Each MouseAdventure recap begins with a report that the most recent event was our Biggest Game Ever, and indeed MouseAdventure has grown from the 36 teams who attended our inaugural event in 2000, to nearly 170 teams last fall. With a move to the Paradise Pier Hotel for the Spring 2007 event, however, we had to end our growth streak so we could fit the crowd into the ballroom.
Though past events have really not been much larger than this one, something about announcing a limit to the number of players caused an early crush of registrations, and the event sold out in a record six days (trust me, we were as stunned as you). In the end, 153 teams came out for a day of fun and questing in the Disneyland Resort.Larger group photo
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Our Spring 2007 event featured a (modified) return to our MouseAdventure Classic format, a game inspired by the Disneyland's cast member-exclusive Minnie's Moonlight Madness event. Teams were given a variety of tasks to complete and puzzles to solve, each assigned a difficulty levelfrom "A" for the easiest quests to "E" for the most difficult. Teams chose to register for either the Basic or Advanced division, with the Basic division teams receiving only quests "A" through "C," and the Advanced teams receiving the entire packet. Of course the Advanced teams still had just five hours to complete the event, making time management more important.
Master of Ceremonies Andrew Rich explains the new answer sheets to the teams before the event. Photo by Kenji Luster.
Although we returned to our roots with this classic format, the spring event introduced a number of new elements to the event. Based on feedback we received from an online survey we conducted after our Fall 2006 MouseAdventure, we created a brand new Family division that allowed players as young as 6 years old to participate as official team members for the first time. Ten teams registered for the Family division, but if their reaction is any indicator, we'll have a lot more families next time around.
Our headquarters for this event was the Paradise Pier Hotel, and by 9:30 a.m. on Sunday all 500-plus players had assembled on the third-floor pool deck for the largest group photo in MouseAdventure history. (This was also likely the last group photo we will subject teams to, as it has become nearly impossible to identify individuals or even teams in the crowd.) By 9:45 the teams were back downstairs in the hotel ballroom, and having to quickly decide if they wanted to stay for a new trivia challenge worth up to 100 points, or collect their quest packets a little early and earn more game time. In the end only two teams decided to abandon the trivia portion of the event, and the remaining teams answered questions projected on a giant screen at the front of the room. This was the first time we incorporated a visual presentation in the event, and it was very well received.
Teams exchange their trivia answer sheets for the rest of their quest packet. Photo by Brad LaVerne.
After teams completed the trivia section, they traded their trivia answer cards for their quest packets and headed off in search of their first quest... or so we expected. In reality, several dozen teams decided to camp out in and around the ballroom to plan their strategy, and a few teams were still in the ballroom when we had to lock up at 11:00. The quests sent teams through Downtown Disney and into both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventuresome teams were quite anxious to show us their pedometers after the five-hour event.
With Disney's PhotoPass department offering to take the team photos this year, we sent teams into the park to find the PhotoPass photographers to get their team photo taken. Because PhotoPass is still aggregating all 150-plus team photos into one master account, this unfortunately means a delay in the publication of the team photos here; we hope to publish them soon.
Team "The Uncoordinated" is looking extremely organized as they sort their quest materials at the start of the event. Photo by Kenji Luster.
After the quest portion of the event was over, teams were invited to return to the Paradise Pier Hotel ballroom for our post-game trivia challenge while everyone waited for the results to be tabulated and the winners announced. The ballroom provided not only an air conditioned place to relax after the event, but a superior sound system and the use of a projection screen before and after the main event. Teams were thrilled to see a slideshow of candid photos taken during the event, and to be able to clearly hear everything that was happening. After several rounds of triviaincluding a fun new "Impossible Trivia" elementand lots of raffle prizes, we announced the winners and bid farewell to another successful event.
Teams head towards Disney's California Adventure at the start of the event. Photo by Brad LaVerne.
We originally planned to hold the next event on November 4. Unfortunately, a large convention has booked most of the ballroom space in the Disneyland Resort for that weekend, so we can definitively say that the event will not be anytime between October 20 and November 12. We are currently trying to work around the various weddings, vacations, cruises and 13K runs the MouseAdventure crew have committed to this fall, and will announce a date as soon as we can. It is entirely likely that we will only be able to give around 90 days notice, so keep watching the Disneyland Park Update for the announcement before registration opens.
Feedback from our teams helps us to expand and improve the event. We made many changes to this event based on feedback we received after the fall event, but we know there's always room for improvement. We've created a quick survey, and encourage all players to complete the survey at this link:
Teams frequently want to know where they went wrong on a specific quest. The following is a quick recap of each quest, the correct answer, and the most common mistakes teams made. Quest categories A, B, and C apply to all divisions, while categories D and E are for Advanced teams only.
Crew members Lisa and Emma Perkis show off the nifty new lanyards given to crew and players. Photo by Brad LaVerne.
Team 4102 leaves the Bountiful Valley Farm area, hopefully with the correct answer. Photo by Brad LaVerne.
Teams search the Rainforest Café menu for the price of some BBQ ribs. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.
Team The Acceptables shows their game face in Downtown Disney. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.
Team "Benny's Drince88e8" stops to sort through their event materials. Photo by Brad LaVerne.
Team Ishmael demonstrates effective delegation skills. Photo by Brad LaVerne.
Team Zlick stops to plan their next move. Photo by Brad LaVerne.
This quest sent teams to ride Soarin' Over California at DCA, and then use a provided transparent map of California to trace the route taken on the attraction, starting in San Francisco and ending at Disneyland. Once teams plotted the journey, we had them place the transparent map over the guide map of Disney's California Adventure, and match the California cities to DCA attractions. (Had you ever noticed that DCA is roughly shaped like the state it's named for?) A little geometry and teams should have found "Maliboomer" as their final answer. (For 20 bonus points, we made them send one person from their team to ride the Maliboomer)
Team "Properly Warned" ponders the final "E" quest. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix
In DCA, we asked the teams to simply draw pictures of OO-SOO-MA-TE and AH-HA-LE. In Disneyland, we provided teams with the image from a pressed penny machine, and asked them to locate the machine and tell us what two other penny images were available from that machine.
OO-SOO-MA-TE and AH-HA-LE are a bear and a coyote featured in a story etched into a rock near the exit from Grizzly River Run. The pressed penny machine in question is located in Adventureland, and features three different poses of Minnie Mouse.
If the two clue sheets were correctly layered and held to light, a la the Da Vinci code, a final question was revealed, asking how many people were watching "The Moose Hunt" in the Main Street Cinema. The correct answer was 62 but the most common answer was 58it all but a few very observant teams missed the four people watching from the balconies on each side of the "theater."
Things 1, 2 and 3 head into DCA to complete the number Eye Spy. Photo by Kenji Luster.
We always toss in a few side games, and this event included an Eye Spy quest, a "find the crew member" challenge, a bonus Eye Spy, and even pin trading for the family division teams. We also included a "hidden quest" for the teams, a simple encryption buried inside the ticket book graphics that decorated each page. Only one team successfully found and answered that quest, so teams are hereby warned that there are more hidden quests in your future.
Prizes were awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams in both the Basic and Advanced divisions. Best New Team honors were awarded to the highest-ranking new team in each division that did not otherwise win an award; in the Basic division the best new team actually took 1st place so the award went to the next best new team. The Family division prizes went to the 1st and 2nd place teams While it was not a separate division, we have also listed below the results of the trivia section just for fun.
It is always painful to realize that we made a mistake in scoring, even more so when the error impacted the announced winners. It turns out that we made a major error in the scoring of two teams in the Advanced division, errors that somehow slipped past the double-check process. As luck would have it, these were not the 149th and 150th place teams, but the announced and the actual first place teams. (This issue impacted ONLY the first place team - second and third remained unchanged.) The correct results of the Advanced division are as follows:
Years of practice paid off, and the Dahl family (shown here in 2006), took 1st place in the Advanced division. MousePlanet file photo.
1st place with 848 points Team 4016: Smoke Tree Ranchers. Since they were not able to bask in their glory after the event, a little more should be said about our winning Advanced team. The Dahls have been playing MouseAdventure since their children were considered "Future MouseAdventurers," and Laura, Steve and Adrian put their years of experience to good use during the event to earn a first place victory.
The Dahl family in their first MouseAdventure team photo, circa 2001. MousePlanet file photo.
The San Diego Mouse Catchers show off the big pencil they claim brings them luck. Photo by Kenji Luster.
2nd place with 829 points Team 4057: San Diego Mouse Catchers / Team Big Pencil
3rd place honors go to Simba's Pride. Photo by Kenji Luster.
3rd place with 810 points Team 3017: Simba's Pride
Best new team in the Advanced division Team 4088: YM's Majesty
Basic (possible score of 780 points)
New team The Googlie Bears took home the first place award in the Basic category. Photo by Kenji Luster.
1st place with 697 points Team 4049: The Googlie Bears
The Pillage People return for another excellent score. Photo by Kenji Luster.
2nd place with 688 points Team 4135: The Pillage People
Team "The Acceptable" prove they are so much more by taking home 3rd place. Photo by Kenji Luster.
3rd place with 654 points Team 4073: The Acceptables
The Best New Team in the Basic division assures us they will have a team name next time. Photo by Kenji Luster.
Best new team with Basic division Team 3118
Family (possible score of 805 points)
Why is this team smiling? They've just won the first ever Family competition. Photo by Kenji Luster.
1st place with 688 points Team 4130: The Metzger Family
Team Aurora and Stitch earned second place in our first Family competition. Photo by Kenji Luster.
2nd place with 608 points Team 4129: Aurora & Stitch
Trivia (not a prize division)
1st place (tie) with 40/50 correct: Case of Hearts, The Denton Affair, The Metzger Family
2nd place (tie) with 39/50 correct: The Parrot Heads, The Trojan Mice
Master's Challenge (not a prize division)
The Masters teams learn how they scored in the event. Photo by Kenji Luster.
MouseAdventure Masters are those teams who, on the occasion of their third first-place victory, are honored with retirement from competition. The Masters teams are invited to participate in future events, but may only compete in the super-difficult Invitational events. There are currently four Masters teams, and three participated in the Advanced division. We present their scores and overall rank as a benchmark for other teams to compare themselves to:
1st place with 882 points The Brother Bears (1st place overall)
2nd place with 773 points The Happy Haunts (10th place overall)
3rd place with 715 points The Denton Affair (13th place overall)
Note: The members of Masters team The-Mouse.com have joined the MouseAdventure crew, and are now helping to write and host the event.
Teams show off their winning result of the Word Mixup during the post-game event. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.
Scores are listed by team number, and are detailed as follows:
Trivia Number shown is number of questions correct out of 50 questions. Each correct answer was worth 2 points.
Front Aggregate score for all quests
Back Aggregate scores for Eye Spy, PhotoPass, postcard, bonus quest
Penalties 10 point deductions per infraction reported by a MouseAdventure crew member. The two most common infractions were for use of external lighting inside the Main Street Opera House and for splitting up during the event. (Both explicitly against the rules)
The MouseAdventure crew included new faces this year, and every one of them was appreciated. Much of the credit for this event goes to my partner in crime Joe Stevano, who not only had enough ideas for this event, but is also designing much of the Fall 2007 event. Joe is also entirely responsible for the graphic design of this event, and the event materials looked spectacular.
The cast and crew of the spring 2007 MouseAdventure. Photo by Kenji Luster.
Planning a MouseAdventure event can become somewhat all-consuming, and my husband Tony Phoenix has been amazingly patient through the whole process. This event was tested three times before it was presented to the teams, and almost every crew member was involved in some way. Shoshana Lewin and fiancé Adam, Adrienne Krock, Andrew and Jennifer Rich, Jeff Moxley, Sheila Hagen, Amanda Smith and David Perry all spent hours trying to solve quests from the rough drafts. Although staff members Mark Goldhaber, Stephanie Wien and Lani Teshima could not attend the event in person this year, all three tested the puzzle quests from their far-flung homes. Lani also made the event buttons for players and crew.
A moment of silence for the remains of the green feather boas worn by the Dis Divas. Photo by Kenji Luster.
Karin Hubbard-Luster and Kenji Luster, Lisa and Emma Perkis, Steven Ng and Kevin Krock all helped staff the event on Sunday. Former players Bev and Tracy Screeton were among those who were unable to register for this event when it unexpectedly sold out so quickly, and so volunteered to join us as crew. They had so much fun watching teams seek them out in Fantasyland that they've asked to return as crew next time. Kenji and Brad LaVerne took most of the great candid photos of the event. And though Alex Stroup could not help design or run this event, his stewardship of MouseAdventure since 2002 has laid a solid foundation for the event you enjoyed this last weekend.