We're just weeks away from spring break, and another week-long school vacation where the kids are just itching to get out of the house.

Why not take them on a trip to both Walt Disney World and Disneyland?

I'm here to tell you that you can give your whole family the Disney experience for just about $500.

Well, it's not the full experience. You won't have to wait in line for hours in the heat and humidity of Florida. No shelling out a week's paycheck just to buy the family lunch for one afternoon. Overpriced games and souvenirs won't be part of the package, unless you want to order some park swag online.

No, this is the Disney vacation you can take right from your couch.

Google Maps recently added 11 Disney parks to Google Street View, allowing you to roam through the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney Hollywood Studios, and even the Typhoon Lagoon water park, along with other areas. The big difference is that you control how fast you move through the parks--not the throngs of park-goers around you that hold you up from getting to where you really want to be while they stop and gawk at a ride, or have to bend over to tie their kid's shoes a dozen times (just don't get creeped out by all the blurred-out faces of everyone around you).

Google Maps
Google Maps

So where does the $500 come in?

Well, that's the price of a decent 50-inch, 4K ultra high definition Smart TV. Set that bad boy up in your living room, connect it to the YouTube app, and get ready to experience every ride Disney has to offer. Already have one? #Winning! That's even more money you just saved off the price of an actual Disney trip!

The savvy Street Viewer can sync up POV (first-person "point of view") ride videos from YouTube with their position on the Google Map, blending together a perfectly interactive Disney experience. From The Haunted Mansion to Pirates of the Caribbean to Space Mountain--heck, even the Monorail--you get a front-row seat for the entire ride, minus the long wait to get on it. And you can ride them all as many times as you want!

Now, before you say It's not the same! I dare you to watch a few of these videos on a big screen and tell me if you don't start to feel the adrenaline rush, just as you would if you were being whipped around in the cart yourself.

If you need some authentic park munchies, you can always pick up some caramel corn and corndog nuggets from the supermarket. And if you can't do Disney without the legendary Dole Whip, here's a recipe so you can make them at home.

So give your family a "Disney staycation" that's pretty close to the real thing--except with much better parking.


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