I’ve been in love with all things Disney since I was very young. My favorite stuffed animal was a Winnie the Pooh and all my favorite movies were from Disney. This love was cemented when I was seven years old and got to go to Walt Disney World for the very first time with my parents and younger sister.
So I’d like to wish a happy birthday to the man who started the empire. Walt Disney would have been 110 years old today if he hadn’t passed away in 1966, which was 11 years before I was even born. I’m sure I’m not the only Disney fan out there who is thinking about Walt today. The Bradford Exchange even has put out a special Mickey Mouse charm bracelet in honor of Walt Disney’s 110th birthday.
Happy Birthday Walt Disney! I think may even play some Kinect Disneyland Adventures or watch Sleeping Beauty in celebration of the day this man, who really changed my world, was born.
I love all things Disney. When given the choice between Las Vegas or Walt Disney World as a honeymoon destination, it took me about a second to decide on Disney. I’m counting the days until we can take my daughter to Walt Disney World for the first time, but that won’t be for a little under three years because we want to take her for her sixth birthday.
So when I heard about Kinect Disneyland Adventuresfor the xBox 360, I knew I had to have this game. While I haven’t been to Disneyland, I’ve read and seen TV specials about it. I hope that I will get to Disneyland someday. It is actually on my bucket list to visit every Disney park in the world.
My daughter, who is only three, is starting to know the Disney characters thanks to TV and movies. So when I fired this game up and got to talk to Mickey Mouse, she was so excited. In the game, one of the fun things you can do is run around the park and meet up with characters. You can give them hugs, take pictures with them, get autographs and more.
The characters will also send you on tasks. Most of the early tasks are to help you get around the game. You can run around the entire park but you can also access the menu to go to the parts of the park that you want. The tasks and riding the rides will give you the opportunity to get coins. You can uses these coins to buy things in the shops around the parks. Much like in real life, you can get clothes, autograph books, pins and more in the shops. You can use these in the game to outfit your avatar, interact more with the characters as well as help you with tasks.
As soon as I finished the beginning tasks, I headed straight to The Haunted Mansion, which is my favorite ride at Disney. The rides in Kinect Disneyland Adventures are mini-games. You are given instructions on what movements you will need to use for each game before you enter it. For The Haunted Mansion, you move through the mansion and you fight ghosts with a flashlight. With the way the mini-game is set up, it is like moving through the actual ride, especially since there is the Ghost Host talking in the background with lines from the ride as well.
Some of the mini-games are more enjoyable than others. My least favorite was It’s A Small World but it was mostly because it was a very active one. You are rowing around the world and stopping to do native dances on the way. I was pretty beat by the time I finished with it.
There are some buggy issues with this game that I’ve found. I haven’t been able to do the arm movement I need to with the characters to get their autograph and it takes a little to get walking when I’m out in the park. There was a part of the Pirates of the Caribbean where I had to row but also had to use my oars to whack alligators. I was doing more whacking than rowing, but it was more funny than anything because it really amused my husband and daughter.
All in all, I love this game. I really makes me feel like I’m in the actual park and the games are really fun to do. It does really make me want to plan a Disney vacation right now, but until my daughter is a little older I can get my Disney Parks fix through Kinect Disneyland Adventures. My daughter tried to play with me, but she didn’t really understand that she had to make special motions to move around. I do think that kids who are a bit older than she is would really enjoy this game. I would recommend it to anyone who loves Disney and wants to experience Disneyland in their own living room.
Note: I received a copy of this game for review purposes.
My daughter and I recently attended an event called Kinect for Kids, where we scarfed down mini-burgers and tried out the latest batch of XBox Kinect games for kids. For the longest time XBox ignored the little kid market, but now they’re poised to take a bite out of Nintendo’s market share. We only played the games for a few minutes at a time, but here is a list of the ones we’re most excited about.
Kinectimals: Now with Bears wins the warm and fuzzy award. The bears are absolutely adorable, responding happily when you train them, catch fish for them, and play games with them. In a brilliant stroke of cross-promotion, you can make special Kinectimal bears at Build-a-Bear Workshop and have them appear in the game. (Microsoft, $49.99, available now)
Now, I’m not a Disney fan in the way that some of my fellow GeekMoms are, so I’m surprised at just how much I enjoy Disneyland Adventures. You can explore the beloved theme park, meeting and interacting with your favorite characters. You can also visit the attractions which provide fun, contextual minigames like flying with Peter Pan. From what we’ve played, the game is fun enough to transcend the fact that it’s a gigantic ad for Disneyland. (Microsoft, $49.99, releases 11/15/01)
My daughter was so transfixed by Disneyland Adventures that I had to watch kids play Kinect Star Warsfrom afar, waving thier arms wildly while engaged in epic lightsaber battles on screen. The action and the art look great enough to please the Star Wars fan in your family. (LucasArts, price and availability pending)
Puss in Boots looks similarly entertaining, with luscious art that looks like it was plucked straight from the movies. Oh, and swordfighting. Lots and lots of swordfighting, using special attacks like “Claw Frenzy”. (THQ, releases 11/1/11)
Finally, it’s exciting to see Sesame Street enter the Kinect space which is far and away the loveliest-looking Sesame game of all time, Once Upon A Monster. Cookie Monster and Elmo explore a storybook filled with monsters, helping the monsters in each chapter. I love that this isn’t a letters and number learn-y Sesame title, rather an exploration through a fantasy adventure. What’s surprising to me is that my 6-year-old daughter, who has long since outgrown Sesame Street, wanted to return to this game again and again. (Warner Bros., $49.99, available now)
I’ll be keeping my eye out, too, for other partnerships between Sesame Workshop and Microsoft on two different projects: Kinect Sesame Street TV, where kids can interact with classic clips from the Sesame Archive (in a bit of sample gameplay, we threw coconuts to Grover who counted them) and code-named “Project Columbia” which is described as “a one-of-a-kind way to bring storybooks to life, allowing controller-free interaction with picturesque worlds right in the living room.”
Check back for more in-depth reviews on some of these titles. We’re eager to take a deeper dive into the gameplay!