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glass castle from Disneyland

The Disneyland Game

At Disneyland you can buy (or could the last time I was there) a wonderful large map of the park showing all the rides and lands. To boot, it has wonderful marker spots (drawings of characters) all around the edge, Monopoly board style. I've got this great idea (as they all say), but since I don't work there, I'm sure my chances of doing anything with it are zip-a-dee-doo-dah. Because of that, I haven't taken the time to work out the details (you can see from my Wine Dark Sea Games page that I have lots of ideas I can spend time on working out the details), but here is the general idea.

If you've been on a Disneyland ride more that one or twice, you will notice that most of them have some kind of progression. It may not be what you would call a 'story', but it is not a random sequence of images either. So for instance, in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, you sort of work your way backwards from the Louisiana bayou setting back into the pirate caves with old pirate skeletons and treasure and then back again to where the pirates are pillaging and plundering the port and city.

I wanted to see a game that captured some of this sense of progression in the rides, so I developed the idea of each ride having a set of pictures (in the form of cards, possibly) from various points along the ride. Each ride would have a random card from its set associated with it at the beginning of the game.

Players would acquire other random cards from the rides either along their way through the park or as they enter each ride (I haven't worked that out yet) and their task, on a ride, is to place their card in the correct order, before or after or between the card or cards that are already there. So, for instance, you might have to decide, "Does the pirate skeleton lying in bed with a magnifying glass come before or after the skeleton pinned to the rock by a sword", or "does the Swiss Family Robinson's pipe organ room come before or after the 'master' bedroom", or "does the Haunted Mansion's ghostly ballroom scene come before or after the crystal ball with the talking medium's head inside?".

The map itself would make a great playing board. You might need some kind of index of the different locations to identify which other locations were within reach to move to on the next turn. And you could also move around the nifty border, Monopoly style, to acquire other goodies or cards for the shows and parades and shops. Your goal could be something like having to go on at least x number of rides successfully in each land before everyone else, or go on the most number of rides before the park closes -- something of that nature.

My biggest problem with this idea, as I said above, would be copyright and trademark issues. But even if that were overcome, it would probably be a rather expensive game to produce, needing color cards (I would think), a nice board and lots of details. On the other hand, even though I prefer board games and "group sitting around the living room" type games, it might make a very nice CD-ROM game, the computer being ideal for displaying the various images from the rides and keeping track of the order, etc. Anybody out there from Disneyland listening?

When my family had annual passes one year, I thought about taking pictures on some of the rides to try it out. But I had a three-year-old, and also, you know how it is; "no flash bulbs, please", and the rides are generally pretty dark and your are usually moving, so I didn't.

It occurs to me that descriptions like the ones I used in the examples above might do adequately for some kind of web page adaptation of the game. Darn! Why didn't I think of that when I had the annual passes? Well, Stupid, because you didn't have internet access at that time, that's why. Anyway, how about, is anybody out there with current passes interested in noting down descriptions (and the order they appear on the rides, obviously)? Email me. Maybe we can work something up.

I have also thought that this "figure out where this card fits in the order of the other cards so far" would work well for a host of other ideas, particularly, historical events and stories from famous books (these two would also be good for educational purposes in history and literature classes), and movies. I'm actively considering something like this for a type of Bible Game that I describe on my Wine Dark Sea Games page.

I've recently seen a couple of History-type games out there already that incorporate this idea (my immediate reaction, of course, was "rats! I had that idea too.", but then I went ahead and bought one to see what it was like), so maybe this form is the next idea to have a hundred different knock-off games, like 'dictionary' and trivia before it.

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