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MouseStation 253 - Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure with Janette Lomboy-Russo

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Remember, if you're planning a trip with a large number of people, a multiple-bedroom vacation home can be a lot cheaper than multiple hotel rooms.

For more information on what a vacation home is and what to expect when renting one, check out our interview of Fred Zorayq from Advantage Vacation Homes in Episode 219!

Featured topic: Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure with Janette Lomboy-Russo

In this week's feature, Mark interviewed Janette Lomboy-Russo, show producer for the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure.

The Adventure won a THEA Award for its playtest phase, before it even was available to the general public, but the Imagineers are hoping to make the permanent attraction even more incredible and amazing.

Park guests can volunteer to be recruited as Team Possible agents by using their park pass at one of the three Team Possible Recruitment Centers at Innoventions East, Innoventions West and on the bridge to World Showcase Plaza. The Mission pass looks like Fastpass, but tells them where to report and when; it's not tied to the Fastpass system. Agents will report to one of the Team Possible Field Stations in Norway, Italy or the International Gateway. Cast members will give them a Kimmunicator (essentially a "remote control for the park"). The Kimmunicator has the same form factor as a cell phone so that it's easy to handle and doesn't stick out, but the workings are different and only function to trigger events in the park.

From the Field Station, "secret agents" are sent to one of seven pavilions. Each pavilion has its own mission, and each mission will run around 45-60 minutes. If you want, you can do all of the missions in one day. The missions make use of underutilized corners of the pavilions and the effects don't stand out, so it really doesn't infringe on the enjoyment of the park by other guests. Imagineers respect World Showcase and really don't want to interfere with the show.

Players will discover and explore parts of World Showcase that they've never seen before and find out new things about the country that they're in. Interesting things will happen only for you at the push of the correct button in the correct place. Even those special events will seem interesting to park guests if they do happen to see them.

Multiple teams can be out and about in the same pavilion at once because there are multiple interactive events. The software running the game can balance the load between teams. There are dozens of possible combinations so each game is different each time. The software can also make things easier for teams that are struggling with the puzzles.

After experimenting with various configurations, it seems that 45-60 minutes is the optimal mission time. Because they're software-based missions, they can modify events at will. There are missions at seven pavilions, with four more available in case there's a need to expand capacity (Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Japan, France and United Kingdom - Italy, the American Adventure, Morocco and Canada are not yet involved).

Janette does not have a favorite mission, because all have a different flavor; Japan is very magical and visually stunning, Germany is laugh-out-loud funny (thanks to its villain, Professor Dementor) including yodeling steins, China is surprising, Mexico changes things that you've already seen (like causing the volcano to erupt). The agents get to know that they get to trigger unusual events and make things happen.

The Field Stations (distribution points) are themed so that they don't stand out – no Kim characters or other things that are obvious – the field station has hidden blinking lights, satellites and high-tech gadgetry. At the end of the mission, there are "Kimmunicator decommissioning drops" - sort of like the 18th hole in miniature golf, where they return the handheld devices.

The attraction is included in the price of admission to the park because the Kimmunicators aren't real cell phones any more; then only function within the parameters of the attraction. During the playtest, a deposit was required for the device because it used a real cell phone. Now that it's a more specialized device, there is no deposit and no fee. Even small children or grandparents can be the ones using the Kimmunicator.

Lomboy-Russo wants people to know to "be prepared to be surprised" and to know that while this is very much about Kim Possible, it's still exciting just because you get your own remote control for the park and can experience new things in the pavilions.

And for Kim Possible fans, Kim, Ron and Wade are involved, as well as new characters created specifically for the game. Rufus makes some appearances, as well (something for naked mole rat fans), including in Norway.

Mark noted that it really won't infringe on the enjoyment of the park by others. Events are placed out of the way and really won't be overly visible to those not playing the game.

Mark suggested that perhaps as the MousePlanet-only meet on the final Monday of MousePlanet, we can do a Kim Possible meet instead of a Soarin' meet. If you're interested in doing a MousePlanet-only meet, let us know, and tell us whether you would want to do a Kim Possible meet, a Soarin' meet or a Toy Story Midway Mania meet.

Mark did notice that the Norway distribution point is adjacent to the smoking area, so he's got a concern that approaching the cart may be difficult for his asthmatic wife and son.

Mike asked Mark about the Kimmunicator. Mark noted that it wasn't the final version, but it is a small clamshell form factor cell phone, so they'll be pretty invisible. Mike wondered if there was major reprocessing of Disney Mobile cell phones.

In response to Mike's question, Mark thinks that the number of missions that he could do in a day would vary depending on his frame of mind and how tired he was. In a good frame of mind, he could probably do all seven. On other days, 1-3 might be all that he could handle.

Mike was concerned that people might not respond by playing the game and it could turn out to be like the Virtual Magic Kingdom quests of a couple of years ago. Mark thinks that people will come out and play it; however, he has heard that this system will be at the heart of a planned fifth park.

Thanks to Janette Lomboy-Russo for joining us on the show. Special thanks to Diego Parras for setting up the interview.

What do you think? Let us know by sending us an email or calling our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278)!

Listener Feedback

Jim wrote in to expand on his earlier comments on the problems with the revised Pirates of the Caribbean. His problem was largely that he thought that the audio levels on the attraction were much lower after the attraction. Mike and Mark recommended that he try it again and ensure that it wasn't some kind of unusual situation that caused the attraction to sound quiet.

Sharla called in to let us know that she and her husband just got back and had ridden in the monorail's cockpit but had not gotten a monorail co-pilot license. Mark was surprised, because he had been in the cockpit last month and got a license.

Sharla also wanted to know if we had specific names of park music CDs, and whether there was anything we know available on iTunes or Amazon. Mark noted that the current park soundtrack was called Four Parks, One World and that an earlier one was Where Magic Lives. He also noted that there were special soundtracks for Wishes, SpectroMagic, Magic in the Streets (parade music), Magic Kingdom Event Party Music (music from the Halloween, Christmas and Pirate & Princess parties), Fantasmic, and the Millennium Celebration (Illuminations and Tapestry of Dreams) There are also attraction-specific albums, such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and Finding Nemo - The Musical.

CHOC Walk/Team MousePlanet

This year's CHOC Walk is this coming weekend. For more information on supporting Team MousePlanet, go to the Team MousePlanet page or get information on the MousePad discussion forums.

Facebook

We're now on Facebook! Join the MousePlanet and MouseStation groups. If you join the club and use Pieces of Flair, you can get your MousePlanet and MouseStation flair from Mark (though you have to friend him first).

MouseFest

Registration is now open for MouseFest! You can sign up now, and check out the many meets being hosted by MousePlanet as you plan your trip.

Wrapping up

We've put together a new listener survey to help us learn more about you and what you like most about this podcast. This one is much more targeted than the old Podtrac survey. Please take a few minutes to fill it out and let us know what you think.

 

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Thanks to our audio engineer and sound editor Steven Ng.

Thank you for listening!

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(Send an email to MouseStation Crew)

The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).