MouseAdventure World Explorers 5
For the fifth World Explorers event at Walt Disney World, the MouseAdventure team wanted to do something special. In the spirit of bigger is better, the mastermind puzzle writers cooked up a two-day, four-park event. Then for an extra special treat, they included a photo quest that took teams around to the resorts, water parks, mini golf courses, and Downtown Disney.
Fewer in number than for our typically large MouseAdventure events at Disneyland, the 42 teams that registered brought their dedication to take on this two-day challenge, even in tough weather conditions. The events began on Saturday morning just outside of Disney’s Hollywood Studios under cloudy skies that quickly turned to rain. Out came the ponchos, umbrellas, plastic sleeves, and waterproof paper—MouseAdventure players are always prepared for every contingency.
Teams were given several hours to complete the quests at Hollywood Studios, then they were off to Animal Kingdom for four quick quests. After Animal Kingdom, teams were given a dinner break to eat real food and prepare for the evening event at Epcot. At Epcot, teams completed several quests around the World Showcase up until the first fireworks of Illuminations signaled the end of the day. Each team was given a blank Vinylmation and tasked with decorating it overnight for use on Day 2.
On Sunday morning, teams arrived at the Magic Kingdom with their newly decorated Vinylmation “Mickey mascot” for a brief swing through the park. They were then sent, with their Mickey mascot in hand, on a photo quest that challenged their Walt Disney World knowledge and logistics skills.
Some teams had cars, while others used Disney transportation. Teams were not allowed to use taxis. One team rented a car in the middle of the game in order to maximize their points even though they were a Masters team and thus ineligible to win; now that’s competitiveness! Teams were required to check in at Epcot by a specific time to have their photos graded, and then they were sent to complete the final quests of the competition in Future World.
The game was taxing for everyone involved, and quite a physical challenge. One team clocked their walking mileage at approximately 39 miles for the whole weekend! The MouseAdventure staff like to thank all of the teams who participated in the event. There won’t be a World Explorers event next year, so that the staff can take some time off to just have fun at Walt Disney World instead of always having to work. Although as many have discovered, once you start writing puzzles you never see the park in quite the same way; everything becomes a potential quest.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Quests
Location Scouts (30 points)
We gave teams a description of a location and asked them to provide its name. They then selected the letter from the name that corresponded with the number we provided, and unscrambled the letters to form the clue to the final shooting location. The name of the final shooting location was required to receive full credit. The unscrambled clue read: “S.S. Down the Hatch”
- Correct answer – Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner
Great Movie Ride (30 points)
We instructed the teams to ride the Great Movie Ride and put the images we provided in order. The letters associated with the images were then used in a drop-down puzzle to form this question: “This story also presented at the Mary Poppins world premiere.”
- Correct answer – The Cal Arts Story
Rising Stars (40 points)
The “bubble up” puzzle mechanic returns, this time to trace the path of our budding young Hollywood stars. We sent teams to find missing text from images in the Streets of America and Echo Lake areas, then transfer the numbered letters to their spots on the rising stars grid to move up and form a question. Sharp-eyed teams spotted the souvenir kiosks that bear this name and slogan: “Who has been on the scene since 1946?”
- Correct answer – Studio Lighting & Grip
- Common incorrect answer – Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
Retired Cels (40 points)
The genesis of this quest was the discovery of a group of framed retired cels at the exit of the Magic of Animation exhibit that contains a wide variety of Disney characters in various settings. We gave teams a series of clues, then four corresponding images. Selecting the right image for the given clue allowed teams to eliminate all but one cel from those shown in the exhibit.
- Correct answer – Her Castle Awaits
- Common incorrect answer – Studio Romance. Teams who missed that the word “TOYS” is on a Double Word Score on the Scrabble board in Pixar Place eliminated the correct cel, leading to this answer.
Animal Kingdom Quests
Not Our Dino (30 points)
We gave teams a set of cards with pictures of different dinosaurs on them, and a list of clues to help eliminate all but one. Dinoland details were definitely discovered.
- Correct answer – Ceratosaurus
Where the Wild Things Are (30 points)
Since teams were able to avoid having to go to Rafiki’s Planet Watch during our Animal Kingdom game for the second World Explorers event, we decided that teams should get two quests here.
The first quest began on the train ride out, where teams had to match enclosure numbers with the animals housed inside. Once teams had the animal names, they used the numbers to index letters from each name. These letters were then transformed to higher or lower letters in the alphabet using numbers we provided. The final phrase was “Siberian tiger.” Teams were asked to provide the Latin name of the animal, which is found inside Conservation Station.
- Correct answer – Panthera Tigris Altaica
Fallen Leaves (50 points)
Rafiki’s Planet Watch is surrounded by trees, but the leaves our teams were looking for were made of stone. There are several spots along the pathway decorated with stone leaves set inside concrete. For the second quest in this area, we gave teams a set of cards with the image of a leaf on it and a series of letters. These leaf shapes matched the stone shapes that stretch from Conservation Station toward the Affection Section.
Once teams found the correct starting point by matching the image we provided, they used the shapes to select letters from the corresponding cards to form a question. The answer to the final question was found on a specific sign inside Conservation Station: “Pilot Joe Duff, Richard Van Heuvelen, Brooke Pennypacker flew the ultralight to teach new generations of cranes what?”
- Correct answer – A migratory pathway
This quest was one of the most challenging for our teams, but when they got the hang of how the puzzle worked, it was enjoyable to watch their excitement as they solved it.
Yeti Tablets (40 points)
This quest was the third involving cards at Animal Kingdom. Over by the Expedition Everest observation area are a series of stone tablets carved with images. Teams had to match the images on the cards to those on the tablets, and then sort the cards in a specific order to spell out a question. Teams who tried to solve the quest without visiting the tablets might have ended up with one of four questions, all of which could be answered in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom. However, the final question that we were looking for was: “Where can you soon go to take your chances where the yeti dances?”
- Correct answer – Dancing Yeti Inn
Epcot Evening – World Showcase Quests
During the game-writing stage, we had planned to send teams around the World Showcase during the day. However, due to blockout days for cast members, we had to reconfigure our schedule, making some of the World Showcase quests more challenging than we intended, since they had to be completed in the dark. Teams who planned ahead divided up the work of the three quests, minimizing the number of trips around the World Showcase lagoon (one trip around is approximately 1.2 miles).
World Compass (40 points)
Teams were given a compass button in their packets that was the key to decoding this quest. We provided a series of phrases that were missing key words, and teams searched all the countries of the World Showcase lagoon to locate the data points. Once they had all of the answers, teams used the compass button to translate the answers to a final question: “What foreign Epcot pavilion is not listed on the departures daily banners clearly displayed in the window?”
- Correct answer – United Kingdom
Windows to the World (40 points)
Images of windows from the World Showcase pavilions were provided in one column, and the names of countries were provided in another. A question was revealed when teams correctly drew a line from the window to its corresponding country. Unfortunately the answer to the question was not visible in the dim light, so teams were asked to write down the question in lieu of straining to find the answer.
- Correct answer – “Name of sailing ship anchored in front of American Adventure.” The actual name of the ship is Golden Dream.
CrossWorld (40 points)
Teams searched the World Showcase pavilions to answer a series of crossword clues, then rearranged the highlighted letters to form a phrase. They then had to head to the Port of Entry/Disney Traders area to discover the final answer: “Makes great memories”
- Correct answer – Gifts
Showcase Trivia (40 points)
Teams were given two trivia questions to answer for each World Showcase pavilion. The correct answers are:
- Mexico A – Crocodile
- Mexico B – El Rio del Tiempo
- Norway A – June 3, 1988
- Norway B – 48
- China A – C.C. Ying
- China B – Street of Good Fortune
- Germany A – Snacks
- Germany B – Clocks
- Italy A – Horse
- Italy B – 28
- The American Adventure A – Walter Elias Disney
- The American Adventure B – Publick
- Japan A – The Torii
- Japan B – Shishinden
- Morocco A – Rabat
- Morocco B – Aladdin
- France A – 12
- France B – Palais du Cinema
- United Kingdom A – Upper Regency Street
- United Kingdom B – 1893
- Canada A – Butchart Gardens of British Columbia
- Canada B – Canadian National Hotels
Day 1 of World Explorers 5 ended just as the lights went out around the lagoon for Illuminations, but teams weren’t quite done for the day. Team were each given a blank Vinylmation as they checked in at Epcot, and instructed to customize it for the following day’s adventures.
Teams were instructed to meet at Tomorrowland Terrace for the second day of the World Explorers event, and to bring their decorated “Mickey mascot” along. The staff kept the mascots safe while the teams completed the two Magic Kingdom quests, and took advantage of the opportunity to have a Vinylmation photo shoot.
Magic Kingdom Quests
Main Street Math (30 points)
The entire length of Main Street was explored to discover a series of numbers that, when plugged into a formula, ended at a three-digit address for a Main Street location, which teams needed to identify:
- Correct answer – The Emporium Gallery
One clue that tripped up a few teams was the number of cookies on trays in the Starbucks windows; there were two trays, one in each window. The final total was 119.
Frontierland Word Bounce (40 points)
Frontierland and Liberty Square were the setting for this quest, which required that teams find missing information in a series of clues by searching signs, buildings, and other items in the area.
Teams placed left- or right-hand slashes in the boxes associated with their answers. Once teams completed their grid, they continued to the next step of the quest, of decoding the final question.
Colored letters around the perimeter of the grid corresponded to those in the final encoded quote; teams followed a column or row from the colored letter, changing direction 90 degrees only when they encountered a wall formed by the slashes. The question was: “Dawsons Barbary Coast Saloon opening date”
- Correct answer – May Fifth
The biggest challenge of the weekend came in the middle of Day 2, when teams were given a list of items to locate and photograph with all members of their team and their Mickey mascot. Normally, teams are not allowed to use smartphones or cameras during the game, but this time we let them loose to figure out the best path around the resort that would get them the most points for this quest. The items were scattered among the various resort hotels, mini golf courses, water parks, and Downtown Disney. The locations were:
- In a hammock
- In an elephant graveyard
- Eating a cupcake
- In front of the lawnmower tree
- In front of a resort bus with resort name visible
- With a scary clown waterslide
- With a snow castle
- With a LEGO family
- With a butterfly and an African proverb
- With a geyser while it’s erupting
- Next to a geologic layout of the Grand Canyon
- With the bronze ostrich egg lamp
- On the giant foosball court
- In front of the giant Cirque du Soleil holiday wreath
- On the football field with Xs and Os
- Inside a television
- Next to giant toy blocks
- With Donald playing tennis
- Under the calypso xylophone
- With an alligator playing a drum
- With a large water wheel
- With a red and white-striped lighthouse
- With a bronze horse in the winner’s circle
- In front of a lift ticket booth
- In front of a shipwreck
In addition, teams could choose up to three locations of the following, since they were easier to obtain due to their close proximity to the monorail line:
- On a monorail
- With the Mary Poppins topiary
- On any watercraft
- In front of the Customs Office (sign must be visible)
- In front of the smiling tiki playing the drum
- With the five-legged goat
- In front of the Fantasia shop
- In front of a life-sized gingerbread house
- Barefoot on a beach
Of course, our best laid plans were somewhat thwarted, since things in the parks can change without warning. Between the time that we developed the game and when we held the event, Disney removed both the lawnmower tree and Donald playing tennis. Teams who took their photos at the former locations were given credit.
This quest proved to be the big differentiator among our teams who placed. The highest score achieved was 26 out of a possible 28 (teams could only get credit for three of the items in close proximity to the monorail line), with most teams getting scores in the teens. You can see some of the photos shared by teams during the event by searching for #MAWE5 on Instagram.
Epcot Daytime Quests – Future World
Think (40 points)
We gave teams images that matched the icons in the IBM exhibit in Innoventions. Once teams had matched the images, they extracted a letter from the title of that section of the exhibit based on a given value to form a phrase. The exhibit contains a large number of touch screens with data, including a timeline of “firsts;” the final answer was found within that timeline: “First seeing event 61”
- Correct answer – The Temperature of Venus (1961)
Thank the Phoenicians (40 points)
Riders of Spaceship Earth are familiar with the role of the Phoenicians in the development of the modern alphabet we use today. In this quest, teams were given photos of letters from around the east side of Future World and instructed to write down the letter that followed each one. Their instructions were to find out who left a legacy with Elvis, and the final clue to that location spelled out: “East three D seven”
- Correct answer – David Gail
Surf and Turf (50 points)
Teams filled in the missing words from a series of phrases by locating the answers in The Seas and The Land pavilions at Epcot. Players unscrambled the indicated letters to spell the final clue, then had to go ride Living with the Land to determine the answer. The final phrase was: “Not seen every day”
- Correct answer – Tomatoes growing on trees
Results for World Explorers 5 were announced during the closing festivities on Sunday night at the Boardwalk wedding pavilion. There were 1,244 possible points, with 560 of those potential points coming from the Photo Quest.
We recognized the top three teams for the World Explorers event, the top new team, and the overall Coast to Coast Challenge winner. Winning teams received a prize package of Disney books, DVDs, and collectibles.
Coast to Coast Challenge
A team is eligible to compete in the Coast to Coast category if more than half of the team (two players out of a two-player team; two out of a three-player team; three out of a four-player team) also competed in the Spring 2013 MouseAdventure event, held on May 19 in California’s Disneyland. The team with the highest combined score is Team Plutonium.
MouseAdventure Masters are those teams who, after taking first-place honors in any competitive division three times, are honored with retirement from future competitions. MouseAdventure Masters teams can participate in future events at no charge, and help serve as a benchmark for up-and-coming teams.
At this event, three Masters teams competed for bragging rights: New Orleans Squares (1202 points), The Heffatooies (1194 points), and Simba’s Pride (1124 points).