Examiner chats with Stewart Malcolm and Allison Petrek the Associate Level Designer, Community and Community Manager of the “Disney Infinity” franchise, for an inside look at how the team came up with some awesome Toy Box creations to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Disney Land. Able to take a virtual tour of the park, with your favorite “Disney Infinity” figures, The Disney Land Project is one of the coolest events in the history of the series.
Examiner: How important has it been for you, in this capacity, to be a part of the Disney Land 60th anniversary?
Stewart Malcolm: This Disneyland project was a labor of love. Disneyland has been a cherished part of my life since I was two years old, and it was a dream of mine to use the outstanding Disney Infinity Toy Box to recreate it with the help of some of the best Toy Box builders in the fan community. The finished project, where not only the look, but also the magical experience of Disneyland’s attractions have been perfectly captured, is simply amazing. To have it included as part of the 60th anniversary is humbling and really special.
Allison Petrek: The timing couldn’t have been better that just as the community was wrapping up the Disneyland Toy Box Project, Disneyland Resort kicked off their 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration. This project has been a fantastic opportunity for the Disney Infinity team and community alike to share our love for Disneyland all across the globe with contributors as far away as Spain participating.
Examiner: Just for someone who doesn’t understand how in-depth the creation process is in the game, how long do you think some of these creations took?
Malcolm: This project has been in process on and off for months. Countless hours have gone into recreating each attraction, which really speaks to how important it was for the community and me to capture every detail. It was cool for us to use the toys and pieces in the Toy Box in new and creative ways, and to use the Toy Box’s logic toys to pull off some amazing effects.
Examiner: What else makes these creations special to you?
Malcolm: My vision for this project was to bring the fan community together in a way that had not been previously done. Seeing how enthusiastically they came together to recreate the iconic Disneyland attractions was more than I had hoped for and I’m amazed at how awesome their creations are. Seeing what was recreated and being able to walk through the virtual Disney Infinity version of the park captures the real-life experience in an incredible way. It brings back so many of my wonderful memories of Disneyland.
Examiner: What was the response like from the user community?
Petrek: I’ve been amazed by the community response to the Disneyland Toy Box Project. They truly worked together to make the dream of recreating Disneyland in Toy Box 2.0 come true. They coordinated with each other to figure out which attractions they wanted to build to make sure all of the attractions were covered. Some even teamed up to work on the Toy Boxes together, combining their talents to make the best attractions they possibly can. For example, a four-person team (Modeltrainman, CCRunner524, KingOfTheTunas, and SonicPhoto) built Space Mountain with stunning accuracy and actually included two modes for riders – the classic track and the Halloween version Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy.
Examiner: The Disney Infinity community is unique, to say the least. What were some of the best creations that have come out of this effort?
Petrek: The Disney Infinity community is always innovating and surprising us with what they’re able to use the tools of the Toy Box to create. For the Disneyland Project, there were several Toy Boxes that give the player the option to set down the controller, sit back, and enjoy the ride. Snow White Fantasyland Ride by erdadi3 was one of these. As the camera moves through each room of the attraction, showing Snow White’s adventures in beautifully detailed scenes, you’re experiencing it from a first person point of view. The team didn’t even realize this was possible. We love being surprised by the creativity and ingenuity of our community.
Examiner: Which creation do you think was the most unique?
Petrek: All of the Disneyland Toy Boxes were all truly incredible. The team was especially impressed by the Haunted Mansion Toy Box by Vasuri83. She recreated the attraction perfectly right down to the angle of the camera, which mimics the point of view of the Doom Buggy during the Haunted Mansion. For example, the player sees the ballroom scene from above and, at the end of the ride, a hitchhiking ghost joins you in the cart!
Examiner: What’s next?
Petrek: We actually just posed this question to our community. Their suggestions included tackling the attractions of California Adventure next as well as putting their efforts toward recreating Walt Disney World Resort. With the enhanced Toy Box 3.0, the community is going to be able to take their creations to the next level. For example, the Path Tool will allow players to draw a path and attach vehicles, NPC’s, and effects triggers to it. I’m excited to see how players can leverage this tool to create the rollercoaster attractions and customized fireworks shows in an even bigger way.