“If wishing upon a star makes your dreams come true, what happens when that star goes missing?” Disney Uncharted Adventure, a new interactive experience coming to Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Disney Wish, tackles this question, sending guests on a multi-dimensional, multi-day adventure that begins even before they leave home.
Inspired by the ancient seafaring tradition of wayfinding by starlight, Disney Uncharted Adventure sends players on a quest across the Disney Wish and throughout different Disney story worlds to find the missing pieces of the Wishing Star.
Run on the Play Disney Parks mobile app, Disney Uncharted Adventure “enchants” your device and turns it into a “magical spyglass” that acts a bit like your game controller. Guests can unlock the game as soon as they book a cruise on the Disney Wish and will receive a message from Captains Minnie and Mickey, telling them all about stars and constellations both real and magical, from the Big Dipper to Maui’s fish hook and Louis’ trumpet.
Onboard the ship, the Wishing Star gets “shattered” and pieces of it are sent to the furthest corners of the night sky, landing among other constellations that represent iconic Disney locations, from Moana’s Motunui, to Sydney and the East Australian Current from “Finding Nemo,” to the New Orleans bayou of “The Princess and the Frog.”
How to Play
Guests view different constellations representing the Disney locations on their device and can choose where to set sail. They’ll then be directed to a location on the ship to complete their quest. Digital signs marking various ship locations like the Never Land Cinema or the It’s a Small World Nursery transform to become a sort of interactive game board. Each device or “spyglass” becomes a controller that interacts with the images on the screen.
“We are infusing the Disney Wish with innovative technology, like augmented reality and physical effects, to create a hidden layer of magic that can only be unlocked with Disney Uncharted Adventure,” said Davey Feder, a software product manager with Walt Disney Imagineering. “Guests might admire a beautiful painting today without realizing that, hiding right beneath the surface, there’s a hoard of mischievous Kakamora from the world of Moana just waiting to escape and wreak havoc on the ship. A digital menu board might showcase what’s for lunch in the afternoon, but later it will host a cooking lesson in Tiana’s own kitchen.”
Despite being a screen-based activity, the game takes a “heads-up approach” that keeps eyes on the sign rather than on devices “Your device is mostly a controller — no burying your eyes on your phone,” said Feder.
“The spyglass is not where the adventure takes place — it’s just the tool that brings the ship to life, opening portals into new worlds and allowing guests to interact with them.”
One of the game’s quests, still in developmental phase, was demonstrated for media. Players who choose to visit New Orleans are taken to a sign revealing Tiana’s kitchen, where Tiana asks for help making her famous gumbo. Players follow Tiana’s direction, selecting ingredients on their devices, moving their device to pour hot sauce, and move their devices to help stir the pot.
The quests are cooperative, not competitive, according to Feder. Players work together as a team to complete the quests (and fight back against a villain or two along the way), though there are opportunities for some friendly competition.
Once a quest has been completed, the screen display transforms back into a sign and players can either move on to the next location and next quest or take a break and return to it later. Feder emphasized that the game provides flexibility and doesn’t need to take up big chunks of time or get in the way of a family’s dinner or entertainment plans.
A Climactic Finish
Disney Uncharted Adventure culminates in what will, quite literally, be a star-studded finale. Guests who’ve been collecting pieces of the Wishing Star throughout their cruise are invited to join their fellow passengers in Luna, the celestial-themed entertainment space designed for family fun by day and adult entertainment by night, to come together and restore the Wishing Star to the night sky.
Of course, it’s not a true quest without a climactic conflict, so order can’t be restored without the group coming together to defeat a certain infamous sea witch who happens to have her sights set on the Wishing Star as well. Guests work with their fellow passengers in an epic battle of good versus evil.
Disney Uncharted Adventure can be played with devices supported on the Play Disney Parks mobile app — iPhones and Android smartphones. Guests who don’t have phones can team up on a shared device, and families can play together on up to six devices. The experience monitors and controls flow on the ship, so guests may be sent to different spaces on the ship to complete the same quest.
The Disney Wish sets sail on its maiden voyage on June 9, 2022.