Saturday March 3 dawned as the first cool day in a week of over 80° temperatures in Orlando. The Third Gate Games crew gathered our game packets and set up by the entrance to Animal Kingdom, for the eighth Florida-based MouseAdventure, MouseAdventure: Tails. What a day it was!
Team sign in began at 9 a.m., with Chris leading the check in process, which went quickly. Beginning the kickoff speech by The Outpost Shop at 9:30, David spoke loudly to the 220 people gathered to play the game, giving them a quick recap of basic game play, followed by the information everyone needed to know: the location of MouseAdventure Central; Eight Spoon Cafe on Discovery Island (also handily number eight on the park map) was chosen for its proximity to the majority of the quests. David handed the reins over to Joe to remind everyone of the rules of the game, and Stephanie followed with information on the all-important social media contest.
This being MouseAdventure: Tails, the scatter setup had two options, Heads or Tails, on opposite parts of the walkway. Once all the teams were in line the game packets were distributed, and the Adventure began right around 10:00 a.m.
Recent Walt Disney World MouseAdventures have taken place in parks and resorts on the same day. Due to the concerns about crowds in Animal Kingdom Lodge, MouseAdventure Tails took place entirely inside of Animal Kingdom Park. Teams were treated to an initial ten quests, with three additional quests available for pickup after noon, and the usual Eye Spy photos. New to this game was the addition of a PhotoPass-based team photo, and a first in Florida – 50 trivia questions (although it turned out to actually be 49).
As it turned out, conditions could not have been better. A light breeze all day seemed to refresh the park, and temperatures hovering in the mid- to low-70s made for excellent Adventuring weather. When the game wrapped up at 6:00 p.m., the Third Gate Games crew headed back to their secret grading lair, only to reappear at Seabreeze Point on Disney’s BoardWalk property for results at 10:00 p.m.
The Legacy of War (20 points)
Hunting through the wilds of the alien world Pandora, players were tasked with locating twelve different groups of numbers and letters missing from the images provided. As teams quickly became aware, the world of Pandora is mostly a forested or rock-strewn land – this meant that the numbers were both grouped closely together, and sometimes hard to see.
Once teams located the correct object or sign, they used the letter associated with the image’s missing numbers and letters to decode a message. The quest instructions told teams to write the meaning of the decoded phrase, which was Oel Ngati Kameie. The phrase is in Navi, and the translation is provided on the “Welcome to the Valley of Mo’ara” signs at the land’s entrances.
Final Answer: I see you
Light My Way (20 points)
Heading into Pandora from Discovery Island, players cross a bridge that marks the transition point from one world to another. The usual angular lighting fixtures are replaced by something a little more organic, as befitting a world where everything comes from nature.
Teams were given examples of the six different fixtures hanging from posts on the bridge, and asked to put them in order as they passed them from Discovery Island to Pandora on the right and left sides. Following along with the quest instructions, teams used letters below the appropriate fixture type to form three words: decon procedure two.
As with most MouseAdventure tasks, this was part one of a two part procedure; players had to find the Decontamination Procedure sign (located near the restrooms) and tell us what Step 2 actually required.
Final Answer: Enter Decon Stall
Stick to the Trail (30 points)
On Africa’s Gorilla Falls Trail, teams were set with a sticky task – locate seven items on the trail from images and clues provided, and then associate a sticker to that picture. Teams received a strip of stickers, but only needed to use seven of them. Once the stickers were placed, teams used the number next to the clue to index a given letter off of the text on each sticker. The final set of seven letters was unscrambled to form a single word.
Final answer: EXTINCT
Back Where You Started (30 points)
Players hopped on the Wildlife Express to Rafiki’s Planet Watch to complete the first of two quests in this area of the park. Using a familiar concept of “sets,” where MouseAdventurers are asked to find the missing item out of three or more words, they then had to eliminate the found letters from a cloud of letters provided on the front of the quest sheet.
Once all the found words had been eliminated, the remaining letters unscrambled to KAMPALA, which is one of the northbound destinations back at the main train station in Africa.
The quest asked players to provide us with two other destinations in the same direction as the decoded word.
Final answer (any two from the list): NAIROBI, NAKURU, KISANGANI, KHARTOUM
Several teams who were unable to find all the correct words, but astutely read the quest. They chose North or South at random, unfortunately, it seems many people who guessed this quest guessed South. While several teams reported that the “Plop, Pregnancy, Parenthood” text was partially obscured on game day, it was not difficult to locate. It should also be noted that the name of this quest was a clear clue to where the final answer could be found. Much debate also raged about the correct order for Crawfish Clams Fish Snails, or Snails Fish Clams Crawfish.
Eat Prey, Love (30 points)
At Flame Tree Barbecue on Discovery Island, there are seven different pavilions where patrons can devour their tasty meals. Each pavilion is lavishly decorated with two animals, a predator and its prey. This quest provided a small, zoomed-in sample of each animal’s body, and asked teams to draw straight lines between matching pairs.
When matched correctly, then read from top to bottom, the lines only intersected seven words: HOW ARE SPECIALTY ITEMS ON MENU COOKED
Final Answer: Smoked
In developing the game, the Third Gate Games crew sat down to a delightful lunch of smoked specialties and it only occurred to us after polishing off dessert that each pavilion was different, and that each one had a predator and prey. Sometimes lunchtime can also be serendipity. This quest was one of three quests that had to be collected from MouseAdventure Central after noon. Making teams have to check in with the Third Gate Games crew is a great way to let them know if there are any errors, and also an opportunity for teams to ask for clarifications or hints.
“T” in Asia (40 points)
Apparently tea is really big in Asia. “T”s are also really big in Animal Kingdom’s Asia, too. Players had to find eleven different signs pictured with “T”s on them, where all other letters from the word removed. Once the correct sign was found, teams located letters to the right and left of the given “T” as instructed.
Players read from the bottom to the top of each column in read the slogan they were hunting for, and then needed to locate the company name associated with the slogan, “Legendary Refreshment”.
Final Answer: Ye-Tea
One or two teams answered this quest with “Coca-Cola,” which is, indeed, legendary refreshment, but unfortunately not the answer to this quest. The Ye-Tea legendary refreshment sign is located on the Rivers of Light FastPass entry gate near Expedition Everest. Several teams disputed that the Royal Anandapur Tea Company sign was not unique, and they weren’t sure how to proceed; in a clear case of paying close attention to the quest material, the incorrect Royal Anandapur Tea Company sign had dark highlighting behind the words, whereas the correct sign did not.
Frame Thy Fearful Symmetry (40 points)
In Asia, teams found themselves stalking tigers on the Maharajah Jungle Trek. For this quest however, the tigers they were looking for were part of the beautiful murals seen along the path. Teams placed a series of twenty images into the order in which they passed them along the trail. A keen eye and attention to detail were necessary with this quest, as some of the art work could be approached and touched, while other pieces could be seen across the tiger enclosures.
Teams placed the two letter code associated with each image into the provided grid to spell out the final question. When entered in the correct order, teams would read
TH FO AV EW ED
ER RE AL AT OF
OY ST UA ER WH
AL IS BL SH AT
The instructions clearly said “the letters will form a question, when read in the proper order.” The “proper order” in this case meant to read each individual column from top to bottom, thus the question becomes: THE ROYAL FOREST IS A VALUABLE WATERSHED OF WHAT
Final Answer: Chakranadi River
One of the many common themes in MouseAdventure is that teams are provided with as much information as possible – however, that information is not always obvious. For example, the instructions clear stated “when read in the proper order.” This was a big clue that the answer teams would find might not be read in the western conventional method, left-to-right, top-to-bottom.
Poetry fans will recognize the reference to William Blake’s “The Tyger” in this quest’s title:
Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
See Where Island (40 points)
The second of the three additional quests picked up at noon sent teams along Discovery Island Trails to learn more about the animals there. Teams used the provided map and colored symbols to locate each of the thirteen enclosures, then counted within the descriptive text of the animal sign to locate several letters within several words.
Teams used the colored symbols and numbers to decode a sentence using the letters they had found on the associated signs. Once decoded, the question read: What time is the Wilderness Explorers Second Aid Class?
Final Answer: 10:00 a.m.
MouseAdventure is no stranger to the Evil Paragraph quest, and this particular implementation of the mechanic lead teams to a sets of wordsall over the island. When this quest was created, there was a certain sense of dread that animals marked as “Out Foraging” might return, and that other animals used as parts of the quest could be reassigned to foraging. Luckily, this did not happen. The final answer could be found on the wall behind Russell’s meet-and-greet, right below the time for the first aid class.
Animals Don’t Sing (50 points)
Quest number two set in and around the Conservation Station area sent players looking for the answers to sixteen different questions. Within each answer, a musical symbol or note replaced one letter; teams placed the associated letter in the box corresponding to the musical symbol in a grid on the quest page. Once completed, teams used the letter grid to decode a series of coordinates to form the final question: What will happen when you listen to the song of the rainforest with your heart?
Final Answer: You will understand
In order for players to listen to the song of the rainforest, they had to enter an air-conditioned, darkened, soundproof booth and don a set of headphones. A short audio presentation provided them with the final answer. This quest was set up as a kind respite to the teams in case the heat of the day was getting to them; during the writing weekend, several of the Third Gate Games crew may have taken short power naps while listening to the song of the rainforest with their hearts. They understood.
Supercalifossilisticexpialidoceous (50 points)
Dinoland USA is full of puns and corny sayings. For this quest, teams received an image array of modified signs. Some signs were thirty or forty feet wide, while others were several inches long, but the one thing they had in common was that entire words had been removed from the images.
Once teams located all the removed words, they had to find them again in the provided word search grid. The leftover letters in the grid spelled the hidden message:
In another example of reading the quest instructions clearly, “when read in the proper order” meant backwards in this particular case. The final question was: Stable personality a must.
Who should you see to apply as head of research at the Dino Institute?
Final Answer: Diana Sore
This final answer could be found on the notice board across from the Boneyard Dig Site, a display that every team had to pass at least once in order to find all the missing words.
Business is Booming (50 points)
Hungry players could head to the excellent Harambe Market in Africa to grab a bite to eat, and wrap their brains around what the Third Gate Games crew call a a “bubble up” quest, which in this case became a “climb the tree” quest. Answering questions on seventeen different data points, players transcribed a selected number or numbers from each found word at the base of the tree.
Starting from number one and moving all the way to twenty nine, players fill in the lowest bubbles first, then continue up the tree according to the rules set out in the quest instructions. Once completed, the final question read: If plumber not available call whom
Final Answer: Her Sister
While this quest was a familiar mechanic to some, many players found it difficult and reached out for help. In general, help with a puzzle mechanic is not regarded as a hint, but as a clarification; players were advised to carefully read the rules and follow along, letter by letter until they completed the quest. Because the question is built from the bottom up, it is difficult to brute force this type of quest.
Taking What You’re Gibbon (60 points)
In the construction of the buildings in Asia, the local Ministry of Economic Development decided to make sure most of the businesses had an official plaque on their walls. However, they didn’t do a good job of locating these plaques in a consistent and/or easy place to find.
Teams were provided with a list of dates for ten of the plaques, and asked to find and note down the four-digit code from the middle of each example. Once they had all the data, the ten numbers were summed together to form the first part of a small equation. Teams also had to find the phone number for the Hotel Bukit, and then use four digits from the hotel telephone number to subtract from their previous total to end up with a final five-digit number. The instructions told teams to locate the business associated with that number and write down what the sign on the door says.
Final Answer: Out to Lunch BACK SOON
In order to find the Hotel Bukit’s telephone number, teams would have to stop by the sign in the center of the Anandapur area featuring a small map and phone numbers for various businesses. If teams paid attention, they’d see that their final five-digit number is the telephone number for the local Association for Tourism. This was one of the most difficult quests in the game, partly because several of the plaques are quite difficult to locate, but also because the door for the final answer is not immediately obvious. The Association for Tourism is one of the businesses with a plaque teams had previously located, tucked away in the courtyard seating area for Anandapur Local Foods Cafe, near the restrooms.
The Female of the Species (60 points)
The final quest of the “pick up after noon” batch had players head over to The Oasis and look for another selection of descriptive signs about the animals on exhibit. Instead of an evil paragraph, teams identified which animal to use based on provided clues, and then use the Latin names of each animal to decode the message, resulting in the words: twenty one double six.
A rectangular box with the number 2045 written in it, along with the instructions that “the decoded information is your key to unlock the next part of the quest” were important clues for the final step: a locker! The number in the box was a locker number, and twenty one double six (2166) was the locker combination.
For players who managed to get this far, they’d find a sign in the locker advising them to pick out a ziplock bag, and put together the jigsaw puzzle it contained. Once they had the puzzle together, they had to turn it over and read the question on the back: Take one more trip through Oasis and tell us who said “Nature does not hurry, yet every thing is accomplished.”
Final Answer: Lao Tzu
Several teams had novel ways to deal with the puzzle, including taping the entire thing together and assembling on a clear plastic clipboard to read the message through the bottom. It should also be pointed out that teams had to put the puzzles together without an example picture to reference. The puzzle also featured in an after-game social media post showing how each one of the 73 puzzles had to be ironed for the final question ink to dry properly before they could be disassembled and packed into the bags.
Eye Spy (+5 points each)
As this game’s theme was tails, the Eye Spy theme could only have been taken from all the tails in the park. Some teams did not read the quest properly and wrote down the names of the locations. The instructions clearly stated that the numbers of the locations as indicated on the Animal Kingdom guide map should be used. In order, the tails were:
Kimodo dragon by Maharajah Jungle Trek (37)
Tiny horse by the entrance to Expedition Everest (39)
Scorpion on Pizzafari (14)
Bird on Island Mercantile (17)
Chameleon on Garden Gate Gifts sign (3)
Turtle on Discovery Trading pillars (19)
Alligator on sign near The Dino Institute Shop (62)
Pegasus on Anandapur Ice Cream Truck (48)
Elephant on Fossil Fun Games (52)
Monkey on Creature Comforts sign (15)
Pterodactyl on Chester and Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures (61)
Team Photo Challenge (10 points)
A long held MouseAdventure institution is the Team Photo – and it’s been through many iterations, from having a massive crew of photographers to having random interactions in the parks. The Third Gate Games crew realized that PhotoPass cards were still available, even though most people use their MagicBands, so for ten points, teams were tasked with getting their pictures taken during the game. These pictures can be found here MouseAdventure: Tails Team Photos
Trivia (+1 point per question)
This event was the first Walt Disney World MouseAdventure to feature trivia, which we don’t usually talk about on the recap. However, we feel compelled to point out that the reason why the game was worth 654 points and not 655 is due to trivia question #20, which featured an impossible answer, and was thus struck from the game.
Full results are available on the MouseAdventure website. The total possible points for this game was 654, including the hidden quest, which 2 teams correctly answered.
The best new team (not otherwise placing) was We want the Red Head with 568 points, who placed fifth in 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 number 4029 with 350 points.
The top 3 teams were:
- Team Plutonium – 590 points
- Teamboat Willie – 583 points
- San Diego Mouse Catchers a.k.a. 2nd or Bust 😉 – 579 points
- Conflicting Weenies Social Club – 609 points
A Masters team is a team that has placed first in 3 events, and has been retired from competition. Although not eligible for any prizes during non-Invitational MouseAdventure games, Masters teams return to set the bar for other teams to compete against. They play mainly for bragging rights and the thrill of the puzzle hunt.
Photo Contest Winners
Congratulations to the two winners of our #MATails photo contest: @manufutbolfan (Deb Elliott) and @lilseppey (Carolyn Seppey). 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 also 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 are sad that the playlist at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar has changed, and so provide you with this Spotify playlist of How It Used To Be.
Thanks to our awesome teams for coming out and playing the game. At this event, we had players from 14 different states. We’d also like to thank Shoshana Lewin for writing the trivia.
Thanks to our media sponsor MousePlanet, your independent consumer guide to Disney travel and vacations, covering Disneyland, Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line.