Disney’s Virtual Magic Kingdom was an online game for children that represented the physical theme parks and gave park visitors exclusive digital items. It was launched in 2005 as an ‘advergame’ for Disneyland’s 50th birthday celebration.
The game was an early example of an experience that sat at the intersection of physical and digital: achievements in the game unlocked experiences within the physical parks, and retail products purchased in the parks spawned digital copies in the game. If players created their avatar during a Disneyland visit, they got a special status: ‘born in park’.
The game was closed in 2008, despite a ‘Save VMK’ campaign by the fans: