Having heard about the beta testing that Disney started earlier this year in February, I have been looking forward to the chance to check it out. And have to say, it was a lot of fun.
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is an interactive CCG that takes you around the lands of the Magic Kingdom – with the exception of Tomorrowland – as Merlin’s apprentice, battling an array of Disney villains working for Hades. In each of the lands you’re accompanied by various Disney characters that work with you to thwart Hades’ plans to conquer the kingdom for his own.
Cards are available in the Firehouse off to the left of the main entrance and the main square in Mainstreet USA.
In fact you can return once a day to get another pack of five cards. Presently there’s 70 cards available to the public, though a nice off-duty park attendant told us that there’s plans to expand past that, and that there’ll also be booster packs available for sale at some point in the future – which I suspect means there’ll also be rules for player to player game play.
A second recruitment centre can be found behind the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in the Frontierland/Liberty Square area.
When you first start out you’ll be given a specialized map marking specific locations throughout the park, and your Sorcerer Key for activating the game screens and tracking your progress and use of Spell Cards – which we learned will level up after repeated use.
To activate a Magic Portal you tap/scan your Key card at the Portal’s corresponding keyhole. With the majority of the portals located in side streets, or the recesses of the stores, game play manages to balance being as unobtrusive to the average guest, as to the experience of the player. I also found it was great for slowing down your pace, allowing you to appreciate the detail that Disney has gone to enhancing the overall experience of the park as you scourer the vicinity for the golden Keylocks and telltale portal frames.
After the animation is complete, you will then be directed to either use the Magic Seal, or cast a spell of your choosing. Each of the cards holds differing strengths and effects to fight the villains with.
Tip: You can actually play up to nine cards at a time, with cards from the same Disney title working in tandem, and is a great two-player game if you and a friend want to team up to save the Magic Kingdom. Just remember to keep track of who’s Key you’re playing off of.
The rarity of a card is denoted by a sign in the bottom left corner above the set number: Waxing Crescent = Common; Waning Crescent = Uncommon; Star = Rare; x2 Star = Very Rare; and Lightning Bolt = Extremely Rare.
Some lands have more than one villain story line, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself directed to one of the other lands if the area you’re in seems especially busy. Disney has become so good at crowd management, that the portals are set up on a computer algorithm which points guests to whichever of the nearby screens might have the least traffic at the moment of completing your task.
Interestingly when lines did form, you were more likely to find the person behind you well past their fifties, instead of the young player you might have imagined would be playing the game in the first place.
For those wanting to keep abreast of all the latest unofficial updates on the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom follow @DisneySorcerers on Twitter.