Ahoy, matey! And welcome to the first installment of a four-part series presented by Mouse on the Mind and At Disney Again. Each Friday this month, we’ll be sharing the stories and sights of Disney World’s interactive in-Park games. All of the photos in this post were taken by At Disney Again, and you can find even more amazing and beautiful photos of this incredible interactive experience on his blog.
Today, we’re looking at the newest of these games: A Pirate’s Adventure in the Magic Kingdom, a treasure hunt throughout Adventureland. You start your quest soooooo far back in Adventureland that you’re practically in Frontierland. (But you’re not. Nope. Check the map.) There, you’ll find a tiny shack dedicated to the quest. Enter at your own risk!
Inside, you’ll make your piratey intentions known and get a map to join a pirate raid at one of three interactive stations. You sign up using your ticket media: This can be a hard ticket OR a MagicBand. You don’t have to be using a Band; anyone with an RFID chip can play.
There are five different raids you can go on, and you’ll automatically be assigned one by the computer. Each has 3 or 4 stops and takes 15-20 minutes to complete, depending on how busy it is in Adventureland and how many people are playing. If you play with the same ticket, the computer won’t reroute you to the same map until you’ve completed all of the raids.
We played on a particularly busy day, and we did a lot of walking back and forth across Adventureland. It could have seemed like a slog, for sure. And sometimes (like when Tiki Room let out, for example), it felt like we were swimming up stream. But it was, nonetheless, delightfully fun–especially when the two of us didn’t agree about how to read the map!
Once you’ve figured out where you’re going, gameplay is simple and really fun! Here’s how it works: each location has an icon. Once you find the location, you have to locate the icon. For example, one of the icons shown below is the very classic Skull & Crossbones located on a ball and chain. Once it’s your turn, you wave your RFID chipped key over the icon …
… and something magical happens!
I was surprised by how well the game blends into the surroundings. Each stop of the game is incredibly beautiful and well-detailed. Many of the pieces look like they’ve been there for ages, and we saw many guests leaning against them or climbing on them, oblivious of their purpose.
And once they were activated, the interactive elements also blended perfectly into the surroundings. If I hadn’t been playing, I probably wouldn’t have noticed them; and if I did notice them, I would have just assumed they were part of the atmosphere of the Park! Unlike Sorcerers, which I feel can be overly loud, Pirate’s seems like a much better fit for the Park.
Once the awesome, moving part is over, a second icon appears (like the crab claw above). That tells you your next location–just find the icon on your map and follow it to the next opportunity for adventure and booty!
Here seems like a good place to mention that the game doesn’t always go in the same order. You could complete the Blackbeard raid one way today, and when you come back tomorrow, the challenges may be in an entirely different order. It all depends on how many people are playing; like Sorcerers, the game is designed to prevent lines from forming as much as possible. We played through three of the five maps (about 11 locations), and we only encountered a line twice.
At the end of the day, I couldn’t love this game any more. Some of the effects are super cheesy and some of them are incredibly cool … but they all seem perfectly appropriate and in keeping with the aesthetic and spirit of Adventureland. It was such an absolutely fun excuse to goof off and act silly and run around the Parks like something was at stake. The two of us just had so much FUN with it.
If I had to change one thing, I’d look toward moving some of the game stations out of the post-Pirate’s shop. It’s wicked crowded in there already, and adding more people (some of them staring down at a map and scratching their heads) just makes it so much worse. Maybe put one of them in the little exterior courtyard off of Tortuga Tavern?
Okay, a second thing I’d change: the pirate shanty where you sign up and get your maps is really very small. On more than one occasion, we ran into kids (adorable, very excited kids) who were clogging up the works, making it impossible to get in or out of the place. We especially had a problem because of At Disney Again‘s wheelchair. So maybe we can make it a little bigger?
But all of that said, again, I love it! And I want to share my love of the game with you! So enter below and you could win a copy of each of the five maps. Use them in your scrapbook, frame them as art or study them super closely so you’re prepared to join the pirate hoards. Just enter below! (You can enter once a day, and the giveaway ends next Thursday. Good luck, and happy tweeting!)
And don’t forget to click here for more incredible photos and details from A Pirate’s Adventure.