Virtual Disney Closing its Doors

Company pulls plug tomorrow, and fans aren't happy
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted May 20, 2008 5:30 PM CDT
Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse wave to visitors as they display their Chinese New Year costumes designed by Hong Kong fashion designer Vivienne Tam at Hong Kong Disneyland Monday, Jan. 21, 2008.    (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
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(Newser) – Diehard fans are outraged at plans to shut down a virtual version of Disneyland tomorrow, the Wall Street Journal reports. Players of Virtual Magic Kingdom, a free online game Disney started to celebrate the theme park’s 50th anniversary in 2005, are protesting throughout the blogosphere; some 20,000 have signed an online petition opposing the company's decision to pull the plug.

Virtual Magic Kingdom is an online re-creation of the real Disneyland in which visitors explore the online park, chat with other visitors, and accumulate points to use in real life. Despite its popularity, Disney is ready to shut down the game in favor of its other virtual worlds, such as Club Penguin, which bring in monthly subscription fees and, the company says, are even more popular.