Recently, I was asked to upgrade my Disney pass to help out with some extra stuff here at Touring Plans. I hadn’t bothered with a premium annual in years since it just meant access to DisneyQuest and the water parks. I’d remembered DisneyQuest as a let down with lots of broken machines and outdated technology. It was a couple months after upgrading that I decided to finally stop in and see if anything had changed. I don’t know if it was just because of the time that had passed or due to recent changes, but I had a great time and wondered why I’d written the place off so many years ago. So with a fresh perspective I thought I’d share what you can expect from the five floors of fun at DisneyQuest!
Virtual Jungle Cruise: While this does remind me of technology from the Xbox Kinect game, Disneyland Adventures, it has a unique twist. You actually climb aboard a boat and paddle with real oars down the virtual river! Oddly, the only animals I’ve ever seen during this experience are dinosaurs. Still, it’s fun to work together with the rest of the boat to decide which direction to go. Each boat faces a large projection screen. This ride isn’t a technological wonder but it’s fun if you don’t overthink it.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Buccaneer Gold: I really like this one! To begin you enter an room with a small pirate ship bow built inside. Hanging off both sides of the boat are cannons. They remind me of the ones used at Toy Story Midway Mania. Projections screens come to life all around the boat and it’s up to you to defend your crew. This game is tough if your group is small, so the more the merrier for this game! Not mentioned on the maps are additional arcade games on this floor. They normally aren’t as busy and are mostly jungle themed.
Radio Disney SongMaker: I still have my CD from many, many years ago! This is a great stop for a fun, unique souvenir. Each group is able to enter a recording booth where you name a song, create your lyrics, choose your singer, and change the style of your music. Every time this song pops up on my iPod I smile and remember how much fun we had. 🙂 I haven’t tried it recently, but I plan to. Let me know in the comments below if there is anything specific you’d like to see.
Animation Academy: Much like at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this is where you can learn to draw your favorite Disney characters. The difference is that rather than pen and paper you’ll encounter a screen to draw on with a stylus. It can be a bit of a challenge to get used to but it’s much easier to erase and there’s even an undo button!
Living Easels: This one was more fun many moons ago, but these days most iPads can pretty much do the same. Here easels setup with large screens for virtual finger painting. There are different stickers you can add in and then you can animate your work of art. I’m sure kids will still have fun with the large screens even though they’re jaded with all their modern gadgets.
Sid’s Create-A-Toy: Remember the naughty kid from Toy Story? Well here you get to create bizarre and unique toys just like he did. Everything is virtual with a fun joystick interface that allows you to select toy parts and put together your Frankenstein creation. They used to actually sell bags of toy pieces to take home but I didn’t see that on my most recent visits.
Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride: If you think back 10+ years and remember what we all thought virtual reality would look like, this attraction will be familiar. Here you sit on a “magic carpet” that looks a bit like a bike from all the driving games and put on a huge, doofy headset. The headset juts out in front of your face for nearly a foot to contain all the visual content. Once suited up you’re ready to go on your adventure. Fair warning: the older graphics lead to motion sickness in a lot of people.
CyberSpace Mountain: One of the most popular attractions in DisneyQuest, this is much like Sum of all Thrill at Epcot. First you are able to design your roller coaster ranging from mild to wild and then you load up for a virtual ride on what you’ve created. Unlike at Epcot, you are contained within the ride vehicle (no dangling legs). However, you are still required to leave your belonging in a locker prior to riding.
The Underground Arcade: Many of the standard arcade games tend to bleed together for me. I will say that we noticed several games from our local Dave & Busters in this section that we’d normally pay to play. In the past I noticed older and broken games here but it seems to be well maintained these days.
Mighty Ducks Pinball Slam: This is a remarkable centerpiece for the arcade, but if I’m being honest I’ve never understood how to play it. The idea is that you’re a human pinball with a two story pinball machine projected on the screen in front of you. Each player mounts a small, round playing platform and is supposed to control the movement of their ball by changing the direction of their platform. What ends up happening is everyone jumps aboard and bounces around for a few minutes to loud music and flashy lights. It’s a neat experience, but a confusing one! (Maybe I’m just getting old?)
Race Zone: If I ever lose my hubby in DisneyQuest, I know I can find him here. This is the ultimate race track including Nascar, Star Wars, and just about everything else. This area actually puts our local Dave & Busters to shame. If someone in your family loves to race then this section alone will be worth the trip. The machines are tied together so that players can race each other. In the case of Nascar, 10 machines are all racing on the same track!
Classic Games: Just like the name indicates, here you can play classic games on free play. There are more of these classic games to be found on the 5th floor.
Buzz Lightyear’s AstroBlaster: These are only the best bumper cars in history!! Not only do you have the standard bumper car aspects, each car is equipped with a cannon! The ride vehicles are enclosed and the track is covered with “asteroids”, when your bumper car drives over an asteroid it picks it up and you’re able to load it into the cannon. If you shoot another ride vehicle with the asteroid you picked up they will spin uncontrollably for a few seconds. Of course, the asteroids are just rubber balls, but this game is a riot! It does tend to get a line, though. Make sure you prioritize it early in the day.
Sports Arena Arcade: This is just what the name indicates. Head here for baseball, basketball, bowling, and even fishing. There are tons of games packed into this area and some are brand new. Again, I’m impressed that Disney seems to be investing in some quality games.
Kid’s Area: I would describe this area as Chuck E. Cheese. It’s filled with all the little games that kids love and we all grew up playing. If you have a little one head here and they’ll be entertained for hours!
Wonderland Cafe: Need a snack? This is your best option in DisneyQuest. While I don’t think the food is great, you can’t beat the atmosphere. Quiet, dreamlike music wafts through the cafe and you almost forget there’s a loud arcade filled with kids just inches away! Be sure to visit even if you aren’t hungry just to see the divine theming.
Invasion! An ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter: Much like everything in DisneyQuest, this is showing its age. However, the concept remains unique and exciting. You group is seated into a small 360 degree theater and you’re dropped on an alien planet to fight your way out. I won’t give away too much but it’s a must do.
Classic Games: Just like on the 3rd floor here you’ll find classic games on free play. There are even pinball machines up on the 5th floor!
FoodQuest: This is another dining option but without the magical theming you’ll find at Wonderland Cafe. Years ago this was run by Cheesecake Factory and the food was amazing! These days it’s a standard Disney outlet with staples like hamburgers. Nothing terrible if you are stuck and hungry, but nothing special.
So there you have it, a complete look at what DisneyQuest has to offer! Are you thinking of visiting? Do you have any questions that I can research for you? Which game sounds like the most fun to you? Please let us know in the comments below and as always thank you for reading and commenting.