What’s Fair? 2/4/13

With the SotMK community continuing to grow both online and in the park, there are many people who missed out on the limited edition spell cards released at MNSSHP & MVMCP.  Which leads me to ask, what are these cards worth?  Better yet, what is a fair trade?  My initial opinion was that the special event cards would hold a high value and be a nice collectible in the future.  However I just don’t think that’s going to be the case.  The general consensus seems to be that people are just looking to get back the value of their party ticket.  It appears even that has become fairly difficult.

When it comes to the sale of the special event cards on the resale market you’ll see all kinds of numbers.  Early on the average asking price was roughly the cost of admission to whichever party was attended.  To my surprise that number has dropped dramatically.  After doing a few sold item searches on eBay you’re looking at a fairly broad price range of $20-$50 for either the MNSSHP or MVMCP card.  There are two reasons as to why I think they haven’t held any value.  The first being is that the market is saturated with them.  People spend a lot of money on vacation and are likely looking to get some back and selling their extras is the first move.  Not to mention the words Limited Edition typically mean $$$ to most people and see that as an attempt to profit.

Second being that In 2012 there were only 23 dates in which you could obtain Chip N’ Dale’s Bag of Tricks and 20 dates for Wayne & Lanny’s Ornament Barrage.  Although the total quantity of each card given out is unknown I was told by several sources that there was an allotment of 2500 per party.  Now in reality that doesn’t seem like much given the amount of attendees each night.  However I hadn’t heard of them running out once.  Which brings me to this point, we truly have no idea how many of these cards were distributed.  Had they completely ran out of cards on every party night there would have been 57,500 MNSSHP & 50,000 MVMCP cards distributed.  Considering that was probably not the case, let’s just say there are 20,000 of each card in circulation.  That definitely doesn’t bode well for anyone looking to profit let alone break even.

So considering the fact you’re not going to retire off the sale of these cards even though there are plenty of people who want them.  What’s a fair trade?   You have to figure everyone has different opinions and it will vary from time to time based on an individual need and a persons proximity or ability to visit WDW on a regular basis.  With that in mind  I strongly believe those circumstances should be taken into consideration.  For example, Mr. A has a MNSSHP card and won’t be taking another trip to WDW for 3 years.  Mr. B is an AP  who visits multiple times of year but missed out on MNSSHP.  However he has the ability to obtain lightning bolt cards regularly.  Is it too much for Mr. A to say they want 4 lightning bolt cards for their special event card?  Personally I don’t think it is, 4 Booster Packs at $13.95 with a 10% AP Discount is just over $50.  Not too far off the price of that Mr. A paid for his party ticket.  Now I do realize that is a bit higher than you can likely snag one for on eBay.   However the point I am trying to make is that it’s not that unrealistic given that it always comes around to people just trying to break even.  Whichever route you decide to take in getting one of the exclusive event spell cards just remember it isn’t as difficult as you might think.

For real-time SotMK updates be sure to follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook Fan Page.  Also check out SotMK Helpers a Facebook group dedicated to helping Sorcerers everywhere!

Think About It 1/16/13

As it is not usually in Disney’s character to leave money on the table.  My initial thought was that Disney missed the boat by not integrating a 2nd spell card series when booster packs were launched this past August.  However the more I thought about it they obviously made the right decision.  After the grand opening in February SotMK had already garnered a decent following, albeit mostly Disneyana collectors looking for the next big thing to horde or profit.  The focus had quickly shifted from the game itself to the spell cards.

After the temporary retirement of cards 61-70 from the free daily spell packs and no news of if and when they were to return.  It was only a matter of time until eBay was the only place to get them.  With a steady average of selling at $100+ per lightning bolt I could only assume that Disney had to realize they were onto something and knew they could profit.  So there was the announcement, cards 61-70 would be available for purchase via a 7 card booster pack in which only one lightning bolt would be included.  The other 6 would include a variation of cards available in the free packs given out at the Firehouse or Liberty Square.  In addition to the cards, a home game was also introduced.

Although most fans were initially very excited many were left disappointed at the lack luster and extremely confusing home game portion.  Although the game boards & card checklist were a nice touch.  The home game itself is terrible.  But we’ll save that for another day.  As I said earlier I did feel that the booster pack launch would have been a tremendous avenue for them to introduce a new series of cards.  I realized it’s just too soon for that, the game isn’t even a year old.  It hasn’t reached a large enough audience.  Think about it, the booster packs aren’t for the “Veteran Sorcerer” or AP that goes multiple times a week.  Don’t get me wrong most of us needed them to complete our sets and yes the main draw is the lightning bolt card.  However the booster pack is really targeting the family who is just returning a year after its launch, heard about it online, or only visits WDW once maybe twice a year.  They need to time to catch up.  Disney knows that those guests can’t rely on the free packs to compete one set.  As I am sure most kids want their own set of cards they need those booster packs.  I’m sure the numbers don’t lie, the SotMK Booster Packs have got to be some of the most sought after theme park merchandise.

Do I think we’ll see a 2nd spell card series?  Absolutely.  Give it time.

For real-time SotMK updates be sure to follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook Fan Page.  Also check out SotMK Helpers a Facebook group dedicated to helping Sorcerers everywhere!

That’s Enough 9/20/12

I’ll be the first to admit that I have been critical of the way certain things have been handled with SotMK.  However what I witnessed in the Emporium today was absolutely disgusting.  First of all I get it, the booster packs are highly sought after and people are growing impatient with the limited quantities.  As consumers we have high expectations, and as Disney fans those expectations are even higher.  However this does not give you the right to verbally abuse a Cast Member when you are politely told that they are all sold out.  No one cares what kind of passholder you are, how long you’ve been coming here, or how much money you and your family spend.  Your behavior today embodied every negative stereotype that is bestowed upon local annual passholders.  Grow up!

As for everyone else, I know it’s disappointing the price went up and that they’ve sold out yet again.  But it’s not the end of the world, the cards aren’t gone forever.  They will probably to continue to pop up whenever, that’s just the way it’s going to be.  You can’t expect them to announce every time they’re going to restock an item.  Do they announce when there are restocks of Mickey Ear Hats, T-Shirts, Plushes, etc.  When they get them, they get them.  Keep Calm and Sorcerer On.

For real-time SotMK updates be sure to follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook Fan Page.  Also check out SotMK Helpers a Facebook group dedicated to helping Sorcerers everywhere!

Oh Well… 9/19/12

Today marked another rare SotMK Booster Park sighting at the Emporium.  Even though the highly sought after merchandise was once again available, today’s batch was met with some disappointment.  But how can that be?!?  Shouldn’t we be over joyed and feel honored that we get to spend our hard-earned money?  It appears that in addition to this being the Emporium’s largest shipment received, the boosters were given a price increase of $2.  Bringing the new total to $13.95 w/o tax.  The 5 pack per person limit was again enforced and the boosters were only available behind the counter.  Your $13.95 still includes 7 seven spell cards one of which is a super-rare (61-70), home game rules, game board, card checklist & game tokens.

Like most of you, I am not pleased with the price increase.  However I do understand the concept of supply and demand, despite how unfortunate this may be.  To be perfectly honest I felt $11.95 was a tad much considering what poor quality the game tokens are.  Since they are such an integral piece to the SotMK home game I would of expected them to be of much better quality.  I’ve heard from most people that have attempted playing the relatively confusing home game have taped the tokens to coins as to make them easier to flip.  Enough about that, where do we stand now?  Can we expect a steady stock of boosters in the parks?  I don’t know, they sell out and they restock them as fast as they can.  As tough as it is try and be patient, they’ll eventually be available online and when that day comes everyone will have a crack at them.  Until then, it’s a mad dash to the Magic Kingdom.

For real-time SotMK updates be sure to follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook Fan Page.  Also check out SotMK Helpers a Facebook group dedicated to helping Sorcerers everywhere!

Check Out These Tricks! 9/17/12

Hello Everyone!  Like most of you I was so excited to put Chip ‘N’ Dale’s Bag Of Tricks to use over the weekend.  I was even more surprised to find out I was still playing on the medium level!  Here are a few videos showing all of the animations the spell card displays, enjoy!

For real-time SotMK updates be sure to follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook Fan Page.  Also check out SotMK Helpers a Facebook group dedicated to helping Sorcerers everywhere!

The Aftermath 8/20/12

Two of the coveted lightning bolts I received on Friday!

Roughly 1 hour & 20 minutes was all it took last Friday for the SotMK booster packs to sell out.  As one of the lucky people to get my hands on the coveted merchandise I have to say the entire cast at the Emporium did a wonderful job in keeping the operation orderly and efficient.  Just seconds after rope drop a horde of people stormed the Emporium, causing the line to stretch out of the door closest to the Firehouse.  In an effort to avoid crowding within the Emporium, stanchions were setup just outside the door and guests were let in a few at time.  Upon entering they were moved into a shorter line in front of the set of registers devoted to the sale of booster packs only.  Disney made a very wise decision in keeping the merchandise at one register and behind the counter.  As well as enforcing a purchase limit of 5 per guest.  This resulted in a very smooth and pleasant experience for those who were able to purchase them.

There was plenty of joy and excitement in the air that day.  Especially on the face of Imagineer Jonathan Ackley who was present during the release.  He was very excited to see the amount of people who had shown up to purchase the cards.  In addition to the long awaited booster release, guests were surprised to hear that the medium level had been activated for testing.  The level will continue to be tested this week with the last day being Friday the 24th.  Immediately after making their purchase most guests were tearing into the booster packs to see what lightning bolts they had acquired.  Personally I had waited a while and observed as people made the mad dash to trade their duplicates in an effort to finally complete their set.  When I had finally opened mine, I tweeted out what I had for trade and immediately received responses from people as to what they had to offer.  I made my way to Tortuga and was immediately overwhelmed by the amount of traders.  This had turned out to be just as crazy as I expected.

With all this excitement there is bound to be disappointment.  There were many who left empty-handed and angry.  I personally witnessed a grown man have a full on temper tantrum when he was told they had ran out.  Which to me was absolutely hilarious.  There’s nothing I love more than seeing someone have a meltdown while they’re on Disney property.  Let alone an adult man who lost it over a game that was designed for kids.  One thing that didn’t surprise me is there was not a single person at least in my opinion, that balked at the price of $11.95 per pack. Let alone thought twice about purchasing the max amount.  It’s clear to me that these fans are ready and able to spend.  After last Friday Disney has to be fully aware that they have created a merchandise monster.  With the upcoming release of pins this fall, the possibilities for more SotMK merch are endless.

As far when more booster packs are to become available I’ve heard rumors as early as Wednesday and as late as Friday, however nothing is confirmed.  I will keep my eyes and ears open to do my best in keeping everyone informed via the blog and twitter.  On a personal note I’d like to thank Steven Miller for doing a great job in keeping in contact with the community and answering our questions to the best of his abilities.

Finally I’d like to give a shout out to the SotMK Helpers Group over on Facebook.  This group is filled with some amazing people who are truly making a difference in the SotMK fan community.  I highly suggest you check them out!

Don’t forget If haven’t already be sure to follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook Fan Page. Thanks for reading!

Booster Watch! 8/14/12

I’m heading out to Magic Kingdom to see if the rumors are true, Booster Pack watch starts now!  Although I am not expecting anything I’ll still be on the lookout!  Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook Fan Page!  As I’ll be posting any updates there!

Meh. 8/13/12

“Have A Magical Day!”

We’re roughly six months into SotMK and the amount of misinformation that is still passed on to guests is alarming.  I’ve always stuck up for the cast members working this attraction and will continue to do so.  However the lack of communication among those on stage and off stage is simply unacceptable.  I’m not sure if coordinators, management, or any other higher ups know exactly what your cast members are telling guests in regards to SotMK.  The better question is, do you even care?

I have the responsibility of gathering as much information and asking as many questions as I can for the purposes of writing this blog.  The SotMK community is a large one and I have taken it upon myself to do my best to bring them any and all information.  With that said when I’m at the Magic Kingdom I try to talk to as many cast members as I can.  For the most part all of them have friendly and warm personalities which is a plus.  However most of them have no clue what is going on with this attraction.  Which is a major problem.  Here’s some of the things I’ve been told by cast members about SotMK in the past few weeks.

  • “You can still get cards 61-70 in the packs we hand out, it’s like 1 in 1000.”
  • “The medium/hard levels are never coming back, the Imagineers told us so.”
  • “I only need your park ticket to give you spell cards.”
  • “I only need your key card to give you spell cards.”
  • “I need both your key card and park ticket to give you spell cards.”
  • “Yeah the system crash was due to a server overload.”
  • “I don’t know why the system crashed.”
  • “Oh, we’re going to start selling the cards?”

At the risk of sounding even more redundant I’ll stop there.  I understand there is a decent amount of cast member turn over at this location.  Which is likely due to the Disney College Program, and the fact this cast is considered Main Street Ops and is not solely devoted to SotMK.  However it’s no excuse to have a bunch of people working in an area in which they aren’t given any information about.  Thus when approached with a question they don’t have an answer for, at the risk of upsetting the guest they’ll make up something off the top of their head.  I’d have to equate that to having a Jungle Cruise Skipper that doesn’t know the spiel.  It’s bad show.  Get with it, everyone needs to be on the same page and there needs to be some consistency.  To be completely honest I think we’d all rather be given the stock “I don’t know.”  Instead of being fed nonsense.  Take some pride in this attraction, the guests deserve better.

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Just Throw Up Some Planters 7/24/12

It has been five months since Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom made its official debut.  As far as I am concerned it’s already become stale.  I understand it’s still a new attraction having only been live since February 22nd of this year.  However I feel it has been completely ignored since then and there has been a lack of initiative to make improvements.  SOTMK debuted to a rabid fan base of Disneyana collectors, locals, & day guests.  It was only a matter of days until eBay listings, Facebook groups, websites & blogs flooded the masses.  However it appears most fans have lost interest and there is not much to look forward to.  Personally, I have done nothing but champion this attraction since its inception.  I’ve constantly defended my position on it to all the naysayers, and frankly I’m quite disappointed with its current status.

As I posted on 3/27/12 with SOTMK only being open a little over 1 month the medium/hard levels had been locked for all players.  The only answer given to me or anyone else I’ve talked to is that they are down due to “maintenance”.  I tried to get an answer today and got the same response.  Honestly, how severe is this problem?  I mean you might as well just throw a planter in front of it.

See below.

This is what happens when something is closed at WDW.   You throw up a planter or 10…

I’ve made it no secret that I believe some of the crazy locals were to blame for the banishment of the medium/hard levels in addition I realize that the long waits at the portals were also a factor.  However this is the Magic Kingdom not your run of the mill Six Flags.  This is the king of all theme parks, you are going to wait in lines, for everything.  No one is making you or telling you to play SOTMK all day long.  Frankly if the harder levels were too much for you to handle you should stick with the easy one.  Why should the advanced players be punished.  With the inability to level up in difficulty this game now has ZERO repeatability.  Playing it over and over again on easy for the sake of leveling up your cards for no reason is absolutely pointless.

Like all things Disney you’d expect an onslaught of merchandise.  Well we’re all still waiting.  I’ve never met a more eager and impatient group of consumers than the fans of SOTMK.  This is a fan base that is ready to purchase anything you’re willing to throw at them, and what do they get?  A non logo-ed pin binder converted to a card album for $46.95!  Wow way to go team.  Where are the T Shirts, Pins, Posters, Vinylmations, Spell Books, Card Protectors, the list goes on and on.  TCG’s like Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic The Gathering, have incredible amounts of merchandise.  With Disney having a larger reach and appeal, missing the boat on the merch has done nothing but leave money on the table.  I’m not a merchandising expert by any means but most of the people playing SOTMK have already purchased and created their own accessories.  Why should they shell out big money for something official now?  Especially since the majority of the fan base doesn’t appear to be enjoying the game anymore.

Finally you have the greatest mystery of them all, where did cards 61-70 go and why?  Removing those cards from circulation did nothing but spawn a resale market.  It didn’t make them fun to try to collect, it made them expensive and ridiculous.  If they were pulled to be later to released for purchase along with another library of spell cards than fine that’s great.  However no one seems to know when or if they’ll return.

As instructed I’ve been watching the Disney Parks Blog, and there have been zero updates or information regarding SOTMK since 6/6/12.  Call me impatient, but it seems to me and many other fans that it’s simply being ignored.  Then again, I’m an AP and a local.  I have the means to come and go to the parks as I please.  However for the tour group, once a year, or even once in a lifetime visitor this is all new to them.  I understand they’re not in the business of catering to the locals, but most of us are the bloggers, podcasters, & critics.  Keep it fresh, get us excited, we love Disney, that’s why we do what we do.

I just think it’s pretty sad that an attraction some 4 years in the making has become so complacent.  I still believe SOTMK has such potential it’s a shame for it to be ignored.

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So There’s This Guy… 7/12/12

I want to preface this by saying this is my personal blog and I am entitled to share my opinions whether they are positive or negative whenever I feel necessary. Whether you agree or disagree with my thoughts I completely welcome you to leave a comment, send an email, etc.

I’ve been asked on numerous occasions about the people I’ve encountered during my experiences with SOTMK. Usually I have nothing but good things to say, however there is one person in general that sticks out. I am talking about “the guy with the wand” I suppose it’s a general description but you’ll see what I am getting at. This a grown adult man, that totes around what appears to be a Potter-esque wand with a velcro mounting square affixed to the tip. In addition to this he has each of his spell cards in hard plastic protectors with velcro squares on the backs. Thus when it is time to cast his spell, he simply connects the two components and “higitus figitus” Ursula is down for the count. I am not the only who thinks this is totally crazy, in fact it’s frightening. If you’re into it, that’s totally cool. I think this game is great, but you’re taking it to the extreme, and its scaring people. When people see things like that they’ll continue to think we’re all nuts. Binders, Card Albums, Deck boxes that’s cool. However a full on cloak and custom-made wand, not OK when you’re pushing 30. I understand people come to the parks to escape, but this is a bit much. Have a dole whip and join the rest of us in the real world.

Don’t forget If haven’t already be sure to follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook Fan Page. Thanks for reading!