After 17 years of Mickey having the limelight, Donald finally seized the chance to bring his ideas into practice on Sunday, September 17, 2017 for DuckAdventure. Many teams were in line outside as the doors opened for registration at 8:30 a.m. at the Downtown Disney AMC Theater. On this particular day, Third Gate Game’s Joe Stevano treated teams to a pre-show Q&A. New teams were encouraged to arrive early, learn a little bit more about how to play the game, and direct questions to one of the puzzle masters.
At 9:00 a.m., David Perry welcomed all the teams and ran through some announcements and the ever-popular lanyard raffle, Stephanie Wien talked about where players should expect to find help during the game, and where to meet up after the game. Joe Stevano then reappeared for a reminder on DuckAdventure rules and regulations, and Chris Metzger completed the Third Gate crew on stage for a demonstration of how far away players should be during the game (hint: it’s closer than you think!). One lucky player reunited with a lost iPhone, and the teams were dismissed from the theater to move to their scatter locations for a game start time of 9:45 a.m. With the newly created security perimeter being so far from the entry gate, teams were free to grab their game packets and stroll right into the park to begin the game.
Unfortunately, while the weather for the day was temperate, once again the parking situation turned from bad to worse quite quickly. Backups at the Mickey & Friends parking lot trapped one team for one hour and forty minutes! They missed the pre-show talk and the scatter, but found the DuckAdventure crew at Jolly Holiday inside of Disneyland to receive their game materials. The team also placed first in the Basic division later in the day, so that adrenaline rush must have really given them a boost. We would like to remind teams in the future to park as early as possible; if you come from the north, plan to take the flyover from the freeway, or head to the Toy Story lot directly if the flyover isn’t an option.
The New Neighbor (20 points)
For this quest, teams would find their way out to Toontown in order to look around the town where Donald and his friends live. A classic “find things then index” task, teams had to search throughout the land for twelve items. Mickey’s house contained over half of the items, presented in order that teams would walk through the space. Unfortunately, when the Third Gate Games crew walked through the park with their pre-game checklist, they discovered construction walls around Goofy’s house and Donald’s boat, and Donald’s boat contained a vital clue for this quest. This problem was quickly fixed and an errata begun. After all the items had been discovered, the final question decoded to WHERE IS 3 NEPHEWS CATERING?, a reference to a window above Clarabelle’s Snack Stand.
- Correct Answer – Duckburg
Donald in Mathmagic Land (20 points)
The title of this quest, like all others, was one of Donald’s classic shorts. In this particular case, however, it really does inform the heart of this quest: Math. Teams scoured New Orleans Square for eleven numbers or values. Once they had all the information, teams solved a math equation that gave the address of a business in New Orleans Square.
With another example of “No quest ever survives engagement with the Disney Parks,” we discovered that the price of a regular churro had increased by 25¢ in a week. The errata for the game now had its second item, which directed teams to subtract 50¢ from the value of the first question. Many teams had issues with getting the equation done correctly, including one team with a mathematics professional (algebra teacher) who visited DuckAdventure Central and requested clarification. After confirming that they had all the data collected correctly, the designated mathematician was viewed working the equation four times until arriving at the correct answer, which was 21.
- Correct answer: The Royal Courtyard
Up a Tree (30 points)
There are jokes made about how prepared some teams can be for a MouseAdventure, and then there is the reality. Several teams will take each individual sheet of the game and add them to a binder, putting each sheet inside a clear plastic cover. They will then write on the cover, thus preserving the sanctity of the quest page for future abuse. For this quest, teams received a full-color copy of Donald Duck’s family tree, and then eliminated members of the family based on certain criteria. Teams with the clear plastic covers over their family tree probably fared quite well, while other teams grew frustrated that their elimination wasn’t going quite to plan.
Once again, the construction wall menace reared its ugly head in the pre-game testing; at one of the entrances to the new Star Wars land, a poster for the Columbia River Gorge had been covered up, so another item was added to the errata. Unfortunately, there also appeared to be a typo in option G, which was discovered early in the day. Support staff worked to disseminate the change to all teams.
This quest proved difficult for teams to find all the data. Missing a piece or two of data added to the complexity of this quest. Two especially difficult items were the year that Critter Country was established (visible on the second story of the Pooh Corner store), and the “Thanks for buzzin’ in” quote, which teams would find behind the servers at the Hungry Bear Restaurant. Many teams misread, “Have a beary great day” (on the back of the main Hungry Bear Restaurant sign) to be “Have a beary good time”.
- Correct answer: Quackmore Duck
Captain Donald (30 points)
For anyone with an aversion to the “it’s a small world” song (yes, we know you can hear it already in your mind now), this quest would be strong punishment. For anyone looking for a nice air-conditioned escape from the throngs in the park, it was a great opportunity. Teams climbed into a boat to observe a variety of Donald’s bird-like friends, noting which side of the boat the birds were on as they rode.
Teams circled the pair of letters on the left or right column, and placed them into a grid on the quest page. The grid was not sequentially numbered from left to right, but instead read 1 and 2, followed by 3 and 4 beneath it, and so on. Several teams asked for clarifications only to immediately realize they had filled in their boxes wrong. The final question was: FACING THE CLOCK HOW MANY TOPIARY BIRDS ARE ON THE LEFT SIDE?
- Correct answer: 3
Out of Scale (40 points)
With the end of the Rivers of America construction project, the Disneyland Railroad reopened on its new path around Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Teams rode a grand circle tour on the train while looking for six different pieces of information to fill in a multi-colored wheel on the back of the quest page.
Once all players collected all the data they counted clockwise around the circle to fill in the letters of the final question. That question was WHAT RAILROAD DOES THE RIO GRANDE LOCOMOTIVE TRAVEL ON? The answer is in a display inside the Opera House on Main Street (the lobby of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln).
- Correct answer: Western River Railroad
Bronco Busted (50 points)
This quest required players to roam all through Frontierland, including the newly completed walkway over what used to be the Big Thunder Ranch. While they wandered, teams located words removed from the provided images. Select letters from those missing words aligned with provided western-themed icons that matched up to images in a grid on the last page of the quest.
Once the teams completed their letter grid, they used co-ordinates to decode the final question, which read RIDE A BOAT AND TELL US NAME OF THE KING OF THE RIVER. For Advanced teams, the wording was slightly different: RIDE A STEAMBOAT AND TELLS US THE NAME OF THE KING AND QUEEN OF THE RIVER.
- Correct answer: Mike Fink (King), Mark Twain (Queen)
Huey, Dewey, and Louie (up to 60 points possible)
MouseAdventure quests usually involve several steps. Some steps can be simple, while others are hard. We’ve heard feedback from players that sometimes they’d like to get a little partial credit for their efforts. With the Huey, Dewey, and Louie quest – as long as you were playing in the Basic division – players received credit for each step of the way toward the final answer.
The first of the three smaller quests required teams to find a drawing of Alpine mountains close to the Matterhorn Fastpass distribution area. The quest provided the elevation of specific peaks, and highlighted a number within that elevation. Teams used that number to index the name of the associated peak on their way to an answer, which was SOUPS ON.
For the Dewey quest, teams imagined themselves flying over Fantasyland and taking note of the spires and weathervanes on top of the buildings. Teams identified points on an overhead-view drawing where items were located, choosing from a list of provided items. Connecting the dots in the order provided intersected letters that, when transcribed in the correct order spelled out SEASCOUTS. The rooster, located on top of the Village Haus restaurant, was one that proved difficult for some teams.
In the final mini-quest, teams received a series of images of panels on the façade of “it’s a small world,” including several extra incorrect panels to make this a little more challenging. Teams positioned the panels in order, and a letter associated with each image spelled out FIRE CHIEF.
Having collected all that data, the final step of the quest required teams to enter the three solutions into a grid, and then using the provided enigma decoder wheel, transform the letters of the previous answers into a final question. This final question read NAME OF MENS RESTROOMS IN LAND. Teams then had to provide, in any order, all three men’s restroom names in Fantasyland.
Advanced teams could only provide the final answer; they did not get partial credit for the mini-quests. Teams who asked for clarification about the number of bathrooms were told “How many nephews? How many mini-quests? How many restrooms?”
- Correct answer: Prince, Men, King
Mars and Beyond (Advanced, 40 points)
Teams traveled to Tomorrowland to research Launchpad McQuack’s problem with stars. Specifically, the word “star.” Finding word pairs starting with “star” throughout the land proved to be complicated for many teams, but the real trouble became trying to fit those words into 11 individual word grids with a decoder on the back of the quest.
Several of the words were the same length, so if you had the wrong word, your decoded text would end up as gibberish. Successful teams arrived at the question HOW MANY STARS ARE PICTURED ON THE AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL ATTRACTION POSTER, found inside the seating area of Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port.
- Correct answer: 13
Clown of the Jungle (Advanced, 30 points)
Another recently re-constructed part of Disneyland is in Adventureland, where the Bengal Barbecue restaurant now has a seating and eating area. Several new items adorn the walls of the former shop, including a set of tribal masks.
As this was an Advanced quest, the instructions for it were more of a challenge. A direct transcription from Donald resulted in a series of quacks that provided minimal help to teams searching for direction. The key to locating the masks was in the quest images themselves. A line drawing of the mask layout was provided, containing a letter in each outlined mask location.
On the back of the page was a sequence of close-up images of the masks. Teams used the drawing, the images, and their associated letters to decode the sequence. The final question, CASTS A SPELL ON FLYING BIRDS, is text from a plaque next to one of the gods in the Tiki Room’s lanai (waiting area).
- Correct answer: Tangaroa-Ru
Donald’s Double Trouble (Advanced, 50 points)
Main Street, USA was the location for the last of the Advanced quests in DuckAdventure. As much as the game is a quest for the players, the quest for the creators of the game involves finding things that haven’t been used already. This quest did that in abundance.
Teams had to check in with DuckAdventure Central to pick up this quest, and it came with the numbers 415 and 1009 written on it, along with the instruction that Uncle Scrooge hid clues to a “crucial combination” on Main Street. Players looked for text containing “&” or “and” hidden around Main Street that matched the provided images and recorded the word or words on either side. A series of letters and numbers at the bottom of each of the two quest pages directed teams to index the associated lettered and colored word. This text, when complete, spelled out two sequences of four numbers.
The instructions, combined with the two handwritten numbers, and the two decoded sequences provided the clues that teams needed to open two lockers on Main Street to complete the final step of the quest. When each locker was opened it contained a single sheet of paper, that when combined in the correct orientation, spelled out NAMES OF THE TWO HOSTS OF THE DISNEYLAND 50TH CELEBRATION VIDEO. This video plays in the Opera House on Main Street.
- Correct answer: Steve Martin & Donald Duck
Hidden Quest (20 points)
Correctly answered by 24 teams, DuckAdventure’s hidden quest was actually hidden inside of the Captain Donald quest. If teams took all the wrong answers and put them in the same grid used for the quest, they would read OH BOY ITS THE HIDDEN QUEST CINEMA CARTOON STARRING DONALD. Teams who answered correctly headed to the Main Street Cinema to discover what movies featured Donald their star.
- Correct answer: The Dognapper or Mickey’s Polo Team
Full results for all teams are available on the MouseAdventure website. The total possible points for the Basic division were 385 and for Advanced were 505.
The best new team (not otherwise placing) was Disney Dorphies with 311 points, who placed thirteenth in their division on their first game! There were not enough teams to make a full family division for this game, but the highest scoring family team was Team Glitch with 243 points.
The top 3 teams in the Basic division:
- The Churro Chasers – 357 points
- The Disney MountainEars – 353 points
- Junior Woodchucks – 348 points
The top 3 teams in the Advanced division:
- the no name gang – 454 points
- Lady’s Tramps – 429 points
- San Diego Mouse Catchers – 423 points
The top 3 teams in the Masters division:
- New Orleans Squares – 447 points
- Big Hero 4 – 404 points
- Naboombu All-Stars – 330 points
Although not eligible for any prizes during non-Invitational MouseAdventure games, Masters teams return to compete against one another, mainly for bragging rights and the thrill of the puzzle hunt.
The Churro Chasers
The Disney MountainEars
the no name gang
San Diego Mousecatchers
Photo Contest Winners
Congratulations to the four winners of our #DuckAdventure photo contest. Players uploaded photos showing their MouseAdventure spirit to twitter and Instagram after turning in their answer sheets for a chance at a prize.
You can view all of the candid event photos in our online gallery.
Thank you to our MouseAdventure crew volunteers Aaron, Amanda, Janis, Kate, Katie, Lora, Nathaniel, Shoshana, and Tommy. Thank you to Shoshana for writing our trivia questions.
Thank you to the Walt Disney Family Museum for providing VIP tickets for our pre-game drawing.
Thank you to our media sponsor MousePlanet