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  1. #16

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    Virtual Magic Kingdom - Yes! / Enhanced Virtual Fastpass - No Way!

    Virtual Magic Kingdom promises to be great fun, on many levels. From viewing the preview site a week or two ago, I thought it appeared to be somewhat of an Internet take-off on Disney Quest - only free! As Kevin has pointed out, it will also crossover into a SIMS type of venue. My only gripe is that the preview site is not interactive. There's just a bunch of stuff to read and a few static pictures to look at. The whiney geek in me wishes I was of VIP status, so that I could be actually participating in the program right now. Still, it will arrive for everyone soon enough this summer.

    Let's just hope they don't introduce some sort of an "Enhanced Virtual Fastpass" system that would allow the cash rich to jump ahead of everybody else in the "virtual lines" iin order to be first to enjoy the "virtual rides" and other "virtual attractions" in a "virtually segregated" fashion. This would "virtually suck" enough to cause me to "virtually hurl"!
    Last edited by Ride Warrior; 05-26-2005 at 12:24 PM.

  2. #17

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    But VMK _is_ up and running now, and anyone can play. Click "Enter Game" on the left side of the screen. Or am I missing something?
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by davedc32
    What about the family who saves for years for the possibly single chance to visit WDW? Are they any less important than the rich family who can afford to just "drop everything" and pop in to WDW? Or the family who is rich enough. to make their annual or even semi-annual visits? Those of us who plan and hope and pray to just be able to get there deserves more than an "oh well, I guess we'll let you guys in to, just don't bother the rich folks, because that's who we really want" treatment or feeling. Disney Cruise already does this as you can stay at a Disney hotel, book thru Disney, do everything Disney, but if you are not rich enough to stay at an upscale hotel they leave you stranded and on your own to find someway to get to the ship from WDW. Who can afford it more anyway. The rich can hire a limo, pay for people to take their luggage, etc. Besides the rich don't normally like cavorting with us little people in crowded buses anyway. Isn't a public bus beneath them? I don't mind extras being extra (shopping, pictures, special clubs, food, etc. But Those of us who buy Disney, movies, music, have Disney TV, shop Disney, and have to do it on very limited budgets, shouldn't get the cold shoulder, I nean as a percenteage of our income it's a much higher amount of dedication to Disney than someone with money to burn. That should count for something more than the semi-cold shoulder.
    Disney needs to to design some sort of an added bonus program that recognizes and shows appreciation for working class tourists, especially families, that find the parks so significant (in terms of entertainment value) that they scrimp and save (sometimes for years) in order to take a trip. Money and happiness are two different things, and often they are direct opposites. The Happiest Place On Earth will cease to be lest Disney ever forget this philosophy, humble yet true.

    It all started with a little mouse back when a financially struggling Walt had suffered the loss of his first animated superstar, Oswald the Rabbit - stolen by a wealthy, financially flush company. Yet Walt Disney kept scrimping, saving...trying. Eventually, Mickey was born to the world, along with Walt's unique brand of happiness. Mr. Disney said himself that money didn't interest him so much - it was only what he could build with it in order to bring families together, and to allow us all to enjoy experiences that help us to escape from the work a day real world - and quite often, its unfairness.
    Last edited by Ride Warrior; 05-26-2005 at 12:27 PM.

  4. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee
    But VMK _is_ up and running now, and anyone can play. Click "Enter Game" on the left side of the screen. Or am I missing something?
    Thanks Kevin. According to an earlier announcement, it wasn't going to be up until sometime this summer. This is very much to their credit that they have it going sooner than expected!

  5. #20

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    I think a little too much is being read into the new possibilities. Of course Disney is going to make it as attractive as possible to stay at their resorts. And of course they're likely going to promote their deluxe resorts because it goes more to their bottom line. Who ever said Disneyland or Disney World were fair? Like Kevin mentioned, there were tickets for many years. My parents rarely bought tickets over and above our books, but we still had a great time. When they introduced passports initially, they were only available to people with the Magic Kingdom Club card. Having one usually meant you worked for a fairly large employer. It didn't matter whether you were a CEO or a janitor, you could still get the card and you could still buy the passport.

    I've stayed at places from the All Star to the Beach Club, even at Howard Johnson's in Kissimmee and I've never had a bad vacation experience. The cast members never treated me any differently. Enhanced Fastpass can't really affect much at Disneyland because there aren't that many rides with Fastpass there anymore. There are more at Disney World, but still, are all of these people going to go walk around to every attraction to pick up more fastpasses every time they become eligible to get more fastpasses?

    Life isn't fair either. I'm not even sniffing wealthy, but I've still been able to afford my share of Disney vacations. It's what you make of it. If you wander the parks wondering if everyone who is holding a fastpass is a rich jerk, then you're going to have a bad vacation. Or you can run over and beat them in line for a non-fastpass attraction and sell them your spot in line for $10.

    VMK looks very cool and it looks like I will no longer have any free time!

  6. #21

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    In the "world behind the berm" everyone is entitled to a great experience. The fact is, a vast number of people have always came to the parks in order to escape the rigors of reality. There are many types of unfairnes, besides monetary. Disney cannot and should not ever try to be complety fair to everyone. This would be impossible.

    For instance, everyone cannot afford to stay at an expensive on-site hotel. Yet, the beautiful hotels often serve as a beautiful backdraop for each person(s) visiting the Disney grounds. While inside any particular gate, however, people don't want to even think about the real world - its unfairness included. No paying customer shoud be made to feel significantly less than anybody else there.

    People on limited budgets can increase the enjoyment of their stay by using more reasonably priced lodging on site, or especially off site. They can also book more reasonably priced vacations thru AAA and other businesses than they can often achieve by going thru Disney itself. People do need to do less complaining, and concentrate their energies on getting the most bang for their buck - making a vacation cost effective. There is still no reason not to be empathetic or understanding toward folks, and their simple desire to share some happiness together.
    Last edited by Ride Warrior; 05-26-2005 at 04:44 PM.

  7. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neon Cactus
    I think a little too much is being read into the new possibilities. Of course Disney is going to make it as attractive as possible to stay at their resorts. And of course they're likely going to promote their deluxe resorts because it goes more to their bottom line.
    Life isn't fair either. I'm not even sniffing wealthy, but I've still been able to afford my share of Disney vacations. It's what you make of it. If you wander the parks wondering if everyone who is holding a fastpass is a rich jerk, then you're going to have a bad vacation. Or you can run over and beat them in line for a non-fastpass attraction and sell them your spot in line for $10.

    wouldn't constantly full or near full lower priced rooms be more in the interest of the bottom line? i don't know what % their deluxe rooms fill and there always seems to be larger discounts for the deluxe hotels than for the moderate and budget hotels. if this is the case, then middle america is the target audience. wouldn't it make sense to make the disney experience more enticing to thatgroup? unless, of course management is trying to fill deluxe rooms. heaven knows that the very well off are used to perks. why would they go somewhere they know wouldn't be up to their standards.? is this a case of what middle america doesn't know can't hurt their vacations?

    this is where i thank the universe for this site. this "insider" knowledge can help me navigate the system as i am cash lean at the moment. living on the west coast i have yet to be able to afford wdw. knowledge is power!

    i think i shall sell my place in line for 10 bucks!
    Sig by Poisonedapples!

  8. #23

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    Kevin, with all due respect, I haven't seen any evidence that an enhanced FastPass system will be limited to rich folks. Disney has never charged money for FastPass, or restricted it to Disney resort guests, much less made it for guests of deluxe resorts only. They've never even hinted at such. Am I missing something, or is this just wild speculation on your part?

  9. #24

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    As I said in my article, this is speculation. But it is based off the patent filing made by Disney. Here is a quote of that patent, in part: "[0248] a. Spending per guest at hotels can determine different hierarchies of access to Fastpass. Thus, the more that is spent by a patron, the higher the priority can be for Fastpass."
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neon Cactus

    If you wander the parks wondering if everyone who is holding a fastpass is a rich jerk, then you're going to have a bad vacation. Or you can run over and beat them in line for a non-fastpass attraction and sell them your spot in line for $10.
    Knowledge is power. The thing is that those who are truely knowledgeable understand the importance of wisdom. So, let's say you run out of gas in a rural area at 2:00 a.m, with a dead cell phone. The person that you sold your spot in line to for $10 (at either a Fastpass or non-Fastpass attraction) might offer to assist you for $500. Should you not have it, you will be S.O.O.L.
    Last edited by Ride Warrior; 05-26-2005 at 04:54 PM.

  11. #26

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    Ya know, in that game, it looks an awful lot like Habbohotel.com, you do basically the same thing, the characters look similar, and the voice bubbles are almost the same. But the graphics on the Disney one are /much/ better then on the other one. I wonder if Disney got the idea off them because the Habbo franchise has been around a /lot/ longer than the VMK thing... I dosen't really matter though since they aren't identical. I just wanted to point those similarities out since probably nobody else knew about it.

  12. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie_girl_450
    Ya know, in that game, it looks an awful lot like Habbohotel.com, you do basically the same thing, the characters look similar, and the voice bubbles are almost the same. But the graphics on the Disney one are /much/ better then on the other one. I wonder if Disney got the idea off them because the Habbo franchise has been around a /lot/ longer than the VMK thing... I dosen't really matter though since they aren't identical. I just wanted to point those similarities out since probably nobody else knew about it.
    I know someone who knows about these things and he told me months ago that it would be like Habbo hotel. And it is.













  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neon Cactus
    I think a little too much is being read into the new possibilities. Of course Disney is going to make it as attractive as possible to stay at their resorts. And of course they're likely going to promote their deluxe resorts because it goes more to their bottom line. Who ever said Disneyland or Disney World were fair? Like Kevin mentioned, there were tickets for many years. My parents rarely bought tickets over and above our books, but we still had a great time. When they introduced passports initially, they were only available to people with the Magic Kingdom Club card. Having one usually meant you worked for a fairly large employer. It didn't matter whether you were a CEO or a janitor, you could still get the card and you could still buy the passport.

    I've stayed at places from the All Star to the Beach Club, even at Howard Johnson's in Kissimmee and I've never had a bad vacation experience. The cast members never treated me any differently. Enhanced Fastpass can't really affect much at Disneyland because there aren't that many rides with Fastpass there anymore. There are more at Disney World, but still, are all of these people going to go walk around to every attraction to pick up more fastpasses every time they become eligible to get more fastpasses?

    Life isn't fair either. I'm not even sniffing wealthy, but I've still been able to afford my share of Disney vacations. It's what you make of it. If you wander the parks wondering if everyone who is holding a fastpass is a rich jerk, then you're going to have a bad vacation. Or you can run over and beat them in line for a non-fastpass attraction and sell them your spot in line for $10.

    VMK looks very cool and it looks like I will no longer have any free time!
    I know life isn't fair and for some of us less fair than most. Both of my parents were dead by age three, all my family diead before they turned 50. I swore that someway some how I would try and give my little girl somethings that I did not have. I grew up loving Disney from afar. My first trip to Disney was when I was about 22 and out at an USAF base in CA. the next time I was able to bake it back was about 15 years later. She loves Disney and GOD as my judge I have tried to let her have the hapiness and magic that Walt wanted for kids to have. This new plan and the way the "Corporate Disney is going, is NOT what Disney used to be. Make money yes, you have to to stay in business. But remember us people who scrimp and save and find ways to make Disney a part of our kids lives even when it means forgoing other stuff, pay a lot more of the bills for Disney than the rich folk do,I'll bet. There's a lot more of us. Reality exists outside the park. Walt's own feelings on this , he expressed many times. Yes, he had more expensive rides, but if you could only afford to ride it once, at least you got to ride it, it wasn't made unreachable simply due to your tax bracket. For some of us to save for a decent time spent in the parks is a once in a lifetime thing. Yes looking at others who get things in the park just because they are rich can spoil a trip but I do not begrudge them staying at the Grand, or renting the boat for Illuminations, if you have the money spend it. What I am saying is that your ability to enjoy the same basic rides that EVERYBODY paid to do, should not be predicated on your wallet. Good planning? yes, ability to organize? fine, knowledge and study? great. These are all some of the things that should get you a better seat or shorter line.

  14. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by davedc32
    I know life isn't fair and for some of us less fair than most. Both of my parents were dead by age three, all my family diead before they turned 50. I swore that someway some how I would try and give my little girl somethings that I did not have. I grew up loving Disney from afar. My first trip to Disney was when I was about 22 and out at an USAF base in CA. the next time I was able to bake it back was about 15 years later. She loves Disney and GOD as my judge I have tried to let her have the hapiness and magic that Walt wanted for kids to have. This new plan and the way the "Corporate Disney is going, is NOT what Disney used to be. Make money yes, you have to to stay in business. But remember us people who scrimp and save and find ways to make Disney a part of our kids lives even when it means forgoing other stuff, pay a lot more of the bills for Disney than the rich folk do,I'll bet. There's a lot more of us. Reality exists outside the park. Walt's own feelings on this , he expressed many times. Yes, he had more expensive rides, but if you could only afford to ride it once, at least you got to ride it, it wasn't made unreachable simply due to your tax bracket. For some of us to save for a decent time spent in the parks is a once in a lifetime thing. Yes looking at others who get things in the park just because they are rich can spoil a trip but I do not begrudge them staying at the Grand, or renting the boat for Illuminations, if you have the money spend it. What I am saying is that your ability to enjoy the same basic rides that EVERYBODY paid to do, should not be predicated on your wallet. Good planning? yes, ability to organize? fine, knowledge and study? great. These are all some of the things that should get you a better seat or shorter line.

    You're exactly right. Another column or two have been written since this thread, and I hope Neon Cactus reads your comments. I suppose you could always send them a private message, if you thought it worthwhile.
    Last edited by Ride Warrior; 05-28-2005 at 06:57 PM.

  15. #30

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    Habbo?

    Yes, VMK does look a lot like Habbo Hotel, and for a good reason. Check the Developer Credits -- Disney Interactive wasn't responsible for this game; Sulake was. And, of course, Sulake is the same company that created Habbo Hotel as well as Coke Studios.

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