Saturday, March 4, 2017 found the Third Gate Games crew back at Walt Disney World for our spring game, The Florida Project. Based around the original opening resorts and park, teams of players were set challenges and puzzles at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the Fort Wilderness Campground, and of course, the happiest place on earth, Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
Starting the day at the Transportation and Ticket Center, 59 teams met up and listened to the pre-game lecture, presented by David of Third Gate Games. Yelling out the rules and regulations, game play tips, and important MouseAdventure Central location information seemed to go well, but as we’ll learn later, some teams did not take all the advice to heart. The day was split into two sections: morning at the resorts, afternoon would be spent in the park.
Thanks to the kindness of the WDW ferryboat crew, we were able to get all 207 players onto one ferryboat to cross Seven Seas Lagoon to the Magic Kingdom. The teams were then tasked to turn in their Disney Transportation Ticket to one of three MouseAdventure Crew members situated on the ferryboat – in return the teams got their game packets, and were able to start planning their day.
With Resorts forming the first half of the game, teams were then free to pick their first destination: Polynesian, Contemporary, or Campground. Games rules stated that teams could only use WDW-provided transportation, limiting the teams to monorail, boat, or bus transport; paying close attention to what vehicles were headed where and at what time proved crucial.
Players heading to Fort Wilderness via water transport were treated to a bit of a wait in line for the boat to arrive, then a very pleasant crossing to Bay Lake, and docking at Fort Wilderness Campground. Before disembarkation, one team proudly checked in with MouseAdventure crew to show that they had already completed one of the puzzles based on a word search, by brute forcing their quest.
Tropical Hideaway (20 points)
Teams at the Polynesian Resort had to locate two of the residential longhouses, and pay attention to artwork found on both building’s exterior columns. Teams placed the artwork in order, from shoreline to the Great Ceremonial House, created a sequence to decode a letter elimination puzzle. All told, there were eighteen columns to be put in order, with five columns of letters to be eliminated.
Once decoded the question read: Annette Sings Songs of Hawaii album name in Great Ceremonial House glass display case. Players then headed into the side hallway of the Great Ceremonial House, where a variety of Disney albums covers are on display. Two of them feature Annette Funicello, but it is HawaiiAnnette that includes the provided tag line, and was the correct final answer.
Tiki, Tiki, Tiki (50 points)
The other quest at the Polynesian Resort involved finding ten tiki god statues around the grounds, and then answering a question about each statue, such as which hand is raised, or what building they were facing. Although it was a straightforward quest, some of the deities were very well hidden.
This quest was worth 50 points, and unusually for MouseAdventure, these points could be earned 5 at a time, making for a great opportunity for partial credit.
It’s a Small Mural (50 points)
Inside of the fourteen-story Contemporary Resort main tower is a truly fantastic set of artwork. Renowned Disney artist Mary Blair (who was also responsible for the original Polynesian Village textile motifs) designed the 90-foot tiled murals on the walls of the central elevator stack. Teams received two sheets of stickers representing individual tiles from the murals along with lettering and directional arrows superimposed on top of the tile art. The object of this quest was to recreate the artwork by putting the stickers together following the actual pattern from the mural, and then players had to follow the instructions from the superimposed text, such as left, right, down, etc.
When decoded correctly, the question read: Search the tiles and tell us the name listed above Brooke B. Players would then need to locate the east wall of the elevator tower, where the names of all the artists who worked on the project were embossed in tile, and the final answer would be K. Leix Troost.
Contemporary Sign Language (20 points)
Over at the Contemporary Resort, teams were treated to a classic MouseAdventure “what’s missing from this picture?” quest. Players had to locate words missing from fifteen different locations at the resort, and then using an index from the first page of the quest players came up with 48 letters that form a final question.
This final question was: Cost of seventeen foot Boston Whaler Montauk for one hour? Teams then had to return to the watercraft rental area (several clues were found there earlier in the quest), and look up how much this boat rental would be. An added twist in this quest was that the boat rentals are listed in 30-minute increments.
Stable Photography (20 points)
Teams had to head over to the Tri-Circle D Ranch barn at the Fort Wilderness Campground and note down the locations of a variety of pictures provided to them. All the while, teams heard the pre-recorded discussion of how Walt’s love of horses is still alive in today’s park. A series of frames on the quest pages followed a red line that swirled across the representation of the wall. A single letter associated with each provided image spelled out the question once the pictures were placed in the correct order.
The question formed was: Stall number sixteen horse name? Teams located stall number 16 in the main stable, where each stall has information on the horse contained within. Unfortunately, for all concerned, the horse in stall 16 had been removed some days earlier, leading to many questions of the crew member conveniently stationed nearby. “There’s no horse in stall 16,” to which the reply was, “yes, that’s correct”.
A Ranch cast member told some players who were not able to check in with a MouseAdventure crewmember that “Zilly” was the name of the horse that’s usually in stall 16. Unfortunately, this instance is a great example of why one of the rules of MouseAdventure is “don’t ask Cast Members for assistance, and if they give it freely, don’t take it.” Any team who answered “Zilly” did not receive credit, as we specifically asked for the horse name in stall 16 at the time of the quest.
This quest also fell into the “teams will overthink things we couldn’t possibly have anticipated” department. The three wall groups were split across two pages of the quest. The first page read STALL NUMBER SIX and the other page read TEEN HORSE NAME. Several teams made the unfortunate leap of reading this question as STALL NUMBERS IX TEEN HORSE NAME, substituting the IX for 9, therefore trying to locate stall number 19. However, stall 19 was not publically accessible, resulting in a trip to the locally stationed crewmember with a frustrated frown.
A Game of Horseshoes (30 points)
Part of the Tri-Circle D Ranch includes a fully functional blacksmithing workshop, complete with coal fire, and the variety of different shoes for all of the different horses and ponies at Walt Disney World. At some point, an enterprising farrier created several displays of all these different shoes. Teams received 17 individual pictures of shoes from two of these displays, and decoded the images according to the keys provided on the next page of the quest.
Once decoded, the question read: Nearby station name. The answer to this question was Vineland, which is a bus stop about 20 yards away from the blacksmith.
Roundup Day (50 points)
Players scoured the immediate area around the Fort Wilderness Campground Pioneer Hall, Settlement Trading Post, and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ area to find the words in a word search grid. Once teams located all the words in the word search, the remaining letters spelled the final question. This being MouseAdventure, however, the word search needed an additional clue to solve, and that clue came from the name of the quest; players had to “round up” the letters left over by going around the grid in concentric clockwise circles.
The final question was: what is playing at the Mineral Springs Opera House? A poster at the front side of the Settlement Trading Post contains the answer, much to the chagrin of at least one team who decided to decode the word search on the boat on their way back to the Magic Kingdom.
That team’s experience is another lesson in MouseAdventure strategy. Game play states that unless otherwise specified, answers to quests are always found in the same land or vicinity as the data required for the quest.
This quest was also an interesting one for several advanced teams, one of which had solved the word search and come up with the question before even setting foot on land at the Campground, and another team had solved enough words that they were also able to decode without seeing any of the signage.
Extra! Extra! (50 points)
At Third Gate Games, we try to emphasize the theme of the games we set. For The Florida Project, along with recreations of the Transportation Ticket, and A-E Ticket books, we “published” a newspaper page with articles written for opening day in 1971. By itself, this was a fabulous piece of work, talking all about the majesty and wonder of the park and the resorts. However, we decided to twist it into one of our favorite quest types: The Evil Paragraph.
Originally found on wordy plaques throughout the park, an Evil Paragraph asks for individual letters in specific paragraphs over many, many lines of text. This particular quest asked for 99 letters, out of 13,323 characters and approximately 35 paragraphs taken from a two-sided piece of tabloid newspaper. The instructions told players to ignore any numbers they came across, and to treat hyphenated words as single words. The code used acronyms of the article titles, followed by numbers for the specific paragraph in that article, then the word, and finally the letter from that word. All told, this was fantastically evil.
The final question was: According to this newspaper when you pay for a guided tour at the Magic Kingdom the price includes how many attractions? Teams referred to the article about Guided Tours, where reading to the end was crucial. The article says that the tour includes five attractions plus an E Ticket – totaling six attractions. Many teams wrote this text down verbatim, but did not actually say “6,” which was the correct answer to the quest. This quest was designed to give teams something interesting to do while they were riding on whatever form of transport they took between resorts, one team was overheard to say that “it wasn’t really that evil” then to discover they had only looked at the first page of the quest.
Magic Kingdom Park Quests
At 2:30pm, teams were able to move into the Magic Kingdom Park and pick up the rest of their game packets. Some teams were still working the Resort quests until 3:00pm or so, but most teams were able to start on the quests in the Magic Kingdom without too much delay.
Little Details (30 points)
“Make the players wander up and down Main Street looking for tiny little details” is a classic MouseAdventure quest. In this incarnation, teams identified the business or location associated with a particular swirl, or filigree, from their signage. Once identified, players drew a line from the particular image across the page to the name of that location. Each line passed through the word cloud, and the intersected words spelled out a sentence when read in the order of their associated image on the left: Last listed Mt Lott Investments Subsidiary on Real Estate window. Teams who found the Main Street window at the corner of Center Street that lists the shell companies used to purchase all the original land in the 1960s, discovered that Compass East Corporation was at the bottom of the list, which is the final answer for this quest.
Imagine the MouseAdventure Crew’s amusement when they met up with team #4046, and saw their name… Compass East Corporation!
A Step In The Right Direction (20 points)
The Swiss Family Treehouse attraction involves climbing up and down a whole lot of stairs. Teams counted steps as they walked up and down, within the tree’s branches and rooms. Once teams recorded this information from a quick walkthrough of the attraction, they then had to walk through the letters on the quest page in the same order that they walked up, up, up and down or up etc. on the actual Treehouse.
At the end of each group of steps, players noted the particular letter they landed on, and then strung them all together to form the final question: Ill-fated ship’s name. Of course, the ill—fated ship in question refers to the name of the family’s unfortunate sailing vessel, the Swallow. All together, this was a fun little quest, unless you had to run up and down the stairs on the Treehouse multiple times, in which case, you had better not be scared of heights!
The Wild Frontier (50 points)
Taking place in Frontierland, this quest had several steps for teams to complete. First, they had to identify which piece of data from 12 questions was correct. Then they had to use that data to create lines on a provided grid of letters, which then become actual cuts or tears in the page. After mutilating the paper, teams folded everything together to reveal the question: President name on medal around cigar store Indian neck.
However, the answer proved somewhat elusive, as the Indian figure that stood outside the Frontierland General Store (originally the WDW Cigar Store) disappeared on the night of Friday, March 3. MouseAdventure crew quickly stationed someone at that location as soon as the missing figure was noted, and notified every team who walked past to write the original question down on their answer sheet for this quest. While we do our best to mitigate unforeseen in-park issues, it is impossible to avoid sudden object removal (a classic park problem).
One enterprising team noticed that the medal around the figure standing on Main Street had President James A. Garfield on it, and noted that on their answer sheet. This was the correct answer, as the figures are a set of three: two are located in the Magic Kingdom (the non-missing figure is on Main Street), and the third is on Main Street at Disneyland in California.
Just Around The River Bend (40 points)
Players rode the Liberty Belle, Magic Kingdom’s awesome paddle wheeler, for this quest. Game instructions informed teams that they should check opening and operating hours for each attraction, as some locations might not be available all day. Such is the case for the Liberty Belle, which closes from noon to 4 p.m. for Tiana’s dessert party. Unfortunately for MouseAdventure, the Liberty Belle did not re-open at 4 p.m. on game day due to technical issues, making this a difficult quest to complete.
Teams that rode any of the available 13-minute sailings took note of the names of the seven river markers along the way. After entering these names into the grid on the quest, players used the numbers under the grid to decode the answer. Each subsequent number counted forward in the grid, wrapping around to the beginning as necessary. Because of how this type of grid works, it was very important to have all the correct names, spelled correctly, in the correct order.
After decoding, the question read: What is painted on island fence? The answer is Huck Tom ❤️ Becky.
It’s a Circus (30 points)
Finding their way over to the Storybook Circus in Fantasyland, eagle-eyed players filled in the missing words found in the numerous signs and posters hanging off buildings, on walls, or other places in the area. “The World’s Greatest and Most Amazing Quest” is an alternate name for this quest, as most of the phrases that teams were looking for had variations on these outlandish statements.
The sheer volume of signage coupled with the high rate of word re-use by the sign writers made this particularly challenging. Teams then decoded the answer grid by taking indicated letters from each of their answers and placing them in the associated numbered circles. As teams worked on the decoding, the first row of letters would have looked like gibberish, as the full solution reads from top to bottom, and left to right.
The question formed asked: What is advertised as an acrobatic skyleidoscope? The answer to this final question is The Barnstormer, which is the rollercoaster in that area of the park. The Barnstormer’s billboard contains this homage to, Skyleidoscope, a former show at EPCOT Center.
Several of the answers for this quest were printed on buildings in massive text, and a couple of the answers were printed on posters where the words were no taller than a couple of inches. This was a classic quest for players to scour a specific area looking for all the data they could find.
Move It, Move It (40 points)
For the California-based MouseAdventure Crew, being able to ride the PeopleMover was such a treat that we felt we had to share our delight with the teams. Players received a series of point-of-view images, and rode (or not, as the case may be for some) the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover to put the pictures in the order viewed while riding. A vertical stack of letters associated with each picture spelled out the final question when placed in the proper order.
The question was: What is the name of the PeopleMover station? And the answer is Rockettower Plaza Station.
Several teams said that they were able to avoid the (at times) 1.5 hour line to ride the attraction and just decipher the pictures from memory.
Opening Day (50 points)
In another direct reference to this game’s theme, this quest sought to use attractions and locations from the opening day of the Magic Kingdom that still exist today. Teams had to visit MouseAdventure Central and answer the first question, “What year was the Main Street Harmony Barber Shop established?” in reference to the Dapper Dans. Once answered correctly, they would be given an A ticket, with two more questions. Answering the A ticket and returning to MouseAdventure Central, they would receive a B ticket, and so on, all the way to the E ticket.
This quest was worth a total of 50 points, earned in increments of 10. High crowd volumes at the Magic Kingdom made this quest particularly challenging on game day, and no team was able to answer for credit past the C ticket level.
Hidden Quest (20 points)
Once again, the hidden quest eluded our players. Super eagle-eyed players would notice the letters and numbers underneath the Orange Bird orange juice coupon in the Extra! Extra! newspaper. Using the provided numbers (127586-69253-1467) to index (count) the provided letters (CILO-RSTU-W), reveals the question “Citrus Swirl Cost.” A citrus swirl costs $3.79 at the home of the Orange Bird in the Magic Kingdom, the Sunshine Tree Terrace.
Full results are available on the MouseAdventure website. The total possible points for this game was 630. The hidden quest was an additional 20 points, but no teams correctly answered it.
Best new team: The Monorail Marauders – 375 points
Third place: Pquizadactyl – 490
Second place: Midnight Madness Marauders – 535
First place: Conflicting Weenies Social Club – 540
Because they have now won a MouseAdventure event 3 times, team Conflicting Weenies Social Club joins the ranks of our Masters teams, and are retired from competitive play. We are excited that they are the first Florida-only Masters Team.
Photo Contest Winners
Congratulations to the two winners of our #MAFloridaProject photo contest: Cindy Lawless and Jenn Romano. Players uploaded photos showing their MouseAdventure spirit to twitter and Instagram after turning in their answer sheets for a chance at a prize.
This MouseAdventure was brought to you via a lot of soft serve ice cream, some incredible cookies and a lot of laughter. If you’d like to look at the photos we took during the game, please go here. We’d also like to share our inspirational Spotify playlist with you.
Third Gate Games would also like to thank Deb Wills of AllEars.net, and has made a donation to Avon Breast Cancer Walk in her name.