October 2004 MouseAdventure Recap
DCA the site of another great time!
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
by Alex Stroup
Almost 400 players in 118 teams participated in yet the biggest event
ever. Photo by Lani Teshima.
That picture gets more crowded with every event. Each time, as I look
at the registration list I am simultaneously gratified that so many people
want to play this event we put on, and terrified at how we're going to
As always, MouseAdventure was a full day of activity. Even though an
opportunity to sign in on Saturday gave some teams a bit of extra sleep,
the Disneyland picnic area was hopping with activity by 9:30 on Sunday
as teams streamed in to sign in and learn about the day ahead of them.
Such is the perverse internal logic of MouseAdventure that one table can
be three at the same time. Photo by Karl Buiter.
For once it looked like the weather would be on our side. While definitely
not cool, the temperature cooperated and stayed in the 70s. The 170 first-time
players wouldn't be aware of this, but I am confident that it was this
cooler weather that made for so many smiling faces at the end of
As always, the sense of fun was coursing through the players. Returning
were many players who always put together wonderful outfits, and with
so many new players it was great to see that some of these old-timers
with new competitors not just in the game but in the MouseAdventure haute
couture scene. One of these days when we find ourselves with an abundance
of time, we'll definitely have to find a way to give everybody proper
Team Spirit Award winners The Junior Chipmunks are hard at work in their
Emperor's New Groove inspired outfits. Photo by Jeff Moxley.
Teams seemed to have a good time as they were sent all over Disney's
California Adventure to solve puzzles, examine pictures, and marvel at
my mad Photoshop skills as I pulled a David Copperfield act and made the
Paradise Pier Hotel disappear. Puzzles included deciphering Morse code
at the S.S. Rustworthy, learning the lifespan of a tree at Redwood
Creek Challenge Trail, and reading a bunch of lenticular signs while in
a large crowd and trying to ignore the Ugly Bug Ball.
Players were shown the photo on the left and had to identify what was
changed in it. It proved suprisingly challenging. Photo by Alex Stroup.
The most fun, though (for the staff anyway), was small on points but
high on entertainment. For 30 bonus points, teams could send one player
into harm's way at S.S. Rustworthy. That player had to spend 10
seconds as the target for one of the pressurized water hoses children
play with at that attraction.
Needless to say, it wasn't long before the children (and some adults)
learned that if they hung around they'd get something better than wooden
seagulls at which to shoot water.
Some players were surprisingly prepared. Photo by Steve Kiskamp.
Some players attempted evasive maneuvers. Photo by Steve Kiskamp.
Others just accepted their fate. Photo by Steve Kiskamp.
Throughout the week leading up to MouseAdventure, I had joked repeatedly
that things were going so smoothly that something was bound to go awry.
Turns out I was right. Although we'd tried to book a ballroom somewhere,
everything in the area was full due to a large conference. And as MouseAdventure
grows, our concerns have grown that eventually someone would decide we're
in the way. That finally happened, and we pushed our luck one time too
many. As excited players waited for the final results, a security lead
decided that it was too crowded in the picnic area, and our presence too
Unfortunately, we had to hurry through the announcements and clear out
the area, but everybody took the turn of events with an even keel the
entire staff appreciated.
Finally, especially since I didn't have an opportunity to do it at the
event, I have to thank the entire staff who helped put on this event.
I'm the guy that gets to say, because I said so and stand
in front of everybody, but it is them that get the event off so cleanly
(and they also go through the day with no convenient moment for a visit
to the restrooms). So, those who played, please join me in applauding
the hard work of Karl Buiter, Daniel Cardozo, Sheila Hagen, Steve Kiskamp, Kevin and Adrienne
Krock, Shoshana Lewin, Jeff Moxley, Lisa Perkis,
Tony Phoenix, Jennifer and Andrew Rich, Lani Teshima, Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix,
and Stephanie Wien for the great job that each of them did.
The winners are below, and at the end are links to the full results and
Thanks again to all who participated. I hope to see everybody back in
the spring (and if you are just learning about this event, I hope to see
you for the first time). The next event is tentatively scheduled for March
13, 2005, and it looks to be quite the shindig. I'll be taking a break
next time around, as this event will be run by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenixand
she is looking to put me to shame. You can read more about what she is
Team Spirit Award The Junior Chipmunks
Best First Time Team Team Trogdor
First Place Quest & Trivia Category
Brother Bears, 1100 points
Second Place Quest & Trivia Category
Mushu Two, 990 points
Third Place Quest & Trivia Category
Blew By You, 940 points
Fourth Place Place Quest & Trivia Category
Proprly Warned, 920 points
First Place Quests Only
Fellowship of the Mouse, 1050 points
Second Place Quests Only
Ralph Wiggum, FEJ, and the P.O.P., 930 points
Third Place Quests Only
SuperStar Losers, 880 points
Fourth Place Quests Only
We Have Your Laughin' Place, 845 points
Team Results |
Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Alex here.
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).
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)
Sunblock (the higher the SPF the better)
Small snacks (raisins, nuts)
Rain poncho or large garbage bag (poke arm holes) if weather calls for
drizzle); umbrellas just get in the way
Bandages for blisters
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
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
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.