This is the epic trans-media advertising tale of the largest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. It's a tale that began with a simple story—the story of growing up, of lost memories, and the fantastical lands that go on existing without us, just out of view.
Thanks to ridiculously talented partners North Kingdom, Mirada, DinahMoe, Nth Degree, Disney Imagineering, Disney Entertainment, Disney Publishing, and WDPRO, without whom this project would not have happened.
A Tale Only We Could Tell
We were given a staggering responsibility: to retell four of the most beloved Disney stories to an international audience, simultaneously, in a way delightful to both toddlers and adults. So we put on our thinking galoshes and made a new story from the dozens of existing plotlines about castles and dreams and true love.
Center of Gravity
It was going to be a big campaign, but we needed a base. A place where you could come to experience the complete tale from start to finish..
So we created an immersive, interactive digital experience where you can live the tale of the New Fantasyland curse—as the protagonist. It would all be revealed by you, the hero, at FindingFantasyland.com.
It was important to distinguish this area from the 'classic Fantasyland', which is typically whitewashed, idealistic and squeaky clean. New Fantasyland is characterized by a wilder, overgrown and natural forest aesthetic. This identity reflects an aged look, while retaining the majesty of medieval fantasy. This design philosophy led every tactic in the campaign.
We called it 'Fantastical Minimalism'.
Think of a tactic, and we probably did it. Apps, print, out-of-home, experiential, social, email, mini teaser campaigns, press kits, microsites, flying dragons, celebrities, PR, blah blah blah. You know when Disney revamps the core of the core of the core of its parks, we weren't going to mess around.
Creating a World
When you're standing in New Fantasyland, you are part of a dream. It's impossible to capture by any standard method. Much more so when most of it is under construction.
So we set out to digitally reconstruct this magical kingdom, brick by magical brick. We consulted heavily with Imagineering, pored over tens of thousands of animation archive reference files, photographed the site's every nook and cranny, and molded an Enchanted Forest from the dust of digital nothingness. Then we made it explorable online—the only limit is your imagination.
And don't forget to find the hidden Mickeys!
Happily Ever After
Working on this thing, there were a lot of times when we would forget we were making ads. The story just sort of swallowed boundaries and walls and silos and begged to be told. The best part was seeing it all come full circle when all the kids-turned-cursebreakers entered the park to see the tributes to their heroism on display—only Disney could make it all so real.