Let’s play a game…

September 9, 2013

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or maybe two…

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A few weeks ago Miss Bonnie, Mama Ginny, Papa Harry and I got a chance to check out the two newest interactive experiences at Walt Disney World – A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas in the Magic Kingdom and the Wilderness Explorers in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I figured it was about time to share a some pics and a little commentary on the two games – this will be more of a “teaser” and mostly spoiler-free for those of you yet to try them out (but if you want more details and spoilery-info, just let Google be your guide, it’s all out there). So let’s start in Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom…

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You “enlist” for A Pirate’s Adventure in a small building (which previously had been a camera/film store) in Adventureland.

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Your park ticket (and I assume also now Magic Bands) serve as your “talisman” to enlist…

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you are instructed which map to pick up…

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and told basically now to get the heck out…

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The small structure is chock-full of maps and details, so linger a bit if you have the opportunity.

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You’re given one of five maps (actually on the day we were there, there were only four as one of the adventures wasn’t working that day)…

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and told where to begin your quest…

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You touch your talisman to a designated symbol at each location and, well, things happen…

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You visit several locations around Adventureland during each adventure, and when you complete the map you can either stop or continue on to collect the other maps and finish other or all the adventures – if you do finish all the adventures you’re treated to a special “finale”.

Many of the locations are crammed full of details…

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hidden Mickeys…

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and other “Easter Eggs”…

And what's this a reference to?

And what’s this a reference to?

The effects here are more physical objects (a la the Kim Possible/Agent P games in Epcot) rather than the video screens of the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, and I like the way they were done. All in all we really enjoyed our day exploring this new activity in the Magic Kingdom, and according to one of the castmembers many of the effects are different at times (I won’t say how some of them are, just not to spoil things for those of you that would rather find out for themselves), so this looks to have a lot of repeatability factor. If this proves to be popular for the long-term (as I suspect it will), we may even see them adding other effects as they did in Epcot as the games there went along. Of course it would have been more fun if we could have had a bit of grog while we played…

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Over at Animal Kingdom is a much more low-tech, but no less interactive activity…

Wilderness Explorers Headquarters on the bridge between the Oasis and Discovery Island

Wilderness Explorers Headquarters on the bridge between the Oasis and Discovery Island

just like Russell from the movie “Up”, you can become one of the Wilderness Explorers and earn badges while treking around the park and (shhh, don’t tell the kids) actually learn something along the way.

A brand-new Wilderness Exploere being given his first instructions for one of the Troop Leaders

A brand-new Wilderness Explorer being given his first instructions from one of the Troop Leaders

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When you sign up you get your Wilderness Explorers Handbook, which has a few pages of introductory material…

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followed by many pages where you have to visit a specific area of the park and complete some requirements to earn your badge (sticker) for that page.

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Troop Leaders are at each location to help you in earning your badges…

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Miss Bonnie apparently being told to "talk to the hands" of one of the Troop Leaders

Miss Bonnie apparently being told to “talk to the hands” of one of the Troop Leaders

There are places to explore, and badges to earn, all over the park.

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There’s a wide variety of things to do (and learn)…

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including meeting someone from Asia!

Completed Gorilla Badge page

Completed Gorilla Badge page

There’s lots of cool facts and information presented at most of the badge locations…

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plus there’s plenty of hidden fun details in this experience too!

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You can earn as many or as few badges per visit as you want, and you can bring your handbook back each time you visit the park until you become a Senior Wilderness Explorer!

Really, really love this! It’s educational, and the kids (as well as the adults) were engaged at the badge stations – while earning the stickers may be the main motivation for many of the youngsters (okay, and the oldsters too) there will be lots of learning going on at the same time!

When we first visited, the Wilderness Explorers had been going on for just a few days, but the castmembers all said it had been very well received, and from what we saw it looks to be an early success, and I hope it continues to do well as this is one of the things Disney has always done well: “Edutainment”.

Badges? We need some stinking badges!

Badges? We need some stinking badges!

And if this continues and is popular, how long before we see WE sashes and actual embroidered badges for sale? If you have to earn them before you can buy them, I’m all for it!

Well there you have it Dear Dedicated Readers, an Eating (and Drinking) around the World look at the two newest interactive experiences at WDW… have you done either (or both) of them? What do you think?

Back to the kitchen… see you soon!

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