On May 14, teams tackled MouseAdventure Silly Symphonies at Walt Disney World’s Epcot Resort area, and Epcot’s World Showcase and Future World. The Silly Symphonies theme is an homage to the Walt Disney Studios’ Silly Symphony shorts, which were produced from 1929 to 1939. Each quest was named after a short, loosely tied to the quest’s area of focus or question. Fifty-four teams wandered the lobbies of hotels, skipped across the BoardWalk, and wrestled through the crowds in World Showcase, all with Epcot’s annual Flower and Garden Festival as a backdrop.
The players all arrived at our base of operations, Sea Breeze Point (the BoardWalk Gazebo), for registration around 9:00 a.m. As usual, many teams had customized shirts and/or outfits, and everyone seemed to be in good spirits and ready to start the game. Staff working the lines got to meet and greet with several familiar faces, but we also met a lot of new players and also future players-to-be in strollers. The Third Gate crew introduced the game promptly at 10:00 a.m., mentioning that the rules were scheduled to run from 10:00 a.m. until 10:30 p.m., or approximately twelve and a half hours (one team had been thoroughly reading their game packet, and pointed this out with glee). After about 20 minutes, however, the crew ran out of things to stretch for the full twelve hours, and the instruction was given to scatter.
The morning portion of the game was spent at the Epcot resorts, and players picked up their quest packets on opposite sides of the bridge over Crescent Lake, to guide teams toward the Yacht and Beach Club side or the BoardWalk side of the lake. Immediately after the scatter, many teams took off with their packets for analysis, while others stayed near the scatter location while their team members looked over every single piece of paper to figure where to start and what to concentrate on.
Teams were given support in the resorts area until 1:30 p.m., when play transitioned to the Epcot park portion of the game. At that time, MouseAdventure Central was relocated near the Port of Entry shop in World Showcase, and teams traded in their Resort Quests answer sheet in order to receive their Epcot Park quests packet.
The heat of the day began to intensify as teams decided whether to tackle Future World or World Showcase first. Based on the crowds at Japan later in the day, it seems many teams headed straight for the Festival Center due to warnings about a 5 p.m. closure combined with the prospect of air conditioning. Teams were given until 6 p.m. to hand in their answer sheets for the end of the game.
Epcot Resort Quests
The Fox Hunt
This quest featured single letters taken from external signage in the BoardWalk area. The locations pictured were: Atlantic Dance Hall, General Store, Muscles & Bustles, Thimbles & Threads, Bakery, Trattoria a la Forno, Photo Booth, Food Sensations, Joe’s Margaritas, and Jellyrolls.
The instructions directed players to write down the preceding letter to the one shown on the quest in order to spell out the final question, “Name of pier.” The name of the pier on the middle of the BoardWalk, where the Friendship boats dock, is the Promenade Pier.
A nautically-themed quest is a natural fit for the lobby of the Yacht Club hotel. Players were presented with a graphic showing letters, question marks, and four flags. On the reverse side of the page, a message encoded in maritime signal flags was a clue to the desired final answer.
This quest could be solved using a couple of different methods. The first: walk over to the Captain’s Grille, where each letter of the restaurant name is represented by a flag, which decode a good portion of the message (specifically GRILLE – – RGER – – TTER – LA – – R). The remaining letters could be decoded using one of two chairs in the lobby upholstered in flag fabric that matched up with the provided graphic. Using the known letters from the Grille sign, the remaining flags could be decoded using the graphic and the upholstery from the chair.
A second way to solve the graphic was pattern recognition of the repeated flags among the four words represented. Correctly decoding this quest lead to the statement “Grille Burger Butter Flavor,” a reference to the Angus burger on the Captain’s Grille menu, which is seasoned with Old Bay butter (the final answer).
Birds of a Feather
On their way around Crescent Lake, teams encountered four coin-operated spyglasses designed to allow guests to view remote parts of the BoardWalk area. Each spyglass has numbers around its base, and when the spyglass is rotated an arrow on it points to different numbers depending on its orientation. For this quest, teams were directed to point the viewfinder at a designated sign or object within their field of view. When the correct object was in view, teams noted the number indicated by the arrow. For each location (designated by a musical note or symbol on the quest), these numbers corresponded to a letter of the alphabet.
Once they had collected all of the letters at the four locations, teams translated the string of musical notations at the bottom of the page, using the symbols and their associated letters. The final translation spelled out, “wrecked ship name,” referring to the Beach Club’s shipwreck water slide, which is named the Albatross.
Depending on where a team was for the final translation might mean a long walk back around the lake, or as one enterprising player discovered, popping $0.50 into the telescope meant that they could actually read the name from the other side of the lake. This quest posed a problem for the Third Gate crew when we arrived to test; Disney not only purchased and installed two new spyglasses along the BoardWalk, but they also took down several important informational signs we had planned to use.
Father Noah’s Ark
Set in the lobby and public areas of the Yacht Club hotel, this quest required teams to find specific names or text related to a sequence of photographs collected from objects and artwork in the area. Answers entered into a grid revealed the final clue in a yellow-highlighted column, and the final answer was the name of a “similar item nearby.”
The names of the pictures or words were: Atlantic House, Cape Elizabeth Light, Dubreuil, New Found Land, The Norse Frosen Sone, Plura Con Silio Quam VI, Crew’s Cup, Huey, and Schooner At Sea. The highlighted letters spelled “The Atocha,” which is a ship found on one of two trunks in the lobby’s seating area. The ship featured on the other trunk is the Titanic, which was the final answer.
We tried to give teams many opportunities to take refuge from the Florida sun, so the aptly named Arctic Antics took place in the lobby of the Boardwalk Inn. Teams had to search through the array of objects and informational signs related to turn of the 20th Century amusement parks of the Atlantic seaboard located in the lobby’s public areas for answers to a set of questions.
Teams determined which crossword row or column the answers fit into, and then used the letters in the numbered squares (in numerical order) to form a question that was written on the front page of the quest. The final question “Ice cream brand sold at Flip Flap?” could be answered by peering into the model of the Flip Flap wooden roller coaster, were a tiny ice cream stand is labeled Damascus Ice Cream.
The Skeleton Dance
Leaping Horse Libations is the pool bar at the BoardWalk. The bar is themed as a classic carousel or merry-go-round, and its octagonal canopy features beautifully painted shields at the top of each corner post; each shield is adorned with a different carousel horse. Players first had to use the provided map to determine which numbered pole corresponded to which horse painting. A sequence of 45 images sampled from the different paintings was also provided, with two different images used from each horse painting. Teams worked through the images, writing down the horse number associated with each image based on the map.
Using the provided numbered columns of letters, teams then worked to translate the numbers into a final question, writing down the letter from the numbered column, crossing it out, then moving to the next number, and repeating until all letters were used.
Once completed, the final question asked was, “What offers entertainment of unexampled brilliance.” The answer is found behind a short hedge under the sign for “Family Amusements.” We would like to point out that the hedge may have been a lot shorter back in March when we wrote the quest…
Three Blind Mouseketeers
Another apropos name for a quest found our teams going blind in the lobby and adjacent areas of the Beach Club Resort and Villas, identifying or answering questions about small, zoomed-in photos given to them. Several players appeared to misunderstand the clue for “Flag color on Mickey’s left,” writing down the flag color to the left of Mickey, instead of the flag on the right of Mickey, i.e. his left.
Epcot Park Quests
Over in the Mexico pavilion, teams had to figure out which word out of two words was correctly associated with each picture. Zoomed in images from exterior signs, the entry display cases, as well as inside the pavilion were used. Teams who remembered that the Three Caballeros are performing “tonight” were spared having to ride.
Once players found all the answers, they moved through the provided Scoville scale (an indication of a pepper’s spiciness), moving up and down depending on if the word was hotter (words to the left of the picture) or colder (words to the right of the picture). Teams then searched the nearby Fire Garden to find the pepper whose heat matched their answer. The final answer, Yellow 7 Pod, is at 700,000 on the Scoville scale.
Set in the UK area of World Showcase, Woodland Café replicated the tea bag tags in the Twinings Tea Garden exhibit, with the tea names blanked out.
Teams located the appropriate tea, and then extracted the numbered letter from each name to spell the final clue: hot lavender. Teams were directed over to the Shakespeare Garden, where a series of quotes from his plays can be found, to figure out what play is associated with the final clue. The correct answer is The Winter’s Tale.
The Three Little Pigs
The first of our fantastic opportunities for air conditioning, The Three Little Pigs lead teams to the Kawaii exhibit at the Japan pavilion. One of two quests based in this exhibit, The Three Little Pigs concentrated on the individual characters of Kawaii, and their distinct individuality. Players located the character associated with different likes, hobbies, and other quirks, then indexed (counted the letters) of each character’s name based on the number provided number in parentheses.
The letters, when read from bottom to top, spelled out “Where can Kasumi and her friends be found?” The answer to this question, “in the fashionable Shibuya District,” is found on a sign near the pink-wigged mannequin. Answers containing the word Shibuya were accepted; the exact wording written here was not required.
The Country Cousin
If teams need to sit down and rest for 18 minutes, what better place than the theater in the France pavilion? Players were tasked with watching the Impressions de France movie, and placing the provided photographs of sections of the film in the same order they are seen on screen. A column of one, two, or three letters associated with each image was then placed into spaces provided in order to reveal a final phrase, “du pain frais, du fromage, et du jambon.”
Teams were instructed to write the item associated with the phrase on their answer sheets. This phrase, found on a wall of the Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie seating area, refers to “Le Croque- Monsieur.”
The Wise Little Hen
Over in the Flower and Garden Festival Center, there’s a fantastic exhibit about the horticultural heritage of Disney parks. Teams were assigned the task of reading all the displays and finding various numbers that had been removed from text shown in the exhibit and replaced by a letter. The simple algebraic formula provided was solved by replacing each letter with its associated number, leading to the number one.
Teams answered the associated numbered question from the set provided, “Number of Donald Duck sketches.” The final answer to this quest was located in the first window of a set of displays showing the process of topiary design and construction. There was a card with a series of character sketches, and five of these were of Donald. This quest provided another great opportunity to stay out of the mid-afternoon heat; teams also took advantage of the many places to sit to work on other quests or even have a quick snack.
Cock O’ the Walk
This quest required teams to cover a fair amount of distance and keep their eyes peeled for clues while searching Italy, Germany, Norway, and China for answers to a set of multiple choice questions. Each lettered question’s answer had a small grid pattern associated with it, that corresponded to a lettered section of a larger grid provided. Teams transferred the grid patterns associated with their answers onto the provided larger grid to form the walls of a maze.
Moving through the maze from the start point at the letter “W,” teams moved up or down the alphabet based on the numbers crossed in the maze to spell out the final question that could be answered at The Outpost in World Showcase. The answer to the final question, “What location is the fourth directional sign from the top pointing toward,” is “California.” The sign at the top of this post refers to Coca-Cola, but is not a directional sign.
Hopefully teams figured out that there were two quests in the Japan pavilion before leaving, otherwise More Kittens would come as a particular surprise if they had already made it back around World Showcase lagoon. This second dive into the Kawaii culture exhibit required a keen eye followed by ninja-like word search skills. Do you know how many times the word kawaii is used in the exhibit? It’s a lot. Teams were tasked with finding missing words from sections of text pulled from the exhibit signs that feature the word “kawaii.”
The sheer volume of items on display was a little overwhelming, but players could find hints in the provided text; some of the quest text was written in CAPITAL letters, just as it is found on the exhibit signs. Once all the words were found in the exhibit and eliminated from the provided word search grid, the remaining letters spelled out, “Character second from left in exterior window displays is associated with what two round exhibit sign titles.” The exterior display windows show a series of kawaii characters associated with the exhibit, and the second from the left is the tiny karaoke microphone. Inside the exhibit, the two round signs that feature the microphone are “Kawaii you can hear,” and “Kawaii at work & play.” The main exhibit sign also features the microphone, but is not round.
Wynken, Blynken and Nod
This outdoor quest with a fair amount of distance to cover focused on the special exhibits for the Flower and Garden Festival inside the butterfly enclosure and along the path near the Imagination pavilion from Innoventions to the World Showcase. Teams searched for missing words from provided sets or groups of three or more words or phrases. As presented on the quest, the sets were grouped together by geographic area, with the first three found in the butterfly tent, the fourth at the nearby butterfly topiary area (Pollinator’s Paradise on the map), five through nine in the Backyard Habitat area, and ten through twelve in the Urban Farm Eats area.
Teams eliminated the letters in located missing words from a provided set of letters, ending up with a set of five letters to unscramble. The misspelling of the first missing word, chrysalis, on one (but not all) of the signs in the butterfly tent, threw an unexpected wrench into the works, and some teams ended up with an extra H on their hands.
The remaining letters spelled “rocks,” and teams were instructed to write the associated words to that set on their answer sheet. The associated words are “blocks” and “tiny puddles,” found inside the butterfly tent on the large display of circular signs along the wall nearest to Innoventions.
The Goddess of Spring
This quest found teams working with a sheet of instructions, a small packet of “seeds,” and a legal-sized sheet of paper featuring a tangled garden hose path; it proved to be one of the most challenging quests of the day. Each seed disk was labeled with a type of cactus found on informational signs in the Cactus Road Rally garden. Circular spaces on the garden hose path paper contained characteristics associated with the different types of cactus shown on the display signs. As teams determined which cactus should go with each characteristic, they wrote down the name or names to decide which seed disk should be placed on that space.
Each disk contained a missing piece of the hose pathway, indicating which direction the water should flow. Starting at the spigot on the garden hose maze, teams aligned the appropriate disks to make water flow through the maze from the spigot to the hose outlet. Once teams had the imaginary water flowing properly, they read off the letters along the chosen water path and on the seed disks and transcribed them onto the garden hose printed under the quest instructions. When read from left to right, top to bottom, the final question is, “Misting creates quick what in the Water Wise Garden?” This garden is located near Innoventions East. The final answer to this quest is, “evaporation.”
The hidden quest was well hidden this time. No teams correctly answered it, although our winning team came very close. Each quest contained sidebar text related to the short from which it got its name. The release date of each short is the key to solving the hidden quest. Convert the release month to a number (i.e. January = 1). Using the question introduction text, count in the number of letters associated with that release month number, ignoring any spaces or punctuation.
Once all the letters have been identified, arrange them all in order from earliest release date (month, day, and year) to latest release date, to spell “new play areas name.” Inside the Festival Guide, Music Garden Melodies is shown as the new play area in this year’s festival, and is located along the path teams walked for the Wynken, Blynken, and Nod quest.
Full results are available on the MouseAdventure website. The total possible points for this game was 650. The hidden quest was an additional 20 points, but no teams correctly answered it.
Best new teams: Midnight Madness Marauders and Pquizadactyl. Pquizadactyl were not marked as a new team ahead of the original award, so both teams were awarded a prize.
3rd place: Texas Turtles – 620 points
2nd place: San Diego Mouse Catchers – 620 points. This team turned in their answer sheet one minute ahead of Texas Turtles to break the tie.
1st place: Conflicting Weenies – 650 points (a perfect score)
Conflicting Weenies are now eligible to become Masters if they win one more time. They won the previous Walt Disney World game, World Explorers 5, in November 2013.
Photo Contest Winners
Teams were encouraged to submit photos showing their MouseAdventure spirit for our social media photo contest. Cameras aren’t permitted during the game, but lots of teams like to share photos before and after, many of which seem to involve beverages… Two random winners were selected from the submissions to Instagram and twitter (one from each platform).
An album of candid photos taken during the event is available on our Google+ page.