The online social gaming Disney site, Virtual Magic Kingdom, is ending May 21. That recent announcement from Disney, though it included hints of future similar sites, has upset some fans.
The free site (also called VMK) was designed as an online promotion for Disneyland’s 50th anniversary.
VMK includes virtual representations of the five lands in the park and lets players choose and style their avatars (online characters – like that at left from the VMK site), chat with other players (moderated by Disney) and play online games (like the virtual Adventureland at right shown on the VMK site).
“It exceeded our expectations in terms of performance to the point that we left it open much longer than originally anticipated. All good promotions must come to an end, so we have decided the time is right to close VMK. We plan to offer free online promotions that will continue to engage our parks and resorts guests in new and entertaining ways on the web.”
John Frost over at The Disney Blog writes that he never played the game, but he says Disney should find a way to keep the site, even if it means players must pay to play.
And more fan reactions can be found in the Mice Chat forums. On just one thread there are so far 16 pages of comments reacting to the closure.
With the ending of VMK, fans are wondering what to do next. Disney’s suggestion written on the VMK site is to look at this “as a new beginning.” Disney goes on to suggest its other online games like Pirates of the Caribbean Online(screenshot at left), Disney’s ToonTown Online, Club Penguin and the upcoming Fairies and Cars online virtual worlds.
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