Following last week’s Magic Kingdom update, which included a review of Tomorrowland Terrace’s new menu and a wide-ranging construction update, we return to buy some pins and tie up a few loose ends.
Somewhat out of nowhere, Disney announced the introduction of “Disney PinQuest – A Disney Pin Trading Scavenger Hunt” on the Parks Blog at this link: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/06/adventure-awaits-with-new-disney-pinquest-coming-to-magic-kingdom-park-on-june-30/. As is typical of Parks Blog announcements, there is no discussion of cost, availability, or in this case, where exactly these pins or starter sets could be purchased.
There are two locations where the completer pin can be picked up after the quest is…completed – Curtain Call Collectibles just inside the entrance is one of them. The other is Frontier Trading Post in Frontierland in between Country Bear Jamboree and Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade. I can’t really say the other locations where the starter sets or pins can be purchased without giving away the answers to some of the questions, but here is a complete list in case you’re wondering. Otherwise, start here on Main Street or in Frontierland.
Your PinQuest begins with the purchase of what Disney is calling an “Adventure Kit” which “contains a lanyard to showcase your pins; a decoder medal for use with PinQuest pins; and a lanyard pouch to hold the map included in the adventure kit.” That will set you back $14.99.
After that, you’ll need to purchase a “Clue,” which, upon completion, can be exchanged for that location’s pin.
One thing about PinQuest…the questions are not all that easy…This is as much direction as you’ll receive if you begin your quest at Curtain Call Collectibles. The cast member had obviously received some number of questions about what the heck was going on with this clue as she blurted out, “You’re very hot” after handing it to us. I thought, “Hunny, usually they buy me a drink first” but instead just awkwardly stumbled off to take pictures for my Disney World blog.
(“Hot” because the answer to each clue is inside or around the store where you purchase it.)
The back side of clue, which doesn’t make things a whole lot easier.
Cast members should be happy to offer tips and as the instructions indicate, there is no penalty for multiple scratches. So if you just want the pins you can scratch off all three answers and immediately return the clue. A small icon underneath whatever you call “scratchoff stuff” will indicate whether you’re right. If you want the answer to clue #1 spoiled along with where you’ll find it, you can click here.
Once you figure out the answer or freak out and madly scratch off random answers until you get it right, you’ll be able to return to the location and present the clue. The NavigatEAR will check to see how many tries it took you to get the right answer, spend some amount of time making fun of you if it’s more than one, and then tear off the ticket at the bottom and exchange that for the location’s pin. They will also stamp your map to keep track of which clues you’ve completed/paid for. I don’t really know anything about Disney, but I believe that’s Hyacinth Hippo, which is relevant since Amilcare Ponchielli’s “Dance of the Hours” is in Fantasia. You’ll recognize the clip.
Anyway, you line up just the tip of the pin you receive behind the Decoder Medal, which will then indicate your next location by showing a letter and a number in the two areas circled. This is “C 1” for example.
After decoding that, you would check the map to see which icon matches up to C on the left axis and 1 on the bottom, which indicates Frontierland. You would then flip the map over to the image a few above this to find out that it’s the Briar Patch in Frontierland.
You might also notice that the icon is present in the pin. Here’s an image that includes all six of the clues should you wish to preview them.
All in all, the complete PinQuest will set you back about $80 plus tax – $15 for the Adventure Kit/Decoder, $10 for each of the six pins, and $5 for the completer pin. The initial $15 investment is pretty decent in the grand scheme of things considering it comes with the map, lanyard, and a pretty nice, durable dated pin in the decoder. The other pins don’t do much for me personally, but they might be worth the $10 each to you. You might instead take a look at each clue that corresponds to the spoiler list of locations above and instead figure out the answer and then pick out a pin from that store that you like a little better.
Since this wouldn’t be an easyDUBZ review without an airing of grievances, I will list some:
- A couple of the clues don’t provide much guidance.
- Each location requires waiting in a general merchandise line twice. You have to wait in line to purchase each clue card. And then wait in line again upon completion to exchange the pin. Luckily(?), the locations are generally those that are less traveled, but that also means that they are less staffed. In the case of the Frontierland Trading Post, only one of the three register locations is equipped to process PinQuest transactions. With at least seven stops and at least 14 trips through, you’re going to spend at least an hour twiddling your thumbs in line.
- It would have been nice to be able to purchase as many clues for the various locations as we wanted at one time, which would have nearly cut the amount of time we spent in line in half. And everyone else would wait less too. Doing that would also make the quest more convenient to complete. You have little control over where you are headed next. You might start in Frontierland and then head to Tomorrowland and then head to Main Street and then head to Storybook Circus. Those interested in playing probably want to purchase their starter kit early on their first day at Magic Kingdom so you don’t have to go out of your way to collect each clue. It took us about 2.5 hours to complete the quest going from one location to the next.
- The pins may not be to everyone’s tastes. I thought they were a little bland.
Overall, PinQuest may be a fun and enchanting diversion to either complete at your convenience during your day or set out specifically to accomplish. The cost is somewhat prohibitive – the Adventureland game is “free” as is Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom and the Epcot scavenger hunts during Flower/Garden are typically under ten dollars, but you do come away with the lanyard and pin set.
PinQuest is expected to continue through at least the summer or “while supplies last.”
The discounted popcorn bucket refill signage is up property-wide.
Deeming bubble guns, but not Frotnierland Shootin’ Arcade, too violent, Disney replaced them with “The Little Mermaid Bubble Wands” a few months ago.
Disney has since updated the wands to a more neutral blue as you could count the number of boys waving around pink wands with Ariel on them with two fingers.
Following the tragic death of a child purportedly drowned by two alligators a couple of weeks ago, Disney has made a number of far-reaching changes to its operation.
In my opinion, a number of these changes make a lot of sense. Putting up fences to keep people out of the water directly around where the incident happened and improving signage are good ways to at least make it “feel” like Disney is being proactive about decreasing the (already basically 0%) chances that something like this would happen again in the near-term.
For a short time, Disney closed off all beach areas property-wide while they reevaluated procedures and signage. You can see the old blue “No swimming” sign near the water in the background. Marinas were also closed. Both have since reopened, though fences now border all beach areas, including here at the Beach/Yacht Club and at resorts like Caribbean Beach.
There has been quite a bit of debate on the various forums and “social media channels” over what “NO SWIMMING” means. To me, it means…no swimming. No swimming because you don’t want to get hit by that boat in the background or by any of the various other watercraft that Disney rents to people that have been drinking margaritas all day and have no experience piloting watercraft. Also because it’s probably dangerous if you wade far enough into the water that your feet can’t touch the ground. And also because if you dunk your head under, you are liable to contract some variety of brain eating organism. “No swimming” does not mean “DON’T GET ANYWHERE NEAR THE WATER EVER AND PARTICULARLY NOT AFTER DARK” or that is what the sign would say.
And I think I would argue that getting near the water is not particularly negligent as one of Disney’s official photographers is taking pictures of the wedding couple as they walk right along the shore. Millions of people have waded in the water at some point in their lives and up until somewhat recently, you could actually swim in Seven Seas Lagoon. Worldwide, hundreds of millions of people are getting their feet wet in water that is full of sharks, gators, and any number of thousands of other predatory beasts.
Almost never with any negative consequences. Here at the Polynesian, lounge chairs are almost pushed up to the water’s edge by cast members every morning.
But adding temporary fencing along the water is minimally invasive and if it makes an alligator attack even less likely, it seems like a logical step to take.
But Disney has gone a lot further than that. One of the first big moves they made after the tragedy was pulling Louis Alligator from a stage show that had not yet debuted, but was set to just about 72 hours later. That also seemed like a sensitive move – the family was likely still in the area and national media, which was already here to cover the Pulse shooting, was on Disney like hawks. I’m not sure how many people would have connected a trumpet playing, cartoon alligator from a movie with the incident from a few days later, but better safe than sorry in the few days immediately after.
But permanently pulling a major character from a show forever seems like an overreaction. Goofy is a dog and dogs kill about 35 people each year in the United States, about 10% of which happen in Florida. 25+ people in Tennessee died from the cold over the course of just one week last February, yet Elsa shoots snow/ice at the audience as part of the show. Rodents were behind the Black Death that wiped out at least a third of Europe’s population, yet Mickey and Minnie are major parts of the show and the costumes the characters are wearing transport us back to those times.
Tick Tock no longer appears in Festival of Fantasy. He is not an alligator but there is certainly the resemblance. One does wonder how many guests see a parade float and are then taken back to the night of June 14th and an incident that they did not experience.
Removed. Yet the live alligators seen later on the ride remain.
Both of the water parks’ mascots are gators – Lagoona Gator and Icy Gator. Where’s My Water, featuring Swampy the Gator is one of their top-rated mobile games.
Imagery at Port Orleans French Quarter is heavily themed to gators. All of these things are still there.
What will return and what is still yet to be taken away?
All merchandise depicting alligators and crocodiles has been removed from shelves.
So I’m not real sure what Disney is trying to protect us from by somewhat arbitrarily removing references to alligators and crocodiles in its parks. Certainly improving signage and educating guests are worthwhile steps, but I’m not sure what I’m being protected from when they remove cartoon characters from shows or take Peter Pan t-shirts off the shelves.
The main counterargument to all of this is that the attack happened at Walt Disney World and because of that, all of these changes beyond signage/safety are necessary. There must be no references to crocodiles or alligators in Walt Disney World forever because something terrible that is very unlikely to happen again happened. But I’m not sure how true that is. If people tie their Walt Disney World vacation emotionally to the death of Lane Graves and the cartoon-y depiction of an alligator or crocodile is going to set them off, then there’s still a lot of instances where that’s going to happen – Living with the Land, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Port Orleans French Quarter, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Disney Jr. Live on Stage just to start. And that ceramic Tick-Tock above is sitting next to a ceramic bear. In the last five years, bears have killed twice as many people in the United States as alligators. None at Walt Disney World, but there are still twice as many families directly affected, even if national media didn’t pick up the story and broadcast it for a week straight.
But there is of course something to say for displaying as much sensitivity as possible, which is something that I’ve been trying to improve upon:
To mixed results. Though Tracie does bring up an interesting point about being human. I don’t think any of us can say without a shadow of a doubt.
Work has begun on the Haunted Mansion facade.
I’m not sure how big the project is, but Disney usually puts these brown tarps up before installing the scrims that look like the building behind it.
Shutters on the second floor of Heritage House look to be of the electronic, opening and closing variety. I think I’m going to start printing a list of the least bloggable spots on property to stand so that you don’t end up in a picture like this one. I waited a minute or two for this guy to take a hike, but ultimately had pins to collect and needed to move on.
Summer crowds continue to be weak into July. Magic Kingdom, which has historically seen a capacity closure on Independence Day, didn’t get anywhere close this year.
Exterior work on Carousel of Progress looks to be wrapped up.
The walk out:
While most of the new things are behind us, there is still a vault of content to get through.
Feel free to let me have it in the comments. u know i <3 it