Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is a new interactive game that rolled out last month at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom theme park. I paid absolutely no attention to any of the press involved with the game, thinking my pre-teen children would prefer to ride rides instead. Who loved it and who hated it? Let’s check out the specifics of the game and then see what the Mouze Kateerz Sorcerers thought.
So what is this game?
The objective of Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is to save the Magic Kingdom from an array of Disney villains like Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians, Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog, the Evil Queen from Snow White, and Scar from The Lion King. My sons had no idea who Dr. Facilier was, having never seen the movie. Hades, ruler of the underworld and the arch-villain from Hercules, has apparently recruited this bunch of bad guys to take over our beloved Magic Kingdom. Players become apprentices to Merlin, the sorcerer from The Sword in the Stone, who is Hades’ chief opponent. Many a cheerful Cast Member told us that in order to save the Magic Kingdom, we had to stop the villains from capturing the shattered pieces of Merlin’s crystal of the Magic Kingdom.
Where do you start?
Sorcerers gameplay begins at the “Secret Sorcerers’ Training Center” on Main Street, in what used to be the Fire Station and still retains some of the fire house items. I think I would have been more comfortable had they left the Fire Station alone or completely removed the Fire Station memorabilia. I felt trapped between two worlds- firemen and sorcerers. By “Secret Sorcerers’ Training Center,” this means Disney threw up a temporary sign in front of the Fire Station. Every member of my family was given a map of mystic portals, a key card, and five collectible spell cards “designed” by Merlin. We could then choose from eight different missions that vary in length from 15 to 25 minutes. Each mission is played in a specific park location, such as Adventureland, Main Street, or Frontierland. Completing missions helped us make advances in the battle against Hades.
What’s up with the cards and the map?
Players assume a role or roles from their playing cards. Each member of your family can all play the same character, or you can adopt a different one. You use the treasure map to locate the magic portal where you want to begin. Each portal has an identifying brass floor plate and lock/keyhole where Magic Kingdom guests swipe their key cards. This activates an animated presentation for the game. After watching this short video clip, you aim your spell cards at the video or a physical object, like a fireplace perhaps, which directs you to another symbol on the map, or you may be given the opportunity to cast a spell to defeat the villain.
Successful players are rewarded by earning stronger spells during the course of the game: the more you use a specific spell card, the stronger the spell becomes. This is an easy game to play- you just go to your assigned portal, swipe your key card while standing on the designated spot, watch a video/cast a spell, and run off to your next portal. That’s an easy gig, and the use of different spell cards, or even using more than one card at one, allows for different possibilities, so the game feels less predictable.
How do you get more spell cards?
Every time you go into the Magic Kingdom, you head over to the Fire Station, sorry, the “Secret Sorcerers’ Training Center”, and everyone with a valid park ticket gets 5 more random cards. Cast Members swipe your park tickets before handing you new cards, and you only get one new set each day, so don’t lose those. In fact, now you start collecting them.If you lose your key, you have to start over.
The cards reflect the personalities of the Disney characters, so these cards will subtly shift the gaming experience. Really, no two players will have the same gaming experience, as you can assume different people will choose different cards at different times and wind up at different portals. The game will work well for all ages, and your whole family can enjoy the game together, if they so choose to actually play. The characters on the cards are from over 80 years of Disney films, so older family members will relate with their own childhood heroes, while younger players will be more familiar with recent Disney characters.
Sorcerers will get to watch over 90 minutes worth of original animation during the eight missions in 4 park areas, with some of this video drawn by hand. Disney has developed 70 different collectible spell cards for different categories like animal, hero, monster, mystic, and warrior. That’s a lot of cards you can collect.
How did we like the game?
Let’s take a look at how the different members of our jolly Disney family of five reacted to the game.
Dad, age 41: infrequent ride-rider and avid theme park people watcher. He was bored in line to get the cards and done by the time my sons ripped open his cards for him. Level of interest on the Mouze Kateerz 1 to 10 scale: zero.
Mom (me), age 42: ride-rider and lover of all things Disney, even new things. I was shocked my kids wanted to even look into this new game and was looking out the door toward the parade during the instructional video. I was lost before the game ever started. If I am going to stand in a Disney line, there had better be a ride at the end of it. Level of interest on the Mouze Kateerz 1 to 10 scale: zero.
Daughter, age 14: rider of rides and avid Disney window-shopper. She immediately handed her cards and key to her brothers and asked when we were getting our next snack. Level of interest on the Mouze Kateerz 1 to 10 scale: zero.
I just realized my scale started at one, but alas, Sorcerer, that portal has sailed.
Middle child/son, age 12: loves classic Disney rides and Disney trivia. He was the most interested in the game from the very beginning, having dragged us over to the Fire Station, sorry, Secret Sorcerers’ Training Center. He was still reminding us to stop here first every day to get new cards, and he consulted his map frequently to find new portals. This seemed pretty comical to me, because he can’t even find a Magic Kingdom bathroom on his own. Level of interest on the Mouze Kateerz 1 to 10 scale: ten.
Youngest child/son, age 10: loves Disney roller coasters and walking around Disney Resorts. He played mainly at the beginning because his older brother was playing, but he made sure he got those cards every day. He finished up the last of his portals after the Magic Kingdom closed on our last day, running down Main Street with cards in hand to find those last two stops while the stragglers shopped. He had a huge grin on his face when he said he had finished all there was to do while he waits on the portals to be finished in the new Fantasyland. Level of interest on the Mouze Kateerz 1 to 10 scale: eight, maybe nine.
Here’s middle child, describing why he loved the game. ”I love the Sorcerers game because it was fun to watch different story plots rather than the original Disney movies. Plus it was really interesting to see the different spell cards the Disney Imagineers have come up with. It’s neat to see what each villan would do in the portal. It’s fun to walk around the Magic Kingdom without running to get in line for a ride. Each spell card has a little poem written by Imagineers, like this for Tinkerbelle’s Pixie dust, ‘With their magic dust so charming, Fairies can be quite disarming.’ My very favorite saying on a card was on Rafiki’s Wisdom Stick, ‘This might hurt, but I just gotta, hit you with Hanuna Matata.’ That’s funny! There were times I’d rather be waiting for a portal than standing in line for over an hour for one ride. Most kids will love this game because of all the different characters you get to see.”
What he didn’t like. “There are long waits in line for each portal. Sometimes you watch other people’s videos while you wait, and this spoils the mystery of the game. While it’s fun finding the new portals, you can see people standing in lines in front of buildings, so that kinda spoils the sense of adventure and discovery.”
Why would you enjoy this game?
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom would be fun for anyone who
- doesn’t mind standing in line but does not have to jump on a ride after the line ends
- enjoys walking through the Magic Kingdom
- enjoys video games
- enjoys collecting and trading Disney items
- enjoys collecting cards to sell later on eBay. Yes, there are Sorcerer cards for sale on eBay.
- visits the Magic Kingdom with friends who also like the game
Who would not like the Sorcerers game?
Anyone who wants to ride Disney rides or see a Disney show. This is a pretty ingenious distraction from Disney, the Masters of Theme Park Distraction, that will keep people out of ride lines and running around the park to portal lines.
And that’s fine with me, because between this game and the Fantasyland Expansion, I am hoping the wait time for Space Mountain will drop from 60 minutes to at least 40 on a good day. I can always hope, right?
Thanks for coming along for a photographical Disney ride, and I’ll see you as I walk by the Emporium portal on Main Street, U.S.A. You should just go ahead and hand me your Fastpasses, because you won’t need ‘em!
See ya soon!