Many of the larger lots also have names, which unfortunately can't be seen from the air; they must instead be identified and verified by visual inspection on-site.

Some lots include dedicated employee parking areas, which can usually be identified by being behind a gate. If a gate blocks one entrance to a lot but there seems to be another entrance elsewhere, that extra "entrance" is typically blocked off by bollards. The employee lot and all of its parking aisles should be tagged as access=private.

The lots for each of the four theme parks also feature one or two parking trams, which are separated from the main parking aisles by a long line of bollards. The tram lines are tagged with access=no and psv=yes. Even though the trams aren't public service vehicles according to the more common definition, they exist for transporting large groups of people, so the tag should be adequate.

Bus stops

Bus stops are easily distinguished by clustered angled notches in the sidewalk and solid white lines where buses park while loading and unloading. Each bus stop should be marked individually and tagged as highway=bus_stop, but destinations should only added after on-site inspection. Aerial photography is of no help in determining destinations and any existing maps are out of bounds for reference material.

At the parks

At the Disney parks before you are allowed into the park you must pass through a bag check where security personnel look through your bags to ensure safety of their guests. This barrier should be tagged as barrier=bag_check. Just beyond the bag check, each park contains a toll booth with turnstiles, which provides access to the interior of the park itself.

Once inside, the majority of mapping will be in the form of building=yes and highway=footway. Buildings should be marked as tourism=attraction, shop=gift or amenity=restaurant, depending on their purpose. Fences that block guest access to employee-only areas, often found at the outer edges of the parks, should be marked as barrier=gate and access=private, because nearly all of them can open for maintenance or or parade access.


Disney World has many types or rides for the guests to enjoy: roller coasters, carousels, scenic rail rides, safari tours, stage shows, and what is called a dark ride. Rides should be tagged as tourism=attraction and attraction=*. The tag attraction=dark_ride should be applied to rides that are housed entirely within a building such as Pirates of the Caribbean at Magic Kingdom or Ellen's Energy Adventure at Epcot.

Some rides actually qualify as other, more common types of features, and should be tagged as such. The Jungle Cruise, for example, is a private river, while the Tomorrowland Transit Authority is actually an elevated railway. There's no definitive list of which attractions qualify for standard tags, but it should be fairly evident from looking at the attraction itself.

"Back stage"

Outside the guest boundaries, each park has several service roads and buildings that are blocked off by gates. The roads in these areas should be marked as service=driveway. Gates that bar access to service areas themselves should be marked as barrier=gate and access=private. The ways inside those gates should also be marked as access=private, in addition to however else they'd normally be tagged. One-way roads should be marked where known, as they are often distinguishable by the direction of parking spaces, arrows visible on the ground and the path of the road in intersections.

Buildings in these areas should be outlined, but should typically remain untagged. Since only park employees are allowed in these areas, it's highly unlikely that a volunteer mapper will have definitive knowledge of the purpose of each of these buildings, and we shouldn't speculate. One exception is if the purpose is if the purpose is obvious from aerial photography, such as a roundhouse having train tracks leading into it or a pumphouse attached to a water source with large pipes leading to a water attraction. Another would be to find a "notice of commencement" filed with the county government describing what the then-planned building will be used for.

The utilidors are off-limits at this point. There's no way to confirm their location from aerial photography and even if you take a paid tour through the tunnels, it's extremely unlikely that GPS would penetrate the surface, so GPS traces wouldn't be available either. One possibility would be using construction photographs to place them in relation to the attractions; there might be enough information in the 1969 FDOT aerial photos that someone with firsthand knowledge of their layout could map their location. Any current-day sources that provide information about their layout are likely derived from copyrighted maps. In order to use such a source, we'd need an officially-documented layout from a park representative and explicit written permission to derive and publish a map based on that documentation.


Walt Disney World is home to a wide range of hotels and a large campground. Most of the hotels are actually made up of several different buildings, sometimes numbering in the dozens. Each building should be outlined individually, as should all discernible footways that connect the buildings and the surrounding areas. One node, tagged with tourism=hotel, should be placed on the building that houses the main registration desk. That way, navigation systems can use that node as a destination for guests arriving at the hotel, without getting confused by all the individual buildings.

Wherever possible, swimming pools should be outlined and tagged with leisure=swimming_pool. There are no competitive swimming facilities on the Walt Disney World property, including at the Wide World of Sports complex, so there shouldn't be anything tagged as sport=swimming.


Given how much work is necessary to cover everything, it's useful to keep track of our status along the way. As you work through an area, estimate what percentage of its features you've completed and update the value here. 99% means that all ways, nodes, tags and relations are included for the given category. In order to reach 100%, the area must be reviewed by someone else, just to make sure we didn't miss anything.

Please be conservative with your estimates. A first pass will rarely result in high completion, so estimate lower than what you really think, because you'll probably find much more to be done when looking at it a second time.

TODO: Add status tables for golf courses, miniature golf, water parks, Wide World of Sports complex, shopping centers (and probably more)

NOTE: All roads and tracks must have tiger:reviewed=no removed in order to be considered complete

Resort-wide (by quadrant)
Category NW NE SW SE
Roads and tracks 85% 70% 40% 5%
Water 80% 25% 20% 10%
Land use 15% 0% 0% 0%
Buildings 70% 35% 5% 0%
Amenities 5% 0% 0% 0%
Theme parks
Category MK Epcot HS AK
Footways 95% 90% 70% 35%
Buildings 90% 65% 60% 20%
Attractions 80% 75% 60% 10%
Shops 10% 0% 0% 0%
Restaurants 20% 30% 5% 0%
Water 90% 85% 80% 70%
Parking lot 85% 100% 40% 5%
Bus stops 90% 90% 90% 70%
Service roads 85% 70% 40% 5%
Land use 15% 0% 0% 0%
Amenities 20% 15% 0% 0%
Resort hotels (by nearest park)
Category MK Epcot HS AK
Parking lot 85% 70% 40% 5%
Bus stops 0% 0% 0% 0%
Buildings 90% 65% 60% 20%
Footways 95% 90% 70% 35%
Shops 10% 0% 0% 0%
Restaurants 20% 0% 5% 0%
Water 90% 85% 80% 70%
Service roads 85% 70% 40% 5%
Land use 15% 0% 0% 0%
Amenities 10% 0% 0% 0%