Over at TouringPlans, there's some uploads of the new WDW park maps coming this Sunday (3/3): http://blog.touringplans.com/2013/02...ing-march-3rd/
Overall, I really like them. Here's some of my thoughts:
Themed Typefaces - When Disney introduced the current maps in the late 90s, the parks lost their identity in the maps. At least with some themed typefaces, it feels more like each park has their own identity.
They feel like an App - Disney did a wonderful job at blending the style of MyDisneyExperience app with the printed map. This type of consistency is something that's been lacking at WDW for a while.
Top Down View - Big fan of the top-down view, as it's what the classic maps used, and what today's Google Maps users are used to for navigation. The old isometric views were starting to feel a little dated. Glad they kept a North-up cartography on all maps, even DHS (which now looks really weird).
However, there are a few things I don't like:
The icons are really cluttered - There are TOO MANY ICONS. A legend shouldn't take up that much of the map. Would have been nice to combine items.
Mismatched typefaces from the signs in the park - Would have been nice to see them line them up on what's on signs in the park. Oddly enough, the Animal Kingdom land names on the map use the same typeface that's on Epcot's new signage. Same for "Tomorrowland" in Magic Kingdom, it's the Epcot sign typeface.
That odd circled phrase (like "Fantasy Reigns") - It looks like cheap Microsoft Word WordArt.
Sparkles - There's too much pixie dust in the design, it's a little distracting.
Non-North aligned parks look weird - While the Epcot map looks good, the Hollywood Studios map looks really bad, with it's strange layout. The park would have looked better with an Eastern-Up arrangement. At the same time, I'm glad they didn't do this for consistency's sake. Shows how bad DHS's layout really is.
There's also some content oddities:
Main Street Vehicles are gone! - Not listed as an attraction. Sign of things to come? Or just lowering expectations?
"Song of the South" is called out on the Magic Kingdom map for Splash Mountain - Might this be a change in this film's company opinion?
'Sum of all Thrills' is called out as an Attraction - But other aspects of Innoventions aren't.
De-emphasis of pavilions at Epcot - 'Universe of Energy' and 'The Seas with Nemo and Friends' are not written on the map. "The Land" and "Imagination!" do remain.
No sections at DTD - While the docks are listed with their name, the "West Side"/"Pleasure Island"/"Marketplace" dividers are gone.
DTD 'Leaving the area' references getting to Theme Parks - Wait, didn't they want to discourage this?
Overall, a better layout and something that was needed to be done. I think they feel really modern and really tie the whole experience together! Now they just need to update the ugly purple/black/yellow street signage to match (and conform to NHTSA standards).