DisneyQuest is an arcade, which means pinball machines or video games or computer games, depending on how old you are – but DisneyQuest has all three plus some unique items, making it a really cool arcade. From the outside, it’s a semi-square windowless building with an interesting paint job. On the inside, it’s five themed floors of games and attractions.
But if every Orlando hotel and each American city with a population greater than 2,000 has an arcade, why go to DisneyQuest? It depends on your family, but here ar the top reasons:
1. Teens love arcade games. Riding a roller coaster at Six Flags does not dampen the enjoyment of a coaster at Islands of Adventure; and playing a computer game in Kansas City does not make an Orlando game less exciting.
2. Many games have a Disney theme. Disney once hoped to expand the DisneyQuest concept nationwide, but that stumbled. If visitors can’t make it to Orlando, they reasoned, they could ride a virtual Jungle Cruise in Philadelphia. For that reason, they developed a number of unique arcade games that can now be found only in Orlando.
3. Escape the family. No matter how much you love your kids/husband/wife, it’s tough to enjoy them every waking second. An arcade, for the most part, is a lonely venture since only one person can play most games. (The expression “doing something together separately” makes sense here.) Adults can even drop off older kids while shopping in Downtown Disney.
4. Play some games together. Two, four, or more people can enjoy a handful of specialty games. In some cases, each family member gets a specific role, such as navigator or shooter.
5. Shopping at Downtown Disney can be boring for anyone younger than 18. Bribe kids with “… and we’ll go to DisneyQuest while we’re there.”
DisneyQuest operates from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. most days, staying open until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. It costs $36 plus tax for age three to nine, and $42 plus tax for adults. Admission is good all day, and guests may leave and reenter.
If there is a downside to a DisneyQuest visit – beyond cost – it’s the different appeal to family members. Everyone can spend a day at the Magic Kingdom; not everyone can stomach that much arcade fun. Dad may spend 90 minutes reliving his childhood and be done. A teenage son could play for 12 hours. A three-year-old might grow tired of the blinking lights and noise after 20 minutes. Adults might want to take a book; toddlers might want to take a nap.
- Classic arcade games – Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Space Invaders, Tron, Spy Hunter, Centipede, Asteroids, Q-bert, and Mario Bros.
- Pirates of the Caribbean – Multi-player game recreates a battle at sea (Minimum height: 35 inches.)
- Virtual Jungle Cruise – A set that looks like the Magic Kingdom’s Jungle Cruise quickly changes into a prehistoric river with dinosaurs rather than hippos. A family sits in a fake boat, steering their journey using virtual paddles.
- CyberSpace Mountain – At the conclusion, two guests get inside a giant tin can that spins and rolls. But before that, they design their own roller coaster on a computer, with the ride a virtual rendition of that creation. (Minimum height: 51 inches.)
- Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblasters – Somewhere in outer space, bumper cars meet dodge ball. (Minimum height: 51 inches.)
- Animation Academy – Using circles and lines, an instructor shows participants how to draw the face of a Disney character.
- Mighty Ducks Pinball Slam – A large, group-participant pinball machine.
- Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride – Less game than cool technology, Aladdin guests put on ponderous headpieces that allow them to see a virtual Arabian city. Look left and the view looks left; look right, the view looks right.
For more information, visit the DisneyQuest website.