MouseAdventure 2011: Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Guest Author: Jennifer Romano
Are you game? That’s the question that was posed to us as we embarked on our first MouseAdventure Quest in Disney’s Hollywood Studios on November 12. Mouseplanet.com sponsors this event, and the whole point is to solve quests and respond to questions in order to compete in a scavenger hunt. My husband and I formed a team called the Wedway Peoplemover Posse. We even made shirts to commemorate the occasion.
We arrived at the Studios just as the sun was peaking up, and as we parked, we were able to size up the competition. Everyone looked very well prepared and ready to go. We started to get a little nervous because we had only read about the event online. However, we did have all of the necessary supplies, which included a variety of different colored pens, a clipboard, tape, a stapler, and a pencil. We felt prepared, but when we saw our fellow competitors, our confidence was a little shaken. These folks had all competed in previous MouseAdventures, and some had even come from California to compete in a Coast to Coast Challenge. These teams looked very intense, and we even saw some people stretching. Mark and I looked at each other with questioning glances; “should we be stretching? What did we get ourselves into?”
Of course, Mark and I do not fear a challenge, and we were ready to compete, being as both of us are very competitive people. We said that we would just compete for fun, but that idea was gone once we were five minutes into the first challenge. Before our breakfast, we had to take Troop photos and receive some of our game materials. We were given a sash (like a Boy Scout merit badge sash) as well as some other key pieces to solving our first quests.
After gathering our materials, we enjoyed a lovely breakfast at the Backlot Express Restaurant. We were able to chat with our fellow competitors and get a feel for what the adventure would be like. After our conversation, we were very excited to get started. We had been looking forward to this event since last year, when we decided that we would compete this year. After chatting and eating, we all drew close so that we could hear the rules and any other last minute changes to the game. Some of the rules include: no cell phone use; no asking castmembers for help; no digital camera use; no separating from your team members, except to go to the bathroom. These are just a few of the rules; there were many more, but once we heard them all; we were ready to go!
Our games began with a “Scatter quest.” For this quest, we were given two cards that required us to search Sunset Blvd and the Streets of America in order to find words that completed fill in the blank questions. Then, we had to count the letters in the words and use the letters to form another word. Once we discovered the answers to each scatter, we had to return to Mouseadventure Central, which was located near Echo Lake. After returning our cards, we received our actual game packets. This is where the fun really began.
Once we assessed our challenges and organized our materials, it was time to decide which quest we would attempt first. Just to give you an idea of the quests, one of the challenges was to compare pictures of celebrities with those of the metal busts in the courtyard near the Great Movie Ride. After we compared the faces to pictures, we then had to use the names in order to solve a cipher. Then after we solved this problem, we had to use that information in order to figure out a question. Then, we had to use more information located in this courtyard in order to answer the question. Each quest forced us to comb the Studios for minute details that we would have otherwise overlooked. We ran around the park many, many times in order to find clues and answer quests.
This adventure might sound like more work than fun, but we had a great time. We love solving puzzles and examining the minutiae of the Disney Parks. The cost of this event included breakfast and all of our game materials. It was approximately $90 a person. For some, this might be a little costly, but I think that the intricacy of planning this event and the quality of the game materials was worth the price. As for the teams, there were about 40 teams ranging from 2-4 players. Everyone had such a wonderful time, and this was an opportunity to meet fellow Disneyphiles like us. As long as our schedules allow, we will definitely do this event again next year. If you are interested in seeing the results of this event or some pictures, you can visit http://www.mouseplanet.com/9800/MouseAdventure_World_Explorers_III_Recap .
If you are crazy for Disney and love brainteasers and puzzles, this event is definitely for you. Be aware; this is not for the faint of heart or the casual park guest. You have to be ready to be truly challenged if you participate. I can’t wait until next year! Until next time, have a magical day, and keep moving forward!