OK, let's get one important thing out of the way. Despite the namespace used for this page, this isn't a video game. It's more like a glorified slideshow viewer program. Got that? Good.
Anyway, The Walt Disney World Explorer is a Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh computer application developed by Mindsai Productions and published by Disney Interactive that detailed the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida. It was first released in 1996 (exact date unknown) as part of the resort's 25th anniversary that year; the executable is even named "wdw25.exe".note This program had users "explore" a very stylized depiction of the resort with Tinker Bell as their cursor, clicking on various hotspots to view slideshows of various topics depicted within. These topics are narrated by Hettie Lynne Hurtes and Disney voiceover veteran Corey Burton, both of whom go over the basic history and notable facts about the resort.
OK, let's get another thing out of the way. This was really a promotional tool for Disney to digitally promote the resort back in the dial-up era of the Internet. What other way you can motivate people to plan and pay for a trip to Disney while making money off of them before they even start their planning than a carefully curated CD-ROM? This program, that's how!
A Second Edition was released in 1998 (exact date also unknown)note that added topics such as Disney's Animal Kingdom, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, and more. However, as the Internet became more ubiquitous and computer graphics improved,note Disney never released any further editions afterward. Today, both the original and Second Edition releases are now seen as a digital Time Capsule for Disney fans to relieve a golden era of the beloved resort.
Welcome to The TV Tropes World Explorer!
- Advertisement Game: For all intents and purposes, this application was made to promote the resort in the dial-up Internet era. The high-quality production values for its time and the fact that no further editions of this program were made after 1998 has worn off the "advertisement" part over the years.
- A Winner Is You: Your reward for finding ten Hidden Mickeys? A 43-second video clip of Walt Disney saying his famous "I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse," quote, followed by a brief montage of Mickey Mouse clips with the song "Congratulations, Mr. Mickey Mouse" playing. And after the clip is done or skipped, the Hidden Mickeys are "re-hidden" and the counter resets. Even then, you can easily find the clip in the CD's files (GHAC0011.AVI) to watch it without having to find any Hidden Mickeys!
- Artistic License Geography: A lot of Space Compression was done to fit a map of the resort in the game and make it look more interesting, cutting out a lot of wetlands, roads, parking lots, and various ancillary buildings that actually exist there. Some of the attractions are also placed in areas that don't match up with the relative places where they are in the real Walt Disney World. Same thing applies to the version seen in the Walt Disney World timeline, which is a little more accurate but still has some blatant faults.
- Autosave: Not in a traditional sense, but the application will automatically remember which Hidden Mickeys you've found should you leave the program and come back later.
- Bland-Name Product: For contractual purposes, Disney-MGM Studios (today Disney's Hollywood Studios) could not be mentioned under that name in certain marketing contexts, so Disney called it "Disney Studios Florida" in the program. This also forced the two photographs of the Earffel Tower used in the program to be doctored to remove the MGM branding; the photo showing its construction moved the Disney logo to the center of the blue banner on it and added tiny white pixels meant to resemble stars, while the photo of the completed tower had the Disney logo awkwardly moved to the center (you can see warping around the "Dis" part and a bit of the surrounding shadow around the D). However, if one looks carefully in the Backstage video for the general topic about the park (interestingly titled "MGMC0020.AVI"), you can see "Disney-MGM Studios" on the park's entrance as the camera flies over the park.
- Dummied Out: Coming Attractions, The Walt Disney Story Theater, and Mickey and Minnie's Country Houses were disabled and removed from the Second Edition (with Coming Attractions removed from the main map entirely), although the dialogue for the Country Houses were re-recorded by Corey Burton for the Backstage slideshow of Mickey's Toontown Fair. Additionally, Tropical Serenade was replaced by The Enchanted Tiki Room (more specifically, the Under New Management version), and Take Flight was replaced by Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin.
- Edutainment Game: If a Disney-curated visual encyclopedia of their own resort counts for the "education" part, then yes.
- Game Show Host: Charles Fleischer plays a (voiceover-only) parody of one for The Walt Disney World Quiz Challenge interactivity.
- Live-Action Cutscene: Partially, with some of the video content and the tour guide of Tours of the World.
- Minigame: There are a few here, called "Interactivities". The most prominent one is The Walt Disney World Quiz Challenge, a one-or-two-player Pop Quiz featuring various trivial facts about the resort. All the questions and answers are based on the "Trivia" slideshows found throughout the program. There's also Hidden Mickeys to find in the images themselves.
- Museum Game: You're looking at slideshow exhibits of the Walt Disney World Resort up to circa 1996/98. It's as straightforward of an example of this trope as you can possibly get.
- The '90s: Released in 1996 and 1998 and looks the part, especially with various people's clothing in the photographs used. Sounds like it sometimes, too, what with some background music in the slideshows.
- Point-and-Click Game: As loose as you can get with the "game" part.
- Recycled Soundtrack: Much of the application's background music is taken from Disney's own music archives, especially from various Walt Disney World shows and attractions. For example, the "It's a Small World" snippet for the main Walt Disney World background music comes from the IllumiNations 25 medley.
- Time Capsule: An unintentional example, considering that Disney never bothered to make any subsequent editions after the Second Edition. Either way, people with the application can relive Walt Disney World in its 1990s heyday anytime they want.
- Updated Re-release: 1998's Second Edition, adding new topics about things added to the resort since 1996, updating a few others, and removing some that no longer existed by 1998.