In part one of our gamification discussion, we were examining Walt Disney Worldand interactive gaming. In the first part of our series, we saved money for retirement, put out fires, became a secret agent, tested our own concept car and hunting the high seas for pirate treasure. Previously, we left off in the Magic Kingdomhelping Jack sparrow find treasure and avoid curses. As we make our way around the Magic Kingdom, interactive ride queues keep us occupied. Helping small blue crabs find trinkets while waiting to ride The Little Mermaid ride, etc., keep the short attention spans busy during the long afternoon waits.
For a more education gaming experience, we will hope a bus over to Animal Kingdomand join Doug and Russell as a Wilderness Explorer, take your oath (“The Wilderness MUST be Explored!”) and earn your patches as you move around Disney‘s Animal Kingdom, taking part in demonstrations, doing scavenger hunts and listening to engaging stories all while you fill up your Wilderness Explorer Handbook with patches and complete the activities in the book.
It is after 3:00pm, time to grab a bus to Downtown Disneyfor some serious gaming! Now we are including this next location because it has both traditional video games as well as more interactive ones. Disney Quest is an interactive building housing tons of old school and new title video games as well as some truly unique and interactive games. You want to play the original Donkey Kong or Frogger. You can! Want to play SkeeBall, Pinball or Air Hockey. You can!
Do you see yourself getting up to more modern thrills with first person shooters, racing, sports or fighting games. You can do that too and all on free play for one ticketed price. In addition to the traditional arcade fair, Disney Questalso offers human sized pinball, a combination bumper cars/shooting game and virtual reality rides that will have you fighting aliens and comic book villains or battling pirates for treasure, etc. if you are a game fan and have not been to Disney Quest it is well worth a look. It is quite easy to spend the better part of a day here just bouncing from one game to another.
No article about gaming in Walt Disney World would be complete without mentioning two similar rides that are all about gaming but use slightly different technologies to achieve them. The first will see us hoping another bus over to Disney‘s Hollywood Studiosfor a Fast Pass onto Toy Story Mania. This 4d ride has you being shrunk down to toy size and playing with Toy Story toys in a series of carnival games. You will be shoot rings, darts and balls from your on-board cannons and interacting with the environments on the screen to score more points.
The next ride will see us shooting back to the Magic Kingdomto hop on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. This ride sees gamers using attached on-board lasers to shoot targets in an attempt to score high points a prevent Emperor Zurg from taking over the galaxy. Gamers have the ability to spin their ships around for better targeting and many of the targets trigger animatronics activities.
There are places in Walt Disney Worlddedicated specifically to playing games (as we have already seen) and they charge a fee for entry, but how does Disney make any money from these games besides ticketed locations and retention? Imagineers and the marketing have struck gold with one their newest games Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. I will start this final game analysis by stating that if you have a park ticket that is technically all you need to play the game and no additional fees or charges apply. We will get the money-making part after you see the attraction of the game.
People are collectors, especially Disney people. Disney knows this and is using it to their advantage with this “card game”. The game started some time ago in the Magic Kingdomwith a series of 70 collectible cards. All players simply show their Key card or Magic Band and each day may collect a set of 5 playable/collectible cards (providing they have played at least once each time prior to collecting their cards). The players then move from portal to portal and are directed via various Disney Heroes or Villains as to their next task. In each mission, gamers must face a variety of villains and foil their plans using their spell cards to defeat them. There are multiple missions and varying degrees of difficulties that progress as you play. As you gain experience the game increases its difficulty, forcing players to combine spells or use specific spells for specific locations/villains. It is surprisingly engaging and very well planned. With quality animations and locations that blend seamlessly into the theming of the lands until activated, there is no question that this is the future of interactive gaming and as always Disney is frequently updating it with special event cards, etc.
There is no question that this trend will continue and will probably be adopted by other parks in the very near future. With the ever-present request for more more more and the I need stimulation factor increasing at a rapid rate, park guests seem to be clamouring for these interactive experiences as lines for each location of many of the games as well as rides are often quite long. We will see how long this trend continues and if it evolves into another form or continues with updates along its current path.