A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Currently, prescripted messages can only be sent from players to people they know (via email address), but this may change. According to media reports, later this year kids will be able to participate in a "virtual world," on the site.
Products & Purchases
There's a substantial amount of Disney branding and product placement happening here, including Disney fairy products, must-see Disney fairy movies, and more to buy. While kids can dress and decorate the fairies and their rooms for free, they'll soon be able to earn pixie dust tokens for other rewards like wallpaper (for their own computer, not their fairy's room). The site isn't giving the tokens out until an upcoming upgrade.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this virtual world based on Tinker Bell sparkles like fairy dust for young fairy fans -- and may glitter like gold for Disney, depending on how much money parents spend there. Currently, prescripted messages can only be sent from players to people they know (via email address). But parents should be on the alert that this may change: According to media reports, later this year kids will be able to participate in a "virtual world" on the site.The main activity is creating your own fairies, dressing them, and decorating their houses a la Webkinz. However, players don't have to earn web money and spend it for fairy products. The site is also creating hype for the fall 2008 release of the direct-to-DVD movie Tinker Bell.
Is It Any Good?
The site gives kids random name choices for their characters (a good safety tool) and a fake fairy address. Overall, DisneyFairies.com is safe, beautiful, and just plain fun imaginative fantasy for younger girls through perhaps second or third grade. But while she's dressing her fairies in fancy forest fashion, you may want to help your kid become aware of the site's subtle marketing practices and the sometimes overwhelming Disney branding.
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