"It's kind of fun to do the impossible."
Our mission is to raise Disney’s awareness of the Kingdom Hearts fanbase at the Magic Kingdom by hosting a night where at least 300 fans attend one of Disney’s Halloween events dressed in Kingdom Hearts cosplay or clothing. At the same time, this event doubles as a Kingdom Hearts fellowship event for fans across the county—and across the globe. By connecting the hearts of a legion of fans, we will be connecting these two Kingdoms together. This is why our slogan is: “Connecting Kingdom. Connecting Hearts.”
Ultimately, our goal is to have Kingdom Hearts represented in the theme parks in some consistent and visible way, either through merchandise, official Kingdom Hearts costumes, attractions, or some other presence. While we do not believe that this single event will get Kingdom Hearts into the Magic Kingdom overnight, we strongly believe that it is a powerful step towards that final goal.
Our motto is: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” Walt Disney himself saw this as his personal philosophy for life and kept moving forward towards his own dreams of theme parks, memorable characters, and animated films. We hope to follow his legacy by doing something seemingly impossible—getting Kingdom Hearts into the Magic Kingdom.
If Walt could do it, so can we. We believe that—by uniting together—we can accomplish our own impossible goal… and have fun at the same time.
ABOUT OUR LOGO
The PROJECT: Magic Kingdom Hearts logo represents all that our mission stands for.
The project name itself is a combination of the words “Magic Kingdom” and “Kingdom Hearts” with the word “Kingdom” being at the center. This represents our ultimate goal of uniting these two Kingdoms into one. The symbols of the Disney Castle and the iconic Heart further emphasis this unity.
The arch connecting the words “Magic” and “Hearts” flows through three orbs. These orbs represent the number three—a number of high importance in the Kingdom Hearts series. Each installment follows a set of three characters on a journey in which they are usually separated. In the end though, these three remain united in their hearts and eventually meet each other again.
This number—three—will be the magic number of our project. Our goal is to have at least 300 Kingdom Hearts fans fill the Magic Kingdom on the night of the event.
But, hey, why not aim for 3,000 while we're at it?
THE ORIGIN STORY
"It all started with a Deep Dive Riku cosplayer..."
A special message from Cutsceneaddict, the founder of PROJECT: Magic Kingdom Hearts
In 2012, I attended Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party for the first time. Ever since I’d gotten into Kingdom Hearts, I’d dreamed of cosplaying one of the characters and going to the Magic Kingdom in costume. That day I got my wish.
What I discovered at the park surprised me. Many other Kingdom Hearts cosplayers attended that night. Several Disney cast members complimented my costume and began discussing Kingdom Hearts with me. Both children and adults recognized my character, and I ended up posing for a lot of photographs.
It all got me thinking: Why is there no Kingdom Hearts representation at the Magic Kingdom? The series is so deeply steeped in Disney that it surely it deserves some small spot at the parks.
I did some research. It turns out that, in the past, Disney World has had a few odd sightings of Kingdom Hearts—action figures, pins, even having Donald, Goofy, and Sora characters one Halloween. Most of these cameos took place during the series' earlier years, and little has been seen or heard of Kingdom Hearts at the Disney parks since.
That’s when I decided that we—as fans—should step up and be heard.
Why not have an event where Kingdom Hearts fans fill the Magic Kingdom in order to show their support for the series? An event like this would tell the Magic Kingdom that we love Disney, we love Kingdom Hearts, and we’d love to see them unite in the parks.
And just like that PROJECT: Magic Kingdom Hearts was born.
Since its first event in 2013 (which had over 120 cosplayers and fans in attendance), PROJECT: Magic Kingdom Hearts has gone on to inspire a similar event in Disneyland, California, called Disneyland of Departure (now the Keybearer's Alliance); and numerous Disney cast members and Square Enix staff have supported or attended these events, including Quinton Flynn (Axel), Paul St. Peter (Xemnas), Ray Chase (Master of Masters), Justin Cowden (Hayner), and Mat Kishimoto (the North American Project Manager of the Kingdom Hearts series).
As we keep moving forward and having fun doing the impossible, we can't wait to see what the future holds--because it doesn't scare us at all!
--Cutsceneaddict, Project Manager
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
To us Kingdom Hearts fans, it matters a lot.
Many of us grew up playing this wonderful series which dared to combine Disney’s childhood nostalgia with Square Enix’s game-designing strategies. The Kingdom Hearts franchise revolves entirely around Disney characters and worlds. For a lot of players, this game either introduced them to the deeper scope of Disney, or actually got them into Disney in the first place.
Fans of all ages would appreciate seeing some regular Kingdom Hearts presence at the Magic Kingdom—some token on Disney’s behalf that the series hasn’t been forgotten at the theme parks, and that we are appreciated as fans of both Kingdoms.
The truth is, Disney is more than willing to include Kingdom Hearts as a part of its theme parks. In-between the time of Kingdom Hearts and Chain of Memories, Disney had posters, figurines, and even costume characters. However, when interest in the series seemed to dwindle, Disney pulled Kingdom Hearts from the parks; thus, Disney World is by no means ignoring the franchise. On the contrary, they seem to be waiting, and hoping, that it becomes more popular. If interest in the Kingdom Hearts franchise escalates—as it has slowly been over the last 16 years—the door would be unlocked for Kingdom Hearts to finally re-enter the Magic Kingdom… to stay.
With a new generation of gamers, a lot of younger players are being introduced to Kingdom Hearts for the first time. When one group of cosplayers visited the Magic Kingdom, a boy told them that they had made his dream come true because he had always wanted to meet the Kingdom Hearts characters. Perhaps he thought they were part of the park itself.
Stories like this home in on what lies at the heart of our mission—making dreams come true. Seeing Sora, Riku, Axel and the rest at Disney World would, for Kingdom Hearts fans, do just that.