VMK – The End Of The Magic

Tonight marks the end for Disney’s Virtual Magic Kingdom online multi-player interactive environment. But don’t try to log on for the first time, new sign ups have been discontinued for some time now. Today regular users will log on one more time, exchange personal information (because hey, what’s Disney going to do, kick you off?) so they can stay in contact with each other after the plug is pulled.

The matter has finally started to attract the attention of online community experts and some national media; alas it’s too late to make any difference. I agree with the expert interviewed by the OC Register, Disney is failing in its responsibility to the users of this game by not providing some transitional community. But perhaps the biggest failing is that future users will be wary of Disney pulling this stunt again. Once burned shame on you, twice burned shame on me.

Although I don’t work for the mouse, I still want to apologize to all the community members of VMK. Disney should know better than to treat you like this. It’s not how they would want their sons and daughters to be treated and it’s totally out of line with the new ethics of cyberspace. Let’s hope they learn a lesson or two.

Update: Radical Trust has an interesting idea, a bill of rights for online communities.

6 thoughts on “VMK – The End Of The Magic”

  1. On our podcast this week we discuss the new DGamer feature Disney is rolling out via the Nintendo DS system. It seems to be a replacement of sorts to VMK, although DGamer is not free.

    To me, it sounds like another instance of the suits realizing they were giving something away that they could charge for, and quickly acting to correct that “mistake”.

  2. VMK has just closed it’s virtual doors. I can’t tell you how many tears were shed, how many “I glove you’s” were exchanged, how many virtual hugs were given. All I know is there are 5,000 people out there who are heartbroken. I know I will never forget the friends I made there. If you knew me as LoisAlene, please keep in touch with me at loisalene at hotmail dot com.
    I will never play another online Disney game. It will be years if the Disney company ever regains my trust, if ever. Quite simply, they broke my heart.

  3. Thanks to The Disney Blog being so supportive of the VMK community. Your sentiments are very much appreciated.

  4. I sent this message to the VMK “guru”, Yavn (who apparently was intro’d to Disneyland at age 11 with a 25th anniversary book), after seeing on the VMK homepage an offer to give free access to the other Disney “pay to play” sites for 30 days for current VMK members.


    So, you were 11 at the 25th anniversary, eh? Well, I was one year old when I was taken in a stroller, in 1957. My spouse, ML, was there in a stroller the first week. Both of us liked VMK, since it was so much like being at Disneyland (with the exception of your “mind police”, which only became a nuisance when I would be speaking to a mother of 2, OLD, and we’d talk about what we did at Disneyland last weekend!)

    Flying Saucers? Did that. Remember it BARELY. House Of The Future? Don’t remember it, but know I went, and ALWAYS show friends from out of town (like Monday!) the cement chunks that remain from it, in front of the Ariel meet-and-greet. America Sings? Kinda miss that, not entirely! (I’m a rock/roll snob.) But I appreciate the approach! And knowing the 2 hosts are in Star Tours makes it special. And I will NEVER EVER FORGET Inner Space, OMG. It was SO boring at the end, so few folks on it, I just didn’t appreciate it as much in my teens as I do now.

    And now, at 51, I go all the time to Disneyland. Used to be twice a year. Now alot. Went to all 4 weekends of DCA’s Food and Wine! (Wow, a VMK DCA park would’ve been nice. Too bad Disney won’t let someone keep VMK going.)

    But to replace an entire Disneyland with singular attraction-based games, that cost money? And can be “disconnected” just as easily as this “dream world” (IMHO)? Sorry, NO. This was the FIRST and ONLY time I ever went online on a computer world environment, and I’ve been “doing” computers since 1975!

    So RE unlimited access: No thanks.

    (3 avatar names)

  5. vmk lays out on a paper and melts away disney just watches it build up and all friends break up when vmk close disney laughs at vmk closeing while little kids hearts get crushed in a billon peaces and then everyone gets crushed by disney steping on us as if we are bugs..

    That is how i feel sinserly, silvershinyfriend

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