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September 30, 2006 12:03 AM

Broken: Disney Interactive packaging

DisneyprincessJack Moffett writes in:

My daughter just received a software game called "Disney Princess: Magical Dress-Up" for her birthday from a friend. As soon as she unwrapped it, we checked to make sure it was Mac compatible. As you can see in the picture, the box clearly indicates that it is indeed Mac compatible, and lists the system requirements. The disc was also printed with a label indicating that it will run on a Mac.

Later, when I inserted the CD-ROM, there didn't appear to be any Mac files, let alone an installer, on the disc. I checked the installation instructions printed on the back of the envelope the disc was in, which said to run the Mac installer. I checked their support site, which also said to double-click the Mac OS X installer found on the disc. Perplexed, I sent an email to their support address. Below is the response I received:

Dear Jack,

Thank you for writing. The disc for The 2004 Disney Princess Collection was rebuilt to exclude the Macintosh side. Even though the Magical Dress-Up CD is labeled as being compatible with both OS's, it is only compatible with Windows.

This issue can be remedied by getting the Macintosh compatible version of the program. Once we confirm that you have the new version, (PC Only) we will send you out the Macintosh compatible version free of charge to you.  To provide us with that information please note the serial number on the top side of the disc.

Unfortunately, there was nothing resembling a serial number on the disc.

When a product is updated, its packaging should be updated as well!


Believe it or not, I had the exact same problem with another piece of Disney software. Definitely broken.

FYI, the serial number they're looking for isn't a true serial number but rather a "part" number. When I got the same response from Disney, they were placated with that number, which was something like J4014. If you've a similar number, send it to them--they did send out a replacement pretty quickly.

Posted by: furd_burfel at September 30, 2006 02:03 AM

The photo shows Disney Princess: Magical Dress-Up's part number to be J9628.

Posted by: Andrew Tonkin at September 30, 2006 01:06 PM

This is so broken it defies any logical explanation whatsoever. Something tells me Steve Jobs doesn't know about this.

Some mid-level bean counter manager somewhere in Disney decided (probably because both versions wouldn't fit on the same disc after an upgraded version was released) that it was too expensive... press another disc with the Mac version (at a whole whopping few cents a pop, which they're apparently doing already anyway) and ~gasp!~ actually including it in the retail package... relabel the disc and redesign the packaging... so much as revise the support website...

...or to package a separate Mac version...

...because how many customers actually use those Mac things anyway?

He's probably an MBA who would be perplexed that anyone would question the results of his cost/benefit analysis.

If I sound cynical it is because I've run into far too many of these managers in the corporate world.

Posted by: Erich at September 30, 2006 01:07 PM

Now THAT's a broken user experience!

Posted by: DavesBrain at September 30, 2006 03:01 PM

It's mac compatible ... it just left out one of the system requirements... "You must be able to send and receive U.S. snail-mail." LOL

Posted by: marc db levin at September 30, 2006 03:46 PM

It's broken that they must confirm that you have an updated PC before they send you the MAC version. How many of us have both systems?

Posted by: kingofthering at October 1, 2006 03:10 AM

It's broken that they must confirm that you have an updated PC before they send you the MAC version. How many of us have both systems?

Posted by: kingofthering at October 1, 2006 03:11 AM

Kingofthering, they simply wanted confirmation that you had the PC only CD. Y'know, so that you can't get a free disc.

Posted by: Forebodingburger at October 1, 2006 09:18 AM

Well no WONDER it didn't work! You probably don't have MacOS 8.6 - 9.2x AND 10.1.1. It turns out you must have both operating systems installed on your Mac! Also slightly broken but its funny how they put it.

Reminds me of Rollercoaster Tycoon 2, it says on the disk that it was compatible with Windows 95. It turns out it isn't because you need DirectX 8.0 to use the game which Win95 doesn't support. Broken!

Even though the game came with a manual which says you do need Win98 and up, but the game was part of a value pack so it didn't come with a manuel outside of the CD.

I really wish they would check those kind of things!

Posted by: Demache at October 2, 2006 09:41 PM

You didn't read all the instructions. You are supposed to sprinkle the Windows disk with pixel dust, insert it into your Mac, and then get your whole family to clap their hands and BELIEVE!

Posted by: henrybowmanaz at October 3, 2006 09:19 PM


Well, yes, it does run in Classic once you get the Mac version, but that wasn't my problem. There were no Mac-compatible files on the disc.

Posted by: Jack Moffett at October 4, 2006 01:48 PM

Intern: Ok, we will send you an Easy button from Staples. It spreads Pixie Dust on your Mac and makes it PC compatible.

Sorry henrybowmanaz. I had to steal it. Also there is a program which runs Windows while running on a Mac, but it's $80... Maybe worth it...

Posted by: st33med at October 9, 2006 03:52 PM

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