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Alex Stroup, event coordinator/editor

MouseAdventure, Spring 2004

Fun in the… intensely hot… sun!

Wednesday, March 31, 2004
by Alex Stroup


Over 300 players, and 99 teams, participated. Photo by Lani Teshima.

It is our perpetual chant: Biggest… event… ever! So far we have been fortunate to say that about every single MouseAdventure. Before the event the staff says it with a hint of trepidation, but afterwards it is with accomplishment.

As always, I should start by thanking the great crew I have to fulfill the vision for the event. As with everything else about the event, it was also the largest crew ever with 17 people fulfilling some role or another. A few of them are missing in the photo below (I think they're shy and hiding), but please join me in applauding the efforts of each one (except me, as that would be horrendously gauche). We certainly appreciate and applaud each team that came out and made it so much fun for us.


Most of the MouseAdventure crew. Photo by David Michael.

MouseAdventure is a full work day, and not just for the staff. Sign-in began at 9:45, and most teams did not head home until well after 5:00 p.m. It's a long, hard day of playing, but hopefully all the teams left having had one of their best times ever at Disneyland—even if the sun had somehow moved millions of miles closer to Earth.


Two teams run into each other on Tom Sawyer Island. Photo by Ed Perkis.

For this MouseAdventure, we altered the format a bit. In the past, teams were given only a portion of the game at a time, and many of our veteran teams had developed solid strategies for this. This time around, however, we simply dumped the entire game packet on them at the beginning (and some teams relearned the lesson that you should be careful what you wish for).

The most interesting thing about this change was the number of veteran teams who responded that it was pretty overwhelming to receive everything in that way. It's interesting, since we actually cut back on the number of tasks this time around (from 15 quests to 10).

But maybe it was the heat talking. We had tried to schedule the spring event a little earlier in the year to avoid high temperatures and huge crowds, and were defeated on both counts. Fortunately, our players had such great attitudes that you'd have never known it was a difficult day to hold the event.


It is always great to see the outfits many teams put together. Photo by Jeff Moxley.

Side Games

With the new format, we were able to offer a bit more in the way of side games and staff interaction. Many teams were willing to risk catch Lani on the Mark Twain for a chance at some extra points and not a few found themselves taking a tour of the Rivers of America while time dwindled.

Over on Tom Sawyer Island, Ed Perkis and Kevin Krock hung out and watched teams play Choose Your Own MouseAdventure and try to figure out just what was supposed to happen when someone rang the bell. Over in Town Square, Sheila Hagen sat under her umbrella waiting for people to come take her quiz.

Since people always seem to miss our “Find So-and-So” person, we decided to double the odds. Two staffers were planted in the park, and still many people walked right by them. One team even said “hi” to Jennifer Rich as they passed, not realizing they needed to find her.


Taking a few moments to just think things through is always a good strategy. Photo by Jeff Moxley.

In the end, the active teams walked many miles to earn their points. All appearances are that most enjoyed themselves despite the crowds and heat and a great participants returned to the picnic are for chances at raffle prizes and to learn the final results.


Some of the winners selecting their prizes. Photo by Ed Perkis.

With the help of some new amplification technology, I'm sure many people were hearing my voice for the first time. With Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix pumping up the crowd with raffle prizes while waiting for final results, everybody was cheerful and worked up by the time I was up there—Even the unsuspecting family who was also having a birthday party in the picnic area. Everybody sang “Happy Birthday,” and hopefully we weren't too much of an intrusion even though we completely surrounded their tables.

Finally, to end the recap on a bit of a down note, our worst fear finally happened. A scoring error was made that had an impact on the accounced results. So to Helen and Danny of team BabyFishMouth, we express our regrets. Their corrected score would have put them in third place in their category and the final results have been corrected.

The winners are below, and at the end are links to the full results and team photos.

Thanks again to all who participated. I hope to see everybody back in the fall (and if you are just learning about this event, I hope to see you for the first time). It is not the official date yet, but if you want to pencil something in, we are targeting October 10, 2004. Park and format still to be determined.


Team Spirit Award – Team Smiley


Best First Time Team – Team Zlick


First Place – Quest & Trivia Category
The John Henchmen, 1015 points


Second Place – Quest & Trivia Category
DF4, 985 points


Third Place – Quest & Trivia Category
San Diego Mouse Catchers, 915 points


Fourth Place Place – Quest & Trivia Category
Brother Bears, 910 points


First Place – Quests Only
Happy Haunts, 1180 points


Second Place – Quests Only
Finding Teamo, 930 points


Third Place – Quests Only (Unannounced)
BabyFishMouth, 890 points


Third Place – Quests Only (Announced)
The Yippies, 860 points


Fourth Place – Quests Only
No-Names, 810 points

Team Results | Team Photos


Contact Alex Stroup here.
mouseadventure-side
EVENT PREPARATION

Teams walk a lot during the event. If you are not used to walking for extended periods, get yourself in shape beforehand. Walk at least three times a week, and wear old, comfortable shoes with good treads for the event to avoid blisters.

Make sure you get some breakfast in the morning. Although caffeine may help you wake up in the morning, you might want to avoid it (caffeine acts as a diuretic, causing you to need more bathroom breaks).

PACKING TIPS

Although you need only show up with a writing instrument, the following is a helpful list. Consider packing everything into a backpack (or a hydration pack) so your hands are free:

• Water bottle in a holder or hydration pack such as a Camelbak (you will not want to waste time buying soda)
• Comfortable shoes
• Sunblock (the higher the SPF the better)
• Writing instrument
• Clipboard
• Sunglasses
• Hat
• Water bottle
• Scratch paper
• Small snacks (raisins, nuts)
• Water bottle
• Rain poncho or large garbage bag (poke arm holes) if weather calls for drizzle); umbrellas just get in the way
• Bandages for blisters

PARTICIPATING W/ KIDS

Are you a parent who is considering registering for MouseAdventure? The following may help you decide whether to bring your children with you.

If you want to bring your children, consider registering and playing leisurely just for the fun of it, since you want to make sure to allow for potty breaks, diaper changes, and periodic breaks.

MouseAdventure lasts all afternoon, and your children will have to wander around the park without going on any rides until after the event. Consider this and your children's demeanor.

The Trivia category may require an extended period of sitting while you concentrate on the exercise, so your children may feel ignored and get bored.

The extra amount of work involved in doing both the Trivia and Quests activities is such that you might want to consider doing just the Quests.

If you have a child small enough to ride in a stroller, find a friend or a sitter to watch that child while you participate, or decide which parent will participate, and which will be the sitter. You will be moving non-stop through the park to get everything done, and a stroller will slow your entire team down.

For more information and advice for parents by Adrienne Krock, visit her “Parenting in the Park” column.

KEEP US RUNNING!

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