Okay, Hello everyone and welcome to the first of many articles of my vaction to Orlando, Florida. I’m going to start with a short one.
Disney owns a lot of land. Not just a few acres. I mean a ton. They pretty much own a chunk of land the size of Rhode Island. In other words, they can play around with the land by experimenting with different little projects.
In one area of their ‘city’, there’s a place called Downtown Disney. There’s a movie theater, tons of shopping, clubs, bars, etc. There’s even a House of Blues & a Planet Hollywood there. When I was there, the band Gwar was playing at House of Blues. I wanted to go, but I really didn’t have any old clothes to wear to their show, because they squirt you with mock blood & guts and stuff. You get pretty sloppy.
Anyway, getting back to the article at hand. In the middle of Downtown Diney is a 5 story building called DisneyQuest. They called it an indoor interactive theme park, but basically it’s a kickass arcade with character.
Here’s a map of the giant building, so you can follow along a little bit.
Ther’es many different levels of fun. Oh, before I get started, it cost us $27 bucks to get in. It’s really not too bad, if you plan on spending about 5 hours in there. And it’s definetly worth it.
Our first stop was ‘The Pirates of the Caribbean – Battle for Buccaneer Gold”. This was a 3D type game/ride. They put you in this room which looks exactly like your on the front of a pirate ship. There’s 3 cannons on both sides and in the middle there’s a steering wheel.
Here’s Jeff wearing the goggles that they have you wear. The ship, cannons & wheel are all real. But you are staring at a 3D screen that wraps around all sides of the boat. You’re job is to shoot the cannons and destroy other pirate ships. When you destroy a ship, you get their gold. It takes about 10 cannon balls to a ship to destroy it. But, these aren’t ordinary cannons, you pull the string on the back several times and you can have a rapid fire cannon.
There’s pirate ships all around you. When Jeff & I played, we decided it was just going to be us on the ship. We didn’t want other people tagging along. So, basically we were on auto pilot, while Jeff took 3 cannons on one side, I took the 3 on the other side. We got really good at the game, and at the end, you have to destroy a ghost ship. Unfortunately I couldn’t take pictures while on the ship. So, you’ll just have to imagine it.
Our next stop was to Virtual Space Mountain. This is really cool. It’s pretty simple, they give you a card, you walk over to a computer, slide your card into the computer, then you create your own rollercoaster. Now, the cool thing is, since it’s a virtual rollercoaster, physics don’t exist. You can jump the track, crash through debris, and do just about everything. We tried our luck creating a good rollercoaster. We created one that was a 4 out of 5 on the scream-o-meter.
After you’re done creating the coaster, you give another person your card. They scan it into another computer, and you sit in a rock tumbler looking ride, and you get to ride the coaster that you just created. You sit down with a screen in front of you. The ‘rock tumbler’ spins, flips, & goes upsidedown so it feels like you are on the virtual rollercoaster. Our first ride wasn’t that scary, so the next time we went, we just asked one of the workers there to put us on the scariest rollercoaster they had. They put us on one which was really good.
The thing is, I remember 4 years ago was the first time I went on this ride. I thought it was one of the coolest roller coasters ever. Then, just 2 months ago, I was in Vegas. I rode their ‘virtual rollercoaster’ ride at ‘Circus Circus’. It was much scarier, and a much longer ride than this one. But, this one is still very cool, and you shouldn’t miss it.
One of the virtual reality ‘rides’ they had there was called ‘Ride the Comics’. Basically, you had slip on the virtual reality helmet & your strapped to a seat. They give you a light saber that you use as your weapon. It’s really cool, because you press a button on your saber and you see the light flip on or off.
Anyway, in this virtual reality world, you are fighting these Comic book villians (all made up ones) with your light saber. It’s a pretty neat experience, except for the fact is you’re swinging your arms back and forth the whole time, so your arms get really tired after playing this.
The other virtual reality ride which required you to wear a VR Mask was ‘Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride’. In this ride you sad down with a simple controller in front of you. In the VR world, you are the monkey from aladdin on a flying carpet. You have to collect a bunch of Jewels, free Jasmine from a prison, then try to find the Genie in the bottle. After you free the genie, you win the game. There’s 4 monkey working together though trying to get the jewels. You can see your other ‘monkey friends’ while in the game.
Here’s the Virtual Jungle Cruise. You’re in a raft on a cushion of air which feels like water and there’s a giant screen in front of you. You have these paddles that you actually have to paddle to advance in the game. A scientist, starts you off on a normal jungle cruise, but you end up going back in time to the dinosaur ages. So, you have to paddle and turn down the right way, or you’ll end up getting hit by the meteor shower that destroyed the dinosaurs.
Jeff & I, ended up getting really far on the game. We made it to a part, where there was no water, it was just a giant mudslide. I think it must be hard to get to that part, because while waiting in line, we didn’t see a single person make it that far. This is another game though, like ride the comics, where your arms get really tired after paddling the oars for a long time.
Here’s ‘Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblaster’. I didn’t get the greatest pictures of this ride, because it’s just so dark around this area. Basically, astroblaster is bumper cars with an attitude. You hop in these cars, one person drives, the other is the gunner. There’s dodgeballs everywhere on the ground (which they call asteroids). You run over an asteroid, it pops up the center console in your car. Once you get a ball, you load it in your cannon, and try to shoot another person’s car.
There’s targets all over the cars. If you get the target with one of the balls, their car spins out of control for 5 seconds. It’s really pretty cool. Most of the time when we were on this we were spinning in circles, because people kept hitting us.
Over by Buzz’s ride, was a section called ‘Replay’. There was tons of old video games from the early 80s. And best of all, no quarters required. You just pressed a buttong on the machine, and viola, 1UP. Some of the games I remember they had were: pac man, donkey kong, frogger, galaga, dragon’s lair, burgertime, mario brothers, etc…
So there’s were a couple other rides there, which I didn’t really get pictures of. There was one called Alien encounter where you get on a big ship and shoot all these aliens. It really wasn’t the best ride there.
And there was another one called Mighty Duck’s pinball smash, which was impossible to figured out how to move. You stood on a movable plaform and moved yourself, and on this giant screen, you had a pinball assigned to your number you stood on. I couldn’t figure the stupid thing out, I don’t think anyone could.
Oh and one other cool thing was, all the food inside the place was Cheesecake factory food. If you’ve ever eaten at Cheesecake Factory, you know how good their food is.
So, in summing up, I would say DisneyQuest is definetly worth the price of admission. It’s open until midnight, so you can play all night long.