Disney theme parks try their best to live up to their reputation as the Happiest Places on Earth, but reality does tend to sour some of the experience. One of these examples is in the long lines for some of the most popular attractions in the parks, which can result in up to five hours’ waiting without benefits like FastPass.
Fortunately Disney is aware of this; and while there’s no magical solution to long lines, they can try to make the wait bearable. With input from two of their branches, Imagineering and Interactive, Disney introduced the Play Disney Parks app.
This app works inside all Disney parks and enables users to play various fun minigames, these depending on which attraction or themed area in general they’re currently located. Play Disney Parks has trivia quizzes and achievements for players to unlock, making lines for rides and events not so boring.
Here’s a sampling list of all minigames available to the Play Disney Parks app, and in what attraction/themed area of which Disney theme park they might be available to play in.
Playset Party – at Toy Story Mania in Disney California Adventure, Disneyland or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World
Off to Neverland – at Peter Pan’s Flight in Disneyland Park or The Magic Kingdom of Disney World
Rocket Race – at Space Mountain in Disneyland Park or The Magic Kingdom of Disney World
Andy’s Board Game Blast – at Slinky Dog Dash coaster in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World
Toy Story Midway – within Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World
While they did not actually appear in the game that first launched the franchise, there’s no doubt that one of the most interesting features in the ongoing storyline of the Disney-Square Enix videogame franchise Kingdom Hearts is its group of original bad guys working with – or parallel to – the occasional Disney/Squaresoft villains of each succeeding installment. They are Organization XIII.
Born out of hubris by the apprentices of a wise sage-king researching the magical powers of the human heart, the agents of Organization XIII are “Nobodies”: fragmented beings without hearts and emotions, plotting to seize the power of Kingdom Hearts to “complete” themselves, with potentially catastrophic consequences to many worlds.
Here we’ll list the members of Organization XIII. Other pertinent information, including which Kingdom Hearts game they first appeared in, will follow each name.
I: Xenmas (KHII) – the Nobody of Xenahort, primary apprentice to Ansem the Wise whose identity he usurped
II: Xigbar (KHII) – the Nobody of Braig, another apprentice of Ansem the Wise
III: Xaldin (KHII) – the Nobody of Dilan, another apprentice of Ansem the Wise
IV: Vexen (CoM) – the Nobody of Even, another apprentice of Ansem the Wise
V: Lexaeus (CoM) – the Nobody of Aeleus, another apprentice of Ansem the Wise
VI: Zexion (CoM) – the Nobody of Ienzo, another apprentice of Ansem the Wise
VII: Saix (KHII) – the Nobody of Isa, another apprentice of Ansem the Wise; friend to Lea, source of Axel
VIII: Axel (CoM) – the Nobody of Lea, friend of Isa; executioner of traitors to Organization XIII
IX: Demyx (KHII) – source person unknown; pursues Sora to awaken Roxas within his “Whole” being
X: Luxord (KHII) – source person unknown; active Organization agent at the world of Port Royal
XI: Marluxia (CoM) – junior organization member, planned to usurp leadership with Larxene’s help
This was a numbered game sequel that was very long in coming. Well over a decade since Disney and Square-Enix brought Kingdom Hearts II to the gaming world, we’re finally edging closer to finding out what happens next on the continuing adventures of the Keyblade Masters against vile Organization XIII.
To hammer home the fact that Kingdom Hearts III is a new installment of the series, many of the various worlds that the party of Sora, Donald Duck and Goofy explore are entirely new and never before visited. We’re now going to list down the new “worlds” they’ll venture into.
Kingdom of Corona (based on the 2010 animated film Tangled)
San Fransokyo (based on the 2014 animated film Big Hero 6)
Andy’s House (based on the Toy Story franchise)
Monstropolis (based on the Monsters Inc. animated film franchise)
Arendelle (based on the 2013 animated film Frozen)
There are also areas that have returned from previous installments of Kingdom Hearts, now even bigger and more expanded than ever before.
Twilight Town – the tutorial hub; has two expansion areas large enough on their own
Yen Sid’s Tower
Olympus (based on the 1997 animated film Hercules)
The Caribbean (based on the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise)
Finally, there’s a rumor that one possible area to debut will not be based on a Disney property, but a game by Square-Enix: The World Ends with You, a game created by the developers of the portable spinoff Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.
Shinji Hashimoto, executive producer of Kingdom Hearts for Square-Enix, has also expressed his interest in someday seeing the game-original characters being adapted to Disney Parks, as attractions or character players. Kingdom Hearts III will be released on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January of the following year.
The Disney and Square-Enix collaboration game franchise Kingdom Hearts has both enchanted and confused its fans and players with its sprawling world-building – or worlds-building, considering its universe composed of various settings from the many Disney works, plus original realms with elements from Square’s own stable of videogames. It’s really complicated.
Kingdom Hearts II is the third game in this series released in 2005, three years after the original and one after its direct sequel, the Game Boy Advance title Chain of Memories. This game has several new Worlds for Sora and his friends to explore, aside from a returning few.
Now we’ll list down the new gameplay areas of Kingdom Hearts II that Sora, Donald and Goofy explore as they try to confront the machinations of Organization XIII and find their lost friends. We’ll also include the returning World areas.
The Land of Dragons – based on Mulan (1998)
Beast’s Castle – based on Beauty and the Best (1991)
Timeless River – based on classic Disney-Iwerks animation such as Steamboat Willie (1928)
Port Royal – based on live-action film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Pride Lands – based on The Lion King (1994)
Space Paranoids – based on live-action sci-fi movie Tron (1982), accessible through the computers of Hollow Bastion
The World that Never Was – original World, headquarters of Organization XIII
Keyblade Graveyard – original World, added in the Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix version
Twilight Town – returning from Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, an original area resembling a town with a permanently stuck setting sun
Castle Oblivion – also from Chain of Memories
Hollow Bastion – now expanded to its former form, Radiant Garden
Disney Castle – now fully accessible rather than its dummied-out storyline-only appearance in the first game
Olympus Coliseum – from Hercules (1997), now expanded with Hades’ Underworld
100 Acre Wood
Halloween Town – from The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), now expanded with Christmas Town area
Dark Meridian – the World of Darkness from the first Kingdom Hearts game
Before it closed its doors in 2012, British videogame developer Eurocom also got to contribute some neat videogame titles to the Disney electronic gaming library. As is the case with their collaborator Virgin Interactive, their Disney videogames were for the most part adaptations of several installments in the Animated Canon.
Here’s a list of the Disney games that Eurocom developed:
Disney’ The Jungle Book (1994 for NES, SNES, Game Boy, Sega Genesis) – co-developed with Virgin Interactive
Donald Duck: Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow (1996 for SNES)
Disney’s Hercules (1997 for PlayStation and PC)
Disney’s Tarzan (1999 for PlayStation, N64, PC)
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001 for PlayStation and Game Boy Color)
G-Force (2009 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Wii, PC)
Disney Universe (2011 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC)
Before it was acquired and rebranded in 2003, Virgin Interactive Entertainment, the Virgin Group’s own videogame development and publishing arm, has had a fruitful business history that made it a vanguard of the revolution that brought games from the arcade to home consoles.
It also had a great partnership with Disney, creating game titles based on some entries of the latter’s Animated Canon. This was due to the VIE office’s original location in Hollywood’s “30-mile zone” that helped it gain licenses to produce videogame adaptations of movies from that time.
Here’s a short list of Disney animation-based videogame adaptations developed in partnership with Virgin Interactive.
Aladdin (1993) primarily for Sega Genesis, different from the SNES version developed by Capcom
The Lion King (1994) for SNES and Genesis
The Jungle Book (1994) for SNES and Genesis
Pinocchio (1996) for SNES, Game Boy and Sega Genesis
Capcom and Square-Enix haven’t been the only Japanese videogame developers to have given the world some awesome game titles featuring Walt Disney characters. Sega too has had its time in the sun making digital adventures for Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, particularly making the Illusion series for their videogame systems.
Here then is a list of titles in Sega’s Illusion game titles starring the classic Disney characters. Note that Illusion is the English-language title, after the first game in the franchise called Castle of Illusion; in Japan the series is called I Love Mickey Mouse.
Sega’s Disney Illusion Series
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (1990 Sega Genesis, 1991 Sega Game Gear and Master System)
Land of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (JP: Mickey Mouse no Mahō no Crystal; 1992 Sega Master System, 1993 Sega Game Gear)
World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck (JP: I Love Mickey & Donald – Fushigi na Magic Box; 1992 Sega Genesis)
Legend of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (JP: Mickey Mouse – Densetsu no Oukoku; 1995 Sega Game Gear)
The Disney Collection: Castle of Illusion & Quackshot (1996 Sega Mega Drive; 2-in-1 game cartridge released in Europe)
Sega Ages: I Love Mickey Mouse (1998 Sega Saturn; later compilation of Castle of Illusion and Quackshot released only in Japan)
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (2013 PSN, Xbox Live Arcade and PC; Sega remake of original 1990 game)
Other Sega-Made Disney Games
Quackshot Starring Donald Duck (JP: I Love Donald Duck – Georgia-Ou no Hihou; 1991 Sega Genesis)
The Lucky Dime Caper Starring Donald Duck (JP: Donald no Lucky Dime; 1991 Sega Master System and Game Gear)
Deep Duck Trouble Starring Donald Duck (JP: Donald Duck no 4-tsu no Hihou; 1993 Sega Master System and Game Gear)
Disney Interactive went on to make a game-wide tribute to Sega’s Castle of Illusion by revisiting the setting in 2012’s Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion on the Nintendo 3DS.
One, not so long ago, nobody could fathom that a crossover of Disney’s various animated characters and settings could be blended together with the franchises of Japanese game developer Square (now Square-Enix) in a serious crossover title. Any reservations faded in 2002 with the release of the first Kingdom Hearts.
The concept of traversing through various worlds based on Disney and Square works in a videogame was a major hit, enough to spawn a sprawling franchise of its own. Let’s start from the very beginning and list down the places visited by the player in the original Kingdom Hearts title.
Four locations are original creations of Square; the other ten are based on works of Disney.
Destiny Islands – home of original main characters Sora, Riku and Kairi; destroyed at the beginning of the game and swallowed into the End of the World; restored (partly) at the end of the first game
Traverse Town – the game’s “hub location”, made of fragments of destroyed worlds; from here, Sora and his companions travel to the other worlds
Hollow Bastion – a massive castle that is all that remains of the Radiant Garden world; former home of Ansem the Wise and used as a base by Maleficent for a time
End of the World – realm created by the destruction wrought by the Heartless, where the Destiny Islands were sent to; final boss area of the first game
100 Acre Wood – setting of Winnie the Pooh
Agrabah – setting of Aladdin
Atlantica – setting of The Little Mermaid
Deep Jungle – setting of Tarzan
Disney Castle – original world based on Walt Disney’s animated shorts; home of King Mickey, Queen Minnie, Donald and Goofy, among numerous other classic Disney characters; traversable in the beta but not in the finished game, only seen in cut-scenes
Halloween Town – setting of The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Ducktales videogame from Capcom in 1989 is often held to be one of the greatest (if not the greatest) videogame adaptation of a Disney property in the history of electronic entertainment. What could be more exciting than controlling Scrooge McDuck as he travels around the world to hunt for treasure and collect various gems to add into his money bin?
Here then is a list of the various areas that Scrooge explores during the course of the Ducktales videogame on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Also included are two additional areas from the title’s 2013 HD remake Ducktales Remastered, made available on on all contemporary major platforms of the time including mobile.
Transylvania – domain of Magica de Spell; also doubled as the final boss area of the original NES game with Dracula Duck
King Solomon’s Mines – domain of the King of the Terra Firmians (expanded as the pathway to the Terra Firmian underworld in Remastered)
The Moon – visited by the aliens of planet Kronk; arguably home to the most memorable background music of the game in both versions
The Money Bin – first mandatory area in Remastered; serves as tutorial level
Mount Vesuvius – new final boss area in Remastered; Dracula Duck is fought here, with an extended post-battle race segment
The original game had a sequel with new areas for Scrooge to go through, though it was never remade. Ducktales 2 (NES and Gameboy) however was included in The Disney Afternoon Collection compilation of Capcom’s Disney game titles, released in 2017.
Bermuda Triangle – like with the original game, this area was recycled as a final boss area with Scrooge’s rival Flintheart Glomgold…or is it?
One look at the Disney library of original films and TV series would tell anybody that they’ve got loads and loads of characters that they can use in future projects. Well here’s one such project now, and it takes a page from one of Disney’s more recent subsidiaries, Marvel Entertainment.
Disney has just announced a new mobile game app that gathers together some of its stable of very beloved and popular characters into a turn-based role-playing game called Disney Heroes: Battle Mode. Veterans of social media games might recognize the gameplay in the video with a defunct Marvel online game.
As seen in the trailer, Disney heroes; Battle Mode assembles characters such as The Incredibles, Woody and Buzz from Toy Story, Wreck-It Ralph, and Judy and Nick from Zootopia, to form parties that will take on bad guys from their respective source media, much like Marvel: Avengers Alliance on Facebook.
Disney VP – Games Lisa Anderson describes the game as an original universe where Disney-Pixar characters exist together, adding, “[Game developer] PerBlue has done a great job of bringing our characters to life in authentically Disney ways, and players will be surprised and delighted as they mix and match hero team-ups.”
For the moment, Perblue has confirmed an initial playable cast of over 30 characters from various Disney-Pixar franchises, organized into adventuring parties that level up and evolve in powers and abilities as they are sent into missions and PVP battles. Other properties offered include Pirates of the Caribbean and more.
No release date has yet been given for Disney Heroes: Battle Mode, but pre-registration has already begun, and the mobile game will arrive later this year for Android and iOS. In a way, this comes off as a spiritual successor to Playdom’s Marvel Avengers Alliance, which is a good thing.