News of Virtual Magic Kingdom’s (VMK) end brings protests and petitions

Latest: Saving Disney’s Virtual Magic Kingdom. 4/15/08

Update: There are a few sites out there using this unfortunate news to try and run some scams. From false petitions to copy cat sites that are pretending to rebuild VMK, please be careful and never provide any login or password information. Especially do not provide credit card information.

I never had a chance to log in to Disney’s Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) and now with the news it will be shuttered in May, I probably never will. That’s too bad for me, but for the tens of thousands of active players and the hundreds of thousands who played casually, it’s the bad news they didn’t want to hear.

Rich summed it up eloquently in this comment:

Year of a Million Dreams? Making Dreams Come True? I bet many kids had nightmares last night because of this. VMK is a place that kids and adults have had fun together – much like Walt’s original plans for Disneyland – and I know because many’s the time I as an adult have had fun there, both with my tween-age son as well as by myself and by himself.

When there were Virtual Magic Kingdom quests, cards and pins at Walt’s original Magic Kingdom as well as the version of it in Orlando – and even VMK tie-ins at the Disney Rewards website – it was a perfect example of what Bob Iger is now calling The Disney Difference and what used to be referred to as Disney Synergy.

Instead of using your Disney Movie Rewards to have Disney real things shipped to you, your option was to also use those points you collected after buying Disney DVDs to “buy” virtual items which appeared in the VMK virtual world. Things Disney fans “bought” will magically disappear next month like an evil spell from a Disney villain.

Not only was VMK free to join and free to play, but it was free advertising for the Disney resorts and the other Disney online game sites. But Iger’s business model has apparently changed and now Disney wants to have paid subscribers on its online virtual worlds.

But why, if that is the case, does Disney feel the need to pull the plug on VMK.com instead of converting it into a virtual world with an entry fee? After all, we are all used to paying admission when going to the Disney parks; why not the virtual versions of them, too? Did Disney feel it wasn’t getting enough long-term good will and free advertising for Disneyland and Walt Disney World?

Instead, now they’ve made kids and adults unhappy, taking away the bit of Disney park fun one can experience a bit of at home while dreaming of one day going to or returning to Disney’s real theme parks. This is Bad Show in my opinion.

My wife has suggested VMK fans all should hold one or more jazz funerals in VMK’s virtual New Orleans Square similar to how we do it in real life in the real New Orleans. VMK will be gone, but not forgotten.

And lingering in the back of people’s minds who might switch to Disney’s pay-for-play online games will be the dark thought that no matter how much fun Disney fans have at these virtual worlds, at some time in the future Disney will unexpectedly close these places down, too.

– Rich Koster (who, at the DisneyEcho eMuck, is also making some virtual magic of his own)

I too wonder why Disney hasn’t at least decided to try and switch to a pay-for-play system. I too wonder why Disney isn’t making some effort to continue this community somehow. There is a reality of running an online community that at some point it grows beyond the owner’s control and becomes their responsibility.

If you’re wondering the same or similar things, go visit one of the Save VMK fan sites and sign the petitions. One already has over 5000 signatures. If I had over 5000 people willing to pay to visit my site, I’d be pretty happy, let me tell you.

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35 Responses to News of Virtual Magic Kingdom’s (VMK) end brings protests and petitions

  1. amy says:

    I have been playing VMK regularly since September 2005, starting just two months after it officially launched in July of that year. I’ve made great friends in the game of all ages, and I really think neither Disney nor any other MMO offers an experience similar to VMK.

    What I loved about VMK was that you could make a guest room with a game or quest for others to play, and you could give prizes to them. That opened a whole world of experiences beyond those the official staff make for the game. The furniture you bought was often used to build a room that wasn’t just a collection of your stuff, but a chance for kids to be creative in making up a new game or a themed room.

    The game was simple and fun, with an emphasis on collecting and being social rather than completing quests and leveling up.

    I wish Disney had considered pay-for-play as well. VMK would be perfect for a lower monthly rate, maybe $5/mo, making it the “bargain” MMO in the Disney family. For someone like me, about to graduate college and currently interviewing for my first real job, I really can’t put aside $10/mo for a Disney MMO. Beyond, I don’t really want to because none gives me the sense of community and user creativity VMK always did.

  2. Nicole says:

    I joined VMK about three months after it opened, simply as a way of keeping in touch with far-away cousins, but fell in love with it instantly,it was like having a little disney magic at home with you, and it inspired two very large family vacations to WDW

    • cassidy says:

      im so stucken that disney would do this to the millions who play this game!i know in my heart that walt disney himself would not do that!its sooooo popular, were all protesting! isnt that enough disney?

  3. Christine says:

    I absolutly love VMK!I can’t believe that they are closing it down.Like what Nicole said,it is like having a mix of Disneyland and Walt Disney World sitting right in front of you on a screen.And this is good for kids who may not have enough money to ever get a chance to go to one of those locations,but have a computer.You can interact with a ton of people,make new friends to hang out with and talk to.In VMK you could be a whole ‘nother person and people won’t see that.Or you can be yourself.VMK is like trying to teach a little kid to watch TV.They may not know what to watch,but they know what to find.And in VMK you can find almost everything a kid has ever dreamed of in a virtual world.

  4. Rich Koster says:

    Thanks for the plug, John! On the Disney Echo members can participate in a game where all can add their own paragraph to an ongoing Disney-themed story. I invite y’all to check it out and join the fun! It isn’t much like VMK, but it is a fun way to use your imagine, putting yourself into a treasure hunt at WDW story with other EchoEars along with Mickey, Minnie and their pals. We’re writing the beginning of chapter two of You Make a Story II (the II is for chapter two) and it is a perfect time to jump in and help while virtually being at Walt Disney World and the nearby town of Celebration.

  5. aliena says:

    Why are u shutting vmk down nobody likes it and i think u should not let yavn tell u what do to………………………………………….
    We all love vmk and vmk is out lives so i don’t think that u should shut it down peace!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Ashley says:

    I cant believe they are closing vmk I joined on Thanksgiving of 07 unfortanlly i didnt get to have to the time to experence everything that vmk had to offer unlike some from first day or second day all I have to say is when I heard about vmk closing i didnt believe it but it a stupid reason to close it they should just not let people be guests no more Be the way I wil always be puppypinkprincess<3Inside and out Vmk lover forever

  7. Pingback: Around Disney » Blog Archive » Virtual Magic Kingdom will end May 21, frustrating some fans - OCRegister.com

  8. Seriously says:

    Seriously we all know that we are seriously going to really really badly miss VMK and we all know this, but really. what would our lives be without it? have you ever had a friend on VMK quit. and break your heart? did you cry? has a friend ever deleted you on VMK? did you cry? we all have or had something happen like this, and if you haven’t you are very lucky. but if VMK closes, its just gonna add to those things thats already happened to us. its not much of a difference. and besides, VMK will be gone, But Never forgotton. we all know it. its hard to let go to things like this, but you really never know what you got till its gone. its really truly hard for me to right this, but i just wanted to express my feelings, we all kinda need a life. if VMK is really life like mine, i mean seriously i would come home from school and get right on. i started getting bad grades cause of doing that. VMK started controlling my life, but i started getting happyer and happyer every day. i started to not be so shy anymore. i liked it alot. VMK wasn’t controlling my life, i was starting to like that i wasn’t being so shy anymore. So i kept playing, then one day i got on and everyone was talking about VMK shutting down. i didnt believe anyone until i finally read the newsletter. that really broke my heart, i started crying constantly and i couldn’t stop, it got to the point were i finally found how retarted i was acting, it just a virtual game with people on it that are friends with you. thats probably what disney people think. but i wonder if they actually took the time to see what kind of friendships people had on there, what they would do. would they keep VMK open? they dont understand, they just think VMK is controlling or lifes, but really its all the friends we have on there that make us really happy and joyful. without VMK i probably would be like crazy and have no friends. on VMK you can be who ever you want to be. in life if you make a mistake and people take it seriously you get imbarrsed. but on VMK you can be whoever you want to be. no one judges you. if VMK closes, every thing will fade away. they cant close it. we all know they cant. it will all just fade away..

    • victoria says:

      omg u are so right. for the past year and half VMK took ovr my life. right when i got home i went right on it, i sometimes never even did my homework. but u wat? i didnt care! everytime i talked to my friends on Vmk they made me so happy. i have better friends on VMK than in real life. No other virtual game will evr replace VMK, and i really dont no why. Vmk has always been a place where i could go to be someone else and nobody knew. i could act has dumb as i wanted to and nobody cared we just laughed, but on april 7th, 2008 that all changed. yavin: we are sorry to say but VMK will close on May 21 2008…..i cryed that whole night! my friends and i cryed for so long and i still am. now when i sign onto vmk im not happy i dont even buy things bc what is the point it will close soon anyway.
      VMK closing is going to change my life forever, i will never forget all my bff ( annie, llama, tink, brave, Zeah, magic, less, famous, teal, retro, tink, and home u will always be my best friends. vmk will be gone but not forgoten and im going to miss it….alot

      • pankid says:

        I’m EXACTLY like you.
        I came home said hi to my mom, and logged right on vmk.
        Before I left school, I hurried up and finished my homework just for vmk.
        Every day I would spend my whole day/night on it.
        I wouldn’t even talk to my parents. Most of the time I ignored them (lol).
        At first I didn’t really care about VMK closing, because I figured with all these people doing everything, it wouldn’t close. But I have taken action, after reading all the sad stories Adults AND Children have written.
        I’ve seen the news, and I’ve seen the letters.
        I’ve seen hand-written letters from younger kids.
        I’ve seen it all almost.
        And you know, it’s really changed my opinion on this situation.
        It’s bigger than you would think.
        My parents were like, “yay! hip-hip-hooray!” when they found out it was closing.
        But after I told them about the stories, and TV, they realized they were wrong.
        It was a much bigger situation then they thought.
        So many people have joined together, to take fight to save VMK.
        People are signing petitions, people are sending letters, emails, phone calls, and doing TV interviews. Almost anything you can think of to save it.
        Without VMK, many of us won’t be happy. We all need a little Magic in our lives, especially if you can’t afford a trip to the Real Disney.
        When ever I walked into a VMK room, I could feel the magic around me. I heard the sounds of little kids laughing, and the music in the background. I could almost breathe it all in.
        My friends were always they to talk to me, and laugh with me.They were there when I needed them. Whenever I was scammed, someone would help me earn my stuff back. If I was deleted, my friends would help me find them to get them back. We would get into fights all the time, but in the end, we knew we would be friends forever.
        I truly do have more VMK friends than I do real life. I can express my feelings in vmk more, than I can in real.
        VMK was my second-life.
        And those many people who spent REAL money on VMK. I feel horrible for them. Now all those items – poof! gone. GONE FOREVER. Never to be seen again.
        What an awful way to start the end of my school year. Now summer will be so boring =(.
        Year of a Million Dreams?
        Year of a Million NIGHTMARES.

        ~pan

      • prettyprincessfrog says:

        when i found out vmk was closing,i thought it was just a gargantuan prank for april 1st,but when i scrolled down a minuscule bit more,i felt like someone just stabbed me in the chest with a needle bc i just started vmk a year ago i finally got the perfect room,magic,friends,and clothing that was the talk of the town ,well,kingdom.but then all gone.THIS IS NOT WALT’S VISION PEOPLE,WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!MR.WALT opened Disneyland in 1971.He had a dream then,now this new President of Disney waltzs in and changes everything Walt worked hard for.Real Funny Disney!!!!!!!!!!!!I don’t even wanna set foot on Disney and I live in Orlando,25 minutes from Disney.you would say i’m lucking like my friends do to live closest to the amazing disney.I don’t mean to sound ungrateful about this but now living by Disney is a nightmare.it reminds me of vmk and i end up sobbing when i see Disney-4 miles.Disney year of a million dreams,Yeah Right!i miss the short circuit sounds of the dark room,the ‘Roll up,Roll up!”of ned,even when i was new and i thought he was talking about Yogos Rollers and esmerelda,the fortune teller,the promised ensentives of kids in the ballroom just to get the ghost out of the haunted mansion room.And last but not least,the friends,there to catch u when u fall and confort u when your sad and to give u a good time.Now what do we do,and they say that they care about kids-sure,then why close vmk?! – prettyprincessfrog

  9. Sarah says:

    I have been playing VMK since Day One, and when I found out it was closing, I was extremely upset. This article summed up everything I was feeling and thinking. Since VMK opened I have experience many amazing things and met very many amazing people. All of that will be gone. Everyone I ever met, all of my virtual friends, never get to talk to them again. Period. I especially feel sympathy for people who have spent points of Disney Movie Rewards only to have those disappear on the 21st. VMK was my lifeline. I am an avid Disney fan, and VMK gave me a little view into the parks during the endless months when I couldn’t be there in reality. The fact that VMK is closing is extremely depressing, and it feels like part of Disney has left me. VMK brought joy to many adults and children, and Disney seems to be able to close it without any sympathy or care. And even though we can hang onto it, it will eventually be gone, and everytime we pass by the spot in Tomorrowland, or walk past the previous VMK Central in Disneyworld, we will remember. And I hope Disney can cope with a lot of upset people, because we will never forget.

  10. Bugdozer says:

    go to http://www.savevmk.com

    Dear Mr. Iger,

    I am writing to tell you about a magical place. A place where young and old can gather to play, learn and enjoy the Disney Magic. A place envisioned by an amazing man who dreamed of places where families could gather and have fun leaving behind the real world when they entered. A place that only the magic and creativity of Disney could build.

    Where is this place you may ask? It sounds magical and fun. The first thought you may have of course is that it is Disneyland- but this is not the place I speak of. It is a form of Disneyland in a different technological age. The place I speak of is Virtual Magic Kingdom.

    VMK started out as what Disney thought would be a promotion for the 50th anniversary of Disneyland. So they built this amazing virtual world to replicate Walt’s amazing Disneyland.

    They threw open the gates and invited us in. We came slowly at first but once word spread we grew. VMK did not become an online park where we entered for a while then left. It became a community built by its players. A community of young and old, sick and well, and people of all races from near to far off distant countries. Here we found a place that evoked the Disney spirit in all of us. We played, danced, built rooms and formed friendships in the spirit of the man himself Walt Disney.

    VMK was growing and becoming more popular so that when the promotion ended the gates were left open and our community flourished. There is no place like it on the Web where children and adults can play in a safe controlled atmosphere. I personally found a place where I and my 13 year old son could be together. We shared in this wonderful kingdom built only as Disney can do-amazing graphics, fun games, a sense of being part of the parks and much pixie dust.

    They created our characters to look lifelike, like little people. We named them, dressed them, and formed their personalities. They became part of us. We look forward and enjoy seeing our little people everyday.

    Suddenly on April 7th we were hit with an unbelievable devastating blow. On May 21, 2008 our kingdom, our community will cease to exist. The shock that took over was beyond belief. I felt numb, weak, and sick to my stomach, like I had been hit by a bat. How can this happen? How can a company as compassionate as Disney allow the doors of our Kingdom to close?

    The news crushed my 15 year old son (slinkyman). VMK has become part of his life, part of his daily routine. A day is not complete without seeing his little person who he created to look like himself. After a few moments the shock and reality sank in and the tears started to flow. WE hugged and just cried asking how, why, how can they?

    You see VMK is not just a mere game to us. Six months after slinkyman started playing VMK he was diagnosed with cancer. A shocking blow to any family made worst it being a child. I found my strength to get him through this, and then an amazing thing happened. Thanks to the spirit of Disney he took refuge in his Kingdom. In VMK he was not sick. He was a normal kid that still had hair and he had many friends. He had a support team in this community that was not available elsewhere. Cancer scares many people and our family pulled back-offering no support or visits. Here in VMK slinkyman and I have a community of amazing friends. They talked, listened, comforted us, prayed for us and sent mountains of pixie dust our way.

    Through out his treatment whenever we were at the hospital slinkyman would take along the laptop with him. During these painful and scary days of treatment he would play VMK as the poisons to kill the cancer were pumped into his body. Doctors and nurses would ask him what he was playing and he would passionately tell them of a place only envisioned in dreams. VMK became an instrumental tool in his recovery. We have made life long friends and have wonderful support thanks to the magic of Disney. So to us it is so much more then a mere game. It is in our soul.
    I had a friend tell me the other day the VMK is in slinkyman’s DNA- they could not be more right. I was able to save my son from cancer but I fear I will not be able to save little “slinkyman” from the darkness that is about to be bestowed upon us.

    Please I beg you to reconsider this decision. Please hear the cries of young and old and let our little people live. I can not imagine a day without seeing the face of my little person. I like may others are then willing to pay to keep this community of ours alive. Please consider this option. Please show compassion and Disney spirit and show the children you care. After all in VMK the minds of our young a being filled with Disney and they will grow into adults that spend much money on anything and everything Disney.

    In this Year of a Million Dreams I ask you to please dry a Million tears and let our dreams come true.

    Sincerely,

    Bugdozer

  11. VMK player says:

    I am an avid vmk player and parent of two children that are also avid players. Our family is devastated by the news that Disney has decided to close our beloved game. This is the one place online that recreates the disney experience in a way that keeps us wanting to visit the parks. We have booked trips, bought movies, and many other disney products all because of this game. We have saved and saved to make our Disney park trips happen mainly because the game renewed our love of all things Disney. Without it, we will no longer spend all of our vacation dollars at Disney. I understand that this is a financial decision, but this could be the biggest mistake Disney makes. This game is a brilliant stroke of genius when it comes to advertising and promotion. Do not underestimate the passion of the VMK community. Everyone I know from the game spends lots of hard earned real money to buy things for this virtual game. I can tell you that I, for one am canceling my Disney Movie Club subscription and will not be taking our annual eight day vacation to WDW. And I am not alone. There are many, many players that were only spending that money because of this game and its rewards. Virtual rewards that I remind you, cost Disney next to nothing.
    This tiny little online community has become so special to us and it gives us a place to play online together, as a family. It has kept my children out of trouble. It has taught them how to work towards a goal, to be creative and build terrific things, and to think through problems. It has helped teach my children to respect others and to give whatever they can to help others.
    We have met many wonderful friends through this game, many of whom will be life long friends now. Some of these friends are children with illnesses such as autism and leukemia that we never would have met otherwise. This game has brought so many people together and created such an incredible love for disney. Please keep VMK alive and maybe give us the option to pay to play. The other Disney games just do not compare in anyway to the community of VMK. Please do not take the magic of VMK away.
    It is a sad sad day when the powers that be think that no one cares when thousands of kids lose their favorite hobby, their favorite place to connect with friends. You cannot replace the magical feelings these children have felt while playing this wonderful game that represents all things Disney with games that are promotion specific. What I mean is that VMK has the capability to promote every aspect of Disney; the parks; the movies; the pins; and almost all of the products in some way. These new games and worlds are specific to only one aspect of Disney. Cars online, Fairies, and even POTC Online can only promote that one aspect. Why would Disney purposely remove something that so obviously has so much potential to be HUGE to try to replace it with games and worlds that have such limited potential? VMK already has a Huge, loyal fan base. It already has unlimited promotional potential. It has already caused many people to visit the parks, buy the movies, and buy Disney products. Was this decision made because Disney believes that no one would pay to play this game? That seems to be the case, since they are pushing everyone to pay for games that are only about one small part of Disney. None of these new games will give anyone that complete Disney experience the way VMK does. Yet, we were never even offered the option to pay to play. This doesn’t make any sense. I have read that Disney is spending $100 million on new virtual games that do not have the unlimited potential or the established fan base that VMK has. This seems like it should a common sense decision to me – go with what works! Build on what you have, there is no need to start over.
    This little world is not so little – there are close to a million characters, and we have recently been told by some staff of VMK that there are about 250,000 active players. The decision to close this “little world” will effect thousands of children and thousands of adults. This community means so very much to so, so many people. People with illnesses that limit their social abilities, people who live far away from each other, people – real people that have found a virtual way of staying in contact in ways that no other game offers. The players of VMK are like no others. Most of them are wonderful, caring, giving people that share a love for the Disney Magic. Everyone of the players share a common thread, something that brings them all together – a love for Disney. Where else in the real world or any virtual one, can you find a place where everyone has a common love? No where. This game has helped so many children and people of all ages connect in ways they never would have anywhere else. In VMK we are all kids (even if we aren’t), we are all healthy, and we can all play together. There is no age, there is no color, there is no illness. In VMK we are all equal. You cannot find another family friendly, safe environment online anywhere else that can bring so many people together in so many ways. VMK is the only place that can do all of these things. If Walt Disney could see what the loss of this game is doing to so many people, he would never allow it. What happened to Disney magic? Disney is taking it away.

    Sincerely,

  12. AmberDaze says:

    Letter from a Mother’s Heart…

    It’s about 4am now on April 8…3 hours after VMK closed for the night. I just checked in on my daughter (MonkeyRulz on VMK) who was still awake. She was crying…crying because we just found out that VMK was going to close. The thought of her losing all of her VMK friends was just too much for her to bear. No one thinks that children have much stress in their lives, but they do. Last summer she had surgery to remove a soft tissue mass on her thumb. Through the tears and the pain, she still was able to type to friends far and near in her virtual Magic Kingdom. This is what saved both of our sanities during this time. Her VMK friends was who she counted on while she was lying on the couch only able to use one hand to type. Her VMK friends was what made her forget her pain.

    My daughter was recently diagnosed with a form of arthritis, which has has helped to explain many of her health issues over the past few years. She currently has a lot of inflammation in her thumb, which causes numbness and pain. Medication has not yet been successful to heal it. She is a very strong person but when she accidentally hits her thumb, the tears fall like there is no tomorrow. She turns to her VMK friends for support all the time. When she is with them, all I hear is laughter. If VMK closes, it would be like her closest friends just left her. No more cheering up, no more support, no more enjoying each other’s company, no more forgetting about that big test coming up tomorrow, no more goodnight hugs and waves with friends across the miles…

    For almost 3 years I knew my VMK friends would always be there for me…they were there when I had my gallbladder (gold.blot.her in VMK-Speak) taken out last summer. What real friends would have stayed with me when all I was able to do is lie around in bed for weeks? My VMK friends…that’s who. These friends have become very much a part of my everyday life and I treasure them. I want VMK to continue as it always has…I had no idea it was not supposed to last this long. But I also didn’t know that my little virtual self would wander around and make friends who have become near and dear to my heart. I don’t think any of us really knew that when we first started.

    My daughter and I joined VMK before Frontierland was added. Since that time, we have both met wonderful people from all over the world…some of them have become a part of our real day to day lives. To those friends I have met in person…I thank you for your friendship. I am so grateful that we have met, and even moreso that you will continue to be a part of my life. To those friends inside the game who I have not had the pleasure of meeting: I thank you too, for your friendship and all the wonderful times we have had. I am indeed the luckiest girl in the world to have friends like you.

    Monkey and I never realized how greatly we would feel this loss…the majority of VMK players feel the same way. We do not want to lose our friends, nor the Disney magic, and we are willing to pay to keep it going. How can wanting to continue the magic be a wrong thing? In the true spirit of Disney hearts, friends and family would not suffer a loss as great as this. What started out as a small virtual game, has indeed grown into something so much more. This little “game” has grown into a huge community of friends, families and true Disney lovers. In the midst of A Year of a Million Dreams, it’s hard to believe that friends and families will just go away.

    Sure we tried playing other games over the past few years…but it was never the same. We always went back to VMK. No other game brings Disney magic right into our home inbetween trips to the real parks. No other game. If you can think of another game that makes me yell out “flawless,” or “awesome,” while watching real Disney’s fireworks light up the sky, please tell me. There just isn’t a replacement. You may not have created this game for us to grow an extension of ourselves in the virtual world, but that’s what happened. Everything in the Disney parks make us think of VMK as well…it always will. When VMK closes, I will have suffered a great loss…just how do you say goodbye to so many friends who you still treasure so much?

    We are not alone in our feelings…there are so many families and friends who play VMK and enjoy Disney magic together…families who cannot be together in their real lives, such as mothers and fathers who are in the military and cannot visit their children. Without VMK, they would not have this opportunity to share Disney magic whenever they can. There are children who cannot see their moms or dads because of a divorce; and families who just live too far away to physically be there for each other. These families depend greatly on Disney’s VMK. Then there are those who are of ill health, who depend on VMK to forget about their health issues. I have a treasured friend who needs to use a wheelchair, but in VMK she can stand taller than her husband, who also plays VMK with their two children. I can’t even begin to count the numerous autistic children I have come across who have reached out in VMK and finally made a connection…children who have had no direction have been found to blossom and become outspoken because of this “game.” I have a wonderful friend (Smackeralchick on VMK) who has twin girls…one of them has autism and is experiencing great sadness over the news. Her other daughter, Dlandchick, has been battling cancer for more than a year now. In the darkest days of her treatments, she knows she can login to VMK and find loving and caring friends and family who support her from across the miles. There are many more adults and children who have cancer, or another serious illness who depend on VMK as their magical “getaway.” VMK is for everyone wanting just a little piece of Disney magic. We know we can login, and share our good days and our bad…with friends and families we have grown to treasure.

    Whatever you’d like to call VMK — whether it be a “game,” an “application,” a “promotion…” things have changed tremendously since its opening. It has grown into a real life community with living and breathing souls behind those cute little characters. Disney does not destroy dreams, it creates them. Please don’t take our dreams away.

    AmberDaze on VMK

  13. victoria says:

    i cry as i write this…. and it truly isnt fair. Vmk is my life. in real life alot of people get made fun of but going on vmk made me feel like a totally different person. PLZ DONT CLOSE IT!! i no my comment isnt very long but that doesnt mean i dont care. let VMK continue, because i will miss my friends way to much

  14. Greenry says:

    I too am a person of Ill health. I was born with a congenital heart defect.Throught the years Disney has always brought me joy. My family and I bought into Disney’s Old Key West in disney resort in Florida when it first opened. i play vmk because just as slinkyman does to get away from my reality.
    I tried it a week afer beta cause i did not have dsl at the time. Once i got it i got hooked and made the most wonderful friends from all over the world. I consider each and every friend I have on here my VMK family. This past summer was a very scary time in my life.I have been through a lot with my heart through the years. I have a pacemaker and a defibrillator and my heart is failing. The doctors want me to consider a heart transplant. I said no i don’t have the energy to have to deal with all that stress. through all of this my disney family helped me through it all.
    I am still very ill and can not do what i used to. Being able to go to Disney world every day of my life was awesome and the friends i made were incredible. How do you say goodbye? Why? I can’t live without my vmk family how can you just take that away from people? Do lives not count to people? Must I die being sad??
    please save vmk i signed up did you savevmk.com

  15. LaNenaTink says:

    I am a true Disney extremist. I have been on VMK since day one.
    I have been an Annual Pass holder since 95 and have never stopped renewing as of yet but with this sudden VMK Closing, I am having second thoughts of renewing.
    I am from the NYC area and I visits to Disney 4 to 5 times a year. I have done the Pins trading, Pin events, Mickey’s not so scary, Very merry Christmas, Food and wine, Haunted Mansion Events, Disney Cruises and still Love to come home and Play VMK. Even while in the park we would stop by VMK Central to log on and tell friends “I am in VMK Central in real life” VMK is our Disney Fix, most of you know what I mean.
    I have read such sad stories due to the upcoming closing of VMK and I tear up. You have families that play this game together; my family is one yelling across the room while in a battle of Pirate ships. I have met great ppl on VMK and will never forget them “shout out’s to my VMK Friends; Car, Randy, Key, The, pop, grumpy, Lady, Xwing, BadPete, Miss, green, even my trouble making friend that got me band Ayame.
    VMK has been a daily routine for me also to come home after a stressful day at work and be able to escape. I don’t visit many sites having VMK to keep me happy. Now VMK wants to close and suggest we join Toon Town! Been there done that and still came back to VMK. We would much rather Pay for VMK or not Play anything at all. I have spoken too many of my friends and they feel the same way.
    Hoping our words reaches Disney and they reconsider!

    • Ayame says:

      Awww…how sweet tink….lol But for real tho, even though VMK is closing, ain’t really nothing we can do about it. Start petitions? Done that, look at what happen? And Disney hasn’t let out any news of reconsidering to open up VMK… To be honest, I thought it was just a way for a child to be able to see the park virtually because of some money problems or etc.. Didn’t really see it as a promotional thing…Even tho, we all might not want to let go, some things gotta come to a end… :( Miss ya Tink!

  16. ForeverWDW says:

    Since it’s announcement there has been a crying out from the kids and adults to allow the site to remain open. There has been an out cry from the over 250,000 active members as both young and old have bonded together in a common cause to save the site from being closed down. Online petitions have had over 6,700 signatures in the short time since the announcement. Countless e-mail and phone calls to Disney have remained unanswered or been told there is nothing that can be done. It has been said that adults have gone to CNN and tried to get them to run a short story about it but when Disney refused to comment CNN saw no point in trying to run it. Fan based sites are buzzing with activity trying every possible angle to help. There is an article written by Virtual World News http://www.virtualworldsnews.com/2008/04/disneys-virtual.html that contains the story and also comments left by some of the members of VMK. I ask that you please take a moment of your time to read the article and comments. If the real life stories there don’t break your heart, nothing will. Disney is doing more then just simply shutting down a project. They are destroying children’s hopes and dreams. They are taking away the one place where children of all ages can be free to explore, learn, communicate, grow, imagine, heal, flourish, and DREAM.

    You see VMK is more then a simple online game. VMK is a community of friends and yes even family that enjoy the magic Walt Disney inspired. Yes there are games to play but for the most part this has been an escape from the real world troubles many of us seek refuge from. Here nobody is judged for their appearance, disabilities, race, or age. We are friends all seeking support, love, and understanding. We help each other in times of need. We share in the simple joys life can bring us. We care for each other. So while yes this is a game, Disney fails to realize it has grown way beyond that. Shutting the doors is absolutely heart-wrenching for all of us.

    As an adult who suffers from severe depression, anxiety attacks, and post traumatic stress this is the one true place I can forget my troubles. Here my friends unknowingly have provided the love and laughter I needed to make it through my darkest hours when I had nowhere else to turn to. When closing comes each night and we’ve danced our final dance of the day, exchanged out hugs with wishes of sweet dreams, I sit back and dream. No nightmares for me then.. I dream. Dream of what surprises await me the next day, maybe designing a new room to share some fun in with my friends, dream of the fun times we have had and more that have yet to come. Those dreams came to an end this week.

    I am a mom of 2 wonderful boys who both enjoy playing VMK as much I do and have been playing a little over 2 years now. I held my oldest child tonight as he cried while saying goodbye to a long time friend I heard him say words that broke my heart to pieces. “I hate Disney. I hate them! I never want to be CEO of a place that makes kids feel like this!” My son has had one simple dream to be when he grew up. His one dream was to someday be CEO of the place he loves so very much, Disney. He has had this dream since he was 7 and now almost 6 years later, until last night, he has held fast to that dream. Gone are the days we would sit and chat about what he wanted his office to look like. Goodbye to the wonderful dreams he had to make sure every child could experience the magic that he knows is there. Farewell to our special moments we could sit and talk about things he wished to build in the parks. As I sit and hold them while they sob at each goodbye to friends they will never have a chance to talk to again I wonder why? Why is Disney doing this to all the countless children around the world. Are their hearts that cold that they don’t hear these kids screaming out? Do they not understand the anguish they are putting these kids through? So many broken hearts, so many countless tears shed, and all to blame on Disney. The one place in this world where dreams are supposed to come true. My kids dreams never included this much heartache. Tomorrow will be another day of tears and sadness. Another day of hugging them while they sob on my shoulder. All I can do is try to tell them that it will all be ok, while inside my own heart breaks in two.

    Disney fails to realize the importance of this game to so many people worldwide. They fail to realize the tremendous amount of agony they are putting these kids through. They fail to realize what it is that they have done. Our family’s hearts are saddened. There is no joy here now. No buzz of excitement as a special host event time draws near. Now our home is filled with quiet dread. Each of us knows that tomorrow will bring more sadness but still we sign on to be there for our friends. To share in the last remaining few happy moments, to quietly sit with our friend knowing that they are shedding tears of heartache, to dance our last dances with dear friends we will never meet.

    Disney I beg and plead of you, please change your mind. Please bring back the happiness and dreams of countless children both young in body and at heart. Don’t turn your backs on us. Cant you hear us crying?

  17. Penny says:

    The brass at Disney have no idea what VMK means to its players. I am a public school teacher, and VMK has given me a way to connect with my students on a personal level. My student consistantly out perform other 4th graders in my school district. Why? Because I take the time to build relationships and trust. I strongly urge you to reconsider your choice to close VMK.

    Disney, give your VMK community the option to PAY to PLAY!

    You won’t be disappointed!

  18. nafeeza says:

    i luv vmk alot! and i would never want it to close,, and just the thought of it closing makes me sad vmk is like my other half without it im lost it’s all me and my friends ever talk about. vmk is like no other web site out there it’s free, it’s fun, and it’s a great way to make friends,, vmk has brought many together and were all disappointed to see it go that is why we all signed pititions and we even got it on the news! doesn’t that prove how much we want vmk to stay.. so many fun memories and funny times all washed down the drain bc of this horrid news.. im going to miss vmk alot i’ve had so many goals for vmk
    i don’t want it to close,, vmk is a family fun site where anyone can join for free and be safe we will never find another site like it soooo plzzzzz don’t close VMK!

  19. nafeeza says:

    i luv vmk alot! and i would never want it to close,, and just the thought of it closing makes me sad vmk is like my other half without it im lost it’s all me and my friends ever talk about. vmk is like no other web site out there it’s free, it’s fun, and it’s a great way to make friends,, vmk has brought many together and were all disappointed to see it go that is why we all signed pititions and we even got it on the news! doesn’t that prove how much we want vmk to stay.. so many fun memories and funny times all washed down the drain bc of this horrid news.. im going to miss vmk alot i’ve had so many goals for vmk
    i don’t want it to close,, vmk is a family fun site where anyone can join for free and be safe we will never find another site like it soooo plzzzzz don’t close VMK!!

  20. Yeti says:

    I sincerely hope that Disney will reconsider the closing of it’s Virtual Magic Kingdom not only for the fans that love it but also because of the potential that Disney’s VMK has for advertising and promoting the Disney brand name, products and attractions in a much more effective way than simple advertising.
    Unlike a 30 second commercial, which is seen and forgotten five minutes later, Disney’s VMK has the undivided attention of the customer for a much longer time.
    There are other companies that offer a free online experience similar to VMK.
    One of these is Coca-Cola’s “CC Metro” on their mycoke.com web site.
    Companies like this understand the advertising potential of an online virtual world.

    I understand that VMK was designed as a promotion for Disney’s 50th anniversary.
    However there are many other large companies that would give anything for an online virtual world with the advertising potential that Disney’s Virtual Magic Kingdom.
    Not only does Disney’s VMK have advertising potential but it has already proven itself successful and popular with kids and adults.

    Disney’s Virtual Magic Kingdom is valuable tool in promoting the Disney brand name, products and attractions.
    It would be a shame to see Disney throw away something as successful as VMK has become.

  21. Pingback: Saving VMK: Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom Community receives a death sentence | The Disney Blog

  22. Alyssa - vipergoldgirl says:

    ive been going on vmk ever since August 2007, i used it to keep in touch with my cousin and right away after we got used to the game we both fell in love with it and the thing i loved best was that it was FREE u didn’t have to pay! and since ive never been to disney world i never got the feeling to actually be there so i used vmk! and isn’t disney supposed to be where dreams come true?
    then if it is, WHY TAKE IT ALL AWAY?!
    THEY’RE TAKING ALL OF OUR FRIENDS AWAY FROM US AND THE MAGIC OF BEING THERE!!
    IF WALT KNEW THIS HE WOULD KEEP IT OPEN FOR GOOD!
    I have copied a small part of a letter from a kid who loves vmk as much as I do, and as Much as we ALL do!

    Disney decides to close VMK

    Disney is shuttering Virtual Magic Kingdom. Nobody knows how many active users it has these days, and Disney is of course moving aggressively into more virtual worlds, encouraging users to switch to Toontown, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, and Club Penguin. But as longtime virtual worlders know, that’s not acceptable to the current community, who not only have a lengthy thread on the discussion boards, but have also started threads even on the new coverage elsewhere begging for their world to remain open.

    Generally, a virtual world with any momentum at all will not die unless it is actively killed. And the result is always heartrending posts like this one:

    If nothing above moves you to feel that this human interest story is anything more than the closing of yet another online game, allow me to leave you with a direct quote of an entry from the online journal of an 11 year old VMK player has Spinal Muscular Atrophy which controls voluntary movements, such as crawling, walking, swallowing and breathing:

    “My favorite web site, Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) is closing May 21st. I’m sad and MAD! I can’t live without my friends on VMK. PLEASE sign my guestbook like a petition to SAVE VMK for me and my friends. Pass my site on to everyone you know so they can help too. I love VMK cause I can WALK, TALK, EAT, DANCE, SHOP and play checkers all by myself.

    PLEASE HELP ME!

    Love,
    Madison
    p.s. VMK is GERM FREE too!
    p.s.s. and no one stares at me there.”

    if vmk is willing to take it away from us they should really reconsider for all the fans of vmk and Madison and everyone who has a disease like this, Cancer, Mental problems.
    and also that we love vmk if they can’t see that we all do.
    either they are blind or stupid bc no one should be able to take this from us without a argument they should really think What the public wants!
    VMK has become succesful to!

    Why just throw all that away?
    Why just give up and end it?
    Why end the advertisment and not let others check it out?
    Why should We the people Let them do this?!
    Why should We have them take all of our triumph and victories at collecting rare items?
    WHY is a big thing for just 3 letters!!!!
    we have made friends, bffs, and buddies and now they just take all of that away from us!?
    it’s unfair if u ask me.
    plus just to get better things on other disney sites you have to pay-to-play and My family doesn’t have the money for it.
    the only reason i got into disney’s virtual magical kingdom was because it was free, it’s fun, and many people love to play.

  23. imatwinkie says:

    Our hearts are breaking. The world is losing a beautiful place. VMK. The place where you can be anything, build anything, decorate anything. There is no limit to our imaginations. Are you a game show host, interior decorator, ghost hunter, astronaut, friend? Yes, to all of the above.

    When the wildfires in So. Cal were raging all around us, we finally had to evacuate. When we returned our VMK family was there to offer warmth, heart, and support to our crisis.

    VMK IS NOT A PROMOTION! It is a place where we can retreat from the world’s ugly realities. There are no smoke filled skies in VMK, only love and happiness.

    We have sent our letters with our Avatars (see savevmktoday for details) to the powers that be. If this out pouring of emotion does not change the hearts of Disney executives (aka. Corporate Pirates that pillage and plunder peoples hearts) then Disney does not need our money. We will not renew our annual passes, we will not buy Disney movies, we will not rent Disney movies. Anything Disney will be ‘verboten.’ If they are so uncaring why should we pay them anything?

    With the economy as soft as it is, Disney has used very poor judgement in closing VMK. We have to watch our pennies carfully. When it comes to Disney we will guard our pennies as carefully as we must now guard our hearts.

    Disney is full of RATS!

    Sincerely,

    Kicked Out

  24. Heather says:

    I have been playing VMK for 2 years, completed many quests, collected rare items, and gone to the park to get the in park-quest rewards. I’m deeply upset at Disney for closing it down. I think that it was a bad idea, considering that Disney didn’t consider it’s fans in this decision. It makes them look like a money hungry corporation, when they are advertising us to join their pay for play: Pirate of the Caribbean, or Toon Town games as a alternative.
    I would pay to play VMK, but I will not join the other games just because I don’t want to invest 2 years in them, collecting stuff just to have Disney to pull the plug on that too!
    I see POTC similar to SIMS, where it isn’t monitored as closely as VMK. I would not allow my kids to play it because it’s too violent. No thanks Disney.
    I hope they reconsider their decision, but I doubt it. I have lost alot of respect and trust in them. Then to tell us all, “It was just a promotion”. Then why didn’t they say that in the first place? Why didn’t they have a start point then an end, if it was just a promotion?
    I know I’m not alone, from what the rest of you have been writing. We, as the players, are also what made vmk so great!
    Thanks,
    Heather

  25. Taylor says:

    This is unfair. This may sound strange but VMK was like a second home for some people, including me. It was a place where I could be myself and no one would judge me. I had the best friends you could ever imagine, and now its all gone. Its like losing a loved one. People who havent experienced the magic of VMK probably think im crazy, but I dont care. I will fight for what I believe in, even if I have to remake VMK myself. By the way, how do you make something like VMK, I would love to. VMK is something I will never forget. Love, drama, friendship, fun, truth, reuntion, pain, greif, but most of all magic. The magic that changed us all. The magic of VMK will never end, until we forget about it, which will come soon. But VMK doesnt have to be just a promotion, It could be a life time.

  26. sam says:

    omg dont take vmk away i love that game so much its so cool and your takeing it away from us who ever doing im telling you stop we all love vmk

  27. Erica says:

    i hope that vmk opens again so i can stay in touch with friends over seas.VMK has alot of fun things to do sents it has been closed ive been boered

  28. Nakita says:

    I can understand why vmk shut down, they needed the funds and the game had been going on for a while, but to say it wasn’t meant to last long and yet have it going for 3 years in my opinion isn’t a smart idea and not really fair to all the players and fans. I was a HUGE fan of vmk and when i heard it was closing down i thought to myself is there another great site like vmk well i have spent months and months and haven’t found one! Some people think that us fans and players are overacting but we are not. Vmk was a place were we could rest and have fun, accomnplish things and make friends. To me vmk was a place were i could be what i wanted to be, make friends and not be judged and know that i am safe! if anyone from disney is reading this i want to say you should create another virtual world or reopen vmk for the fans and members; why do you think we all signed petitions and tried our hardest to keep it open. Stop using the quote it wasn’t meant to last forever making and make it last 3 years promoting it, have special things you could buy in the park then shutting it down saying it was for the 50th anniversary that isn’t fair to all the fans and members! so keep it closed if you want i can’t control anything, but don’t say it wasn’t meant to last forever because closing it down all of a sudden after 3 years and saying “not forever” is not fair.

  29. Katie says:

    I know this is a little late but i loved vmk. For some kids not like me and you could come there and be normal. I just am so bored. Everyone loved me there on vmk more than anyone had. I will try to bring back vmk so we can all love it once again

  30. Ethan says:

    such a shame it was good and it was very well made. one of disneys worst mistake ever.

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