Disney Parks Blog: New Fantasyland Time-lapse

The Disney Parks Blog team has posted frequent updates on the Fantasyland expansion over the past few months. One of my favorite things to see is time-lapse videos of the Fantasyland progress.

This video posted on Wednesday gives you a birds-eye view of the progress so far:

Some people (including myself) will critique the Disney Parks Blog for not always being the first place to break Disney-related news. However, you have to commend the DPB team for cranking out quality Fantasyland content on a consistent basis.

Comments: How often do you check the Disney Parks Blog? What would you like to see more of from the DPB team?

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Disney, DeNA to develop social games

Disney and DeNA Co. announced last week the two companies would jointly develop mobile social games.

DeNA is a provider of mobile portal and e-commerce website based in Japan. It owns the Mobage platform, which is a popular cell phone gaming platform in Japan, as well as operating many other e-commerce based services.

DeNA and Disney said they will launch two games in Japan based on Disney characters and one on characters from Disney’s Marvel Comics unit, according to media reports.

The two companies may develop additional titles and also plan to work together beyond the social gaming sphere. This month, Disney launched the Facebook game “Marvel: Avengers Alliance,” involving characters from the superhero movie due for release in May.

DeNA, a startup company that launched in 1999, has grown to over 35 million users on its platform in Japan.

New Facebook Game Inspired by Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The first-ever social game inspired by Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park is coming to Facebook.

The social game Disney Animal Kingdom Explorers includes “The Tree of Life,” and during game play, players will have a chance to create and nurture wildlife, according to the Disney Parks Blog.

Players will search for hidden objects in natural settings, from the Rocky Mountains to the Amazon rainforest to the Australian outback. The game, developed by Playdom, features scenes directly inspired by the park. This is the first time Playdom has worked with an official Disney-branded IP.

The game is another example of Disney connecting social/game experiences to the theme parks, a big part of the company’s social media strategy.

In a game review on gamezebo.com, Playdom developers said the preserve-building elements of the game won’t mimic the style of gameplay you’d see in a typical social zoo game. It’s not about building concession stands and attracting tourists, but rather creating as authentic a habitat as possible for the animals.

After playing the game, you quickly see how the game works. While I was able to quickly find some of the easier animals, rare animals like the “Caecilias” will certainly expand your knowledge of the animal kingdom.

Want to play the game too? Check out the demo here.

Inside Disney’s Social Media Strategy

Last month, Digiday highlighted Disney in an article about social media strategies. The article featured Amanda Grant, director of distribution for Disney Interactive, who shared details of the company’s social media strategy.

The article takes an in depth look at how the company approaches each social media outlet differently.

“Heavy engagement happens with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, while we test strategies with emerging platforms like location-based services, Google Plus and social deals platforms,” Grant said in the article.

When asked specifically about their Facebook strategy, Grant said they use Facebook to listen to the community.

“At the heart of every social strategy, we seek to succinctly define the objective, fundamentally understand how people use the platform, observe and listen to the community and create the types of tactics that we think will produce optimal results. Facebook is about content sharing among our 13-and-older audience, making connections and sparking conversation.”

Grant also went into detail about how Disney engages audiences on Facebook and Twitter.

“Simply put, our engagement on the platforms is centered on two main principles: reach families and Disney enthusiasts and share content that our guests are compelled to talk about and share,” said Grant. ” The Muppets is a good example of a Facebook page that is in an active campaign window for the studio.”

Grant also mentioned the @DisneyMemories Twitter account, which we explained in a previous article.

“We started with the grounding idea, “If the Parks could speak, what would they say?” When we launched, the other handles that Disney Parks used were very news driven. We wanted to test something different to see if we could create more engagement and inject a little Disney magic into a channel built around conversational broadcasting. We started by giving each of the Parks a personality and also creating a family tree to identify how each of them related to each other. In about a month, @DisneyMemories became the second largest Parks-related Twitter handle behind @WaltDisneyWorld.”

In the article, I was most intrigued by Disney’s continued willingness to discuss it’s social media strategy. In several articles, Disney has been open about their digital strategy. The one constant is Disney’s primary goal of connecting with it’s passionate fan base – even more proof that when it comes to social media, Disney “gets it.”