A pack of Disney villains wants to take over the Magic Kingdom, and it’s up to you, as Merlin’s apprentice sorcerer, to stop them by unlocking clues to their whereabouts.
Disney spent more than four years perfecting this brand-new role-playing interactive scavenger hunt, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. And it’s just one of the company’s inventions this year: cool new experiences are rolling out on every front. Huge expansions at Disney World and Disneyland as well as new guided trips make Disney vacations more appealing than ever.
New Disney rides and adventures will naturally charm kids, but some will resonate more deeply with grown-ups, who can better appreciate the sheer genius that goes into melding the latest technology with nostalgia and Walt’s original vision.
A fan of cruising, Walt would surely approve of Disney Cruise Line’s Fantasy, which sets sail on its maiden voyage at the end of March 2012. “She was built in Germany at the finest shipyard in the world, Meyer Werft,” says Anita Dunham-Potter of ExpertCruiser.com. “No expense was spared, no corners cut; it’s first class all the way.” Luckily, Art Nouveau–inspired décor and an elegant French restaurant coexist with features like the super-cool AquaDuck waterslide, making Disney vacations on this ship fun for all generations.
Walt would also love the big changes happening in Anaheim, where Disney California Adventure is finally poised to lose its always-the-bridesmaid rap. Visitors have long compared DCA unfavorably to its sister park, Disneyland. But now Disney is about to complete a major overhaul that pays homage to the era when Walt’s career as an animator was taking off during the golden days of Hollywood. “The old Disney California Adventure will be all but unrecognizable when they’re done,” says Jill Safro, editor of Birnbaum’s Official Guides to Disney. “The changes are very, very special.”
More Walt, it turns out, is always a good thing. Could it be that our love of Disney is as much about his idealism and optimistic take on life as it is about character breakfasts? By pulling our heartstrings and reminding us of happy childhood memories, the company is managing to persuade folks of all ages that we’re never too old for Disney vacations. As Walt said, “Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.”