You’re Just In Time, Sorcerer

SotMK (At Disney Again)Oh, goodness: new recruits! I suppose you’ll want to know what’s going on … it’s the fourth and final installment of a four-part series presented by Mouse on the Mind and At Disney Again. Each Friday this month, we’ve shared the stories and sights of Disney World’s interactive in-Park games. Some of the photos in this post were taken by At Disney Again, and you can find more beautiful photos from our recent game play on his blog. (And keep scrolling for a one-of-a-kind giveaway at the bottom of this post!)

Welp, Hades is bored again, so you know what that means … he’s going to try to take over the Magic Kingdom! And we’re the only ones who can stop him by collecting shards of a powerful crystal created when he tried to steal Merlin’s crystal ball. Because Hades can only make his summer home in Orlando if Merlin’s out of the picture. Seems legit.

If you’re up for the challenge of magic and mayhem in the Park, your first stop will be the Main Street Firehouse, which has been converted into a training ground for new Sorcerers. Here, you’ll learn everything you need to know about game mechanics and get some very special Sorcerer tools. We had, I might add, the BEST trainer ever. He was fabulous and funny and totally never broke character.

After we learned all about the game, we received a key card with the ability to unlock mystical portals throughout the Park as well as a maps of the portals in each area of the Park and five spell cards, which we later used to fight off various villains.

Fun fact: you can keep using the same key card, trip after trip, to continue your game, so you don’t have to complete the challenge all at once. And you’re now also able to connect your key card directly to your ticket media and your My Disney Experience account (including your MagicBand), so even if you forget your key card at home, you’re golden. Personally, I like the key card. I think it’s pretty … in fact, I think all of the cards are really pretty.

You can also keep and reuse the spell cards from visit to visit, and if you activate your key card on a portal each time you visit, you can pick up a limited number of new spell cards at the Firehouse or at the Sorcerers kiosk in Liberty Square for free from opening until one hour before closing.

Or you can buy booster packs in the souvenir shops. If it sounds a lot like Magic: The Gathering, that’s because it is! And the game is well merchandised: everything from card binders to pins to tee-shirts.

Back to the game: There are portals throughout the Park–everywhere but in Tomorrowland–and when you receive your training at the Firehouse, Merlin will tell you where to head first. The maps are extremely clear and easy to read, and each portal is marked with a unique symbol so you always know you’re in the right place.

A word of warning: the portals close throughout the day depending on what’s happening in the area. For example, during Wishes, your Fantasyland portals will not work. Similarly, during the afternoon parade, your Main Street portals will be down.

Once you’ve found the proper portal, activate it with your key card and then stand on the SotMK coin … ehem … the Circle of Power. Each portal offers a different adventure and a different set of sidekicks and villains, all from the Disney Pantheon. Once you know what you’re up against, you can pick the proper spell card to defeat whichever villain you find yourself up against.

The animation is my favorite part of this attraction–it’s all so well done, and I love that the Imagineers paid such close attention to the details in our favorite films to really make the animated scenes feel authentic and funny. Did you know that they spent four years creating the 95 minutes of game animation?! Crazy.

Of course, the animated portions are also my least favorite thing about the game: they’re so loud! And they feel slightly weird in some places. Like, I’m walking through Liberty Square … why is Dr. Facilier yelling over there? (Although I do love Mama Odie …)

I also love how well the game details blend into their surroundings (at least until they’re activated). Windows, portraits and other seemingly-innocuous parts of the Park are quickly revealed to be much more when they’re activated. I really do love that feature–it’s almost as if they are actually portals!

I’m going to be straight with you: this is definitely my least favorite of the four in-Park interactive games. It is, I think, the most complicated–with all of its bits and parts. Lord knows I can barely keep track of my AP. I really can’t be trusted with a deck of cards.

It also has the least awesome payoff–with Pirates and Agent P, you see something REALLY COOL happen. With Wilderness Explorers you have a unique experience or conversation with someone, and you learn something. But Sorcerers? It’s just a video game, and I don’t get a lot of excitement from that.

And, finally, it is, in my opinion, the least thematically appropriate of all of the games and it absolutely clogs up the Park with lines–hardcore Sorcerers using multiple cards at each portal and newbies struggling to figure it out–more than the others.

That said, if you have a kid (or ARE a kid) who loves video games, then this will be perfect. And if you spend a lot of time in the Parks and are looking for a new and interesting way to experience things, again, this is for you. For my money, I’d rather play a quick round of Pirates or really dig into DAK’s details. But … maybe those games seem most interesting to me because they have the shine of newness. Guess we’ll see.

Have you played Sorcerers? Let us know about your experiences in the comments! 

 

Want to win a piece of Custom Sorcerers Art? Enter below and you could win a hand-embellished Grumpy’s Pummeling Pickaxe Sorcerers Card created by amazing etsy artist Royal Descent. (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 from this Magic Kingdom attraction!

Pickaxe Sorcerers card (etsy user Royal Descent)

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