Four years ago today (On May 21st, 2008, to be exact) Virtual Magic Kingdom was shut
down. One of Disney's more popular tries at an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer
Online Role Playing Game. Think World of Warcraft.), the closing of VMK was met
with petitions, and a not-so-successful protest at the park. VMK was ultimately
closed, and fans to this day still lurk the unofficial VMK forums, reminiscing
about their old game. VMK was ultimately meant only to really promote other
Disney products, but attracted a devoted fanbase.
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
The game itself was pretty standard - Disney's attempt at
Habbo Hotel with beautiful backgrounds and excellent music. Fans created mods
(Modifications to the game that can be installed) that improved the game, a
common staple of MMOs. But once VMK was gone, its fansites (EX: vmkpal & vmkmagic) slowly began to shut down. All except one, that is.
And that one is VMK revisited,
a fangroup's attempt at rebuilding the game. For legal reasons, it's not
rebuilding the game itself, but only the scenery and familiar menus. It's an
impressive effort. As someone who used VMK to enter into the world of MMO's,
testing out the rebuild of VMK was happy nostalgia for me.
Although it was only around for a while, VMK had a largely
positive community (And an extremely strict word filter) and an extremely
dedicated fanbase. While it was up, VMK had the potential to be anything - Not
to the extent of Minecraft, but enough that ten year olds could make a room
into a comedy club if they wanted, or a fashion contest, or a trading room, or
whatever they desired. Fans used the doors from the Monster's Inc. ride opening
in Disney California Adventure Park to link their rooms and create large mazes with prizes and
secrets. It allowed them to go to Disney when it was impossible to visit. To
quote an 11 year-old fan who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy:
"I love VMK cause I can WALK, TALK, EAT, DANCE,
SHOP and play checkers all by myself. p.s. VMK is GERM FREE too! p.s.s. and no one stares at me
So it's understandable to see why fans would miss this game and try to rebuild it. And these fans have made a valiant effort. Whether or not you were a fan of VMK, VMKrevisited is definitely worth taking a look at.
Is it open source? Seems like a good project to contribute to...
Unfortunately the project is no longer being worked on.
I don't see why disney gave up on this game. It's almost like they lost their imagination with this game. There was so much that they could have done with vmk and expanded it more. They gave up too quickly on a game that was nothing more then just a promotional game to them but it was a game that we all could feel like we were in the parks and talking to one another and playing games and enjoying disney like walt disney would have wanted us too. We're not forgetting all the kids who had cancer or dissabilities that prevented them from going to the parks simply because they were too sick or couldn't go out in public for fear of getting sick. vmk gave them a way to leave that behind for a while. Was Disney in too big of a hurry to get rid of this game and put something else in it's place to make money? Did they really think it through before they closed down a game that meant the world to us? I think they did and didn't care about the outcome. they just gave us an excuse. it was never meant to be. but it was a special game to us
VMK was the awesome game from Disney. if we can't go to the real the parks we could go online playing VMK. I don't mind if we have to pay like Toontown, Clubpenguin, pixie and the pirate online games. I bet everyone who in 2005 until now people want VMK back. We want it so badly to come back
Omg! I had no idea they shut down VMK. Ive actually never played it. I recently read a book called Kingdom Keepers and that was in it so i decided to look it up because i wanted to play it. NO! They should have VMK again. It looked like a fun game where you can chat with friends and make it like your actually at disney world.
Im sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sad.
Hi Olive (BuggyBoo13 (also my sis) )I know. people who cant go to disney world could go on VMK but its all done. @ LuLu i know right!
EVERYONE!!!!!! READ KINGDOM KEEPERS IT BRINGS ORIGINAL DISNEY TO LIFE. WALTER DISNEY WOULD HAVE WANTED EVERYONE TO RELIVE THE MAGIC LIKE OLD TIMES WHEN HE FIRST INVENTED DISNEY WORLD. THAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT. TO MAKE KIDS EXPERIENCE MAGIC.
Someone! Make a petition to re-open Virtual Magic Kingdom . Do it for Walt. (walter disney)
@ miranda sweat: i totally agree. Walt Disney (the person) would have wanted this too ;(