The MouseAdventure Zone
“You’re travelling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s the signpost up ahead—your next stop, The Twilight Zone!” — Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone
In brainstorming concepts for upcoming MouseAdventure events, one of the themes that emerged was The MouseAdventure Zone, based off of The Twilight Zone franchise. As our planning for the Fall 2011 Disneyland Resort event progressed, the Twilight Zone theme developed further, along with the idea of a multi-day game for Advanced teams that would start at “twilight,” and continue on Sunday with the addition of Basic teams. Advanced division teams would encounter another Twilight Zone-like twist on the traditional as they would be allowed, encouraged, and even required to use Internet-connected smartphones during the Saturday evening portion of the event.
Quests were developed that required Internet research, language translation, and downloading of audio clips. For the audio elements, we were extraordinarily fortunate to have the services of Mark Silverman, a talented voice actor who, incidentally, performs the voice of Rod Serling in the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attractions at Disney California Adventure (DCA) and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World.
The usual late-season construction in Disneyland and DCA proved to be especially challenging this time, with no fewer than four quests impacted by last-minute changes—some of which occurred too late even to be included in the errata sheet we distributed to teams, and had to be communicated during the event. Let this be yet another reminder to check back at MouseAdventure Central to see if there are any changes that might impact the game.
It wouldn’t be a MouseAdventure recap article without a note about the weather, however, for the second consecutive event, weather was actually not a factor. With temperatures in the mid-70s and moderately overcast skies for most of the day, all we had to worry about was the possibility that new teams might think it’s always like this. New teams: Ask any veteran team about MouseAdventure weather.
This year, in recognition of the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, we selected Operation Gratitude as our charity partner. Operation Gratitude collects and sends “buddy bears” to young children of deployed soldiers and smaller stuffed animals to bases in the field for soldiers to use in community outreach.
In past events we’ve had an unofficial, informal Q&A session with the event creators in the ballroom before the awards were announced. For this event we put this on the official schedule and invited teams back into the ballroom at 5 p.m. with the Q&A starting a little after 5:30 p.m. The grading team performed magnificently and results in four categories were ready to announce by 6:10 p.m.
And now, are you prepared to unlock the door into the MouseAdventure Zone?
Teams playing in the Advanced division met at the Disneyland Resort picnic area at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, though, naturally, several arrived early. For crowd control purposes we asked only team captains to remain inside the picnic area and other team members to wait outside or in the Esplanade. Team captains signed in, were briefed in groups of five or six, tested their smartphones’ audio playback, and received glow sticks for their teams.
By 6 p.m., the teams were on their way—first using their smartphones to listen to one of two (randomly selected) recorded audio introductions performed by Mark Silverman as Rod Serling, which welcomed them to the MouseAdventure Zone and told them (in appropriately mysterious phrasing) where to go in DCA or Disneyland Park to pick up their quests.
“Time Enough at Last” – 30 points
Presenting another twist on the traditional multiple choice elimination, this quest required teams to search Tomorrowland for the answers; however some questions had multiple answers, or no answer at all. Teams filled in the corresponding bubbles, which spelled out a word in Braille, although teams were not told this directly. The recently added Braille maps at Disneyland Park presented the answer; alternatively teams might also have used their phones to translate the Braille.
- Answer: The Braille dots read “T M L &” which translates to “Tomorrowland”.
“A World of His Own” – 30 points
QR codes seem to be quite the rage these days, and this quest required teams to scan one with their phone to start it off. Teams were then led to a webpage that contained a sound file containing an audio clue to their next location. Once they found the answer to that key, they entered the answer as part of a URL to find the next webpage and audio file. This quest started out in DCA, then led teams out into the esplanade and over to Disneyland Park. The final answer to this quest also gave the team the location for their packet pick up the next morning.
When teams turned in their Saturday answer card at MouseAdventure Central, we took care to make sure they knew where to resume their adventure in the MouseAdventure Zone on Sunday morning. This quest revealed that location, but if they hadn’t completed it then they were told the location after they turned in their answer sheet.
- Answer: Plaza Inn
“Walking Distance” – 40 points
In this quest, teams were sent looking for answers to multiple-choice questions around Paradise Pier, including questions that required teams to ride the new Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure attraction. Each answer had a series of coordinates next to it that corresponded to dots on a grid representing the fountains from World of Color. Once those dots were connected, they spelled out a question whose answer was also found in Paradise Pier on one of the billboards decorating Goofy’s Sky School.
- Question: What is Lesson 3
- Answer: How to turn
- Common incorrect answer: How to fly
“A Short Drink From a Certain Fountain” – 40 points
Striving to always challenge our Advanced teams, in this game we required them to see both nighttime shows. This quest covered World of Color, presenting teams with a color wheel from which they eliminated or added colors based on multiple choice questions relating to the show. Due to the failure of the video domes for both shows on the night of the game, there were two possible answers, although some teams knew the show well enough to be able to answer even with the failure. Goldenrod was intended to be the final color, however chartreuse also remained; teams provided the colors that combine to make those as their final answer. Credit was given for either answer below.
- Answer: Orange/Yellow or Orange/Yellow/Green
“Ninety Years Without Slumbering” – 40 points
The princesses are having a tea party, but something goes horribly wrong. They all begin reciting words in their native tongues: clues to a hidden message. Teams were required to use their smartphones again to translate the terms presented in Danish (Ariel), French (Aurora, Belle, and Cinderella), German (Snow White), and English (Tiana). These clues related to the books in the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-through attraction, indicating the book number, page (left or right), word, and letter. When read in order, the letters formed the question that was answered by looking in a nearby window.
Teams were asked to provide the English translation of the answer, as the titles of the books were in French. The biggest hurdle encountered by many teams was where the answers to the clues were located, as the instructional text contained only clues, not a direct reference to the castle walk-through itself.
- Question: In the side window of the boutique which storybooks do not belong
- Answer: Sword in the Stone/Alice in Wonderland
“A Game of Pool” – 50 points
This logic puzzle was a difficult one, requiring teams to find elements around Hollywood Backlot and also to use their smartphones to search out answers online that would help them interpret the clues related to people playing video games. These clues were then used in the traditional logic problem format to eliminate options and determine the answer. The most challenging item for many teams was finding the receipt from the Hairitage Beauty Salon that listed the name of one of the game players.
- Question: Teams were asked what game Alex played.
- Answer: Robotron
“The Key of Imagination” – 50 points
If you’ve ever watched Fantasmic!, you know that it is often not the same from show to show. Elements might fail along the way, but the show goes on; this variability presents a challenge to a quest writer. This challenge was overcome by requiring teams to watch the shows and note which elements did or did not work, then adding or subtracting numbers accordingly to reach a final total. For example, one item said, “If Flotsam and Jetsam do not both pass in front of the stage, add 139 points.” Since both failed the night of the game, teams added 139 points to reach their final answer. Teams noted which show they observed on their answer sheets in order to receive credit for difference between the two shows resulting in different totals.
- Answer: 9 p.m./4855; 10:30 p.m./4513
“The Hunt” – 5 points each
Night time Eye-Spies, highlighting elements of both parks that are prominent after dark.
“A Stop At Willoughby” – 20 points
Teams received a clue to proceed to the end of the trolley tracks near the Tower of Terror to get their team photo taken. If they succeeded (or if they showed up during a brief period when photo operations were suspended), they received credit for this quest.
Teams in the Advanced division turned in their Saturday night answer sheets at Disneyland MouseAdventure Central by 11:15 p.m.
At 9 a.m. Sunday morning, teams in the Advanced division met at the Plaza Inn to pick up their Sunday quest packets. These teams had the entire complement of quests given to teams in the Basic division, plus a couple of extra-difficult quests.
Meanwhile, teams in the Basic division were signing in at the Paradise Pier hotel ballroom, having their team photos taken and receiving their welcome briefing. That briefing began with a recorded audio introduction, performed by Mark Silverman as Rod Serling with background music inspired by The Twilight Zone, which got the teams off to an excited start. After the briefing, we released the teams to one of six randomly distributed “scatter” locations inside Disneyland Park to pick up their quest packets.
All teams received a TZ Guide, created by Joe Stevano to resemble an authentic TV Guide but with a MouseAdventure twist for use in many of the quests. Teams in both divisions had until 3:30 p.m. to turn in their answers at MouseAdventure Central at Carnation Gardens. However, for the first time, teams in the Basic division could choose to play non-competitively. Teams who took this option had an extra two hours of play time, turning in at MouseAdventure Central up until 5 p.m. and back at the Paradise Pier hotel ballroom until 5:30, but their answers were not scored on the same day and they were not eligible for prizes. Thirty-three teams took this option and turned in their answers later in the afternoon.
“Little Girl Lost” – 20 points
Teams were given photos of thresholds and asked to find the indicated letter from the sign of that location. Those letters then spelled out the name of a brand found on a container in the same area. The final answer was what was in that container. One of the biggest challenges for teams during this quest was determining that all of the thresholds were located in New Orleans Square, closely followed by locating the window that contained the bottle, which was over near the French Market.
- Question: BUERGERS
- Answer: Floral Lilac Toilet Water
“A Dimension of Sound” – 20 points
Ah, the Main Street windows… Source of infinite quests and frustration. In this quest, teams were given pieces of different windows arranged to resemble a shattered window and asked to identify a particular aspect of the corresponding Main Street window. Those answers were entered into a crossword grid on their TZ Guide to reveal a question. Some teams were tripped up by this quest, answering what the actual Club 55 is or what is contained on a newsletter next to the Disneyland shop rather than the answer located on another Main Street window.
- Question: What is Club 55
- Answer: Golf School
- Common incorrect answer: Original Disneyland employees
“Mr. Denton on Doomsday” – 20 points
Teams were asked to transform a phrase using answers to questions found around Frontierland. They started with the full name of the character from The Twilight Zone episode that supplied the name of this quest, which was found in their TZ Guide, then added and subtracted letters as instructed to form a phrase that corresponds to only one flag in Frontierland.
- Question: An appeal to heaven
- Answer: The Pine Tree Flag
“The Last Night of a Jockey” – 30 points
Round and round they go, when they stop hurry up and count! King Arthur Carrousel was the centerpiece for this quest, requiring teams to collect data around Fantasyland. The numbers collected were then used to count in, out, back and forth from Jingles on the carrousel in order to find a certain horse and identify the color of its saddle. Teams that laid out a grid, or did the math operation first then counted were able to locate the correct horse. Some teams were tripped up by the number of keys on the crest that adorns the back of the castle. The crest appears twice, but the question only identified a singular crest.
- Answer: Green (but we accepted Purple)
“Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?” – 30 points
This Critter Country quest was the source of many headaches for the writers, mainly because the walls went up overnight, invalidating several of the questions. Teams were given a series of witness statements, and based on whether those statements were true or false, determine who in the Br’er bunch did not ride Splash Mountain. An error during the rewriting of the quest resulted in two of the questions being set to false that should have been true, and staff members attempted to give this data to all teams as the game continued.
- Answer: Br’er Wolf
- Common wrong answer: Br’er Gator
“Person or Persons Unknown” – 30 points
Ever notice those Kodak photo spot signs? In this quest, teams were given the images of the families from those signs, with backgrounds removed to The Twilight Zone and asked to identify the location of those signs. By connecting the dots between the image and location, the final question was revealed.
Many teams were tripped up by the final question, thinking that the camera shop referred to the Photo Supply Company at the end of Main Street. However, the location called “camera shop” is actually located in ToonTown.
- Question: What is the name of the retired owner above the camera shop?
- Answer: B.B. Wolf
- Common wrong answer: Renie Bardeau
“Where is Everybody?” – 40 points
Images of seven grave markers from the graveyard on Tom Sawyer Island were given to teams, along with a series of numbers. By process of elimination, teams assigned one number to each grave marker, then, using the list of numbers provided, eliminated a letter from the corresponding columns in order to reveal the final question.
- Question: Climb to the highest point on the island to find what Tom Sawyers nickname is in the Spanish main
- Answer: The Black Avenger
“A Most Unusual Camera” – 40 points
A series of small thumbnail images, showing items that a person would see while experiencing Disneyland attractions, was given to the teams. In addition, they were supplied with several attraction names, and some that were left blank for them to determine, along with corresponding blanks. Teams were required to arrange the images in order that they would be seen on the attraction, then using the numbers below the blanks and the letter of each image, construct the final question to be solved.
The magic construction walls struck again the night before the game, covering the location where the answer to this quest could be found. The errata sheet we distributed with quests instructed teams to show MouseAdventure Central staff members the revealed question in order to receive the answer.
- Question: Name of 3D viewer in the main street photo window.
- Answer: Stereoscopic
“It’s a Good Life” – 40 points
Disappearing word quest time! Images taken throughout Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin queue were manipulated to remove words; teams were asked to find those words, then eliminate them from a word search grid in order to reveal the final question. The wording of this question was one of the most common clarification requests asked at MouseAdventure Central. “Growing” referred to cobs that were still on the stalks of Goofy’s garden, even those that were closed.
Of note: The Twilight Zone episode for which this quest was titled featured a little boy who sent people and things he didn’t like “to the cornfield.”
- Question: Count the number of popcorn cobs that are growing in Goofy’s garden.
- Answer: 17
- Common wrong answer: 15
“The Thirty-Fathom Grave” – 50 points
This Advanced-only quest sent teams to the Nemo submarine voyage in a search for the names of all of the vehicles. These names, when placed in the provided spaces in alphabetical order, lined up to spaces marked by nautical flag icons; the letters in the spaces from these icons were transferred to the corresponding icons on the reverse of the paper to reveal the final question.
- Question: Count of all attraction seagulls
- Answer: 3
“The Man in the Bottle” – 50 points
This quest sent the Advanced teams to Main Street and out to the esplanade to search the bricks for letters to unscramble and form the final word. The clues to the brick numbers had to first be decoded by locating corresponding information along Main Street. One challenge posed during the course of the game was the temporary closure of the gallery where some of the answers were located.
- Answer: Pawnbroker
“The Signpost Up Ahead” – 5 points each
In a twist on the traditional eye spy quest, this quest used the silhouettes of the wait time signs for different attractions throughout the park. Teams were required to locate these signs and write down the corresponding attraction number from the Disneyland Park map on their answer sheet.
Trivia – 2 points each
Teams in both divisions tried their best to answer 50 fiendish Disney/Twilight Zone trivia questions written by staff member Shoshana Lewin.
Hidden Quest – 20 points
Located next to the crossword puzzle used for the “A Dimension of Sound” quest was a completed puzzle, the “answer to last week’s puzzle.” The letters in this puzzle spelled out the hidden quest question, whose answer was also located by searching the TZ Guide for that actor’s name and episode description.
- Question: What is the name of the Twilight Zone episode where Ernest Truex finds a way to regain his youth?
- Answer: Kick the Can
Results for MouseAdventure Zone Advanced and Basic divisions were announced at the closing festivities on Sunday night. There were 925 possible points in Advanced and 465 possible points in Basic, including Trivia, Eye-Spys and the Hidden Quest. No team had a perfect score, and there were no ties that affected placing positions. We recognized the top three teams in the Advanced division and Basic division (returning teams), the top two in the Basic division (new teams) and the top team in the Family category of the Basic division. (Family teams include at least one player under 13.) Winning teams received prize packages of Disney merchandise and collectibles.
Basic division team 96, Uncle Thunder Mountain Kat, shot this video with a GoPro camera during the event. Note that since this camera does not have a screen (images can’t be reviewed until downloaded to a computer) it was permitted during MouseAdventure.
September 24-25, 2011
Winners – Advanced
- Echo Lake Renters Association
- Future Elevator Hunters
- Yen Sid’s Apprentices
Winners – Basic
- Upside Down Cakes
- Club 34
- the no name gang.
Winners – New Team
- Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins
- THE SLEEPY BEAUTIES AND THEIR BEASTS
Winners – Family
- The Skoll Family