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Fall 2005 MouseAdventure Event Recap

More teams than ever compete over two days

Thursday, October 20, 2005
by Alex Stroup, Fall 2005 MouseAdventure event coordinator

Team Photos | Detailed Results | Ranked Results

With this MouseAdventure event, we once again forced ourselves into new territory with a couple of MouseAdventure firsts. The biggest was that our more competitive teams exhausted themselves over two days rather than the standard three hours. For the first time ever MouseAdventure was rained on, rather than finding the hottest day of the month (it was 102 degrees in Anaheim just two days before the game began). Thanks to some fortuitous construction at Disneyland, the awards ceremony had room for everybody to sit down. Finally, in a MouseAdventure tradition we're happy to see continue, this game was once again the biggest ever. 152 teams, with almost 500 players, registered to play our little game.

Biggest game ever. Photo by Kenji Luster.

As always, we thank our players. Without them we wouldn't have an event, and without their wonderful attitudes (most of the time) we wouldn't have an event worth doing.

The big change for this event, is that we offered those willing to take up the gauntlet the opportunity to compete over two days. The first half of their event would take place on Saturday evening and then they'd have to return Sunday morning to do the regular MouseAdventure event with all the other teams. We were surprised to find that 57 teams took the Saturday challenge.

A challenge it was, too. Players always think the crowds are hard to deal with during a regular MouseAdventure, but when you're trying to navigate through parade, fireworks, or Fantasmic crowds, it goes to a whole new level. Saturday evening quests included taking author and MousePlanet columnist David Koenig on in a trivia battle while battling the noises of Adventureland; riding The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh (up to four times, we hear) and finding a hidden quest in blacklight ink; and using the signs on Main Street to complete a crossword.

Team go all out in getting dressed for the game (Team 89: Parrots of the Caribbean). Photo by Jeff Moxley.

Sunday dawned with a 40% chance of rain, which quickly became 100% when a light sprinkle started shortly after the game began. With the exception of one team that dropped their game packet in the water somewhere, everybody took the rain with good cheer and it didn't seem to cause any problems for the players.

Based on the responses and results, it appears that the Sunday game was a little bit harder than we had intended, but everybody seems to have remembered that it is supposed to be about fun more than winning. The Sunday game included such things as playing a bit of Virtual Magic Kingdom at Innoventions, looking closely and following directions with several of the photomosaics around the park, discovering that there is a Dumbo with white hat in Fantasyland, and helping New Orleans Square be sure it can fend off an attack by Frontierland (were we worried they'd close Tom Sawyer Island when the rain started? No, not at all, the very picture of calm were we).

The extremely unusual (for MouseAdventure) rain forces teams to find any nook or cranny to keep their stuff dry. Photo by Kenji Luster.

After four hours of playing (almost 9 total hours for the teams that played both Saturday and Sunday), it was finally over and teams could sit around talking about what they'd just done, compare notes, and decide if it was all worth it. It was then on to the always daunting task for us to grade and calculate the results in less than two hours while many of our teams enjoyed a BBQ dinner at what was supposed to be Big Thunder Ranch but turned out to be Festival Arena because of some construction.

For the awards ceremony, when almost all 500 players show up to get the final word, the extra space of Festival Arena was really appreciated (and the Disney staff were wonderful and took great care of us) and it was so nice to walk in there and see everybody able to sit down.

The awards ceremony provided me with another first: talking on microphone when I can hear myself on speaker. Sadly, I failed miserably at this and had to hand it off to Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix who did a find job announcing the winners. Unfortunately this left me without the chance to publicly thank everybody from players to staff who make MouseAdventure such a success every time we do it. So I'll do that now.

Festival Arena provided plenty of space for the award ceremony this time around, unfortunately we only ended up there through luck. Photo by Kenji Luster.

Crew acknowledgements

The on site staff. Photo by Kenji Luster.

I was the primary developer of the actual quests played in the game (so blame me) but invaluable advice and help were provided by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, Shoshana Lewin, Andrew Rich, and others. Most of the staff betatested and copyedited the game prior to anybody actually getting to play it. If you think it is frustrating to play normally, you should try it when 90% of the quests still have major bugs in them. My thanks to everybody for giving up that time, and to the non-staff people who were able to do some testing and keep the secret.

Thanks to Tony Phoenix and Jeff Moxley for administering the online registration system. On game day, pretty much every MousePlanet staffer within driving range of Disneyland is put to work (including Stephanie Wien, who flew out from Albany, New York). For more than the players will ever realize I thank Adrienne and Kevin Krock, Andrew and Jennifer Rich, Tony Phoenix, Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, Shoshana Lewin, Stephanie Wien, Karl Buiter, Sheila Hagen, Lisa and Emma Perkis, and Jeff Moxley. I also need to thank Kenji Luster and Karin Luster-Hubbard for their invaluable assistance, and Lani Teshima who could not make it down but was able to participate from Northern California as the host of the Virtual Magic Kingdom.

Preparing the winner's certificates. Photo by Kenji Luster.

We're already doing the early planning on the Spring 2006 MouseAdventure. And while little is known, it seems safe to say that most of it will be held in Disney's California Adventure and the event will once again return to just a single day. To watch for that announcement, or just for more information on what exactly MouseAdventure is, see our MouseAdventure page (link).


Team Photos | Detailed Results | Ranked Results

Saturday/Sunday Teams

First Place — Saturday/Sunday
San Diego Mouse Catchers (team 126), 1675 points

Photo by Kenji Luster.

Second Place — Saturday/Sunday
SuperStar Losers (team 073), 1590 points - Tie

Photo by Kenji Luster.

Second Place — Saturday/Sunday
Simba's Pride (team 010) 1590 points - Tie

Photo by Kenji Luster.

Fourth Place — Saturday/Sunday
Ralph Wiggum, Fej & The P.O.P., featuring Nirvanaman (team 018) 1570 points

Photo by Kenji Luster.

Sunday Only Teams

First place — Sunday Only Team
Dumbledore's Girls (team 030), 1090 points

Photo by Kenji Luster.

Second place — Sunday Only Team
Team Zlick, 985 points

Photo by Kenji Luster.

Third Place — Sunday Only Team
Addicted to VMK (team 065), 980 points

Photo by Kenji Luster.

Fourth Place — Sunday Only Team
Electric Barbarellas (team 007), 890 points

Photo by Kenji Luster.

Team Spirit Award
Headhunters (team 125)

Photo by Kenji Luster.

Best New Team
California Adventurers (team 120) - 1275 points

Photo by Kenji Luster.

Thoughts, questions, or comments? Contact Alex here.

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