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MouseAdventure Fall 2009 Recap

MouseAdventure traveled to Florida this Fall for MouseAdventure World Explorers: Epcot, our first-ever Walt Disney World event. 33 brave and adventurous teams joined us for an event that was unlike any MouseAdventure we've ever produced. Walt Disney World has so many more options for hosting special events, and we were thrilled to be able to actually begin the game inside Epcot Park, with breakfast and introductions at the Odyssey Restaurant on the border between Future World and World Showcase.


Troops prepare to recite the World Explorers Pledge before our first-ever Walt Disney World event. Photo by Kenji Luster.

The theme of this event was World Explorers, and our teams - referred to as "troops" for the event - earned "merit badges" for each quest correctly solved. While troops fueled up for the day ahead, Master of Ceremonies Andrew Rich reviewed the rules and special instructions for this event. Keeping with (just-created) World Explorer tradition, each troop leader received a merit badge sash after breakfast, and led their troop in reciting the World Explorers Pledge before the start of competition:

I promise to do my best
To be observant and attentive,
To follow all the rules and play well with others,
To be polite and assist those not of my team,
To assume nothing, and question everything
For the World must be explored!

 


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With that, we released the troops into Epcot park to solve their first quest. We've detailed the quests and challenges below, along with the correct answer and the most common errors and incorrect answers.

Recap | Team Photos | Results | MouseAdventure on the High Seas | Crew acknowledgmentsNext events


MouseAdventure World Explorers: Epcot

The event was divided into two portions, with troops solving a packet of quests in each Future World and World Showcase. Before they received their Future World packet, troops had to first solve the Geotracking quest, which sent them on a hunt through the Leave a Legacy sculpture to find specific memory tiles. After locating the correct tiles, teams took a ride through the newly enhanced Spaceship Earth attraction, and used the results from the first part of the quest to made decisions during the interactive portion of the ride. After troops watched the "Welcome to Your Future" video that was generated based on their responses, they had to answer a question about the video. This was the first of two locations where teams could earn bonus points by sending a photo of their team to us.


Several teams search the Leave a Legacy sculptures to solve the Geotracking quest. Photo by Scott Morris.


Team Gundrum submits their team ride photo to earn 5 bonus points. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

  • Solution: Troops solved one of eight different sets of Leave a Legacy questions, but each led to the same path through the "Welcome to Your Future" video.
  • Answer: Teams who correctly solved this quest watched a video of themselves skiing, during which one member of the troop broke their arm.

One team apparently broke a window in their future, but every other team answered the quest correctly.

Future World


The Eptrotters collect their Future World packet. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Once troops completed Geotracking quest, they returned to MouseAdventure Central to collect their Future World packet. These quests could be solved in any order before the conclusion of the event.

Fishing


The Lost Falls Expedition searches The Seas for some missing words. Photo by Tracey Morris.

To earn the fishing Merit Badge, troops had to explore The Seas with Nemo & Friends to search for words that had “floated away” from a series of provided photos. Once teams netted them all, they had to use those words to solve a word search puzzle to reveal the final question.

  • Solutions: In what year was the society that awarded the civil engineering of merit to the living seas founded
  • Answer: 1852

This quest was one of several in which knowledge of Epcot helped some teams, where knowledge of MouseAdventure helped others. The plaque that yielded the final answer is located at the exit to The Seas, and was hard for teams unfamiliar with Epcot to find. On the other hand, the word search asked for the year the society that gave the award was founded, NOT what year the award was given. Teams that solved the quest too hastily - and didn't read the entire question - gave the wrong year. This error knocked one veteran team out of a final-three finish.

Imagination


Yensid's Apprentices have "film," but are looking for "cameras" and "more." Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix

To earn the imagination Merit Badge, teams had to Journey Into Imagination With Figment and the The Kodak “What If” Labs to look for text that would complete a series of provided sets. Using their answers, teams uncovered another word, and had to find the two words that formed a set with that word.

  • Solution: Film
  • Answer: Cameras, More

A decal on the exit doors of the Kodak “What If” Labs yielded the final set, as did a lighted sign outside the store.

Engineering

To earn the engineering Merit Badge, we sent teams on the ultimate Pinewood Car Derby experience - a trip around Test Track. Teams first had to search the test facility to collect numerical data, and after their ride solve a math equation. The result was the model number of a car in Goofy's Dream Cars display inside the attraction's gift shop.

  • Solution: 649
  • Answer: Lasso Car

At least one team lost a bit of time searching Future World for the "Pinewood Derby" ride. Many teams found themselves one digit off from the correct answer, a result of using the "1," the number for the "test vehicle" instead of "2," the number for the "lab test vehicle" as requested.

Stargazing


This team demonstrates a classic MouseAdventure "don't," as in "don't point out the answers to the other teams." Photo by Scott Morris.


The Hidden Mickey Surveillance Co. tries to act casual, but anyone can see that they are standing on the answer. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

To earn the stargazing Merit Badge, we sent troops to Mission: Space to find the series of quotes displayed on plaques around the attraction entrance. Teams used the name of the person who said each quote to solve a crossword puzzle, and then unscramble marked letters to form their final question.

  • Solution: These Exploration Rovers Landed On Mars
  • Answer: Spirit and Opportunity

Quite a number of teams walked right past the plaques, and rode Mission: Space trying to solve this quest, while others went directly into the Advanced Training Lab looking for clues. The answer to the quest could be found on a plaque in the cement outside the attraction; several teams walked right over the plaque while searching for the answer.

Fire Safety


It's unfortunate that we didn't offer extra bonus points for creativity, because this player did a great Smokey the Bear imitation during the Fire Safety quest. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

To earn the fire safety Merit Badge, troops had to locate a display of fire department patches inside Innoventions, and use the patches to solve a word puzzle. After decoding their final question, teams used a nearby computer database of fire department statistics to answer the question. We also offered teams the opportunity to earn bonus points by taking a photo of their team at the provided kiosk.

  • Solution: Firefighters on Ohio's Parma Dept
  • Answer: 100

History


Teams circle the Inventor's Circle to solve the History quest. Photo by Tracey Morris.

To earn the history Merit Badge, teams had to search the Inventor’s Circle and identify the discovery that was made in each year listed on the quest sheet, then use the name of each discovery to decode a hidden question.

  • Solution: Lone Middle Ages Invention
  • Answer: Printing Press

This quest introduced a new puzzle type to MouseAdventure - indexing. Teams with a good knowledge of Epcot park were able to quickly locate the Inventor’s Circle, an often-overlooked installation in the walkway outside Innoventions

World Showcase

Teams could pick up their World Showcase packet anytime after Noon, but had the option of finishing up their Future World quests or heading right into World Showcase. Most teams opted to spend more time in Future World, and we know at least one top-ranked team did not enter World Showcase until after 2:00.

Boating


The San Diego Mouse Catchers take a moment to examine their World Showcase packet. Photo by Scott Morris.

To earn the boating Merit Badge, troops had to take a short cruise with the Three Caballeros through the Mexico pavilion, and then answer a series of multiple-choice questions based on the ride. Upon returning to shore, teams followed the directions provided next to each answer to eliminate figures from the Animales Fantasticos exhibit. Completed correctly, only one figure would remain.

  • Solution: Teams were to eliminate all figures that were: in one of the two displays with special lighting effects; made with dyed or undyed textile; had a color in their English name; had a human face; made of copal or pine; made of an “unknown” material.
  • Answer: Tres Biznagas

Some teams were able to answer the initial questions without even riding; others had to sail twice to find details they overlooked the first time. We requested the Spanish name of the remaining figure, but some teams provided the English name - and thus earned no points.

Observation


Team Just Hitched!! planned their honeymoon around MouseAdventure. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix

To earn the observation Merit Badge, troops used a provided (and completely made up) Chinese – English dictionary to decode a message found on the six columns in the courtyard of the China Pavilion.

  • Solution: Cast your gaze all around the beautiful China pavilion after you complete this translation and locate the sign that reveals the true meaning of the two Chinese characters that remain for the quest answer
  • Answer: Hotel


Team Tigger & Tiger search for Chinese characters. Photo by Scott Morris.

Chinese characters are properly read from top to bottom and right to left, and so teams should have finished the translation directly in front of the sign that provided the final answer. Unfortunately some teams were distracted by other guests playing the Kim Possible game in the nearby area, and completely overlooked the hotel sign.

Decision Making

The first of three quests that could only be completed by one member of a troop. To earn the Decision Making badge, one player had to decide between "Sweet" and "Sour." Players who opted for Sweet were sent via Friendship Boat to Club Cool, where they had to drink one shot of each Coca-Cola product offered - including the much-despised Beverly drink from Italy - before returning via boat to their teammates at the MouseAdventure station in the Germany pavilion. Players who opted for Sour were sent to the Summergarten Restaurant, where they were instructed to purchase and eat a side order of sauerkraut before rejoining their team. Regardless of the task chosen, the player had one hour to complete the task, and the rest of the troop could not leave the MouseAdventure station until their player returned.


Some players seemed to really enjoy their sauerkraut Photo by Scott Morris.


Other players really, really didn't. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The majority of teams chose Sour, and several players happily wolfed down their portion of sauerkraut in mere minutes. Others had more trouble finishing their plate, and returned to their team muttering threats and insults. The teams who opted for Sweet quickly discovered that the boat ride to and from Future World was time consuming, and at least one player found themselves parked in the middle of the lagoon as workers brought out equipment for that evening's performance of Illuminations. Every team that began this challenge finished within the time limit, though one team returned from the Sweet challenge with just minutes to spare. We had expected that at least one player might have trouble swallowing this quest, but we were surprised (and really, really amused) to find out that the only team to have intestinal trouble was a team that opted for the Sweet challenge. Some guys just can't hold their soda.


Members of Finding Temo reads the instructions for the Decision Making quest, but didn't realize that they'd probably have to drink Beverly. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Forestry


The Lost Falls Expedition searches the Japan pavilion for signs. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

To earn forestry Merit Badge, we sent the troops to the forests of Japan to identify several species of plants and trees. Teams used these answers to solve a word puzzle.

  • Solution: Shirasagijo
  • Answer: White Egret Castle


Some signs were not all that easy to spot, so Explorers needed to use all of their forestry skills to complete the quest. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

This quest required teams to have a sharp eye, as the plaques that identify the trees and plants in the pavilion were often partially concealed by the plants.

Geometry


One player discovers that she's solving the Geometry quest using the wrong tiles. Photo by Tracey Morris.

To earn the geometry Merit Badge, troops had to search the winding streets of Morocco and find a tiled courtyard with a fountain and columns decorated with mosaic patterns. Using a provided diagram, teams had to match the colors in the mosaic patterns to letters in a grid to reveal their final question.

  • Solution: This Moroccan City Is Home To The Original Nejjarine Fountain
  • Answer: Fez

Some teams began to solve the puzzle using a similar - but incorrect - mosaic pattern on the fountain at the pavilion entrance.

Art Appreciation


A team searches one of four (yes, four) pillars covered with art posters. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

To earn the art appreciation Merit Badge, troops had to search the art gallery exhibition posters in the France pavilion to determine which year certain exhibitions closed. Using this data, teams solved an elimination puzzle.

  • Solution: 38
  • Answer: Filet de Boeuf Grille

Teams that had the most problem with this quest did not find the fourth display of gallery posters, located in the gift shop at the back of the France pavilion.

Memory


The Memory quest was much more difficult than some players expected, but most teams finished in under 20 minutes. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

Our second individual quest required one player from each troop to participate in a Memory game outside the United Kingdom Pavilion. While the rest of the troop waited, the chosen player had to match up a collection of pub coasters to reveal a hidden question.

  • Solution: When Is The Last British Invasion
  • Answer: 8:00

This task was not difficult, but some teams found it very time consuming. Several players were seemingly so inspired by the subject matter that they purchased a cold beer from the nearby pub to enjoy while their teammate solved the puzzle. The British Invasion is a Beatles tribute band that performs in the United Kingdom pavilion, and a sign listing their performance times is centrally located in the pavilion.

Vexillology


Several teams took advantage of the setting to take an adult beverage break during MouseAdventure. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

The last individual quest - and the final quest of the event - required teams to choose one member of each troop to Showcase their knowledge of the World. To earn the vexillology Merit Badge, that team member was given a modified map of Epcot, and had to put in order the flags of the countries represented in World Showcase. To make the challenge a little more difficult, flags from three countries NOT represented in World Showcase were included.

Players who could correctly place the flags in their proper order on the first try received full credit (20 points) for the quest. Players who correctly solved the quest on the second try received 10 points, and players who solved it on the third try received 5 points. Players who could not solve the quest after three attempts received no credit for this quest.

The Hidden Quest

At the start of the event, teams received an "Errata" sheet listing the corrections and changes to the event that were discovered after the event materials were printed. Sharp-eyed teams spotted a series of numbers hidden in the event logo printed as a watermark on that sheet, and decoded a hidden question asking for the date Epcot opened. Though the park's official opening date is October 1, 1982, a dedication plaque at the entrance to the park is dated October 24th. We accepted both dates.


Team Photos

Team 1

Sharkbait

Team 2

Team Gundrum

Team 3

Team Minnie Me

Team 4

Kungalooshed

Team 5

Abominations

Team 6

Benny's Drince88e8

Team 7

TEAM BROWN DERBY

Team 8

Simba's Pride

Team 9

Heffalump and Woozle

Team 10

The Abominables

Team 11

Tigger & Tiger

Team 12

JOHN WILKINSON

Team 13

Aurora & Stitch

Team 14

Team World Showcase

Team 15

Hidden Mickey Surveillance Co.

Team 16

Pluto's Puppies

Team 17

Runaway Brains

Team 18

Yensid's Apprentices

Team 19

San Diego Mouse Catchers (aka Team Big Pencil)

Team 21

Team Imagination?

Team 22

Just Hitched!!

Team 23

Finding Temo

Team 24

Lost Falls Expedition

Team 25

YM's Majesty

Team 26

The Love Bugs (formerly known as M&Ms)

Team 27

Eptrotters

Team 28

Tivo and the Bear

Team 29

Mickey Troopers

Team 30

Avalon Cove Crawlers

Team 31

Hidden Mickeys

Team 32

Tropical camouflage

Team 33

Dead Money

Photo Not Available

A full gallery of candid photos taken during the event is also available for teams to enjoy (link).


Results

Results of MouseAdventure World Explorers: Epcot were announced at an informal post-event gathering, and all teams present received their merit badges for quests correctly completed. The logistics of this event made it impossible to fly our traditional fabulous prize table to Florida, so winning teams received a prize package of Disney books and DVDs, to be delivered directly to their homes. Unclaimed merit badges have been sent to teams who could not attend the post-event gathering.

480 points were possible in this event, including the hidden quest and the two opportunities to earn bonus points. Two teams correctly solved all quests and earned all bonus points, and so time was used as a tie breaker. MouseAdventure veterans Simba's Pride turned in their answer sheet a full two hours and five minutes ahead of YM's Majesty, earning them both a first-place victory and the honor of being named our fifth MouseAdventure Masters team.

MouseAdventure Masters are those teams who, on the occasion of their third first-place victory, are honored with retirement from competition. After retirement, the Masters teams are invited to participate in most MouseAdventure events at no charge, but may only compete in the super-difficult Invitational events.

First Place

Simba's Pride
Team 8
480 points

Second Place

YM's Majesty
Team 25
480 points

Third Place

Eptrotters
Team 27
460 points

Best New Team


Finding Temo
Team 23
450 points

Full Results:

Ranking
TeamID TeamName Total Score
1 8 Simba's Pride 480
2 25 YM's Majesty 480
3 27 Eptrotters 460
4 23 Finding Temo 450
4 11 Tigger & Tiger 450
4 24 Lost Falls Expedition 450
4 18 Yensid's Apprentices 450
8 13 Aurora & Stitch 445
9 17 Runaway Brains 440
9 31 Hidden Mickeys 440
9 30 Avalon Cove Crawlers 440
9 10 The Abominables 440
9 19 San Diego Mouse Catchers (AKA Team Big Pencil) 440
14 16 Pluto's Puppies 430
14 28 Tivo and the Bear 430
16 2 Team Gundrum 420
16 15 Hidden Mickey Surveillance Co. 420
18 3 Team Minnie Me 410
19 9 Heffalump and Woozle 400
19 26 The Love Bugs (formerly known as M&Ms) 400
21 14 Team World Showcase 385
21 6 Benny's Drince88e8 385
23 29 Mickey Troopers 370
24 7 TEAM BROWN DERBY 345
25 4 Kungalooshed 340
25 22 Just Hitched!! 340
27 5 Abominations 335
28 1 Sharkbait 330
28 33 Dead Money 300
30 12 JOHN WILKINSON 255
31 32 Tropical camouflage 50
31 21 Team Imagination? 50
DNS 20   0

MouseAdventure on the High Seas

MouseAdventure on the High Seas has been hosted informally on three previous Disney Cruise Line voyages, but this was our first "official," if very, very casual, event. Six teams decided to extend their MouseAdventure experience by joining a handful of MouseAdventure crew on a 4-night Disney Wonder cruise. The game was held on the sea day of the cruise, and consisted of just eight quests. Teams had the entire day to solve the quests, and several players remarked on how unusual it was to be able to relax, eat a nice sit-down meal, swim in the pool or even indulge in a massage during a MouseAdventure. This MouseAdventure on the High Seas was officially a noncompetitive event, but scores were tabulated and the highest-scoring team received a pair of Disney Cruise Line baseball caps, signed by the captain of the Disney Wonder.


Crew acknowledgments

The usual stresses and challenges that come with creating any MouseAdventure event were compounded this time by the distances involved (Joe Stevano and I each live over 2200 miles away from Orlando), and the novelty of working with Walt Disney World for the first time. Joe and I wrote most of the quests for this event over the course of two long weekends in Orlando, and each made a third trip the month before the event to double check everything. (Teams will never know how heartbroken we were to discover that the tin toy display had been removed from the Japan pavilion between our visits, thus ruining one of the most perfect MouseAdventure quests ever). Joe was once again responsible for the professional-looking logos and game materials used in the event, including the merit buttons, and for the MouseAdventure Newsletters sent to teams.


Some teams thought the hidden quest was hidden on Joe Stevano's World Explorer sash. Photo by Scott Morris.

Jeff Moxley and Andrew Rich are responsible for the behind-the-scenes work of running the registration system and team communication, and Tony Phoenix came through once again with a high-tech grading system that allowed us to have complete scores and rankings for all teams at the post-event gathering. The quests were tested by Andrew and Jennifer Rich; Tony Phoenix; Stephanie Wien; Jeff Kober and Mark Goldhaber. Jeff also loaned us the use of a color printer so we could print the last few pieces of the event packets, and even offered to loan us the printer for use on the Disney Wonder, so we could print the MouseAdventure on the High Seas game packets.


Kenji may have had the best MouseAdventure assignment - he got to watch the teams eat sauerkraut all day. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix

A surprisingly large group of veteran MouseAdventure staff flew to Orlando to crew this event, and we had almost as many crew as teams. Many thanks go to Joe Stevano; Andrew and Jennifer Rich; Amanda Smith and David Perry; Tony Phoenix; Stephanie Wien; Shoshana Lewin Fischer and Adam Fischer; Mark Goldhaber and Jeff Kober. Returning crew volunteers Steve, Bev, Tracy, Karin and Kenji were joined by new recruits Karen, Scott and Tracey.


Adam Fischer helps a team with the Engineering quest. Photo by Scott Morris.


Our next events

Winter 2009 - Disneyland Resort

MouseAdventure Holiday: Reindeer Games will be held on Saturday, December 12 at the Disneyland Resort. Registration is already sold out for this first-ever holiday event.

Spring 2010 - Disneyland Resort

MousePlanet will celebrate our 20th MouseAdventure event with our biggest event ever at the Disneyland Resort. Event format, park and pricing have yet to be determined. We will post the event date and registration dates as soon as we confirm them, but that announcement may be as little as 90 days before the event. Keep reading MousePlanet.com for more information—MouseAdventure updates are posted in the weekly Disneyland Resort Park Update. You can also sign up for our MouseAdventure Mailing List to receive updates about future events as they are available. Please note, this is an opt-in only mailing list, which means that we have not already added the names of former MouseAdventure players to this list. If you would like to receive these updates, you will need to sign up for the list.

Sign up for the MouseAdventure Mailing List!



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(Send an email to Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix)

Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix (@MousePlanetAVP) is an original MousePlanet staffer and manages to find time for all of this while running two retail stores, MouseShoppe and CharmingShoppe.