Who would have thought that an abandoned Sports Authority building in Sherman Oaks could be turned into the most amazing display of Disney memorabilia this side of a D23 Expo? Richard and Nicholas Kraft dreamed it and did it with their That’s From Disneyland exhibition and auction in August 2018. More than one thousand items, ranging in size from matchbooks, postcards, and small figures all the way up to the giant sea serpent from Submarine Voyage and a wide array of attraction vehicles, were on view and free to the public. When Nicholas contacted the Third Gate Games crew and asked “Could you write a MouseAdventure?” we did everything we could to make it happen.
Held over the course of two consecutive weekend days, MouseAdventure That’s From Disneyland gave players exclusive access to the exhibit in the morning before the crowds were admitted. Teams weren’t just leisurely strolling through though, they had some quests to complete! Attention to detail was a must, as always. The final hour of each day was a challenge for teams as the public was admitted, creating more crowded conditions around some of the locations.
Working directly with the Krafts and Van Eaton Gallery afforded the Third Gate Games team a unique opportunity to dictate what was on display for the game, thus eliminating the need for errata, and allowing us to tailor our quests more than usual. In addition, we were able to hold an interactive quest in the upstairs space that would have been difficult in a theme park setting.
A Bit of a Stretch – 20 points
A fitting name for an expansive question requiring players to carefully consider the set of stretching room portraits from the Haunted Mansion. Teams transcribed all the text they could see in the four portraits, then used a decoder disc to translate the message from “regions beyond” to arrive at a final question. This being a MouseAdventure, we threw in an additional twist: The words were transcribed from the rightmost picture to the leftmost (i.e. backwards in order, but still written forwards). The final question asked, “Haunted Mansion is presented in what kind of sight and sound?”
Auction item #506, an original Haunted Mansion poster, provided the final answer: “Horrifying”
Several teams needed assistance on the operation of the decoder disc, and at least one team needed to be reminded to read the instructions carefully, as they had transcribed the text from left to right.
No Bumping – 30 points
The first thing one of our writing crew noticed when we walked through the door of the exhibit was the Disneyland parking signs mounted on columns. This revelation lead to a quick sketch, and then a quest slowly started to form. By the end of the first day of writing, “No Bumping” was born.
Teams received a rough map of the exhibit, with blank squares representing the columns, which teams had to label with their associated parking lot signs. Using the instructions provided, teams “drove” between signs, crossing sets of letters that then spelled out the final question when read in order. An old parking stub was also included underneath the the driving directions, which played a key part in solving this quest. The final question was, “How many cars are parked in Flower in June 72?”
An aerial photograph of Disneyland from June 15, 1972 (auction item #57) located on the wall near the big Disneyland Hotel “D” showed the front area of Disneyland, including large portions of the parking lot. Teams used the parking stub to locate the area in the photo that corresponded to Flower, and then counted the number of cars in that section: 2.
Although the aerial photograph was quite large and easy to find, the cars appeared small, proving a challenge for some teams. Once the exhibit opened to the public, this area became quite busy due to the popularity of photos with giant neon “D” from the Disneyland Hotel.
Meal Deals – 30 points
The Krafts collected anything and everything from the parks, including menus and signage from many food locations throughout the years. These historical items give an idea of just how much prices have increased even from just 20 years ago. Teams received a list of eight menu items and prices on opposite sides of a page with a word cloud in between. Teams connecting the item with its correct price crossed over a single word within the cloud, revealing a final question: “What former food location offered the Mercury Dog?”
Auction item #678 listed the Mercury Dog at the final answer location: The Space Place
Anything-Can-Happen – 40 points
Concept art is a favorite of Disney fans, and the exhibit did not disappoint. Original attraction art and “brownlines” (so called due to the color of the ink used in the transfer process used in their reproduction), were on display just to the right of the main entrance. Players identified the picture of the eager child associated with each Bruce Bushman concept, then filled in a grid on the reverse side of the page with the name written on the drawing. Once the grid was correctly filled out, seven letters were revealed, O L L L M D I. These letters unscrambled to Old Mill, and the final question asked, “Tell us what attraction was to be built next to this structure.”
Auction item #9 featuring the Old Mill revealed the final answer: Duck Bumps
Ready, SET, Go! – 40 points
Teams searched Adventureland, Frontierland, and Bear Country for groups of words (referred to as sets) on signs and objects. Once teams located the missing word from the provided sets, they eliminated the letters of that answer from an array of letters on the front of the page, and were left with seven letters: A D F O R R W. The final answer to the quest was the other two words from the set containing the unscrambled word, “FORWARD.”
Auction item #128, the control unit for the radio-controlled “Safari Adventure” boats at the Disneyland Hotel, was the key, revealing the other two words on the speed control handle.
Final answer: STOP REVERSE
For Your Information – 40 points
Players received ten phrases from a variety of signage located in the area near the large D from the Disneyland Hotel, and wrote the missing words into the provided spaces. Icons replaced a letter or letters from each located word, to generate the key to decode the final question. Teams wrote the corresponding letters into a grid containing the sixteen icons, then used the provided coordinates to identify the letter from the corresponding location in the grid. The final question asked, “Who is trying on Cinderella’s slipper?”
The small blue sign on auction item #246, a Cinderella window display formerly found on Main Street, provided the final answer: Anastasia
Several players pointed out that Drizella is actually the person trying on the slipper, but as the sign clearly stated Anastasia, this was the only acceptable answer. During the writing of this quest, we had a heated discussion about players not knowing which character was which, when Mike Van Eaton (the owner of the gallery responsible for staging the exhibit) walked over and picked up the blue sign that had fallen on its face, quickly resolving the debate.
Permanecer Sentados Por Favor – 50 points
A large portion of the exhibit’s space was taken up by the many attraction vehicles on display. Some of these were even available for sit-in photo-ops, while others were occupied by soft toys to discourage sitting. Teams were given a set of cropped, black and white images depicting a portion of 13 vehicles, and were asked to place the attraction names for those vehicles in order in the provided grid. Once completed, teams used the provided thirteen numbers to count within the grid to spell, “ATOMOBILE PROP.”
The instructions asked teams to write the name of the associated attraction as their final answer. Auction item #680 was a model of the ride vehicle for former Disneyland attraction, Adventure Thru Inner Space.
With such an amazing array of ride vehicles, this quest was a treat to design. The first round of testing indicated that the quest was too easy when the photos were provided in color. When changed to black and white photos, it became more challenging.
Travel Back In Time – 50 points
Souvenir maps have been a staple for many visitors since Disney Legend Sam McKim created the first fascinating, detailed designs in 1958. Filled with information as well as artistic whimsy, it can be quite a challenge to find a particular item within each map. Teams received a list of fourteen items, and the instruction to identify the map date when each item first appeared, chosen from a list of provided dates. Three characters associated with each item where then placed in the grid space associated with that map date. Once successfully completed, the letters spelled the final phrase, “The type of bird flying above the friendly Indians.”
Eagle-eyed players located auction item #182, the 1962 map, containing the label “Friendly Indians” in the upper left quadrant. Flying above them, on the outside of the Disneyland railroad is a bird labeled: Golden Eagle.
And Now A Word From… – 60 points
Walt Disney’s Disneyland would not be what it is today without the support of the many corporate sponsors over the years. This quest sent teams Seventeen different sponsors were represented in total. Images of a single letter from each item spelled out “Disney sponsorship” on the provided page, and teams searched high and low to locate them all on items from magazine-sized flyers all the way up to 3’ by 6’ posters.
Once teams located the letter, they wrote down the associated sponsor’s name. The final message was encoded using the letter from the two words and a number indicating the letter number of the associated sponsor name. This particular instance was a little trickier than usual since teams had to determine which sponsor name to use for the S or O from “sponsorship.” After successfully decoding the message, the final question asked: “Who is your friendly drayman the choice of?”
The large blue Global Van Lines truck, auction item #202, held the answer across its back end: Fussy People
Just In Case – 60 points
MouseAdventure just isn’t MouseAdventure until you’ve done a word search that reveals a question out of all the unused letters. For this game, items contained within glass cases throughout the exhibit were pictured, minus a word or two. Once teams located all the items and eliminated them from the word search grid, the remaining letters spelled the final question: “According to the poster in the lobby where was the lost dog last seen?”
The small entrance lobby of the exhibit contained a bulletin board, where several of the items in the collection were featured on flyers. The particular flyer involved in this quest was looking for a lost dog, which was actually auction item #426, the Rivers of America Indian Settlement animatronic dog.
Final Answer: The Rivers of America Indian Settlement
Capture the Magic – 10 points
Being able to take pictures inside of the ride vehicles was an opportunity that we could not pass up. Teams were awarded points just for sitting in a Skyway bucket and smiling at the camera! All team photos are available for download from our online album.
Eye Spy – 2 points each, up to 40 points maximum
Instead of the usual photo vignettes, teams received text eye spy questions that could only be answered by locating specific items within the exhibit. One of the most challenging was the address of the Richard Rush Studios, Inc, which was located on the crate underneath the 1964 New York World’s Fair GE Progressland pavilion model.
Attractionary – 2 points each, up to 25 points maximum
Keeping with the theme of the exhibit, all of the provided cards listed former Disneyland attractions, such as Midget Autopia, Rainbow Ridge Pack Mules, and Circlevision. Each team selected an artist who picked a packet of eleven cards. Teams had three and a half minutes to guess as many as possible. This quest was a fun break from the rough and tumble in the exhibit downstairs.
Full results are available on the MouseAdventure website. The total possible points for this game was 545
On Saturday, the best new team (not otherwise placing) was Team 2028 with 370 points.
On Sunday, the best new team (not otherwise placing) was Finding Temo with 373 points.
On Saturday, the top 3 teams were:
- The Churro Chasers — 504 points
- Goofy and the Beast — 454 points
- Kevin is a Girl?! — 437 points
On Sunday, the top 3 teams were:
- Hit it Skip! — 461 points
- Team 2025 — 408 points
- Bibbidy Bobbidy Bleep! — 380 points
Third Gate Games extends our profound thanks to Richard and Nicholas Kraft for inviting us to be a part of their month long exhibition. Writing the game was such an amazing honor, and just a whole heap of fun. Additional thanks to the Van Eaton Galleries team, who were an integral part of the game planning process. We would also like to thank our amazing volunteers, without whom we would not be able to stage these events: Aaron, Amanda, Janis, Jeffry, Lora, Shoshana, Steve & Tommy. Thank you (also!) to Shoshana for writing our trivia questions. Finally, a shoutout to the Golden Gate Ferry service for providing a nice stable trip across San Francisco Bay during game design.