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.

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New Page 7/5/12

Hey everyone be sure to check out the new page for some links to a few podcasts, FB groups and pages!  They’ve been very helpful to me and they offer some great content that I’m sure you’d enjoy!  Also there is a vinylmation/pin trading event at the Contemporary tomorrow evening which myself and a bunch of other Sorcerers will be attending.  If you’re in town and would like to join us, here is a link for all the info!

Master Sorcerer Pin to be sold in late 2012

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Readers Choice 6/28/12

With rumors of expanding the spell card library, the possibilities are endless.  I can’t help but wonder which route they’ll go.  Personally I’d love to see more classic Disney characters and I’d totally geek out over a Roger Rabbit card or anyone from the catalog of Disney Afternoon characters.  Even cards incorporating attractions would be a neat idea.  I’d be OK with pretty much anything as long there isn’t a Duffy spell card.  That’s where I’m drawing the line.

What about you, what would you like to see? Take the poll and leave a comment.  Who would be your pick to save the Kingdom?!?

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The Next TCG? 6/18/12

The Blue Fairy equal to Buzz Lightyear?

Like most people I really had no clue what the numbers on the spell cards mean.  At first I thought it had something to do with the strategy behind the game.  Since we’ve come to find out that isn’t the case.  My best guess is that the game was designed as a possible home game in the future.  With rumors of extending the spell card library and the possible sale of booster packs on the horizon this makes sense.  With the popularity of games like Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, & Magic The Gathering it’s only natural for Disney to follow suit with SOTMK.  Just imagine a SOTMK Tournament filling one of the convention halls at the Contemporary.  Families booking specific trips to WDW just to participate in these tournaments.  That would be hilarious to me.  I get a kick out of some the sorcerers as it is, between the guy with the custom-made sorcerers crest ring or the guy who walks around with a wand I don’t know who is crazier.  However the one thing I find really funny is that Buzz Lightyear & The Blue Fairy have equal values.  Attack, Boost & Shield it’s all 2’s across the board.  You mean to tell me that a Space Ranger is the same as a Fairy, no way!  Regardless of that possible error SOTMK seems like the perfect candidate to join the growing list trading card games.

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Replacing A Classic 6/11/12

This replaced the poster for Snow White’s Scary Adventures

Over the weekend a SOTMK poster replaced the once previously displayed Snow White’s Scary Adventures.  As much as I defend SOTMK, I do not believe that this was an acceptable replacement of such a classic attraction.  With such a wide variety of attractions to choose from why go this route?  Even though I believe SOTMK is a great product I do not feel that it deserves a poster in the train station.  For example why not choose something in Storybook Circus?  You have a fantastic and growing area in Storybook Circus that will be showcasing such an immersive interactive queue in Dumbo.  That should garner some attention!  Despite the area being new, the attraction on its own has the nostalgic appeal that makes it deserving of having a poster in the train station.  I know it’s just a poster and as cool looking as it is I just don’t believe it should be showcased among Splash Mountain,  Big Thunder, Space Mountain & Tea Cups.  Yes, even the Tea Cups, sorry guys.

Special thanks to Kendra for the pic, follow her @hintofspy on Twitter.  She’s awesome!

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