You start to play the game by first visiting one of two different training locations. The first location is located in the Main Street USA Fire Station, which is between City Hall and the Barbershop. The second location is in Liberty Square and the Christmas Shop.
There is no cost beyond park admission to play the game. You simply give your admission ticket to the Cast Member who scans it and then in returns it to you, along with five Spell Cards and one Key Card. They also provide you with a map of the playing locations throughout the Magic Kingdom. The Cast Member will show you how to play the game in a short training session that lasts just a minute or two. They will then will tell you the first location where you will begin to play.
Playing the game is straightforward. You do it in three easy steps.
1. Look at the Sorcerers Of The Magic Kingdom map to find the locations for the playing portals.
2. At the portal, hold up your key card to the lock to begin to play.
3. When instructed by the screen, hold up a Spell Card to battle each villain.
Move on to the next portal as instructed, and repeat the process.
How To Play – The Long Version
Find the portal on the map. To begin play at each portal, hold up your Key Card to the lock to activate the portal. Your Key Card tracks your actions in the game, so it is important that you do not lose it.
Stand on a Circle Of Power. This is a metal disc that is built into the ground in front of each portal. The portal will come to life. A video will play telling you about the situation you are up against – who your villain is, what they are planning, etc.
Stand on the Circle Of Power when you play at a portal.
In a certain point in the video, you will be instructed to cast your spell. You do so by holding up one of your Spell Cards. When you do that, the portal will recognize the card that you’ve held up. The action on the screen will reflect your card. For example, if you hold up the Spell Card for Aurora’s Rose Petals, you will see bits of flowers flying at the villain.
The screen will instruct you on the results of the battle. Sometimes your spell will knock out the villain, but sometimes you need to try a second time. You will then be given instructions on which portal to visit next.
You can only register to play one time each day, and get your free package of five Spell Cards once per day. Also, you need to follow the portals in order. You cannot skip around.
There is no time limit for how long you can take to play the game. Playing a session at each portal takes about 3 minutes. However, you may have to wait for others in front of you to finish playing before you get your chance.
So is it fun?
First, I have to admit that I am a huge Disney fan. I love the details and the stories that Disney creates. I also understand that everything Disney does is not suited for everyone who visits the Parks. With that in mind, here is my honest opinion.
Pros of the game
The detail in theming is extremely well done. The portals blend into their environments, which in my opinion is a huge attraction of the game. Actually just finding the portals is part of fun. While you get a map that notes the location of each portal, it is not always immediately obvious where each portal sits. This is because it is well themed to its area, and in a way blends in. In fact, for me, finding the portals and appreciating them was (as an adult male) the best part of the game.
The animation is also very nicely done. It is clear that Disney took great care to maintain the integrity of the characters in the game and to present them in a quality story.
Cons of the game
Personally, aside from finding the portals in enjoying the quality of the theming and animation, I didn’t really find the game itself to be very fun. The technology in the interaction was interesting, but to me as a first time casual player, simply holding up a card to see how it interacts on the screen just wasn’t overly exciting.
That said, I think the game would be of great interest to smaller children. Watching the animation on the screen and then seeing what action takes place when they hold up a Spell Card maybe enough to provide a thrill.
Also, I understand there may be deeper levels, meanings, and rules to the game that I don’t yet understand. As a newbie, it seemed like I just held up a random Spell Card, saw some related activity on the screen, and then moved on. But it’s very possible there’s much more to it than just that. And that I don’t yet understand.
So is it worth your time?
If you have never visited the Magic Kingdom before, or if you don’t get to visit often and your time is limited, you may want to focus on taking in signature attractions throughout the park instead of playing this game. Or, you may want to play just a few portals of the game, and then keep the free Spell Cards as a nice souvenir. This will give you a taste for how it works.
The game may be a great fit for:
– People who love the concepts of sorcery, spells, and magic
– People who really enjoy role-playing types of games
– People who enjoy learning the detailed ins and outs of games
– People who are local (or are on very extended vacations) so that they spend lots of time playing and figure out that nuances of the game.
Here is a video that shows the game play throughout Fantasyland.