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Britain’s top visitor attractions now available on Google Street View

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Related: Hersheypark and The Hotel Hershey Now on Google Maps / Merlin to Open Three New Attracions in Blackpool as Part of Regeneration Programme

Alton Towers Resort, Chessington World of Adventures, LEGOLAND, Windsor, THORPE PARK and SEA LIFE in Weymouth

Today Google announced that it is working with Europe’s top visitor attraction operator Merlin Entertainments to launch the first ever Street View imagery of some of the UK’s favourite attractions. 360 degree street level imagery of the country’s No 1 theme park resort – Alton Towers Resort; Chessington World of Adventures; LEGOLAND, Windsor; the nation’s thrill capital; THORPE PARK; and the fantastic SEA LIFE attraction in Weymouth – can all now be explored from your computer before you set out. It makes planning a day trip with the family easier than ever before.

Users can not only familiarise themselves with the layout of each of the individual attractions online before they leave home, but also navigate the best route around them and decide which locations to make a bee-line for, in order to make sure they see and do everything they want to and get the very best out of their day.

The images were taken by the Google Trike (a three wheeled bike with camera equipment attached to it) last year towards the end of summer, and are not real time. The imagery was then processed and carefully stitched together before being added to Google Street View today.

‘We are delighted to be working with Google on this exciting new project, and think it will add an invaluable service to our visitors, ’ said Mark Fisher Managing Director Resort Theme Parks for Merlin Entertainments. ‘As attractions like theme parks have grown to offer so many more rides and activities, it can be difficult to fit everything in without a bit of planning!  Street View will add another dimension to the other tools that we offer our visitors to help in this, and we look forward to adding the facility to more of the Merlin attractions in time.‘

Laura Scott, spokeswoman for Google Street View said:

“With summer around the corner and the family clamouring for some adventure, Street View should prove the ideal planning tool for a great day out at any of these exhilarating locations”

Vicki Smith, Marketing Director for Thorpe Park, commented: “With some of Europe’s most extreme rollercoasters on offer at Thorpe Park, Google Street View provides our guests with a fantastic platform to see all of the thrilling rides we have on offer, prior to their visit.”

Google safeguards privacy by blurring faces where they are identifiable and provides the easily accessible ‘report a problem’ tool for flagging inappropriate or sensitive imagery for review and removal. Where blurring tools have missed the odd face anybody can report these to us and we’ll apply extra blurring.

Many of Britain’s top attractions have invited Google to come and photograph them for Street View and help them attract new visitors. They include The Eden Project, Stonehenge, Warwick Castle, Bamburgh Castle and 19 National Trust properties, all of which can be visited at maps.google.co.uk.

New for 2010 at these attractions (not on Street View) – world first terrifying Th13teen coaster at Alton Towers Resort; blood curdling SAW and SAW Alive – extreme live action horror maze at THORPE PARK; fantastic new animals in Wild Asia or brave the Kobra at Chessington World of Adventures;  Pirates Landing – a whole new land of fun at LEGOLAND Windsor; and fantastic new Shark Breeding Centre at Weymouth.

About Google Street View

Street View was first launched in May 2007 and is the hugely popular street-level mapping feature in Google Maps. Imagery is available in over 20 countries around the world. The most up to date list of countries can be found here

About Merlin Entertainments Group:

Merlin Entertainments Group is the leading name in location based family entertainment, and has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last six years. Europe’s No 1, and the world’s second largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin has 61 attractions, 6 hotels and two holiday villages in 13 countries, across 3 continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 38.5 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and 15, 000 employees.

Merlin Entertainments operates the following attractions – SEA LIFE – the world’s biggest aquarium brand, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The Merlin Entertainments London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, THORPE PARK, Chessington World of Adventures, Heide Park, and Earth Explorer. All brands which are distinctive, challenging and innovative – and which have great potential for growth in the future.

For further information please contact:

Merlin Entertainments
Sally Ann Wilkinson/Penny Roberts: 020 8899 6110   Mob: 07774 415372
saw@thefirmcomms.com

Google
Laura Scott
Communications & Public Affairs Manager, Google
Press Line: +44 20 7031 3130 Mob: +44 7782 303 719
laurascott@google.com

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