It’s been about a month since I was in a theme park and, to be honest, I’m starting to get the twitch that I need to get back for some magic. I’m not sure how I used to deal in the past with long periods of time between visits to Disney. But ever since we moved down to Orlando it just became part of our weekly routine and without it, I’m definitely missing it more than other things. I’m also not the only one in my family missing the parks, and thankfully my oldest daughter has a much better memory than I do and asked if we could play the Disney video game. It took me a bit to remember exactly what she was referencing and once I figured it out I couldn’t have fired up our the Xbox quick enough.
The game is called Disneyland Adventures. It was originally released back in 2011 for the Xbox Kinect but I didn’t know about it at that time. Then in 2017, they released the game with remastered 4K HDR graphics, updated Kinect support but also the option to not use Kinect and instead just use the standard Xbox controllers. They also released this in 2018 for Windows PC users.
We did have a Kinect but who knows where it went, probably in some random box located in our garage. Thankfully we have a newer Xbox One console and I had received this as a Christmas gift a year or so ago but never really got to play it, but now was our chance.
What is really cool about this game is the software designers recreated the entire Disneyland theme park in California. Obviously, I’m more familiar with the Florida WDW park, so some things in this game seem a little out of place for me but the details they put into this make for a fun alternative during our current self-quarantine status.
I had watched a video from a Media Preview on this game when it was being released in 2017. Something I thought was really interesting was that one of the creators said to get all the details as accurate as possible he spent around 5 months in the park and took over 50,000 pictures of buildings, sidewalks, textures, even trash cans, and park bench locations.
They even recreated Walt Disney’s quote on the arch as you walk underneath the Main Street Train Station. You start by picking your character either a young boy or girl and can design their hair color, and initial outfit. Then you can just start walking through the park.
This is what’s known as an “Open World” game where you are not forced to follow any specific story or path. You can just wander aimlessly as I usually do and check out all the different lands of the park.
Walking down Main Street USA you can see Sleeping Beauty Castle in the distance. Along the way are all the storefronts you have come to know. Some you can visit to buy things like Autograph books, or Photo Albums which you will use later on in the game. Some stores also sell new clothing to wear or even costumes if you prefer. My favorite Princess is Jasmine so my daughter insisted we buy a Jasmine T-shirt for our character.
I was very impressed to see they even included the Partners statue with Walt and Mickey. Plus check out that crows, wow I wish this was how things were in the actual parks.
Some of your favorite characters can be found throughout the park, like Mickey in front of the Castle.
Or Minnie Mouse near the entrance to Adventureland. You can interact with these characters by having them sign your autograph book (if you purchased one). Just like the real Disney, they want you to spend as much money as possible, so there are different autograph books for certain groups of characters like Princesses, Villains, Alice and Wonderland plus a few others.
You can also dance with the characters, give them a hug, or a high five. It’s fun to try these with each one as the dances are different and how they sign your book changes.
The cast of characters is quite diverse. There is, of course, the main cast of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Plus. Then you can also find Chip and Dale, Stitch and even Br’er Bear or Br’er Fox.
Then you can also find many Princesses like Belle. Be on the lookout as the Beast is also somewhere nearby.
We have also found Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, and Tiana. I’m sure there are more we just haven’t gotten to them yet. Another interaction you can have with the characters is they will sometimes ask you for help. Tiana wanted to make some of her famous Gumbo and asked us to find the ingredients. The game then will help you search the park for the required ingredients and once you have them all collected to make sure to bring them back to Tiana.
Did I mention Villians? Yes, they are here too. My daughter loves trying to hug the villains as they seem to horrified or cower away when you try.
When some people visit the parks they don’t go for the characters but instead for the rides and attractions. Well, this game has most of them recreate like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride shown above.
Pirates of the Caribbean are also here and it’s fun to walk near the attraction to see other guests lined up in the queue plus the familiar attraction soundtrack can be heard.
My personal favorite is the Haunted Mansion. I do kind of wish that you could virtually ride the actual rides with maybe some interactivity happening for coins or points. But instead, when you head towards the entrance there are portals that will take you to a mini-game themed around that attraction. They are fun but some seem to go on way too long and I just get anxious to exit back to the park.
I liked standing near Splash Mountain to hear the people screaming as they crest over the top of the drop.
Some of the rides unfortunately you can only watch and do not include any type of mini-game. Like the famous Tea Cups.
The Matterhorn is also here and a nice plus is being able to watch the Monorail zoom around its beam.
Some attractions are not included in the game like Star Tours or the Indiana Jones adventure. From what I read Disney did not own Lucasfilms at the time this game was being developed and licensing those properties would have been too difficult. One thing I did find that I thought was funny was Captain EO. That is definitely a throwback.
Of course, I couldn’t overlook It’s a Small World, just such a classic ride and I love the exterior of the attraction in Disneyland so much better than the Florida version.
We’ve visited most of the themed lands like Tomorrowland, Adventureland, and Fantasyland and eventually I did find Mickey’s Toontown.
This is another fun area of the game with lots to see and do, plus Mickey and his pals are also here for more autographs and pictures.
One of the areas of the park is Critter Country that has Winnie the Pooh and his friends. While we were interacting with Eeyore I noticed something in the background.
Are those Pressed penny machines!?!? Holy cow that is pretty cool.
I then had an idea that I wanted to see how many other machines were located throughout the park. My next stop was the Penny Arcade on Main Street.
The last time I was physically in Disneyland was back in 2008 and I remember the Penny Arcade as being the Holy Grail of Pressed Penny machines. Now years later I know that is no longer the case, but remember this game was released originally in 2012 so the creators were probably there a couple years before that taking all their pictures and is the time period the game is situated.
Ah, the good old days with so many penny machines all in one place.
Now if you are like me you are probably wondering if you can use the machines in the game. So far I don’t think so. In the hours we have played so far, there doesn’t appear to be a way to use them. I’ve also read some online guides and forums but nothing seems to mention using these machines. It’s too bad because that would have been awesome! In the gift shops along with the autograph books, they could sell the penny booklets and let you use the coins you pick up around the park in the machines to collect a themed set. My daughter is currently in love with this game so we will be continuing to play it for quite a while I’m sure and if I do find you can somehow use the machines I’ll post an update here. However, one thing I did do some research on was I wanted to try and figure out which designs they were using on the machines. They all look to have the same marquee with the same three designs. Remembering when the designers were at the park I eventually found the set in my personal collection.
I did get a lot of help from my favorite Disneyland pressed penny resource www.ParkPennies.com. The information they had on these coins was a big help to ensure this was the correct set. All three of these designs were initially released on October 18, 2006, and were removed on January 4, 2012, when the Penny Arcade was closed down for a refurbishment. When it eventually opened up again the machines inside did not return and these pennies were considered retired.
The middle design was really what stuck out for me in the pictures from the game and helped me find the set. Snow White I was also pretty certain of but the third design was tough to make out initially but once I saw the information on ParkPennies website the full set revealed itself.
I’m crossing my fingers that we can hopefully move passed the current self-quartine situation we have found ourselves in. I am anxious to get back to the parks and to a bit more of a normal routine. Plus I really need to press some pennies it’s an addiction you know. But in the meantime, my daughter and I will be enjoying our Virtual adventures with this Disneyland game.