Anyone who was used to the theme park-map format of the old Disney.com is going to get a bit of a shock when they land in that space today. The new Disney.com that we’ve been writing about for months is live — just in time for Disney’s investors’ conference in Orlando this week — and it’s a radically different, video-driven experience. (There’s also a Disney.com Lite for those who aren’t using broadband or just don’t want all the bells and whistles.) The new home page puts familiar Disney faces out front, rotates promotions across Disney properties, and actually looks like someplace you might like to stay for a few minutes instead of someplace to leave as quickly as possible — although some elements may change too often for comfort. More to come.
Update: An unusually off-key story in today’s LA Times suggesting problems at Disney because Disney.com didn’t launch right after CES. The LAT views it as a mis-step in the “over-promising, under-delivering world of high technology, where a week’s delay is trivial” — even mentioning Vista and Panama — compared to the more punctual entertainment cycle. The story, which posted as the site went live but has it MIA, includes total speculation that the site was delayed by reaction from Disney board member Steve Jobs when the board got a preview Jan. 29. Here’s the thing — I didn’t really expect the site any sooner than today just as I didn’t expect Disney Mobile to launch right after CTIA but that June as planned. In fact, I wrote from CES that “the actual relaunch will come sometime this quarter.” But back in December, some people correlated CES with launch (without encouragement from the company, as far as I could tell) and so in some minds it’s been late ever since. By the way, whatever Jobs said, the site still looks like it did when I previewed it last month. .
— @ CES: Iger Keynote: Disney.com Relaunch Plans; Piracy Of All Kinds
— More On Disney.com: Social Networking, Video, Personalization, Parental Control
— <a href="http://www.paidcontent.org/entry/disneys-internet-strategy-comes-under-scrutiny-as-disneycom-relaunch-nears/" title="Disney