The weekend of March 7 and 8, 2020 started off with a sunny, but cool morning. A usual MouseAdventure starting time would have been somewhere around 7 a.m., but this particular Saturday morning found the Third Gate Games Crew relaxing at breakfast instead of rushing to greet hordes of people in a theme park.
At around 2:30 p.m., we sent Stephanie, our advance guard, to check in at Magic Kingdom for data verification in order to avoid a situation where a final answer item has gone missing overnight. The rest of the crew grabbed the game materials and hopped on a resort bus about 45 minutes later.
When we arrived at the Magic Kingdom Bus Loop, we walked over to the bathrooms nearest the edge of the Seven Seas Lagoon and met with a couple of early teams. In what seemed like a very short time, we had over 200 people all ready to get their adventure on. After a quick chat with a cast member from Disney Transportation, we started our pre-game briefing.
Players were released just after 5:00 p.m., and then fell upon their first quest: getting through security.
Night – Magic Kingdom Quests
Don’t Look Under The Bed (30 Points)
Teams searched the queue and pre-show area of Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor to locate and note down missing words in phrases that we provided from the many signs in that area. After filling in the words from the lobby, teams searched for them in the word grid on the back side of the page, eliminating all but the remaining letters to form the final question.
- Final Question: What is the future of energy at the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
- Final Answer: A joke
In the pre-game briefing, we always make sure to remind teams that some attractions may have different operating hours than the actual park. Some teams were dismayed to learn this the hard way, as Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor closed for the evening at 8:00 p.m. and they were unable to complete this quest.
Full Moon (40 Points)
For this quest, teams searched Adventureland for the provided images where we had removed selected words with double letters. Once all thirteen words were found, the double letters from those words, written down in order, spelled the final question. Teams did not have to climb the treehouse to find the answer; a sign near the entrance tells the story of the Family Robinson, including the boys' names.
- Final Question: Robinson 3 sons
- Final Answer: Fritz, Ernst, and Francis.
We also accepted "Fritz, Ernst & little Francis," which is the exact wording printed on the sign. We were amused (and a little concerned) by the one team who answered "Fritz, Ernst, & Jack." This may well be a future quest title.
Midnight Ride (40 Points)
Playing a night game meant that we could use some of the many light fixtures featured in the Magic Kingdom. For this quest, players matched the images of lanterns around the buildings of Liberty Square to determine their address number. Using the column of letters associated with each image, teams dropped each sequence of letters into the provided grid, ordered from the lowest numbered street address to the highest to spell out the final question.
- Final Question: Every friend of his country is now called upon to meet under the Liberty Tree at what time to oppose the machinations of tyranny
- Final Answer: IX O’Clock
We also accepted 9 as a final answer; the Roman numeral representation is the exact wording from the sign. Several teams had difficulty locating the source of this information, which was on a sign outside of address number 14. The most common issue for teams was that they did not search any further out than the plaque at the Liberty Tree itself.
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (50 Points)
In order to make a little music, teams completed eight phrases found in Fantasyland sourced from plaques, signage, and in one case a very large story book. Each phrase was associated with a musical note or symbol, and specific letters from the located missing words were indicated with numbers. In a spin on a traditional pattern recognition MouseAdventure quest where teams are given columns of letters under an associated image/color/etc., teams filled in the letters themselves under each musical symbol in the numerical order indicated.
Using the pattern of symbols in the Mickey’s Philharmagic gift shop behind conductor Mickey, teams decoded their letter columns to reveal the final phrase. The quest introduction asked teams what this phrase described.
- Final Phrase: A concert for the eyes and ears
- Final Answer: Mickey's Philharmagic
Night Boat To Cairo (50 Points)
Anyone walking through Fantasyland this particular weekend could be forgiven for thinking that “it's a small world” was down for repair, as the length of the regular queue was boarded up and closed off. Fortunately for players, the queue was the only part that was actually closed, so when asked to ride, they could sit back for a music-filled, 20-minute boat tour. Given images of the many suns and moons along the trip, teams circled the letters on the side of the image that corresponded to how they were oriented to the boat (right or left side), and put them in order of appearance. This sequence of letters, placed in a grid and read correctly, spelled out the final question.
- Final Question: Look nearby to find out why Hookhand is back by popular demand
- Final Answer: Because he insisted
Many teams saw the word "hook" and immediately leapt to Peter Pan for the answer. Other teams either remembered their research from earlier in the day, or remembered Tangled, sending them around the corner to the area themed to that film for the poster featuring Hookhand.
Night Time Is The Right Time (60 Points)
Teams searched high and low in Tomorrowland to verify the veracity of a variety of facts given to them on the quest page. Once they had all of the true/false answers figured out, they then moved around a vaguely Magic Kingdom-shaped path to figure out which land provided the correct answer to this quest, given questions for all of the indicated lands. The correct land was Frontierland.
- Final Question: Old Tom Hubbard died with what?
- Final Answer: A frown
The answer is found on a tombstone in the Shooting Gallery
I Wear My Sunglasses At Night (5 Points Each)
The typical MouseAdventure Eye Spy quest can be extremely difficult, but this one went a little over the top due to the majority of the game occurring after the sun had set. Each image posted a question specific to the item pictured. Here's a breakdown of answers, and where each picture was taken.
- House of Magic, Main Street
- Aloha Isle Refreshments, Adventureland
- Sunglass Hut, Adventureland
- Overalls and a brown hat, Splash Mountain restrooms stall door
- Fig. 231, art on the wall in Columbia Harbour House
- Coppertone, on Sun Care Center sign in Tomorrowland
- Auntie Gravity, Tomorrowland
- 12, Mosaic on the inside wall of Cinderella Castle
- H. Goff Cartography, on signage at Fantasyland DVC location
- Frying pan, Tangled restroom area in Fantasyland
Team Photo Challenge (10 Points)
The photo challenge is a great way for teams to remember their wonderful time at MouseAdventure (and score ten easy points). All of the images from the PhotoPass cards have been uploaded to the Third Gate Games gallery.
The day ended with turn in at a rather chilly Main Street Station, where teams gleefully handed over their quest and trivia answer sheets and their Photopass card for their team photos. Then it was off to late night grading for the Third Gate Crew before an early start the next morning.
After springing forward an hour, then setting up at around 9:30 a.m. in Disney Springs on Sunday morning, the Third Gate Crew were greeted with mixed high cirrus clouds and slightly wet benches around the fountain in front of the AMC Theater. Once all teams had checked in, the two hundred or so people were again split up into two groups and politely listened to David and Joe re-play the rules and re-explain important things about the day portion of this two-day game. Upon the end of the speeches, Chris and Stephanie handed out all the game packets, and once more the quests were afoot.
Day – Disney Springs Quests
Twelve Days Of Christmas (30 Points)
Sometimes the name of the quest is a red herring, sometimes it's a great pun, and in this case, it was a very literal description of the task teams had to complete. Using the signs inside of the Days of Christmas store, teams indexed letters from the Disney versions of each of the familiar items from the song of the same name to spell out the final question.
- Final Question: Goofy's hat color in Happy Holidays photo op outside
- Final Answer: Blue
When putting this quest together, we could not find the second or fifth days of Christmas. We inquired with a cast member who worked in the store and she recalled that number five used to be inside, but had been removed during a remodel, and that two was still in the window display outside, but that entire window display had been covered up with a giant picture from Frozen 2. We also had a spirited discussion via text message about when the 12 days of Christmas begin and end.
Flag Day (40 Points)
While writing the game, we were immediately drawn to the nautical flag key outside of the Boathouse in the Landing area of Disney Springs. A built in decoder! Teams received a series of flag images that, when decoded, revealed their final instructions.
- Final Question: Take boat from Landing to Marketplace Lake Minnetonka boat name
- Final Answer: Imagination is King
To our surprise, several teams stopped by MouseAdventure Central for clarification on this. We pointed out to them that the only way for them to see the answer to this quest would be to take the boat that runs from the Landing dock to the Marketplace dock and to peer out of the boat as they rode along the waves. The Imagination is King is one of the vintage speedboats on display at the Boathouse Bar. She is purportedly registered in Lake Minnetonka.
Springs Forward (40 Points)
Players had to deduce what locations in Disney Springs the White Rabbit had visited while changing the clocks, and then note down the indicated item, or location name in a grid. The grid sometimes had extra spaces, providing an additional challenge for each answer. Colored squares in each answer indicated letters that teams transferred to the hours on a 24-hour clock face, from 1 to 00 to generate the decoder key for this quest. Using the letters on the clock, teams decoded the series of times to reveal the final question.
- Final Question: Number of rabbits in Market Building rafters
- Final Answer: 2
Several teams had difficulty finding the Market Building, which is the large, open-ended brick building containing the Lucky Brand, Columbia, and other stores. In the large metal rafters overhead there are 2 rabbits with accompanying carrots and 3 squirrels.
Rise & Shine (50 Points)
Many of the signs for businesses in the Landing area have ampersands in them. Provide with zoomed-in pictures of the ampersands, teams identified the word or words on either side of each one. Selected letters in the missing words were replaced by a multitude of different looking ampersands. These letters provided the means to decode the series of ampersands on the front of the quest sheet to reveal the final question.
- Final Question: Transportation pictured on west on compass rose
- Final Answer: Train
This quest highlighted a basic tenet of MouseAdventure: We always want to show players things that they have never seen before. Sometimes, you have to look down. The compass rose is built into the walkway outside Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar.
Sunrise, Sunsets (50 Points)
Players scoured the Marketplace area for the missing item in a provided set of three or more. For each item found, numbers beneath selected words indicated the letters to be used to form the final question.
- Final Question: Three parking lot fruits on map
- Final Answer: Watermelon, Mango, Strawberry
One of the items that teams found hardest to locate were the produce signs on the water side of the margarita bar (Orange Bird, Big Spender, and Red Ruby). A common wrong answer for this quest were the three parking garage fruits: orange, lime, and grapefruit. We specifically asked for the lots.
Day Shift (60 Points)
For this quest, teams had to pay attention throughout each of the different parts of Disney Springs. After finding the answers to twelve questions, teams entered the data into a grid on the back side of the quest page, then they performed some quick math on the alphabetic letters to shift them forward or back in the alphabet to generate the final question.
- Final Question: Make your way to the Once Upon A Toy Store in the Marketplace and read the object of the game text for Tropical Serenade to tell us who are not eligible to win
- Final Answer: Mutant Tiki Birds
Word of the (Night &) Day (5 Points Each)
Presented with images of letters from signs spelling out Night and Day, players had to identify the full word that each letter came from.
- Chicken, Chicken Guy
- Galactic, Star Wars Galactic Outpost store
- Smokehouse, quick service location
- Trust, House of Blues
- Aerophile, balloon ride
- Lanes, Splitsville
- Disneystyle, store of the same name
- Dough, Cookie Dough food truck
- Stargazers, Planet Hollywood bar
- Gallery, Pop Gallery
Hidden Quest (20 Points)
The hidden quest is like Fight Club. The first rule of the hidden quest is that we do not talk about the hidden quest. Not every MouseAdventure has one, but when they do, it’s always exciting to see how many teams are able to find and solve them.
The hidden quest for this game was printed on the back side of the trivia answer sheet, in braille. Clues to the location of the answer were sprinkled throughout the introductions of various quests. The braille map located in front of the Welcome Center (Guest Relations) was used for the Springs Forward quest, and contained all the letters necessary to decode the hidden quest text.
- Final Question: Glowing Oak Ranch first Burger Day date
- Final Answer: February 26, 1905
The former location of the Glowing Oak Ranch is now D-Luxe Burger, which contains a large amount of information about the “history” of its location and Disney Springs.
Results and awards were presented at our post-event gathering on Sunday evening. We also handed out achievement buttons, which are a new feature of MouseAdventure events for teams that place as well as highest trivia score, finding all eye spies, and other accomplishments. You have to be present to receive them though, so make sure to attend our future post-event gatherings!
Full results are available on the MouseAdventure website. The total possible points for the full event was 735, including the hidden quest, which 7 teams correctly answered. The maximum possible score for Saturday evening was 360, and the maximum possible score for Sunday morning only was 355.
The best new team (not otherwise placing) was FrouFrouToYou with 679 points, who placed 5th in their first game. The top 3 teams were:
- Tangaroa Ru Duo - 703 points
- Teamboat Willie - 699 points
- Jussst a Dinosaur! - 697 points
With their second consecutive win, the Tangaroa Ru Duo are now eligible to become Masters if they place first one more time.
- Conflicting Weenies - 670 points
A Masters team is a team that has placed first in 3 events, and has been retired from competition. Although not eligible for any prizes during non-Invitational MouseAdventure games, Masters teams return to set the bar for other teams to compete against. They play mainly for bragging rights and the thrill of the puzzle hunt.
- Castaway Crew - 281 points
- Sardines - 339 points
Tangaroa Ru Duo
Jussst a Dinosaur!
Candid PhotosWe try to capture the fun of every event by catching photos of as many teams as we can during the game. All the images we took are in our Third Gate Games candid gallery.
Photo Contest Winners
Congratulations to the two winners of our #MANightDay photo contest: twitter user @JerzyDevil72 and Instagram user @kathmulls. Players uploaded photos showing their MouseAdventure spirit to twitter and Instagram after turning in their answer sheets for a chance at a prize.
Thanks to our awesome teams for coming out and playing the game. We'd also like to thank Shoshawna Fischer for writing the trivia.
If you enjoyed the event, please share with friends you think might like to play in the future!