Welcome detectives! We’ve got one doozy of a mystery: Paintings are being stolen on the Disney Dream! And the ship’s really big … will you help Mickey and friends crack the case? This is the fifth installment of a four-part series presented by Mouse on the Mind and At Disney Again. In 2014, we played all of Disney World’s interactive in-Park games and shared our photos and reviews of each (Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, Wilderness Explorers, A Pirate’s Adventure & Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure). Then, on our first Disney Cruise together, we played Mid-Ship Detective Agency … so we decided to add that game play to our series, as well. All aboard for fun and games!
So, here’s the skinny: If you’re sailing on the Disney Dream or the Disney Fantasy, you’re going to want to sign up for the Midship Detective Agency. There are two self-registration kiosks available in common areas on Deck 5. There, you’ll be briefed by Mickey about one of two foul crimes currently taking place aboard the ship: “The Case of the Stolen Puppies” or “The Case of the Stolen Artwork.” You get to pick your adventure!
When you sign up, you’ll also pick up a ship map (listing the possible suspects and showing you where you’ll search for clues) as well as a unique detective badge (which contains a QR code so the ship’s computers can track your progress on the case) and a tiny pencil (for taking notes on your map). During the sign up process, Mickey will walk you through how to use your badge.
The locations where you get the clues are all interactive pieces of art. I mean, literally, they’re enchanted pieces of art. It works just like Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom: Once you find a piece of enchanted art, you stand on the metal marker on the floor and hold up your badge. The badge activates the screen and pulls up your unique game.
It doesn’t really matter where you start or in what order you visit the artworks. Since your badge is keeping track of your progress, you can visit the locations on the map in absolutely any order you want. Each will reveal a clue until you have enough information to solve the case.
The badge works for the length of your cruise, too–Dan and I took our time, accessing the a couple of pieces of artwork on our way to dinner one night, hitting a couple more before show the next night … it turned out to be a really great way to see parts of the ship we may not have otherwise explored.
Once you’ve activated a piece of enchanted art, your badge acts as a mouse, allowing you to manipulate the items on the screen and complete tasks. In one of the images below, we’re using the badge to search behind items on a shelf for hidden clues. (Spoiler alert: We found one!) I had a bit of a hard time using the badge to interact with the screen at first, but I quickly adjusted to it. I’d be willing to get younger folks and those who play video games will have an easier time with it.
Like I said, Dan and I completed both cases over the course of our days on the ship, but according to other guests, it takes about 90 minutes to complete each case straight through. I’d say we visited 10 or 12 pieces of enchanted art for each case, and there are 13 pieces of game-related art on the ship (22 pieces total), so it’s possible to do it without repeating!
I was ecstatic when we solved the case! And later, talking to other guests, I realized something even cooler: Each unique badge leads to a different game, a different order of clues and a different solution. So just because Maleficent kidnapped our puppies doesn’t mean that’ll end up being the villain who you’re after. Isn’t that amazing? Basically, you could have two kids playing the same case with two different badges … and they’d have two entirely different experiences and likely catch different culprits. Genius!
Have you played Midship Detective Agency? Tell us what you liked in the comments!