MouseAdventure Ready Player One
The yellow lanyards of another MouseAdventure descended on the Disneyland Resort on Sunday, March 15, to puzzle their way through Downtown Disney and Disneyland. Players braved record temperatures in a game themed to the science fiction novel Ready Player One, pursuing solutions to receive three keys on the way to the final hero quest.
MouseAdventure Ready Player One was a modified version of the “Mad Scramble” game format, in which which teams receive quests from locations within the park and have them graded at those stations, instead of receiving all the game materials at one time and turning them in at the end to be graded.
In addition to the traditional quests, teams for this event could also choose to complete one of three “portal” quests, which opened and closed at specific times during the game, to earn additional points. Teams who chose to compete in the Basic division solved seven quests (two from each key plus the final hero quest), while the more challenging advanced division teams completed an additional third quest at each station before receiving their key.
After the sign-in and orientation session at the Paradise Pier Hotel ballroom on Sunday morning, teams headed into Downtown Disney to receive their first quest that sent them to one of five “scatter” locations around the park. This quest required teams to decode a cryptogram that would help them determine where the three key stations were located within the park. The deciphered text led teams to the plaques above the entrance tunnels under the train tracks into Disneyland. Teams then used the letter and number combinations indicated to find specific letters on the plaque and back up two, yielding a password that was required to pick up their first key station packets.
Quests were graded along the way, allowing teams to gauge their progress and move on or continue working if their answers were incorrect. After completing each series of quests at each of the three key stations, teams were given a key that was used for the final “hero quest.”
When the game ended at 4:00 p.m., the answer sheets were whisked off to the Paradise Pier Hotel to calculate the final overall scores for each team. The players reconvened at the Paradise Pier Hotel Ballroom at 5:00 p.m. for a dessert buffet and question-and-answer session with event producers before the official announcement of the winners.
Key Station 1 – Yesterday
It Takes Two
Unlike the usual rule that teams must remain together, this quest allowed teams to split up in order to cover the two Rivers of America sailing vessels: The Sailing Ship Columbia and the Mark Twain Riverboat. Teams answered a series of questions from each ship, then entered the answers into a crossword grid to uncover the letters indicated by red numbers within the grid. When written in numerical order, the letters spelled “President Big Thunder Mountain Mining Company,” and the answer was found on a sign near the attraction entrance.
This quest was complicated by the late opening of the Mark Twain, as well as the sign being turned around several times during the day.
- Correct answer – Willard P. Bounds
Teams may have been secretly glad to sit through a show at the Enchanted Tiki Room on game day just to escape from the oppressive heat. This quest required players to pay attention to the four tiki bird hosts (Michael, Jose, Fritz, and Pierre) as they spoke, attributing particular lines to each bird. Teams then eliminated letters from the columns provided beneath each host’s name to spell out the desired phrase: Number of lit Adventureland torches.
The answer to this quest varied depending on how many torches were actually burning that day. There were a total of 11 possible torches that were able to be lit; eight were burning on game day.
- Correct answer – 8
Key Station 2 – Tomorrow
This Main Street U.S.A quest was a favorite with many of our teams, but also tripped a few of them up. Teams were given a set of business cards along with their quest sheet. Each card contained two images found on Main Street, along with two differently colored series of letters along the left and right edges. Starting from the train station and heading toward the Central Plaza, teams had to locate the images on the left side of the card first, stacking the next image found on top of the previous card so that the letters on the edge could be read in order from left to right.
When all of the images were correctly ordered, one set of letters could be read to form the first half of the clue. Repeating the same process for the right-hand images revealed the second half of the clue. Read together, the full text was:
The “gift giver extraordinaire” was a ticket in the packet given to each team at Key Station 2 that had a number printed on it. Teams used the combination from the license plate (“0136”) to open a Main Street locker located two positions above the locker number printed on their ticket. We rented four lockers on the day of the game to avoid having every team trying to access a single locker location on Main Street.
Inside the locker was a sheet of paper that contained the final question: “In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Walt Disney’s birth, the statue “Partners” was rededicated to who?”
The answer was located on a plaque by the statue of Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney in the Central Plaza.
- Correct answer – The Disneyland Cast.
Park maps rarely changed back in the 1980s, before the era of digital images. Teams were given the Tomorrowland portion of Disneyland park guides for every year of the decade to help solve this quest. A series of present-day images taken in Tomorrowland were printed on the quest sheet, and teams had to determine whether each image had been altered. If the image was unaltered, teams used the maps provided to determine what year the statement below that image occurred. For example, “Goodyear drops its sponsorship” corresponded to 1983, the first year in which “Goodyear” did not appear beside the Peoplemover attraction.
“Use the number on the gift giver extraordinaire as your starting location and move up two. The combination is the license plate number of the car from Fox and the Hound in the Emporium Window.”
Once teams determined the correct years, they connected the years in order on the word cloud provided to reveal the correct words for the final question: “In his speech of what tomorrow offers what age does Walt mention?”
The answer to this question was found on the Tomorrowland dedication plaque at the land’s entrance.
- Correct answer – Atomic
Key Station 3 – Fantasy
You Spin Me Round
King Arthur’s Carrousel was relocated in 1983 during the extensive Fantasyland remodel, and provided the focal point for this quest. Each horse on the carrousel has a name, and teams were given a series of close-up images from the horses on the outer ring of the carrousel. Starting with Jingles (the horse with bells on its neck), teams identified each of the horses that followed around the outer ring based on the images and names provided.
To solve this quests, teams used the two additional sheets of paper included. The first was a perforated sheet that separated into five strips, each strip containing the horse names and scrambled text; teams separated the strips and formed five paper rings. The second sheet was labeled with indicator arrows that teams rolled into a tube. Teams located the names of the horses they identified, and placed four of five rings in order on the tube, aligning them as indicated to reveal the decoded text.
This process was repeated four times, and the combined text spelled, “Type of ruler born of England.” The answer was found on the nearby sword in the stone plaque.
- Correct answer – Rightwise.
I Want Candy
Players had flashbacks to ABC Saturday mornings with this Gummi Bears-themed logic puzzle. The story went that the Gummi Bears used to live in ToonTown before they were evicted due to low gummi berry crop yields in Gummi Glen. The descendants of those bears returned to visit, and wanted to locate the houses where their relatives lived. The former residences are now commercial space, but their distinctive door buzzers made them easy to identify. Data points collected from around Toontown aided in the quest’s solution to determine which former resident Gummi picked how many bushels of gummi berries and where each of them lived.
- Correct answer:
|No. of Bushels
|Toontown Glass Factory
|Toontown Fire Department
Let’s Go All the Way (Hero Quest)
After a team completed all of the quests for each key station (two for Basic teams and three for Advanced teams), they were given a “key.” In the case of our game, these keys were 3.5-inch floppy discs with labels that contained a series of dashes and asterisks. When a team received their third and final key, they were given a quest sheet to would help them figure out just what to do with their discs.
A poem instructed teams to line up the labels side by side so that they “form[ed] a clue.” One of the labels had text on it that read “Disneyland July 17, 1955.” That, combined with the line, “a familiar welcome from opening day” led teams to Walt Disney’s opening day speech, which could be found printed in locations within Disneyland.
The asterisks on the label revealed the letters in the welcome address that formed the final phrase, “Two day livery room and board.” The new livery facade was recently added on Main Street, and the sign there stated that room and board is 55 cents. Teams did “a little math,” and two days of room and board gave them $1.10.
- Correct answer – $1.10
After completing each of the two basic quests at each key station, Advanced teams received a third quest that had to be completed before receiving their key.
Dead Man’s Party (Key 1)
Advanced teams received a half-sheet of paper and a quarter for this quest. The poem on the front of the sheet directed them to “have your destiny told by a marauder of the sea.” Successful teams identified the Fortune Red machine in the Pieces of Eight shop in New Orleans Square as the source of their fortune. On the reverse side of the quest, a series of Jolly Roger flags were provided that corresponded to infamous pirate captains. When the captains’ names were placed in the grid, the word “nicknames” could be read in the highlighted boxes (from bottom to top). Three of the captains listed on the fortune card (obtained by spending the quarter) have nicknames.
- Correct answer – L’Olonnois, Blackbeard, and Black Bart
Say, Say, Say (Key 2)
For this Advanced-only quest, teams were given a decoder pin and a quarter along with the poem instructing them to “learn a prophecy from a mystical woman in a store with candy.” Using the final line from the fortune card obtained from Esmerelda in the Candy Palace as the key, teams decoded the letters on the back of the quest sheet to spell the final question, “What is the name of the bookseller on Main Street?” The bookseller’s name was found inside the Starbucks.
- Correct answer – Mr. Peavidy
Cold Hearted (Key 3)
Teams were given a poem that led them to the construction walls around the Matterhorn. Signs on the walls depicted symbols along with titles. Teams used the number under each symbol depicted on the quest to determine what letter to use from the titles on the wall, revealing the phrase, “Edelweiss crest fruit.”
The crest on the back of the nearby Edelweiss Snacks stand was decorated with lemons.
- Correct answer – Lemons
Portal quests allowed to teams to earn extra points outside of the main key quests. The varying start and finish times of these quests required teams to use their time management skills to determine whether it was worth the points to attempt some of these feats.
Hit Me With Your Best Shot (50 points)
Teams were given a sheet of 16 photos taken inside Disneyland park during the 1980s and told to go re-create four from a single row or column on the sheet provided. Unlike most games, teams were allowed to use a digital camera or smartphone (in airplane mode) to capture their photos for grading purposes (and for this quest only). Some of the images were more challenging than others, as many of the items had moved or disappeared in the intervening years. Our teams are sharing the photos they took as comments under the corresponding image in our Facebook album.
Don’t You (up to 100 points)
Flashing back to the classic Disney films of the 1980s, including The Flight of the Navigator, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Honey I Shrunk the Kids, teams could select from one of two scripts to memorize and perform. Teams were given an hour from picking up their script to performance from memory, and points were deducted based on how many mistakes were made. Who knew we had so many budding thespians among our MouseAdventure teams?
Teams were not given trivia early on in the game for this edition. Instead, they had to take a raft out to Tom Sawyer Island and pick up the packet, where it also had to be returned. Teams could either choose to remain on the island and complete the trivia before leaving, or leave and come back, taking the risk that they would run out of time before being able to catch a raft back to the island.
Results for MouseAdventure Ready Player One were announced at the closing festivities on Sunday night. We recognized the top three teams in the Returning Teams category, and the top team in each of the New Team and Family Team categories (Family teams include at least one player under 13). Winning teams received a prize package of Disney books, DVDs, and collectibles.
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 to measure against.
No Masters teams participated in this event. However, two new Masters teams were added to the roster. Family team “Club 34” and Advanced team “Goof! There It Is” both joined the Masters ranks with their first place wins.