You’ve probably noticed the Merlin signs scattered around, but have you ever actually played Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom (SotMK)? Last week my sons and I went to Magic Kingdom on a school holiday. We expected wait times to be a little high, so we planned on just a low-key, wander-the-park kind of day. As it turns out, that day opened our eyes to a whole new world of Disney fun when we enlisted as sorcerer’s apprentices. Here’s why you should too…
5. It’s Free – When entering the Magic Kingdom, anyone can join the SotMK game by heading over to the firehouse on Main Street. (There’s also a SotMK depot by the Christmas Shoppe in Liberty Square, but the firehouse has practice portals so it’s best to start there.) When you start, the cast members will have you link your ticket or Magic Band to the game. Then they will give each of the members of your party a packet of 5 random cards. Every time you enter the Magic Kingdom you are entitled to a new packet of cards for free!
4. It’s Fun – The story behind the game is that Hades wants to take over the Magic Kingdom with the help of other Disney Villains. In order to do that, they need to retrieve four pieces of Merlin’s magic crystal. It’s your job to STOP them! You’ll be given a map and told which magic portal to go to first. (You can’t go to any portal…the game tracks on your band/ticket and knows where you should be.) Follow the directions at each portal, cast your spells by holding up your cards, and you may just defeat those dreaded villains!
3. It’s Exclusive – The SotMK game is fascinating technology, in my opinion. Each portal has the same functionality, so when you are given your next portal assignment, the game actual runs an algorithm to send you to the portal that has the greatest probability to be open. This type of game is only available in two places: Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and a smaller version on one of the Disney Cruise ships. The cards themselves even have levels of exclusivity, marked by a small picture on the left hand side. If you find yourself with a star, you’ve got a pretty unique and powerful card. And if you’ve got a lightning bolt, hold on to it – they’re super rare! In addition, exclusive cards are offered each year at both special events – Not So Scary Halloween and Very Merry Christmas.
2. It’s Continuous – Your game will track on your band/ticket for two years, and each time you enter the park you can pick up right where you left off. There are three levels of difficulty too. Obviously you start on the easiest level, which is perfect for kids. On the easiest level, villains can be defeated without much thought to card spell selection. On the medium and hard levels, you have to figure out the villains strengths and weaknesses and use the correct spell cards to combat them, often in combination.
1. It’s Fanatical– Apparently SotMK is a BIG DEAL! I had no idea, but there were fellow Disney Fanatics around us that had tons of cards all organized and filed in big binders. Mickey ears off to these serious players! I struck up conversation with some of them and found out there are social media groups that give tips on card combinations to defeat certain villains, as well as means to trade rare cards across the world. In addition, it’s apparently very common to offer trades to other players right there in the park if you have a specific card you are looking for. As always, Fanatical friendliness goes a long way; one guy straight up GAVE us like 15 cards (they were from his duplicates stash)!
Extra Tips: I’m no expert yet, but are some tips I’ve learned from others so far…
* Hold the cards about chest height for adults (higher for kids obviously). The cards read best if you hold them in a line together (if using more than one) and hold them by the bottom so the picture can be fully seen.
* It takes about 30 minutes (or more if the portals are backed up) to go through all the steps to defeat one villain. That being said, if you only have one day in the Magic Kingdom, you may want to save SotMK for another time and just focus on the rides.
* In my opinion SotMK is SO GREAT for boys! My guys loved it! I could see this as a excellent option for those who have sisters that want to do all the princess-y stuff.
* Each spell card has a unique category and power combination. In the easy level, I think it’s just fun to observe these titles and numbers and pretend you know what you’re doing. Again, they aren’t really necessary until you move to the higher levels, so in the meantime just have fun with it. We had a blast just trying out different spells to see what would happen on the screen.
So for those who have never done SotMK, I would highly recommend it! For those who are old pros, what tips can you share with the rest of us?
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