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MouseAdventure: Mad Scramble

Timed Version of Popular MousePlanet Event A Great Success

Wednesday, April 7, 2003
by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix

Over 240 players participate in this year's MouseAdventure event.
Photo by Lani Teshima.

It seems as if we say this every time, and we do. The Spring 2003 MouseAdventure was our largest event ever. 79 teams registered for the Mad Scramble, which took place at Disneyland. Over 240 players, and a handful of “future MouseAdventurers,” participated in this sixth incarnation of our popular semiannual event.

The Happy Haunts create these clever shirts specifically for the event.
Photo by Lani Teshima.

Registration began at 10:00 a.m., but eager teams were ready and waiting when the staff arrived at 9:30. As the teams checked in, they got to size up the competition and admire the costumes and uniforms sported by some of the teams. And, as usual, there were quite a few imaginative outfits. The staff especially loved the team shirts created by The Happy Haunts — a clever spoof on an actual MouseAdventure puzzle.

Teams gather around to hear the game instructions.
Photo by Lani Teshima.

By 11:30 a.m., the teams had received the usual rules–and–regulations briefing, and gathered for a team photo in front of Sleeping Beauty castle.

As the excitement grew to high pitch, teams were finally told to open their game packets and read their first clue — the game was on.

Unlike the classic MouseAdventure game, Mad Scramble is a timed event that awards the teams with the lowest adjusted finish time.

Teams found their first checkpoint, where stationmasters handed them the first of two puzzles for that area. Once the teams correctly solved their first puzzle, stationmasters then gave them their second puzzle and the rest of their game materials. When teams completed their second quest, they were given a clue to find their next checkpoint, where they would collect their next two puzzles.

Cast members try to assist one team with their Eye Spy puzzle.
Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix.

Bonuses, penalties, and whammies galore

The popular “Eye Spy” element returned yet again, this time with awards of time bonuses given to teams for identifying the mystery photos correctly. Teams also earned time bonuses by playing Scavenger Hunt Bingo.

Not all activities provided time bonuses, however. Teams had to carefully weigh their options, because cleverly hidden among the activities were time penalties, which added unwanted time to a team's final finish time. Fastpass Gamble offered teams the opportunity to shave time from their final score by collecting as many Fastpass tickets as they could, but there was a catch. One randomly chosen attraction, was the “whammy.” Teams that returned that attraction's Fastpass received a profound time penalty, instead of the expected bonus.

Teams could also win bonuses in the Lost & Found game. MousePlanet copy editor Lani Teshima roamed Tomorrowland, wearing a distinctive chicken hat. Teams that found her could take an instant time bonus of 10 minutes, or forego the guaranteed bonus by answering a set of five Disneyland park-related trivia questions for the potential to double their time bonus — and risk a serious time penalty if they answered incorrectly. Even with the highly visible hat, Lani says that only half of the teams found her. “I saw a number of teams walk right past me,” said Lani. “They were so fixated on reaching their goal that they never bothered to look around.” Although she could not wave and call attention to herself, Lani said she never purposefully hid in hard–to–see places.

Players examine the prize table.
Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix

In all, teams visited four checkpoints and solved eight puzzles. Teams searched Main Street for distinctive window treatments, and played “ring around the Partner's statue,” which took them on a search for bubbles in Tomorrowland. Teams tackled yet another evil paragraph, hunted for fruit salad in Frontierland, searched for a drum set in the balconies of New Orleans Square, and made friends with the Tiki gods. The spinning Carrousel made some teams dizzy in Fantasyland, while others debated the subtle difference between blue and green in ToonTown.

The prizes included books, videos, music, collectibles and more.
Photo by Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix

The first team completed the game at 1:32 p.m., with another team right on their heels at 1:34. The game ended at 3:00 sharp, as the staff gathered to grade the game packets and determine the winners. Teams began to reassemble in the picnic area, where they examined the prize table, and compared notes about the game.

The crowd awaits the final results.
Photo by Lani Teshima

As the final results were being tallied, the staff eased the nervousness of the anxious players by raffling off a stack of Disney calendars.

The official part of the awards ceremony began around 4:15, as MouseAdventure coordinator Alex Stroup thanked the staff, then announced the winners.

Team Spirit Award: The Goofy Group


First Place – Mad Scramble: The Happy Haunts


Second Place – Mad Scramble: The–Mouse.com


Third Place – Mad Scramble: The Gauchoholics


Best New Team: The Fellowship of the Mouse

The Fellowship of the Mouse, a freshman team, placed fifth in the Mad Scramble category in their first event. They will receive a free registration to the Fall 2003 MouseAdventure game, and took home a Disney trivia book to help them study for it.

First Place – Trivia: The Denton Affair

The Denton Affair made MouseAdventure history by capturing their fourth first–place victory (this time, in the Trivia category). In recognition of their repeated success, the team was recognized as “MouseAdventure Masters,” and retired from competition. As MouseAdventure Masters, the team is invited to participate in future MouseAdventure events and set a benchmark for other teams to aspire to.


Second Place – Trivia: TOYAC (The Team of Youth and Coolness)


Third Place – Trivia: Fez–Bowl–Law


As always, MouseAdventure would never happen without the tireless work of the dedicated MousePlanet staff, and a few special helpers. Kevin Krock, Lani Teshima, Tony Phoenix, Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix, and Alex Stroup wrote and edited the game materials. Shoshana Lewin, Sheila Hagen, and Jeff Moxley helped to test the game. Adrienne Krock, Andrew Rich, and Jennifer Rich were invaluable on game day. And we cannot forget to thank our “spies” — those special helpers who made sure the teams kept on the straight and narrow.

Come join us in October, when we return to the classic MouseAdventure format. We're sure it will be our biggest event ever — again.

Team Photos | Team Results

Contact Adrienne Vincent–Phoenix at avp@mouseplanet.com.
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