Over the last few months, I’ve told you guys quite a bit about myself and my love for all things Disney. I’ve talked about being a father to my young kids, who I’d want my daughters to date (check that one out HERE), and I’ve mentioned my love of running in the runDisney races. What I haven’t told you just yet, my fine readers, is that I’m a gamer. Not like a career, entering contests and playing in World of Warcraft tournaments kind of gamer, but I’m a guy who likes to sit down for an hour here and there and play a video game or two. Here comes the really, super nerdy confession: I have a Playstation 4, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360.
Before I had kids (and when it wasn’t football season), it wasn’t out of the question for me to spend an entire Sunday sitting in front of my TV with my gamer headset on (another confession…my poor, poor wife) and playing Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed while ordering food in and getting to bed super late. Now that my priorities have changed and I get so little time to actually play games, I can sometimes get my gaming fix while on vacation with my family at Walt Disney World. Disney has games in numerous locations and if you know where to look, a gamer can have a pretty awesome time while on a trip to the Most Magical Place On Earth! Here is A Gamer’s Guide To Walt Disney World.
Arcades – Located at almost all Walt Disney World Resort hotels (full list of locations HERE), the Disney arcades are a great way to take a break from all the hustle & bustle of the theme parks. I often will stop by early in the morning after making a coffee run to play a few games of Pop A Shot Basketball, my favorite arcade game ever! I think I still hold the record at Port Orleans, Riverside! These arcades are loaded with over 1,500 games that are appropriate for every member of the family. Air hockey, pinball, retro and new video games, claw machines, and even some new, high-tech interactive games are just some of the fun experiences you can have at the Disney arcades. You’ll feel just like you did walking into those massive mall arcades when you were a kid!
Disney Quest – If you have a Walt Disney World vacation planned before the start of 2016, make sure you stop by this video gamers’ paradise before they close it for good in 2016. From classic video games like Pac-Man and Centipede to the newest arcade games of today, Disney Quest is your one stop spot for a complete video game overload. I personally love to design my own roller coaster and then ride it on Cyber Space Mountain! At Disney Quest, there are five floors of interactive video games for you to explore so make sure you get the chance before this spot becomes the new NBA Experience!
Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade – A Frontierland staple since the Magic Kingdom opened on October 1, 1971, the Shootin’ Arcade is just plain classic Disney fun! And while there are no aliens, enemy soldiers or ducks (Duck Hunt, anyone?) to take a shot at, gamers and non-gamers alike will still have fun taking on all of the moving and static targets standing before them. The game is now electronic and uses sensors to let you know when you’ve hit your target. Imagine this, though: before the attraction was updated in 1982, the guns here were actually pellet guns that fired real lead pellets at the metal targets in the arcade! This required Disney to shell out thousands of dollars in paint each year to repaint the targets that were damaged by the lead pellets. I’m sure the money and the thought that lead pellets could “shoot your eye out” made the decision to convert the arcade to an infrared system an easy one!
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in this pitch meeting for Walt Disney Imagineering! I’d like to think it went something like this:
- Imagineer 1: “Okay, here’s the idea: it’s a ride through shooting gallery where you can shoot at all kinds of targets from the Buzz Lightyear Universe.”
- Imagineer 2: “Sounds great! But isn’t that a little boring? What if the guests get tired of just shooting at things?”
- Imagineer 1: “Fine. We’ll install a little joystick so when the guests get a little tired of shooting, they can spin themselves around until they feel sick.”
- Imagineer 2: “Perfect! Construction starts tomorrow!”
This attraction is perfect for gamers of all ages. I have taken my children (all under 5) on it several times and they love it each and every time! While I am firing away with my astro blaster and trying to rack up my highest ever score, one of my kids is usually steering with the joystick, spinning us mercilessly while I pray that my corn dog nuggets from Casey’s Corner stay down!
Toy Story Midway Mania – If you’ve had the chance to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios (still the name at the time I’m writing this!), then you have probably witnessed the outrageously long line for Toy Story Midway Mania. Guests who don’t have a Fastpass for this attraction will normally head straight for it when the park opens every morning and for good reason. This is one of the most inventive and original attractions in all of Walt Disney World, and any gamer (or non gamer) will have an absolute blast (no pun intended) while firing their canons at all types of targets throughout the attraction while the ride vehicle automatically keeps score of how many points you and your adversary (I mean, friend or family member) each earn. Toy Story characters from all three movies are along for the whole ride and, wait, did I mention that this attraction is in 3D?! My best advice is to get there when the park opens, head straight for this attraction so you can ride it right away and then have your Fastpasses pre-arranged so you can have a rematch later in your day!
These are just some of the game playing experiences you can have while on vacation in Walt Disney World. WDW really does have a little bit of something for everyone and it never has been and never will be a location that’s “just for kids.” I have plenty of adult friends who don’t have children and take trips to Walt Disney World each year or every other year. In fact, my wife and I went twice each year before our oldest daughter was born and I MADE SURE that I got my gaming fix in while I was on our trips! If you see me anywhere in the Walt Disney World Resort, I’m sure a game of Pop A Shot Basketball will be within walking distance. Feel free to challenge me, my treat! Just be warned though, I don’t lose often!
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to read this Gamer’s Guide to WDW! If I missed your favorite gaming spot or if you’d like to keep the conversation going, please comment here on this page, send me a Facebook message HERE, a Tweet HERE, or email me at [email protected]. Also, if you did like what you read, please feel free to click the social media buttons at the top and bottom of the blog post to share it with whoever you’d like!
Thank you again, and please enjoy the rest of your stay here at Ear To There Travel.