MouseAdventure World Explorers 3
For our third MouseAdventure: World Explorers event in Walt Disney World, we took 38 “troops” of players to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a one-day drama camp.
The day started outside Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where Disney event cast members met the troops and led everyone into the park before it opened for Extra Magic Hours. After taking troop photos, teams enjoyed a continental breakfast (with extra yogurt!) at the Backlot Express restaurant. Once the players were fueled for the adventure ahead, we gathered them together for a brief orientation session, and sent them into the park to complete their first task.
We usually begin MouseAdventure events with some form of “scatter,” designed to spread the teams up across the park, which helps prevent the teams from all working on the same quest in the same place at the same time.
For this event, we took this scatter concept one step further. The scatter envelope contained one sheet of questions per player (to make it fair, two-player teams had only two sheets, while four-player teams had four), and teams were allowed to split up if they wished to complete the first task, with the caveat that the entire team had to regroup before returning to MouseAdventure Central to claim their “shooting script” (the packet of quests for this game). Faced with this unusual option, one or two teams decided to play it safe and stay together, but most jumped at the opportunity to quickly complete the task.
With teams prohibited from using cell phone and electronic devices during the event, we cautioned the teams to designate a meeting place and time—more than one team learned the hard way that they should have been a little more specific when saying, “Let’s meet in front of the theater.”
One team completed the task in just 17 minutes, and all but one team had claimed their shooting script before the one-hour “mercy rule” deadline. The shooting script contained the rest of the quests for the event. Each quest was titled with the name of a real movie that more-or-less related to the theme of the quest.
Under the Hollywood Sign (20 points)
We gave teams photos of 13 signs from buildings on the park’s Hollywood Boulevard, asked them to fill in the words we had digitally removed from each sign, and then identify a specific letter using indexing. When read in order, the requested letters formed a name. This was the only partial credit quest of the event. Teams could earn half-credit for providing us with just the name, or full credit for providing that person’s delivery address (stamped on a shipping crate outside Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner).
- Name: Max Bialystock
Bialystock and Bloom
246 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
Note: Since the full address was so long, we accepted abbreviated versions of the address so long as we could tell teams had found the right location.
The Legendary Script (20 points)
This was an “audio evil paragraph,” in which teams had to first transcribe the narration of the “Walt Disney’s Disneyland” commercial playing on a television in the One Man’s Dream exhibit, then fill in a provided grid with specific words from the script. When done correctly, highlighted letters in the grid spelled out the final question.
- Question: Talent Round Up Was Which Day?
- Answer: Friday
Notes: Troops that had trouble with this one usually failed to write down ALL the words they heard as instructed, either because they relied on the (incorrect) open captioning displayed on one of the screens or because they disregarded the one sung line of “When You Wish Upon a Star.”
Train Order Number Forty-Five (30 points)
This quest sent troops down Sunset Boulevard to find answers to 12 number-based questions. Once all of the data was collected, teams were instructed to solve a series of math equations, use that information to read a map of the Los Angeles train system, and identify a specific stop along the Santa Ana to Watts line.
- Answer: Halcon
This proved to be the most difficult quest for teams, and one team claims that a math error on their part cost them a first-place finish. Several teams apparently recorded 1923 as the established date for Sunset Hills, but the sign actually reads 1928. Other teams seemed to answer all of the questions correctly, but failed to read the instructions carefully and used the wrong train line to solve the quest.
Personal Property (30 points)
While testing the event Thursday, we encountered one troop doing some advance scouting in the park. Later that night, they sent us a Tweet saying “Hope no quest on Backlot Studio Tour. Worst attraction at ANY Disney Park!” Unfortunately for that team, we didn’t write just one quest on the Studio Backlot Tour, we wrote two. The first quest took teams into the property warehouse just before the tram loading area, and asked them to answer seven questions based on photos we provided of items in the warehouse. Certain letters of each answer spelled a name, and we asked the teams to identify the actor who portrayed that character.
- Question: Narissa
- Answer: Susan Sarandon
Knowing how some teams felt about this attraction, we suspected some might ask the cast members to let them take a short-cut, bypassing the Pearl Harbor sequence and heading straight to the prop warehouse. So before the game we introduced ourselves to the cast members at the attraction, showed them the lanyards all of our players wear, and asked that they not let the teams skip ahead. Not only did the cast members eagerly agree to keep an eye out for misbehaving teams, they also suggested a one-cycle penalty for any team who asked to skip the line. As far as we know, no team actually tried it, but we absolutely loved the enthusiasm of the fantastic crew of the Studio Backlot Tour and thank them and their managers for being such great sports.
Bright Lights, Big City (40 points)
Not surprisingly, the words “New York” can be found in more than a dozen places on New York Street, and we asked teams to find most of those locations to fill in missing words on a criss-cross puzzle. Once complete, highlighted letters in the grid could be unscrambled to form a business or service. For the final question, we asked teams for the operating hours of that business or service.
- Location: Library Book Return
- Answer: Always open
We knew the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights would be installed between the time we wrote the quest in May and the day of the game. We talked with cast members familiar with the decorations and tried to use elements that would not be blocked or covered by the light installation. We were mostly successful, but had to quickly re-write this quest when the crates on the loading dock at the end of the street were turned into a Nativity scene. Several teams complained that the library book return sign was impossible to read at the distance imposed by the barricades surrounding the Osborne Christmas tree, but we promise, we couldn’t get much closer when we wrote the quest in May.
The Last Picture Show (40 points)
The second quest in One Man’s Dream required teams to answer a series of 15 questions, then, based on their answers, follow a set of directions to eliminate titles from a provided sheet of 50 movie posters. Properly completed, only one poster remained, and that movie was the final answer.
- Answer: Lilo & Stitch
We allowed teams to split up in One Man’s Dream, and solve this quest and The Legendary Script at the same time if they wished. Though we kept a crew monitor in the attraction most of the day to ensure teams were not interfering with day guests, the bemused cast members in the exhibit said our teams were perfectly well-behaved, with one cast member saying that our teams were “angels.”
Audition (50 points)
We provided teams nine incomplete pieces of audition dialogue, and sent them into the Hollywood Boulevard / Echo Lake area to find the words of phrases needed to complete each selection. Then using those words, teams solved a cryptogram that revealed their final question.
- Question: Our allies are hiding at a secret rebel base. It is encoded as location three on the directory in the Star Tours line. Please hurry, you’re my only hope.
- Answer: Security
Prior to the start of the game Saturday morning, we advised teams that they might want to pick up a Star Tours Fastpass, since they would need to ride the attraction to answer this quest.
Around noon, I encountered one of our new teams in New York Street, and asked how they were doing. They said they were having fun, and were just wrapping up the Bright Lights, Big City quest, but they had a question—why did they need to go on Star Tours? I asked to see their Audition quest sheet, afraid they’d made an error in solving the cryptogram. It was completely blank. So then I asked them why they’d gone on Star Tours, since they hadn’t yet been instructed to do so by a quest. Their reply: “Well, you told us to get a Fastpass, and our time was up!”
This was a good reminder to me that, while many of our MouseAdventure teams have been playing long enough to know what our intentions are, I have to remember that new teams tend to take things far more literally, and we need to be more explicit with our instructions.
Att Angöra En Brygga (50 points)
This quest sent teams into the colorful streets and shops of the Muppet Backlot area to locate the word(s) needed to complete nine phrases. Then we told teams to pick their best artist, and send them to the staffed MouseAdventure station to finish the task. Once there, the would-be artist was given an animation cel printed with a Muppet-like character, and directed to color in the figure using pens labeled with the words they’d found in answering the questions.
The first player to attempt this quest sat down at the table and started coloring, completely oblivious to the instructions. A few minutes later, she looked at the crew members and asked, “Is there some order to this?”
She was not the only person to do this. Other players read the instructions, and it was fun to watch as they reached for their first pen and suddenly realized that spelling, capitalization, and punctuation counted.
For example, we asked the teams to fill in the missing word from a sign that read “Fröøm Qüick Cüts tø _______ Cüts” The correct answer was “Cöld,” but there were also pens marked “Cold” and “Cøld.” Likewise, the sign that reads “ANiMAl was here!” had very specific capitalization, and teams that chose the “ANIMAL” or “animal” pens received no credit.
The Lost Weekend (60 points)
The second quest on the Studio Backlot Tour was a word search puzzle using industry terms from the “Variety Speak” dictionary. The unused letters in the word search formed a question, which could be answered using information contained in the AFI exhibit at the conclusion of the tour.
- Question: What two rankings in the display of AFI’s top one hundred American movies of all time are missing?
- Answer: 84, 89
Fargo was incorrectly listed as 80, but should have been 84. Patton should have been listed as 89 and was missing.
The Spy with the Cold Nose (60 points)
Teams were provided close-up photos of the noses from seven of the statues in the A.T.A.S. Hall of Fame Plaza, asked to identify each celebrity, and then use their names to solve a word puzzle.
Question: Name the two busts on display that are not listed as being inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame
- Answer: Harvey Korman and Art Carney
This quest proved to be so much more difficult in testing than originally intended that we increased the point value. It was also lots of fun to watch teams solve this one; it safe to say that never has so much attention been paid to Mike Wallace’s nose.
The Autograph Hound (1 point per signature + 20 points)
For this team-interaction quest, we assigned a stage name to each team and provided autograph books and special markers. Teams were instructed to collect the autographs from other teams as they encountered them. The first letter of each stage name, read in order, formed a question worth 20 points if correctly answered.
- Question: Whose handprints square reads carpe per diem?
- Answer: Robin Williams
In Old California (2 points each)
In a twist on our “Disneyland/Not Disneyland” quest, we gave teams 12 photos and asked them to determine if the pictures had been taken in the Hollywood Boulevard / Sunset Boulevard of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot of Disney California Adventure. This is not as easy as it sounds, as the two parks share replicas of many of the same Hollywood buildings, but with surprising differences in the details.
- Answer: A, B, D, G, H, I, and L were from Disney’s Hollywood Studios. C, E, F, J, and K were taken in Disney California Adventure
The Valley of Decision (5 points each)
Another Eye Spy quest, this one required teams to find 10 items we had photographed around Disney Hollywood Studios, and then answer an “either/or” question about each one.
- Answers: 1) Contractor 2) Bill 3) Penny 4) Daily 5) Ready 6) H 7) Tons 8) Mickey 9) Ariel 10) Mickey Mouse
Toribia No Izumi (5 points each)
This theme park trivia quest asked teams to answer 12 questions based on data found throughout the park.
- Answers: 1) Stardust 2) Acting 3) PT 7313 4) Charlton Heston (we also accepted Michael Landon) 5) Star/Rats 6) Packard 2-7777 7) San Franscisco Set 8) Madison 9) 22 10) Top Secret Message Decoder 11) David Hall 12) 10/18/67
Hidden Quest (20 points)
Despite the suspicions of several teams, the hidden quest had absolutely nothing to do with the colors and dates listed on the front cover of the shooting script. (Though if you’re interested, those dates are the birthdays of some of the MouseAdventure crew). However, teams who noticed the numbers at the bottom corner of each quest title sheet were on the right track. The indicated letter(s) of each title, read in the order the scripts were originally bound in the quest packet, formed the hidden question. Only four teams—but none of the winning teams—correctly solved the hidden quest.
- Question: What is this park dedicated to?
- Answer: Hollywood
Eight hours after the start of the game, troops returned their answer sheets and went in search of refreshments as they waited for the MouseAdventure staff to grade their responses and tally the scores. The total possible score for this event was 612 points, including the hidden quest. Results of MouseAdventure World Explorers 3 were announced at an informal post-event gathering, and all troops present received their merit buttons for quests correctly completed. For those players trying to match their buttons to the quests, here’s the list:
|Under the Hollywood Sign||Director’s chair|
|The Legendary Script||Megaphone|
|Train Order Number Fourty-Five||1 + 1 = 2|
|Bright Lights, Big City||I (apple) NY|
|The Last Picture Show||3D glasses|
|Audition||Star Wars script|
|The Lost Weekend||Film reel|
|The Spy With a Cold Nose||TV|
|The Autograph Hound||Star|
|In Old California||Eye|
|The Valley Of Decision||Masks|
|Toribia No Izumi||Question marks|
|Att Angöra En Brygga||Artist’s palette|
Winning troops received a prize package of Disney books, DVDs and CDs by mail. Unclaimed merit buttons were sent to troops who could not attend the post-event gathering.
Coast to Coast Challenge
For 2011, we offered teams that registered for both the spring event at Disneyland and the fall event at Walt Disney World the opportunity to compete for Coast to Coast honors. 17 teams qualified for that category, and the team with the highest combined score from the two events was crowned Coast to Coast champion. Having won the Spring event at Disneyland, the Heffatooies came into this event with a decided advantage, and their first-place victory in the World Explorers game guaranteed them the Coast to Coast crown.