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  1. #1

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    Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) Closing forever on May 21st.

    Disney announced today that VMK, the online Disney community, will be closing on May 21st. The game was originally set up for Disneylands 50th anniversary.

    Other Disney online games such as Pirates of the Carribean Online, ToonTown online, Club Penguin and the upcoming Fairies and Cars Online virtual worlds are not effected by this announcement.

    http://vmk.disney.go.com/vmk/en_US/c...NewsletterPage

    Recently several of you have been asking about how much longer VMK will last. Well today I have some news about our future.

    As many of you know, Virtual Magic Kingdom was created and launched back in 2005 as part of the Disneyland 50th Anniversary Celebration. VMK exceeded expectations in terms of performance, and as a result we extended the promotion (that is, VMK, the game) well beyond the 50th Celebration.

    Eventually though, all promotions must come to an end, so I'm announcing today that on May 21, 2008, VMK will open our virtual gates for the last time. You read that right: VMK was never intended to last forever – we'll close the game for good at the end of day on May 21st, 2008.
    This is not an April Fool's joke.

    Now we understand this news may be upsetting to you but let me explain. Again, VMK was launched as part of Disneyland's 50th Celebration in 2005 and the game has lived well beyond the originally intended time it was planned to run.

    Over time you've seen our in-Park presence and other parts of VMK go away. You may remember our V.I.P Tours at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, or our in-Park Quest. We didn't stop doing those things because we don't love the game or our Guests, but because the time to run those promotions ended.

    At Disney we're still committed to building communities and online virtual worlds – and we're looking forward to providing you the opportunity to enjoy other exciting new experiences.

    Don't look at VMK ending as a bad thing – think of it as a new beginning, a chance to explore something fresh and new! Think of it like school: You don't want to leave your old friends, but still, the time has come to graduate and move onto another great adventure.

    In the time since we've launched VMK, we've seen many players come and go, and we're hoping you will graduate from VMK too – in particular, to games like Pirates of the Caribbean Online, Disney's ToonTown Online, Club Penguin and the upcoming Fairies and Cars online virtual worlds. We think you'll find you enjoy those just as much as VMK – if not more.

    In the meantime, VMK will run like it always has, with great events and new items every week until we close – we might even fit in one or two more surprises along the way (of the virtual item kind).

    So what's going to happen to the VMK Staff when VMK closes? Well, we're all moving onto other projects here at Disney and positively looking ahead to the future. Me and a few other team members have already moved to other projects (but are still making sure VMK is running smoothly until it closes).

    I know that this is sad news for you, but we're all thankful we've had the opportunity to enjoy the game for as long as we did. Just know there are even cooler things on the horizon ahead, for you as players and for us as game creators.

    Why is this happening? Why are you closing Virtual Magic Kingdom?
    As Yavn mentioned in the Newsletter, VMK was created and launched as part of a promotion to celebrate Disneyland's 50th Anniversary.
    The game/promotion has ran well beyond the original time it was intended to.

    When is the last time I can play? The game will close at 10:00PM PST, Wednesday, May 21st, 2008.

    Will I still be able to buy cards and pins in the Parks?
    Yes, you can still buy VMK Cards and Pins at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Parks while supplies last but after May 21st, 2008 the codes will no longer work in the game.

    What will happen to the game and the website?
    The website will remain up for a few weeks to let people know what has happened, but you will not be able to log into the game after May 21th, 2008.

    What will happen to all my virtual stuff in VMK?
    Since the virtual items live only in VMK, you won't be able to access your VMK items or take them with you to another Disney Online Virtual World.

  2. #2

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    Re: Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) Closing forever on May 21st.

    Thank you for the information - there has already been a thread about this though


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  3. #3

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    Re: Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) Closing forever on May 21st.

    ^ Most people don't go to the VMK section. This is for the main Disney news forum.


  4. #4

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    Re: Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) Closing forever on May 21st.

    As many of you know, Virtual Magic Kingdom was created and launched back in 2005 as part of the Disneyland 50th Anniversary Celebration. VMK exceeded expectations in terms of performance, and as a result we extended the promotion (that is, VMK, the game) well beyond the 50th Celebration.
    Interesting how the team spins this, so they don't look like the bad guy.

    It will be sad to see VMK close, but it had a good run, and I think Disney ran into many challenges they didn't expect (code trading, ebaying of cards and accounts, etc.). The worst part is that all that great classic Disneyland inspired artwork will be gone.
    -Monorail Man

  5. #5

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    Re: Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) Closing forever on May 21st.

    Quote Originally Posted by Monorail Man View Post
    Interesting how the team spins this, so they don't look like the bad guy.

    It will be sad to see VMK close, but it had a good run, and I think Disney ran into many challenges they didn't expect (code trading, ebaying of cards and accounts, etc.). The worst part is that all that great classic Disneyland inspired artwork will be gone.
    Well they aren't the "bad guy." Nobody is really the "bad guy." It was a business decision. I mean I was surprised that it lasted beyond the 50th. Then again, I'm surprised Disneyland still has "Remember" and "POD"... They're just a bunch of slackers at Disney.


  6. #6

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    Re: Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) Closing forever on May 21st.

    It is to bad that there is not some way people could take their "stuff" or at least credit for their stuff if they migrate over to one of the other virtual Disney games. I mean you couldn't use items from the VMK in the Pirates game, but if they at least gave you credit some how for all the time spent earning the stuff (even if it is just pixels.)

    But it was a business decision, pure and simple. They have many other games both currently online and coming up that will probably generate them more income. And that is the bottom line.




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  7. #7

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    Re: Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) Closing forever on May 21st.

    Quote Originally Posted by penguinsoda View Post
    It is to bad that there is not some way people could take their "stuff" or at least credit for their stuff if they migrate over to one of the other virtual Disney games. I mean you couldn't use items from the VMK in the Pirates game, but if they at least gave you credit some how for all the time spent earning the stuff (even if it is just pixels.)

    But it was a business decision, pure and simple. They have many other games both currently online and coming up that will probably generate them more income. And that is the bottom line.
    Good suggestion, Pengy! I hope Disney will consider something like this for all the people that "lived" for VMK.


  8. #8

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    Re: Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) Closing forever on May 21st.

    This was a really fun game- mainly because of the great graphics!
    Mark

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  9. #9

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    Re: Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) Closing forever on May 21st.

    Was there any real reason besides "it was it's time"?
    Like did the number of players drop? Are they just trying to get more people to play the other games? Are they just focusing on the other games?

    I haven't been active for a while but this is kind of sad news


  10. #10

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    Re: Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) Closing forever on May 21st.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuzcochik View Post
    Was there any real reason besides "it was it's time"?
    Like did the number of players drop? Are they just trying to get more people to play the other games? Are they just focusing on the other games?

    I haven't been active for a while but this is kind of sad news
    I think they want to focus more on their paid games.


  11. #11

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    Re: Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) Closing forever on May 21st.

    Anybody up for a "Save VMK" petition? This really sucks....


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  12. #12

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    Re: Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) Closing forever on May 21st.

    Quote Originally Posted by IzzyInWonderland View Post
    Anybody up for a "Save VMK" petition? This really sucks....
    A thread was already started to petition the close of VMK.
    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/SaveVMK/index.html

  13. #13

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    Re: Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) Closing forever on May 21st.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuzcochik View Post
    Was there any real reason besides "it was it's time"?
    Quote Originally Posted by Aura of Foreboding View Post
    I think they want to focus more on their paid games.
    I think "it was its time" is a reasonable explanation, but not the entire story.

    VMK has had a good run, but it's also been in direct competition with other Disney MMG's Toontown Online and the recently acquired Club Penguin. Toontown and Club Penguin are under the control of Disney Online Studios, which restructured in February to focus on developing a new line of Disney virtual worlds. VMK, on the other hand, was conceived by Disney Parks and Resorts Online, its launch coinciding with Disneyland's 50th anniversary celebration. Disney didn't even develop the game. VMK was created by Sulake, a Finnish online entertainment company.

    By closing VMK, all of Disney's MMG's are now under the umbrella of the Online Studios which is about to start beta testing on the Tinker Bell/Fairies world Pixie Hollow and is still developing a Cars MMG for possible release later this year. Both of these games come on the heels of the Pirates Online launch which happened last fall.

    So, yes, Disney is focusing on their paid games, but they're also streamlining their operation to keep all of the MMG's under one division.

  14. #14

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    Re: Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) Closing forever on May 21st.

    I signed that petition and posted it on another site. Every little bit helps!


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  15. #15

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    Virtual Magic Kingdom to Close May 21

    Virtual Magic Kingdom to Close May 21
    April 8, 2008


    Disney's popular free multi-player online game, Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) announced on its newsletter that it will close on May 21, 2008 - two days short of its third anniversary.

    VMK Producer, Yavn said, "As many of you know, Virtual Magic Kingdom was created and launched back in 2005 as part of the Disneyland 50th Anniversary Celebration. VMK exceeded expectations in terms of performance, and as a result we extended the promotion (that is, VMK, the game) well beyond the 50th Celebration."

    "At Disney we're still committed to building communities and online virtual worlds," Yavn says, "and we're looking forward to providing you the opportunity to enjoy other exciting new experiences."

    Although Disney has been shifting the focus of the game out of the parks the game has still remained popular with kids, teens, and adults alike. Fans of the game have been expecting this since the game did surpass its original time frame due high popularity. Many speculated that the game would close at the end of the fiscal year instead.

    Disney hopes that VMK players will continue playing Disney online games which currently include: ToonTown Online, Pirates Online, and Club Penguin - all of which have monthly fees. Yavn also shares that the VMK staff will continue with future projects with Disney and some have already started work on the new Fairies and Cars virtual worlds.


    More on the Story: Yavn Speaks Newsletter.

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