Disney Quest-Part theme park, part museum


Disney Quest at Downtown Disney is the last of it’s kind, and a truly unique experience. Disney Quest is an interactive theme park where guests can play not only old school arcade games, but also ride a few interactive games as well. The games range from the shooting 3D game Pirates of the Caribbean, to the row your own adventure of the Jungle Cruise. The building takes on a world of it’s own as it’s five floors of windowless, interactive entertainment.

Originally there were several Disney Quest theme parks planned, but only two were ever built. The Orlando Disney Quest was the first, with a second in Chicago. Low attendance caused the Chicago location to close just a few years after it opened. This made Disney put a hold on all the other locations, even though construction had started on a few. The Orlando location has had it’s share of close calls, as at one point it was rumored that an ESPN Game Zone would go into the site, and Disney Quest would close for good.

Still, it remains open, and it’s a haven for gamers that want to get a little bit more out of their games than just a couch and a TV screen.

Things to know

Disney Quest is a great big arcade. But essentially it’s just that, an arcade. If you’re not a fan of video games, chances are you won’t really enjoy it.  Several of the more popular attractions are virtual reality type games. You strap on helmets and do battle.

Here are a few of the most popular games

  • Pirates of the Caribbean-You and up to four others sail a ship with special 3D glasses and find unsuspecting ships to destroy and steal gold from. Lots of fun, and lots of interactivity with other people. The lines for this one gets really long really quick, so it’s recommended that you do this first thing.
  • Jungle Cruise-You and your adventure team board rubber rafts and help Wayne Salinsky (From Honey I Shrunk the Kids films) trek through time. This one is unique because you use oars to steer yourself through time. You encounter dinosaurs, falls and more. The boat uses air to inflate and deflate the “water” underneath you to make it feel you’re actually on a boat. Another one with a crazy wait time that you may want to do first.
  • Aladdins Magic Carpet Ride-You steer carpets via a virtual reality helmet and controller (more like a bike than a carpet) through the streets of Agrobah. You are searching for gems. It’s fun, but the Virtual Reality helmets can be a little nauseating.
  • Buzz Light Year Astroblasters-Part shooting gallery, part bumper cars, riders control a ship over the floor and pick up balls from the floor to shoot at each other. The balls come whipping out of the cannon fast and slamming into the plexi-glass windows with a huge bang.
  • Cyber Space Mountain-You can design your own coaster, then ride it. You can make it as intense or as tame as you want. It does feature enclosed spaces and can be a little scary for those with claustrophobia
There area  ton of games in the arcade, from the original classics like Pac Man and Mario Brothers to newer classics like Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution.
Walking through the arcade, especially the older games, one can easily get a sense of nostalgia. We sat and played the original Burgertime for about 20 minutes, until we were finally frustrated with the slow moving, never ending characters. Once these games were the pinnacle of technology, and then they were replaced with even more advanced technology such as the shooting game of Pirates, and the Virtual reality of Aladdin. By today’s standards those two games are completely outdated, and you can even find better games on your home consoles. It honestly made me feel, for once, old. I remember pumping quarters into these games thinking how amazing they were as one little blob chased after another one…with a bow. Is Disney Quest as obsolete as these games? Could this be the beginning of a video game museum? It would certainly appear so. That becomes the problem with anything based around technology, technology changes rapidly in a matter of months, while theme parks change in terms of years. Once a wonder of the latest and greatest video games, and the most interactive way to play, Disney Quest is now a reminder that once upon a time you actually had to go and pay for video games instead of just sitting home in your underwear.
While a lot of the games at Disney Quest are dated, they are still just as fun, and even still it’s a lot more fun to actually interact with people in the old school arcade versus just playing online.