Goodbye Virtual Magic Kingdom…Love, Sarah

| June 3, 2008

About a month or so ago on the podcast I mentioned that Disney was closing their online game – Virtual Magic Kingdom.  VMK (because everything has to have an acronym) became very popular with many DISers, especially some of our younger posters.

In this virtual world players could explore a computer-stylized version of the Magic Kingdom, create online personalities, acquire ‘credits’ and get cool stuff.  It was much more than a game to many – it was a way to make friends and spend hours playing in a place that brought them joy.

When Disney in it’s wisdom decided to close VMK many involved in the online community took it upon themselves to try to save it.  Websites were developed, petitions were signed and protests were staged.  Sadly, nothing they did could stop VMK from closing it’s virtual doors on 5/21/2008.

I never really got involved in VMK; but someone I know did.  She is Sarah and she is 13 and here, in her own words, is her goodbye to Virtual Magic Kingdom……

Farewell to Virtual Magic Kingdom, that’s what everyone is saying after our beloved VMK, closed on May 21, 2008. After a great 3 years of meeting new friends, playing games, collecting “Credits” for our shopping sprees, Disney closed VMK. Disney had said it was just to promote Disney’s 50th  Anniversay and went past what it was originally supposed to be. Many people went into an uproar and sent millions of letters flooding Disney. Coming from a 13 year old VMK player, I was mad too.

My mom had showed me this game around when it just opened. I thought it was so neat. Every night after my mom would get done working I would run into the computer room and sign in as quickly as I could. I would always save up my Credits for those upcoming Fridays just to get the new items that came out. I loved making my character look pretty or to look like a character in the park. I loved playing “cute or boot”, Falling Chairs, Host Games and Quests. There were also mini games like Pirates and Haunted mansion. Those games would give you credits just for playing. But on special days you would be able to get extra credits. I would stay up late at night during the summer just to have a great closing of a wonderful day with my friends! That would always top off a day in VMK.

Hearing that VMK was closing crushed me. All that fun I had, all the friends I made and all the good times I had at closings and meeting the Hosts in their rooms, they close it! I was always asking how and why? How could they close such a great game? They were making money by making Quests in Disney Parks just to get a certain hat or furniture. Then they come out with this great deal, book a trip to Disneyworld and get a blue Stitch hat which we did! Then just before closing they made Collectable Pins you could buy in the parks and if you bought a certain pin you got a cool piece of furniture to put in your “Skull Rock room”. Also my other question was why did they all of a sudden close VMK?

For me seeing VMK close was sad. Many friends were lost but many memories will stay with me. I had lots of fun times on VMK. It’s sad seeing something you love so much just go away so fast, it’s like not seeing the game in the first place. I’ll always miss the disconnecting and the pardon our pixie dust messages. To me VMK wasn’t just a Multiplayer game it was a place of happiness and friends.


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Category: Disney World, Podcasts

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  • Cyrano

    I didn’t know about VMK very well. But Sarah’s letter strikes a note.
    Interesting that Disney want interactivity with Nintendo DS. You pay for this. Would this have a bearing? I wonder ;)

  • timmac

    I’m not too familiar with VMK either, but I understand the concept, at least. When thinking about why it would close, my initial question is how much overhead was there in the administration? Were there moderators online in the VMK? I ask because I know I’ve seen a few horror stories posted about people not trading items that they’re supposed to, or whatever else, and I imagine the requests/comments/complaints that this generates probably cause significant overhead beyond just having the servers running. Just a thought.

  • mommyceratops

    Oh I am not familiar with VMK but I am so sad for Sarah and her friends. Now I wish it was still around I want to do it….Thanks for sharing John

  • MrsP55

    Here is something interesting about the closing of VMK. I was just at the World 2 weeks ago. On the Magical Express back to the airport on May 25, VMK was still being promoted on the video they show on the bus. My husband had never heard of it before and was excited to get home and try it. I hated to burst his bubble. I hope they correct this soon to avoid any further disappointment.

  • http://www.tonya2426.blogspot.com Tonya2426

    I feel for Sarah and her friends. I also played VMK from almost the begining and I miss my Friday shopping sprees. VMK was something fun for lots of people to play and escape to the Magic Kingdom for just a little bit. It’s a shame it had to end – especially since in VMK terms I was a wealthy woman. (Translated – I had a lot of virtual stuff.)

  • UrsulasShadow

    I hate when there is something well-loved taken away.

    It’s how I would feel if the Podcast Crew decided to stop recording. What a hole that would create in my life.

  • miss missy

    My DD was on VMK for a while. She had stopped going on long before it closed, but I never went in. She kept telling me I should try it… I am kinda glad I didn’t as I would of got hooked I am sure :) I am sad for Sarah and the others who had to have it yanked from them. It was not “cool” of Disney to pull it. I wish they would leave good things alone.

    Sorry Sarah! Sorry to all VMK’ers. May you all meet again!!

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