The death of park maps (aka bitter old man yells at cloud)

In the past year I have been to several parks that no longer make park maps, and this saddens me (don’t complain below how it’s the environmentaly correct thing to do and I should this use the app, this is my thread to vent, and you know exactly what you clicked on when you opened this thread.)

This saddens me for two reasons, one I collect them and actually enjoy looking back at old park maps, and two I would always grab a map for every day that I visited and then at the end of the year count up how many parks I visited. This appears to be a dying art form, this used to be the one free souvenir you could get (besides your tickets) and it’s going away. Heaven forbid you lose your phone or your battery dies. Is it really too much to ask for a paper back up, sigh, I’m getting old.

Anyone else morn their passing?

Last edited by Touchdown,

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

Jeff's avatar

Which parks are you referring to? Even Kennedy Space Center has paper maps, in several languages.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Of the major parks I've been to this year, Sea World San Antonio, Adventureland IA, and Six Flags St. Louis haven't had maps. Another (Six Flags Over Texas) pretty much only had them right at the front entrance as you walked in, but if you decided you needed one at any other point, you were out of luck.

Last year, Valleyfair and Elitch Gardens didn't have maps either. No idea if they've returned this year or not.

99er's avatar

Ya'll tried asking at Guest Services for a map? And I mean the actual location and not an employee near the gate. I wouldn't be surprised if some of these parks have them but don't advertise it to the masses and save them for the small crowd that doesn't have a smart phone.


Jeff's avatar

My only annoyance is that I don't want to download your worthless app. Post your map as a PDF on your "web site" and I'm happy to download it.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

birdhombre's avatar

The several times I've been to Cedar Point this year, they haven't had paper maps either. As someone who works in a print center, I can tell you glossy paper is extremely hard to come by in any sort of volume this year, thanks to the same raw material/supply chain issues affecting, well, everything. So that also gives the parks a convenient excuse to dispense with maps entirely, although in theory they could use uncoated paper.

I'm with Touchdown as far as wanting to collect park maps from my travels and occasionally looking back on them. I don't typically use them while in the park though, or if I do, I grab a clean, unmangled copy on the way out. I don't mind using phone app maps, so long as the app map isn't crap.

For me, a viable alternative from an "archival" standpoint would be a decent PDF. And by decent I mean one that actually has labels on it instead of just the artwork. Bonus points if it's better quality than screen resolution so you can actually zoom in and... y'know, use the map.


-Cedar Point

-Sea World San Diego

-Busch Gardens Williamsburg

All of which advertised that they had gone “all digital” and removed any stands from their parks. Confirmed at Guest Relations for all but BGW.

Last edited by Touchdown,

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

Sucks for people that don't have smartphones. Hopefully, as 99er suggested, they would be available upon request.

Jerry - Magnum Fanatic
Famous Dave's- 206 restaurants - 35 states - 2 countries

Brent Sullivan's avatar

I agree with Touchdown. It is sad that they no longer have paper maps. The apps are nice and I enjoy using them, but I shouldn't have to pull it out for everything. Besides, it gives me something to look at while waiting for a ride that doesn't allow phones! :)

*Side note... I still have my paper maps from the first time I went to Disney World as a kid. Probably around 1988 and it is fun to pull them out every so often and look at them and how the park used to look.

Vater's avatar

I kinda don’t mind that paper maps are becoming a thing of the past, only because my collection has nearly outgrown the box I keep it in. I don’t want to have to get a new box.

In all honesty, I just don’t collect them anymore. I used to collect souvenir drink cups but they took up so much space I bit the bullet and threw them all out over a decade ago. I don’t miss them. I kept the maps because they don’t require a spare room like the one all my bags of money are in (hmm…now I have to find that meme).

LostKause's avatar

IIRC, Last year, Holiday World was advertising that it was going to be the last year to get a paper map. The small paper maps that they did have were for sale in the gift shop. I don't remember how much I paid for it, but I'm thinking three dollars.

I used to draw fantasy park maps when I was a kid. It was pre-RCT, but the same idea. Because of that, I have a huge appreciation for the art form.


My only annoyance is that I don't want to download your worthless app. Post your map as a PDF on your "web site" and I'm happy to download it.

This X1000. I am perfectly capable of reading a map. I don't need GPS in the app telling me that I'm going the wrong way.

kpjb's avatar

I never get maps... unless it's a park I'm not familiar with, in which case I always do to get a good idea of where I am and to see what's around me. On my phone that requires multiple zoom in and outs, and I still can't truly get a good lay of the land looking at something that small. I like to sit down at lunch and to see everything at once without filtering between types of rides, attractions, food, etc.


If you are going to "require" an app to enjoy the full experience (I'm looking at you Disneyland/MyDisney) then you better make charging the phones easier. At Disneyland I paid for Genie Plus and felt it really did add value for us. But, I was facing power issues both days at the park because I was on the app so much. I brought a charging cord around with me but simple things like power outlets aren't easy to come by. Have someplace to charge the phone while I'm sitting in a restaurant at least. For what those drinks cost you could afford to give me a little electricity.

Yes, I had charging blocks on me but it really should be a little easier than that.

And yes, I want a paper map (says the old man who still gets the newspaper in print).

Schwarzkopf76's avatar

Those big park maps - the fold out one with characters flying out of coaster trains and people hanging out of spin rides? Totally miss em! Back in the day I remember there were 2 companies that did the big cartoon ones for the big parks; each had their own look. Then some parks had smaller ones; World's of Fun had a much smaller map, all printed in red - perhaps this was in reference to Orient Express. Wish I still had that!

Maps were a major collectors item for many of us back then... now it's all online, the idea of carrying anything around (but a damn phone) is dated. Ahh... the memories of maps and orange ponchos hanging off Racer's structure.

Jeff's avatar

wahoo skipper:

I'm looking at you Disneyland/MyDisney

The specific problem there, at least in the WDW model, is that by default it pings GPS continuously, which is a huge battery suck. On Android, I can remove that permission and everything still works. It doesn't need to know where I am.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

But how else can it give you push notifications for suggestions that you don't have any interest in? :)

99er's avatar

I am sure the parks love it because of the cost savings and also it is a lot less trash on the midways. But it's odd to me that Cedar Point and Knott's would do away with them but not the rest of the chain. I'm guessing because of research or the lack of people grabbing maps each morning would cause this?


Sea World San Antonio had them last week when I went. But you had to really search for them. They were prominently pushing the scan code thing so you could open it up in your phone.


But how else can it give you push notifications for suggestions that you don't have any interest in? :)

Surprisingly I got no notifications on my phone last month, except when a ride went down during our Genie+ reservations. Maybe because I never set up Genie regular?

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