PROJECT: BACKSTAGE PASS (BSP) WITH DONALD'S WACKY QUACKY PASS. REFRESHED, AS PART OF MY DISNEY VACATION (MDV) REDESIGN, TO CHIP 'N' DALE'S FUN TREE

Client: Disney World
Roles: brand strategist, project lead copywriter, researcher, UX lead

Audience: 

  • BSP with Donald's WQP began as gated content for Disneyphiles.
  • BSP with Chip 'n' Dale's Fun Tree was ungated and for everyone.   

Objective: 

  • Launch Guest-focused games and activities
  • This is Backstage Pass, so the content here dove deep in Disney history or trivia or included straight-up information.
  • Donald's WQP was more playful and designed for Disneyphiles, or parents and kids to use together.
  • Chip 'n' Dale had fun games. It also had 360º images, Panoramic Point, that gave backstage information about attractions, experiences, and events.

Tags—project roles & focus: 
adscreative directioneditorinteractive / gamespitchesproject lead copywriterresearchscripts, travel writingUX direction


 

I... recognize Dina Hardy for her continued creative excellence displayed through her writing for Backstage Pass. Thank you, Dina, for being such an irreplaceable asset to the team!"
—Sara C.,
Site Producer


 

The Story
 

donald duck's wacky quacky pass

The Wacky Quacky Pass with Donald Duck was one of the first really creative projects that was assigned to me when I started at WDPRO.

I looked forward to it every month, and I remained the project copy lead for years, until the WQP finally disappeared during a massive site redesign.


select screenshots from Donald's Wacky Quacky Pass

 

reviews from WQP users, taken from various Disney fan sites

[Wacky Quacky Pass is] pretty much simple trivia about the parks...It is simple, but very cool. Can't wait to let the kids in on this one. It's the perfect level for them."

"There is a fun game called Donald's Wacky Quacky Pass where Donald loses his pass and you go through the parks and attractions to find it. What fun when you're at home and not in WDW!"

"This may be old news to most of you, but it is new to me. I just went to it for the first time this evening and it's pretty cool. There is a cute game called "Donald's Whacky Quacky Pass" which is pretty neat."

"I really enjoy the game & the photo background prize...and I like to see how fast I can find Donald."

"I tried out the donald game plus it got me onto the site exploring around. I never have done this...coming here for info instead.. Disney does have a cool website." 


copy for the last Donald’s Wacky Quacky Pass
written in July, launched in December

The holiday season was getting quite near, so Donald set out to catch some Yuletide cheer.
While frolicking with spirits future, present and past, Donald somehow lost his Wacky Quacky Pass!
He thinks he remembers where he had it last...
But his memory’s like sand through an hourglass.
Donald needs your help to find his Pass fast!

How to Play
Select a location on the map. Try not to stray — with every correct selection, Donald remembers where he went today.
Move your mouse to find your way, point towards the edges of the map, ok?


Donald began where there are plenty of shops and he bought gifts for everyone on his list — from the bottom to the top.
>   Can you help him find this spot?

Downtown Disney Area — that’s right!
>   Much to Donald’s delight, he then saw stars that shine — day and night.

Kudos! You found Disney-MGM Studios! 
>   Next, Donald played in a place where he could seek and explore, discover — and soar into space.

You landed in Epcot — what a blast! See the dreams of the future come true in a flash!
>   From here, Donald rode a clamobile to visit a fish who grew up to be rather noble. Dive in and make a splash!

In The Seas with Nemo and Friends, you’ll never be alone — 8,500 creatures call this water their home.
>   Eager to visit more pals of his own, Donald zipped in a car through a super-speed zone.

Test Track it is! Buckle up, on your mark — cruise around the fastest attraction in all Disney Parks.
>   Then, slowing for a moment ‘neath a decorated tree, Donald watched twinkling lights appear while his Friends sang merrily.

You’re in time to see the Character Tree Lighting Ceremony. Miles of garland add to this festivity that occurs in the American Gardens Theater — so joyously!
>   But alas, no Pass. So Donald remembered he dashed from tree to shining tree, excited to hear the story of this holiday’s history — and eat a hot tamale!

¡Qué bueno! Storytellers Juan, Carlos and Miguel — The Three Kings at Mexican Pavilion — told Donald of the special meaning that their day brings.
>   Warmed by these stories of yore, Donald longed to hear more. Strolling through the night and cold, he found an outdoor theater where candles burn, a choir sings and the Christmas tale is told.

You arrived at the Candlelight Processional — performers at the American Gardens Theater number over 400 in all!
>   Across the water Donald saw colors bursting bright. Boom! It’s fireworks and music that are lighting up the night.

Congratulations!
You found Holiday IllumiNations. Donald has a revelation: This is where he left his Pass before the celebration! Donald’s thanks he is sending, as this story reaches its final ending — one last wish before goodbye, may your holiday dreams reach beyond the bright sky.


 

backstage pass redesign to
Chip 'n' Dale's Fun Tree

The Story

The beginning of 2008 saw the end of Donald's Wacky Quacky Pass—with the copy for the last Pass above. Collaborating with a strategist, we brainstormed, researched, and developed a replacement for the Wacky Quacky Pass.

 

The Redesign Pitch

We pitched a lot of ideas: from Minnie's Kitchen with heathy and easy recipes and fitness tips to having a lesser-known Disney character as a host——J. Audubon Woodlore park ranger (see him in the 1956 animated short In the Bag, with his foil Humphrey Bear (look for Smokey the Bear's cameo))——with fun environmental facts and an animal focus——and plenty of opportunities to link to the (at that time) newly expanded Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Chip 'n' Dale

Thinking about parks lead us to Chip 'n' Dale——who first made their appearance in 1943's Private Pluto.

In 1947, the chipmunks crossed paths with Donald Duck in The Wintering. These two rascally rodents spend the episode tormenting Donald after he chops down their tree for firewood, steals their acorn stash, and leaves them in the cold.

Chip 'n' Dale (Chip metaphorically, Dale literally) kick Donald's butt and get their house back. They seemed like the perfect hosts for the next phase of Backstage Pass: Chip 'n' Dale's Fun Tree.

Here's what Sara, the Site Producer, said about my work on Donald's WQP——and how I said goodbye to Donald and hello to Chip 'n' Dale. 


IN OTHERS' WORDS

"I... recognize Dina Hardy for her continued creative excellence displayed through her writing for Backstage Pass.

Dina has entertained us each month with clues in Donald’s quest for his Wacky Quacky Pass. She has done a fabulous job of researching the clever idiosyncrasies of Donald Duck and providing the additional copy needed for each newsletter. Each month she goes above and beyond the expectations of the team and the Business.

In ART today we presented the replacement for The Wacky Quacky Pass Activity and I would like to share the with you the poem she wrote in memoriam of Donald’s Wacky Quacky Pass."
—Sara Corner, Site Producer

Wacky
by Walt Whitney

O Donald! My Donald! the chipmunks now have won;
Nine months have pass’d, this couldn’t last, for Business says you’re done;
Your Pass was lost, then found and toss’d—for that, one fan is crying.
The time has come to hang your hat—black brim and tassel flying.

But O quack! quack! quack!
This duck, he quacks so angrily—
‘Cause Chip ‘n’ Dale are taking over
the W.Q.P.!


Chip 'n' Dale's Fun Tree

The Fun Tree had word searches, travel tips, videos, articles, and games like acorn catch, a memory matching game, tic tac toe, a tree jump contest, and Chip's Leaf Riding.

There was also Panoramic Point——which had a 360º image you could spin around to find acorn points.

Select the acorns to see fun facts about the image. There was a Panoramic Points about the pitcher's mound at Wide World of Sports, the Japan Pavilion at EPCOT, Jedi in Training at Hollywood Studios, the Lights, Motor, Action attraction, Pirates & Princes Parade, the Shark Reef at Typhoon Lagoon, and more. 

But may favorite was the Animal Procedure room with a tiger on the table. 


example of panoramic point (sans acorns)
360º image with animal facts

 
  • This is an Asian tiger, a Bengal hybrid. Her name is Cheyenne, and she is about 10 years old.
  • There are 6 female tigers in Disney Animal Kingdom Park.
  • Cheyenne is getting a check-up. The zookeepers noticed a problem and want to make her healthy again.
  • She weighs 300 pounds/137kg.
  • It typically takes 4 people to lift her on the table.
  • In preparation for her anesthesia, food was withheld for 12 hours.
  • The procedure lasted about 3 hours from induction of anesthesia until she recovered.
  • The woman in the dark blue shirt is a certified veterinary technician  (aka: animal nurse) who is monitoring the anesthesia of the tiger by watching her breathing, heart rate and other vital signs during the procedure. 
  • This photo was taken in the veterinary hospital to at Rafiki's Planet Watch. This backstage area is open to view for all day Guests.
  • The exam schedule is posted each morning in front of the vet show window. 
  • Small animals, including lizards, mice, fish, frogs, are also brought into the animal procedure room.
  • For animals—rhinos, hippos, elephants—that are too large for the exam room, the doctors make house calls. 

IN OTHERS' WORDS

“You’ve been recognized for Chip ‘n’ Dale Fun Tree development and execution. Team, you absolutely pulled through on some really creative work for the new fiscal launch of the Backstage Pass newsletter. I am sure our guests will love the dedication and work that was put into the new design, games and 360s.”
—Fabian R., PDM

 

“I’ve always especially enjoyed your creativity with the Backstage Pass pages. They’ve been fun to read, reflecting the fact that they were fun to write. They have, as you mention, evolved in a less “fun” direction, but you have still managed to keep them “flavorful,” which I’m sure our Guests respond positively to.

"You’ve acknowledged business objectives within the context of creating user-friendly experiences, showing a strong skill at balancing the needs of the user with the needs of the Business.”
—BJ M., Copy Manager