A Pirate's Adventure: Treasure of the Seven Seas

Image courtesy of Walt Disney World News

Disney’s success in the theme park and resort industry has always come from their ability to tell a good story. We’ve seen the Walt Disney company raise visitor expectations several times over the decades,and now they’re doing it again with the introduction of interactive storytelling adventures in Walt Disney World.

The concept of immersing guests in a story is nothing new for Disney. The original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, the Jungle Cruise, the Haunted Mansion…all iconic Disney rides that draw you into the story. Let’s face it, none of these are particularly exciting rides! The story is what makes them unforgetabble.

A few years ago, Disney begain experimenting with interactive storytelling with Toy Story Mania, which gives you the chance to play along as you ride through the attraction. But you’re still riding though, passively going at the attraction’s pace. You don’t have many choices – and that’s key to interactivity! The ability to choose, and to affect the outcome of a situation, is what makes Disney’s newest attractions really interesting.

Remember – and maybe I’m dating myself here, but whatver – those Choose Your Own Adventure books? (Or for you geeks out there – text adventures?) Yeah, this is like that. But with cool special effects. And magic.

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom debuted in the summer of 2012 as the first interactive storytelling adventure at Disney World. Sometime in the summer of 2013, rumor has it that Pirates will invade the Magic Kingdom, searching for the lost Treasure of the Seven Seas! I can’t wait to try it out.

The technology looks very similar to that used at Magi Quest, a fantasy themed adventure game with franchises in several resorts and high-end malls throughout the U.S. In Magi Quest, you wave your wand at an item, which may be anything from a treasure chest to a suit of armor or a video screen, and something happens. (For you techies – a radio frequency chip inside the wand sends a signal to a receiver in the object, which triggers a pre-programed response.) It really is a lot like walking through a simple video game.

From the video, it looks like the Disney version of this experience involves small cards – which makes sense, a more permanent talisman like a wand would not be cost effective. Most peope who play through A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasure of the Seven Seas will do so once, maybe twice. Magi Quest has players who return regularly to raise through the ranks and complete high-level quests.

pirates

The boys being inducted into Jack Sparrow’s crew

Have you played Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s first interactive storytelling adventure? What did you think?