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Christmas Gift Guide
Internet

From E ride to email

 

Take Disney.com for a spin
Disney is starting to use its Web sites to capitalize on the "synergy" of its empire. Analysts believe this synergy is crucial if the company is to ensure strong growth. For a test drive, roll your mouse over each Disney business to see how it could tie in with Disney.com. Some of these features are already available; others are hypothetical.

 
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The following chart, while not interactive, provides a roadmap to the Disney's future online empire.

Take Disney.com for a spin
Disney is starting to use its Web sites to capitalize on the "synergy" of its empire. Analysts believe this synergy is crucial if the company is to keep its growth strong. The following sections illustrate how each Disney business could tie in with Disney.com. Some of these features are already available; others are hypothetical.

Consumer products
Viewers can purchase home videos, books, software, and games featuring Disney characters, as well as Disney gear like mouseketeer hats, T-shirts, and other product tie-ins.

Movies
Currently, viewers can interact and play games with Disney movie characters online. In the new promotional site for 101 Dalmations, for example, viewers can adopt a virtual dalmation puppy and play games with their cyberpets. They can also find out how to buy movie tickets for special screenings, enter contests to win product tie-ins, and print out coloring books to use offline.

Television and radio
Currently, viewers can interact and play games with Disney TV characters online, like Science Guy Bill Nye or Donald's Quack Pack, and learn about upcoming events on the Disney Channel and ABC network. While Disney units ABC and ESPN currently maintain separate sites, the company could choose to combine them into an integrated service, offering news and sports information to subscribers.

Publishing
Viewers currently can browse Disney Publishing's online catalog, read serialized stories online, and preview and order animated storybooks on CD-ROM. Family.com, the company's online publication, offers specialized content for kids and families which could ultimately be integrated into a Disney proprietary network, as could content from Capital Cities/ABC's seven daily newspapers, many specialized trade publications, and Fairchild Publications, the publisher of Women's Wear Daily and W, among others.

Theme Parks
Currently, viewers can learn about upcoming events at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, and research a visit to the two parks. In a special promotion, they can also request reservations at Disneyland Paris for a special "Hunchback of Notre Dame Family Vacation" package. Eventually, Disney could act as travel agent, arranging vacation packages to Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo Disneyland.

Vacation resorts and real estate
Viewers currently can research prices and request reservations at the Disney Institute, a special resort within Walt Disney World that offers specialized programs for adults and Disney Day Camp for kids. Eventually, viewers could make all their travel and lodging arrangements to the Disney Institute and the new Hilton Head, North Carolina, and Vero Beach, Florida, resorts online, with Disney acting as travel agent.