What I Love! Planning a Disney World Scavenger Hunt

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One of my family’s most memorable Walt Disney World trips was the last one we took together just before my oldest daughter left for college. As one was leaving the nest, I wanted to make it extra special, so on the last day of the visit I arranged for my family members to compete in a Scavenger Hunt in the Magic Kingdom.

I wrote the challenges in advance. It helped that I had been to WDW on my own about a month before this trip, but you could easily make your own up-to-date Hunt based on information available on the internet.

I explained the rules during breakfast at the Crystal Palace.

  • I was the moderator/judge/referee/timekeeper/etc.
  • My remaining family members (my husband and three teenage daughters) would draw names out of a hat to be sorted into two teams. The draw resulted in my husband Jeff paired with my daughter Louisa. And my daughters Charlie and Josie were paired together.
  • I had previously asked them all to be prepared in the morning with a fully charged phone. Additionally, I gave each team four quarters, two pennies, and a $20 bill. This was the only money they were allowed to spend during the Hunt. I also gave each team a Sharpie, a regular pen, the Hunt list printed out, and a clipboard. I didn’t want anyone to complain of not having the tools they needed.
  • I told them that creativity would be honored and that they were welcome to get help from Google, cast members, etc. They were told that the quality of the photos did not matter.
  • Teams had three hours to complete as many tasks as possible.
  • Many of the tasks included words to the effect of “show me” or “take a photo of.” I explained that this meant that they should text me a photo of the item in question. “Show me a jewel embedded in the pavement in the Magic Kingdom” meant “text me a photo of a jewel embedded in the pavement.”
  • If a task included words to the effect of “bring me,” the team was to purchase or otherwise acquire the item in question and bring it to the meeting point at the end of the game. As long as a team member was holding it at the end, the task would count as complete.
  • At the end of three hours, teams were to meet in the entrance lobby of Tony’s Town Square restaurant. We used our iPhones as the clock. Both teams were given five minutes of prep/strategy time before the clock started. Late arrivals were to have been penalized 1 point per minute late, but they both arrived right on time.

I then gave each team the list of possible tasks, some worth one point, some worth three points, some worth five points, and some worth ten points. During the allotted three hours, their goal was to complete tasks, amassing more points than the other teams.

The tasks worth more points were more challenging and/or time consuming than the tasks worth fewer points. It was up to the teams to decide whether they felt their time was better spent doing more low-point tasks or fewer high-point tasks, or some combination of the two.

Here are the tasks I gave them:

And here’s how it broke down [bear in mind that this hunt was created conducted a few years ago, some of the items have changed since then]:

1 POINT QUESTIONS

  • Bring me a pressed penny featuring a Toy Story character. One group found this on their own near the Lunching Pad. Another groups asked a CM who told them this only existed at DHS.
  • What number do you dial if you’re having a problem with your pressed penny machine? Show me.
    It’s on the machines. Both groups found it.
  • Tell me how many Dumbos there are.
    Both groups asked CMs and got accurate counts for the Dumbos on the rides. One group’s CM also told them about the size tester and the one in the play queue. I gave to the team who got those two extra points.
  • Have a character sign something other than paper.
    One team passed. The other team had the character sign the clipboard.
  • Show me a photo of a windmill at the Magic Kingdom.
    Neither team got it. It’s big on Tom Sawyer Island. They could see it from most of Frontierland.
  • How much is a turkey leg? Show me a photo.
    They both knew where this was. The cart wasn’t open at the start of the Hunt, so the sign wasn’t visible. Both teams got a CM to take a photo for them.
  • What are the names of the pirate fairies? Photo proof that you know.
    This question ended up being a problem. I had prepped for the Hunt during a WDW visit in mid-July. At that time, there were Tinker Bell Pirate Fairy toys in many of the merchandise shops. When we executed the Hunt in August, these were all gone. Neither team found this, because there ended up being nothing to find.
  • Show me a photo of a guest wearing inappropriate shoes.
    One team did. The other didn’t. Usually I see lots, but the crazy hot weather may have made guests more thoughtful in their footwear choices. Also note, we would never post a photo like this on the internet; it was just for immediate family use and was quickly deleted.
  • Photo of someone hula hooping in the Magic Kingdom.
    Guests are often asked to Hula Hoop on Main Street prior to parades. One team got this, the other didn’t.
  • Photograph a yellow cake pop in the Magic Kingdom.
    This was a trick question. At the time there were almost never yellow cake pops. (Other colors, yes. Yellow, no.) The both wasted some time looking. I knew it would be hard to find.
  • Photograph a live rabbit in the Magic Kingdom.
    In the summer, there are many actual bunnies hopping around the MK lawns. This was what I had intended. Neither team got a real rabbit. (Though we saw several later in the day.) One team took a photo of Alice’s White Rabbit. I gave them the points.
  • Bring me a pain reliever from the MK first aid center.
    One team did. The other did not attempt.
  • Show me a hoof print in the pavement in the Magic Kingdom.
    Both teams got it. (In Circus area.)
  • Show me a jewel in the pavement in the Magic Kingdom.
    Both teams got it. (Near the Magic Carpet ride.)
  • Show me a seashell in the pavement in the Magic Kingdom.
    Both teams got it. (Near the Ariel ride.)
  • Show me a large plastic carrot in the Magic Kingdom.
    One team got it. In the Pooh queue. They were smart not to get in the queue. They just took the picture from the “street.”
  • Show me what’s in the teapot in the Magic Kingdom.
    Both teams got the mouse in the pot on the Teacup ride.
  • Take a photo of yourself wearing three different hats, none depicting Mickey Mouse.
    Both teams did this, using hats they found for sale in The Emporium.
  • “You’re on a boat.” Show me.
    Both teams did this on Jungle Cruise boats. I would have accepted Small World, Pirates, and others as boats.
  • Show me a portrait of Jimmy Carter.
    Both got it. (Hall of Presidents queue.)
  • Where can you buy a side dish of fresh broccoli in the Magic Kingdom? Show me.
    Both got it. (At the time, broccoli was a side dish at Columbia Harbor House, now they have green beans as a side dish.)
  • Bring me the disability guide map in a language other than English.
    This ended up being a bad question. I assumed this existed and that they’d just have to ask at Guest Relations. Both teams did go to Guest Relations and both learned the Disability Maps were only available in English.

3 POINT QUESTIONS

  • Take a photo with a cast member named Mickey, Minnie, Donald, or Daisy.
    Neither team found one.
  • Find me four Hidden Mickeys.
    Both got this. Next time I’d be more specific in my language – specifying four DIFFERENT Hidden Mickeys. One team just photographed a repeating pattern and said there were four. I gave it to them.
  • Bring me a gift from Belle.
    This was supposed to be the bookmark that Belle hands out at the end of the Storytime with Belle attraction. Neither team sat through this. (Wise time management.) One team tried to be creative and bought me Belle pin. I didn’t count it.
  • Show me a photo of you shooting a bow and arrow.
    My intent was to have them do this at the Merida meet and greet. Both teams found toy bows in shops which they pretended to shoot. It didn’t really work, but I gave them both points because it was a wash.
  • How many teepees are in the Indian Village? Show me.
    I would have accepted a count of the teepees in the Peter Pan ride or from the Indian Village visible from the Liberty Belle. Neither team got either.
  • Video a tour group yelling “Happy Birthday Grandma.”
    Not many tour groups were in the park on this particular day. One team did find a group, spoke to their leader, who translated for the group, and then they all did yell “Happy birthday, Grandma.” It was awesome.
  • What year was the arrowhead barrel company founded. Show me a photo.
    There’s a barrel with a date on Tom Sawyer Island. Neither team got it.
  • Who manufactures Beaver Butt lotion? Show me.
    At the time we did the Hunt, this was a product sold in shops in Frontierland. Both teams got it.
  • Who is the Western Manager for the Sayers and Company College of Business? Show me.
    It’s on a window on Main Street. One team asked a cast member and got it.
  • Take a picture of a dragon at the Magic Kingdom.
    I had intended this to be the dragon in the Festival of Fantasy parade. One team found a toy dragon in a shop and I gave them the points.
  • Where would I find Hippo Repellant? Show me.
    It’s on a barrel in the Jungle Cruise queue. Both teams visited the Jungle Cruise, but neither got it.
  • Take a photo with the Mayor of Main Street.
    Neither got it. He wasn’t there on the day of our visit. (They asked.)
  • When was the Castillo del Morro Founded. Show me.
    This was easier than I thought it would be. Both teams immediately knew it had to do with Pirates of the Caribbean and they found it easily, above the attraction entrance.
  • Show me a photo of a character signing something with his/her left hand.
    The team that asked a character (Dale) to sign the clipboard asked him to do it with his left hand. The other team passed.
  • Show me a photo of three kids riding in/on one stroller.
    One team was bold and found a family with a double stroller with two children in it. They then asked them if one team member could get on the stroller with the kids for a second. (Thus making it three kids on one stroller.) I gave them the points. The other team passed.
  • Video yourself shooting a target at the Shootin’ Range.
    Both teams did this.
  • Take a photo of a pin depicting a Disney Channel original movie.
    This was difficult, more challenging than I had intended it be. Both looked, only one team found one. The key was Googling for a list of Disney Channel original movies.
  • Show me photos of three different skulls found in the Magic Kingdom.
    This ended up being easier than I had intended. I meant 3D skulls. They took it to mean 2D illustrations, of which there are many in the Pirates shop. I gave both teams the points because I didn’t specify.
  • Show me five different trash can paint schemes in the Magic Kingdom.
    Both teams got this.
  • Take a photo of the Periodic Table of Pirates.
    Both teams found it on merchandise in the Pirates gift shop.
  • Bring me my favorite drink from Starbucks.
    Puzzlemaster needs a reward! Both teams correctly remembered Mom’s favorite drink (iced Grande skinny vanilla latte) and brought it to the finish point. I drank them both!
  • Bring me a photo booth picture of yourselves.
    One team found the photo booth that was then located in arcade at the Space Mountain exit. The other team passed.
  • Video yourself asking a cast member how to get the bus to Universal Studios.
    Both teams did this.
  • Video yourself asking a cast member what time the 3:00 parade is.
    Both teams did this.

5 POINT QUESTIONS

  • Take a photo with a cast member from Nebraska.
    Both teams asked many CMs if they knew of any CMs from Nebraska. One did and called him, but the Nebraskan ended up not being on duty that day. Neither team completed this and both teams complained. Said one, “We saw three cast members from New Zealand, but Nebraska was too hard.”
  • Show me one photo of you with two different costumed characters.
    One team got Chip & Dale together. The other passed.
  • Show me a building named Alligator Swamp.
    This is on Tom Sawyer Island. Neither got it.
  • Show me a photo of a description of Ol Tom Hubbard’s Death
    Neither team got it. Ol Tom Hubbard’s gravestone is right up front in the Shootin’ Gallery. Both teams went to the Shootin’ Gallery to film video, but neither noticed it. When I showed them later they were horrified that they had missed it. One team wasted ten minutes in the Haunted Mansion queue.
  • Who sells Fur Coats? Show me a photo.
    There is a sign in the Country Bears show about a fur coat seller. This is what I meant for them to find. They both found illustrations of Cruella. I accepted them.
  • Photograph the most expensive thing you can find for sale at the Magic Kingdom. Photograph the price and the winning team gets the points.
    Both got the $37,000 jewel-encrusted castle in Arribas, both got the points.
  • Photograph the least expensive thing you can find for sale at the Magic Kingdom. Photograph the price and the winning team gets the points.
    They both presented me with pressed penny. I think are a few things that sell for less than $.51, but since both teams had the same thing, I gave them both points.
  • Photograph your Buzz Lightyear scores. Team with the highest point total gets the points.
    One team had a substantially higher score than the other.
  • Who won the Bed Wetter Award of 2006? Photo proof that you know.
    It’s on a sign in the Monster’s Inc. Laugh Factory attraction queue. Neither team got it.
  • Request a song from the Dapper Dans and have them sing it. Video please.
    Both teams did.
  • Take a photo with Zambisi Zelda.
    Both teams visited the Jungle Cruise. Only one team figure out that this was the name of a Jungle Cruise boat. They asked a cast member if they could step aboard for just a sec. The CM let them and they took a picture.
  • What year was the Farmer’s Almanac founded? Show me.
    This was on a sign on Tom Sawyer Island. Neither team got it.
  • Take a photo of a Pocahantas costume being sold in the Magic Kingdom. Show me a photo of it in the store.
    Both teams asked CMs. Both teams were directed to Castle Couture where they found it.
  • The team with the photo of the longest posted attraction wait time gets the points.
    One team got the points.
  • Call me from a payphone in the Magic Kingdom. Have your partner video this.
    The team with the adult on it called me from a payphone. The team with just teens could not figure out how to make a call from a payphone.

10 POINT QUESTIONS

  • Show me a photo of you with you with three or more different costumed characters at the same time.
    One team found that the Fairy Godmother, Anastastia, and Drizella were doing a joint meet & greet. When they got there, the line was closed. They decided just to stand near the meet & greet and take a selfie with the three characters visible in the background. I gave it to them.
  • Show me a photo of you with a cast member with a badge indicating they speak Russian.
    One team went to Guest Relations and was told that the Russian speakers were not on duty that day. The other team just asked around to a bunch of random CMs and ended up finding one that spoke Russian and had a tag on her badge.
  • Video yourself asking a cast member to marry you.
    Both teams did this.
  • Video yourself ringing the bell on a Jungle Cruise boat.
    This was a bad clue, my mistake. When the girls were small, one of them really did ring a bell that was hanging above the “steering wheel.” These bells were not present at the time of our Hunt. However, both teams were creative and downloaded bell apps onto their phones and completed the task that way.
  • Video yourself eating an entire cupcake in fewer than five bites.
    Both did this. Both found very small cupcakes.

In the end, the team with Jeff and Louisa won. As their prize, we went to the Arribas Brother glass shop on Main Street and had them custom engrave a cup with the winners names. The cup now sits on our living room mantle. The entire family had a blast and it continues to be one of the trips we talk about most often.

Have you ever planned a Scavenger Hunt for your family or other group? Or any other sort of Disney challenge? Is this something you’d like to do in the future? What types of questions would you ask?

Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel at DisneyWorldMoms.com, a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater. Erin can be reached on Twitter @MsErinFoster.

3 thoughts on “What I Love! Planning a Disney World Scavenger Hunt

  • April 5, 2020 at 8:58 am
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    We love scavenger hunts, this is fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • April 5, 2020 at 9:08 am
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    Did they feel that 3 hours was enough time?

    Reply
  • April 5, 2020 at 10:17 am
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    If anything, it was slightly too much time. We did this on an extremely hot day, the participants were a sweaty mess at the end – and very tired.

    I designed the hunt so that it could not be fully completed in three hours – there was no expectation that the teams would finish the entire thing. Part of the fun was seeing which items the hunters would choose to undertake. Would they spend lots of time working on a 10-point clue or would the opt to quickly crank out a bunch of smaller 1- and 3-point questions.

    If you were designing your own hunt, you could decide to more closely match the number and difficulty with the time allotted, but that was not my aim here. Also, my participants were all teens/adults. If you were doing this with smaller kids (matched with adult supervisors), you might want to make it shorter to match their attention spans.

    Reply

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