Bringing the Wild West to life, “Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush!” is a brand new interactive experience which officially debuted this week at Disneyland.
Here is the setting:
Frontierland and its neighbor, Rainbow Ridge, are in the midst of a good, ol’ fashioned land feud. Rainbow Ridge – a once-booming mining town – has dried up, and they have their eyes set on Frontierland. The steady, hardworking folk in Frontierland want to keep the town safe and free of rougharound-the-edges, opportunistic types. Rumors are spreading that gold has been discovered in mines belonging to Frontierland, and there is even a rumor that Frontierland itself sits on the motherlode! Whether or not the rumors are true, the folk in Rainbow Ridge have one thing on their minds: take over Frontierland! Thus, the struggle begins …
Along with Cast Members, guests will actively be a part of the story direction, they will choose sides (Frontierland or Rainbow Ridge) and will name, create, and develop their own characters. The experience includes entertainment, merchandise and food throughout Frontierland, making each performance a unique experience.
A Legends of Frontierland map can be picked up at the Frontierland Trading Post, which serves as the main point of entry for the game. There are a total of seven stations:
- Trading Post: This is the meeting hub for new and soon-to-be, citizens of Frontierland. Guests may learn how to join in on the play and gather news on the developing story. Specialty merchandise may be purchased to add to their character’s wardrobe, including mustaches, beards, costume pieces and accessories.
- The Map: The map acts as a leader board and allows citizens to know where their town stands in the “land grab” Rainbow Ridge is waging against Frontierland. This location allows citizens the opportunity to collect deeds to the town’s various parcels and structures using “bits” that they’ve earned.
- Telegraph Station: This is the information center for the Frontier. Telegraph operators may receive news and send messages via a telegraph about notorious outlaws that have taken up residence in town. The townsfolk at this post deliver the mail, while drawing up outlaw bounties for the Sheriff’s Office.
- The Jail and Sheriff’s Office: It is here that outlaw Guests serve time for crimes committed or make elaborate plans for escape. Guest deputies may draw up wanted posters, form posses, and bring the bad guys, once again, to justice.
- Hide Out: This haven provides Rainbow Ridge outlaws an opportunity to secretly meet and share the latest happenings in their takeover of Frontierland. It is here that deals are made and plans are hatched.
- Miss Rose Talent Agency: Inside the Golden Horseshoe, the Miss Rose Talent Agency prides itself on finding the best talent in the west. They hold auditions for musicians, singers, dancers, jugglers, magicians, and basically any type of act that people will want to watch. Plus, they are always looking for new set designs and costume drawings.
- Card Table: Inside the Golden Horseshoe there is an ongoing game of “High Card.” Two players set down a card, and the player with the highest card is awarded “bits.” Here you can sit with local heroes hearing about their adventures or you find yourself with a band of outlaws as they plot their next escapade or confess to their latest crime.
Playing guests receive a special name tag – just look for your town’s color to find your fellow citizens. Citizens will be expected to adhere to the following rules:
- We’re always respectful in Frontierland
- We solve all disputes by using Rock/Paper/Scissors or the “The River Water Challenge” (see below)
- Be mindful of others and their property
- No need to climb or crawl
- Always stay on the marked paths
- Always travel at a leisurely stroll
River Water is a drink made of unsweetened citrus juice and the goal is to keep it in your mouth longer than your opponent without flinching.
A “Time Out” hand gesture can be used to pause the game (for safety or other concerns) and stays in effect until the Guest or Cast Member says “time in.”
The currency used in Frontierland is called “bitz”, and it comes in three values — wooden nickels (5), pyrite (50), and game coins (100) Bitz allow you to purchase land in the game. Bitz can be earned various ways, including jobs like delivering messages or helping out with the welcoming committee, playing cards, arresting “wanted” guests, etc.
I look forward to hearing more feedback as guests interact in this brand new experience. I think this could be a big hit with the annual passholder crowd. It seems to take a while to earn enough bitz to make a land purchase, and may be too time consuming for day guests; but only time will tell.
What do you think about this new type of guest experience?
(**Pictures courtesy of MiceChat)
UPDATE: The time has come to bid farewell to “Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush”. Every great story must have a great ending, and so the saga ends on September 27, 2014 with special events and surprises throughout the day.