Walt Disney World announces latest NextGen in-park adventure

January 23, 2013, 8:16 AM · Walt Disney World today announced its latest in-park interactive "game": A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas.

A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas
Concept art courtesy Disney

If this sounds a bit familiar, that would be because we first told you about the game last May. (We had the name as "Pirates Adventure: Jewels of the Seven Seas.")

From Disney's press release:

In A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas, guests will use a pirate map and magic talisman to help them complete five different pirate raids throughout Adventureland. The goal is to help locate different Treasures of the Seven Seas and fight off pirate enemies like the Royal Navy and Captain Barbossa, among others. If guests help Captain Jack succeed in all the missions, they’ll be welcomed as part of his new crew. If not, they’ll face the wrath of the cruel sea – alone.

And here's how we described the game last year, from the plans we saw:

Using RFID-enabled tap points, participating Disney World guests will be able to shoot the cannons on top of the Pirates of the Caribbean fortress queue, interact with animatronic idols, parrots and snakes, and search for and open a treasure chest which has been left somewhere in Adventureland.

The adventure will take place in newly decorated scenes throughout the land, including sites inside merchandise shops, along walkways and near attraction queues. A fountain in Caribbean Plaza that was long ago converted to a planter would be restored - and stocked with animatronic piranhas, poised to attack upon your request.

The scale is intimate, much like the new Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game, so that guests who aren't playing - and who haven't memorized every decoration detail in the park - probably won't notice any of the interactive elements. Unless someone's there activating them, of course.

It's Disney's latest step to utilize those "magic wristbands" to transform the Walt Disney World Resort into an Easter Egg-filled video game-like interactive adventure that spills over from attractions themselves into their queues and the rest of the parks themselves.

Replies (23)

January 23, 2013 at 8:47 AM · This is an extraordinary harbinger! The park as the platform. A fully immersive approach where the walk between attractions is itself an attraction.

Start with Adventureland, next comes Frontierland, followed by Tomorrowland ... VERY EXCITING!

January 23, 2013 at 9:40 AM · This still isn't enough to steer me away from Universal.
January 23, 2013 at 9:46 AM · This reminds me of Magiquest at Broadway at the Beach; you use your magic wand outside the attraction with a map that shows you the location of the interctive objects around Broadway at the Beach. For this reason I wouldn't call it NextGen. That technology has been around for many years. By the way, Universal should open an interactive attraction using this technology for the new Potter land.
January 23, 2013 at 10:14 AM · Maybe I'm too old school, but I really don't care much for all the interactive games. It feels like a substitute for actually doing new attractions are fixing issues with current ones. This trend is getting pretty tired already and doesn't seem to be going away.
January 23, 2013 at 10:45 AM · If you didn't know what was happening, you would think it is a normal show. It seems lame to me. The ride may also seem unusually lively if the people participating abuses the system.

I'm wondering if this portends to better upkeep of the rides. It will be very obvious if they don't fix the interactive items when there is a breakdown.

January 23, 2013 at 11:19 AM · This is great it sure beats being herded like lemmings from one mind numbing forgetable ride to another at USF/IOA
January 23, 2013 at 12:23 PM · Anonymous poster above me, it's sad that's the only way you can enjoy Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure. It's not Universal's fault that you herd yourself around to the attractions and don't take time to enjoy the parks.
January 23, 2013 at 2:38 PM · Great concept. Not NextGen in terms of technology, but certainly NextGen in execution.

I partly agree with the anonymous poster. Innovating rides isn't enough to keep a theme park fresh. Transformers: The Ride and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey won the 2012 and 2010, respectively, Best New Attractions on this site, but I have little desire to ride either since they're just rehashes of Spiderman. The technology was cool 5 years ago, but now its commonplace.

Herding for traditional attractions has been the norm for a century. Interactivity is a step in the right direction for innovating the park.

January 23, 2013 at 3:15 PM · Since when does Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey count as a re-hash of The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man? Last I checked, the rides were two completely different things...
January 23, 2013 at 4:20 PM · "technology was cool 5 years ago, but now its commonplace."

It is common only at Universal. Disney has no equivalent and nowhere else either.

January 23, 2013 at 5:41 PM · Anon Mouse writes: "I'm wondering if this portends to better upkeep of the rides. It will be very obvious if they don't fix the interactive items when there is a breakdown."

I Respond: Excellent point!

January 23, 2013 at 7:33 PM · "but I have little desire to ride either since they're just rehashes of Spiderman"

Can't wait to get on Magic Kingdom's first new ride in 20 years: a kiddie mine train. Disney fans are really running out of ways to hide their jealousy.

BTW This excites me way more than New Fantasyland. I keep hearing the biggest GP complaint is that for an incredibly popular franchise like Pirates (billions of dollars) the biggest representation is the POTC ride. Even with the impressive additions the rides still doesn't have much story or excitement.

January 24, 2013 at 1:13 AM · To those above mocking me:

I'm not a Disney fanboy and I'm not envious of Universal. I'd visit the Universal parks before just about any Disney park. The Universal attractions are generally more impressive. I'm not defending Disney's cheap excuse for a Fantasyland layover, either. I am, however, applauding them for trying something new for theme parks, something beyond the standard queued attractions.

You can argue that Harry Potter and Spiderman are completely different attractions, but I don't see it that way: both are, albeit impressively executed, track-guided simulators with 3D film technology. Meanwhile, Disney is implementing an inexpensive, innovative feature, which earns them business and technology points.

January 24, 2013 at 1:23 PM · I'm getting a bit sick of this fanboy crap. If I want to hear children whine about why their franchise is better I'll go to imdb and check the latest Potter/Twilight rants. Most people on Theme Park Insider are fantastic people with a love of great theme parks. This is why I come to this site, not to read some people's tirades about why their park is the best.

Both Disney and Universal do great work, and when I visit my brother in the USA (from Australia) my wife and I visit both in California, and on one occasion Orlando. With a 2 year old and a 9 week old, however, I think in the near future Disneyland will have more to offer. Good family fun is where it is at for me now folks. This kind of technology has a he potential to be incredible fun and I look forward to having more enjoyment between attractions with my children.

January 24, 2013 at 10:05 AM · Further to the post comparing USF/IOA as whole to Fantasy Land ... how is this a like for like ?????? A like for like is comparing Suess Landings or Curious George to Fantasy Land. Im sorry that Disney doesnt cater for you, thats why you have have IOA same way I have young children so I go to the Not so Scary event rather then USF.... USF and IOA caters for Teens and up Disney caters for a wider audiance that covers todlers through to grandparents. Im sorry but I dont want disney to be USF/IOA and it just grates me this constant FAN boy love hate going on, if Disney doesnt float your boat thats fine its your choice its your money and you do get a bigger bang for YOUR PERSONAL CHOICE Buck at your CHOSEN park.As my children grow up I can see a time where we would also naturally be swayed towards a USF/IOA park and then when my Kids have kids I can see us going back to Disney. But please stop raming it down my throat that somehow Disney fans are jealous .... as far as im concerend competition is good as it overall improves EVERYONES expereince. THe technolgy used in the different parks filters down into all kind of different rides. We live in a demoracy where freedom of choice is the stable to our society and from themparks to cars to the food we buy has variety to cater to our own persoanl ethics, desires and requirements, the same goes for theme parks, you have Disney, USF, Seaworld. lego land the list goes on... all catering for different demographics and pallets. Each park is king for their chosen audience. Disney have broader appeal and it reflects in the attractions it delivers. One glove does not fit all, embrace what each company has to offer but compare apples for apples not apples to redbull.....
January 24, 2013 at 11:45 AM · Grant Crawford = SPOT ON!
January 24, 2013 at 12:06 PM · Wow! Another in park interacitve game? This is almost as exciting as the second Dumbo spinner!
January 24, 2013 at 1:42 PM · To all those who think this is a waste of money instead of a new ride, keep in mind that these games are mostly developed so that guests are spread out and not piling into queues, so as to keep wait times down. I see no reason why this is unwelcome.
January 24, 2013 at 1:56 PM · It's inn expensive, utilizes spaces that otherwise go unused, distributes crowds and gives people something extra to
Do, especially locals. It's not a new attraction, and really isn't stealing funds from a new attraction, but it's a fun little addition. Better than all
Those tacky midway games universal charges for.
January 24, 2013 at 6:37 PM · I have no response for this.....
January 24, 2013 at 9:36 PM · I agree with Mr Heaton, sounds like a sad investment when most of the Disney world Parks are lacking in both maintenance and attractions. Disneyland although a fraction of the size still has more attractions than any Disney world park...just saying, should be the other way around. Best way to decrease lines and spread guests around is to increase park capacity with new rides/attractions . Sounds like they're turning the park into a playground for kids. Disneyland was meant for kids and adults, don't forget that. Its monumental success is owed to that philosophy.
January 24, 2013 at 10:02 PM · Concerning My Magic +(Next Gen)....Congressman Edward Marley, Co-Chairman of the Congessional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, today sent a letter to Disney CEO Bob Iger requesting that Iger answer 19 questions about Magic +. Most of the questions were concerning data privacy concerns, childrens privacy issues, and quality of experiences for those not opting in to My Magic +. Markey is one of the authors of the child privacy law, COPPA. Next week Iger & Staggs will be at TDO. This issue is becoming very BIG. It will be interesting what legal & PR challenges Disney will face over My Magic + (Next Gen). Also, what shareholders will say if the huge amount spent on My Magic+ (Next Gen) (estimates 1.5 to 2.5 billion) part in lieu of new attractions and infra structure upkeep, ends up in limbo due to legal difficulties. Stay tuned. This could get real ugly.
January 25, 2013 at 4:17 PM · Or not.

Wondering what qualified, informed source has estimated Disney NextGen's cost to reach $2.5 billion.

And just so everyone is clear it's not "Congressman Edward Marley." It's "Congressman Edward Markey." But then accuracy is not always a priority for some of our regular TPI posters. Even those who complain about the (alleged) need for context.


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