On April 22, 2013 Disney’s Animal Kingdom will celebrate it’s 15th birthday. I was a cast member way back when this park opened and was the designer of the first-ever event site Disney had ever produced. Our team at Disney’s Multimedia Group worked for months to create a website that would promote this new park, but like the physical opening day, would only be live on Disney.com for a single day.
Once the day had arrived a new page went live and throughout the day there were near-live videos and other activities to promote the festivities of opening day for fans who could not be at the park on the opening day. It was a first for Disney and proved to be a triumph for Disney with this site producing over a 650% increase of traffic for the day on Disney.com.
At the end of the day, the site also provided a screensaver download for the guests who watched the events unfold throughout the daylong online celebration.
It was an amazing experience to be part of the opening of the park and the start of a tradition at Disney that continues to this day. Disney’s Animal Kingdom has evolved, like all of Disney’s Parks, through the years and stands on the threshold of some new and exciting developments coming in the next few years. I have a special place in my heart for this park due to my involvement with my team at the Disney MMG and our part in introducing this new gate to the work through the internet all those years ago.
Here’s to the next 15 years for the cast and crew at the park!