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Disney’s Toontown Online Expands with Second Advanced Gameplay Area

–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb. 17, 2005–Disney Online, part of the Walt Disney Internet Group, today announced a highly-anticipated expansion in Disney’s Toontown Online, the first massively multiplayer (MMP) game for kids and families. The new area, Cashbot Cog Headquarters (HQ), is designed for advanced players and delivers more challenging gameplay, platform style puzzles and a completely new eight-person boss battle.

Using personalized Toon avatars, players join forces to save Toontown from the robot Cogs – Bossbots, Lawbots, Cashbots, and Sellbots – who are attempting to turn the colorful world of Toontown into a dark metropolis of skyscrapers and businesses. Cog Headquarters are advanced gameplay areas within Toontown.

“Cashbot HQ is part of our plan to evolve and grow Toontown over time. The area offers completely new challenges and environments for our players – it’s really a game within a game,” said Steve Parkis, Vice President of Premium Products, Disney Online. “Much as Disney has been able to accomplish with our theme parks, the creative team of the VR Studio continues to bring imaginative and varied styles of game play and enjoyment to the Toontown world. This allows families to enjoy a shared experience, while having something different about the experience appeal to each individual guest.”

Players enter Cashbot HQ via Pajama Place, a street in Donald’s Dreamland – one of Toontown’s six themed neighborhoods. Once inside Cashbot HQ, Toons must courageously make their way through a train yard and enter the Mint, where Cashbots manufacture Cogbucks, the Cog currency. Once inside, Toons must complete difficult tasks in order to build a Cog disguise and earn access to the Vault – the dangerous home to the most senior Cashbot, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). As a reward for defeating the CFO, Toons are granted new powers to heal other Toons or restock other Toons’ gags and jellybeans, the games’ weapons and currency.

Cashbot HQ follows the successful launch of Sellbot HQ, the first Cog Headquarters which debuted in March 2003.

“MMPs like Toontown are able to maintain their appeal because they are ever changing. Although we initially designed Toontown primarily for more casual gamers, we now have a significant population of more advanced players,” said Mike Goslin, Vice President of the VR Studio, Walt Disney Internet Group, the group that develops Toontown. “Cashbot HQ gives our advanced players new challenges and makes the Toontown world larger and more interesting for everyone.”

Since launch in June 2003, Toontown has continued to gain momentum in the marketplace, keeping gamers of all ages entertained and challenged. Toontown is currently available for download at www.toontown.com for $9.95 per month. Longer-term memberships are available at reduced rates, and for consumers who prefer to try before they buy there is a 3-day free trial period available.

Disney Online

Disney Online (www.disney.com) produces the number one kids’ entertainment and family community destinations on the Internet that consistently reflects the magic that has come to be expected of Disney. Its “neighborhoods”, specifically designed for each member of the family, include Disney’s Blast (www.disneyblast.com) and Disney’s Toontown Online (www.Toontown.com), both premium subscription services, as well as Disney Store, Destinations, Playhouse Disney, Kids Island, Entertainment, FamilyFun and Inside Disney.

Disney Online also produces FamilyFun.com (www.familyfun.com), the premier online family resource for great ideas, practical advice and fun stuff to do, and Movies.com (www.movies.com), a leading site that provides a broad array of reviews and information to help movie fans make the right choice on movie night.

Disney Online is a part of The Walt Disney Internet Group, which provides integrated strategic and operational Internet services for The Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE:DISNews) Internet initiatives. Disney’s Virtual Reality Studio, now part of Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG), developed Toontown using its own PANDA3D proprietary network game engine. The VR Studio was established as part of Walt Disney Imagineering R&D, to drive the creativity and experience of the Disney theme parks into the online 3D world.



Contact:
     Walt Disney Internet Group
Brandy Phillips, (818) 623-3764
brandy.phillips@dig.com
or
mPRm Public Relations
Yasmeen Coning, (323) 933-3399
yconing@mprm.com





Source: Walt Disney Internet Group