One of the things I am most excited about in going back to Disney World next week is another chance to face off against Hades and his band of villains in the interactive game, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. What’s that? You’ve never heard of this game? Well, you’re not alone. It’s something of a hidden gem. Yet, once you discover it, the world of the game opens up to you and I’m happy to report that the folks who play this on a weekly basis are some of the most phenomenal human beings I’ve had the chance to meet. So sit back and relax. If you’ve never played the game before, I promise that playing it will give you a whole new way to enjoy the park. And if you have played, you might just learn something here.
Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom officially launched in the Magic Kingdom back on February 22, 2012. News of it was first leaked by Jonathan Freeman, voice of Jafar in the Aladdin musical. He mentioned that he was working on a new park attraction, reprising the voice of the evil wannabe sultan. The show was installed in Adventureland and Liberty Square the Summer of 2011 and testing began shortly after to make sure everything worked.
Getting started requires a good eye or knowing where to go. Upon entering the park, head to the Firehouse to your left (Or the outpost behind the Christmas shop.) You’ll be handed a pack of five cards and your game will be linked to your park pass or wrist band so you can pick up where you left off.
You’re also given a map which includes images of every land except Tomorrowland. The map shows symbols for where all the portals can be found and this becomes integral to the game. You see, after an introduction from Merlin, which you can view below, you are sent to one of the symbols. You’ll find this on the map, go there, and then place your keycard to the large key hole in the wall. You can also keep a lookout for the large golden disks on the ground, the Circle of Power, which calls to you. Once you get there, tap your key card on the key hole and make sure you stand firmly on the Circle on the ground to cast your spells. Not standing on it usually results in a failed attempt.
Clearly Merlin is having a rough day. Hades is tired of the Underworld and decides to move to the Magic Kingdom. Unfortunately, Pain and Panic accidentally break the Crystal of the Magic Kingdom and your journey becomes trying to put it back together before Hades’ group of villains does first.
Spell cards are used to defeat the evil villains. When standing on the circle of power, you’ll choose one, or several cards, and cast your spell at the villain. Spell cards come in seven different types. Charming, Energy, Flying, Gross, Quick, Strong and Wishful. If you’ve ever played a game like Pokemon, you’re going to catch on to how this works pretty quickly. The types won’t matter when you first start out but as you ascend the varied difficulty levels of the game, you’ll start to care whether you’re using a Flying or a Strong character or both!
The cards are also numbered from 1-70, with certain special seasonal cards being unnumbered. Each also contains a symbol to delineate its rarity. Stars (1-22), Moons (23-40), Planets (41-60), and Lightning Bolts (61-70). These last cards are only available in bonus packs which can be purchased in the park. Each day that a Sorcerer enters the park, they can obtain a new pack. The collection quest is on! You can also obtain a new pack upon the completion of the game, but rest assured, that will take some time.
The game plays on three difficulty levels with the easy to remember names of Easy, Medium or Hard. Like I mentioned before, on Easy, card type doesn’t matter. Cast away. But once you hit Medium, the card type will be measured against the villain’s strength or weakness. Like I said, Pokemon.
Easy is a great level for kids, families or folks just starting out as you often get to just throw spells at random.
Medium is when things ramp up. Villains will have strengths and weaknesses. If you use a card type of the villain’s strength, the spell does less damage. If you use a card type of the villain’s weakness, it will do much more damage than usual and usually defeat it. No battle will last more than two portals and using multiple cards of the same type, greatly increases the chances of winning. At the end of the game, you’ll be given a rank for your mastery of sorcery and the fewer portals you visit, the better your rank will be, so keep that in mind high score seekers. Below you will find a comprehensive list of the Villains, along with their strengths and weaknesses.
|Jasper||Charming Attacks||Quick Attacks|
|Cruella de Vil||Gross Attacks||Wishful Attacks|
|Iago||Strong Attacks||Flying Attacks|
|Jafar’s Snake||Energy Attacks||Quick Attacks|
|Jafar||Charming Attacks||Wishful Attacks|
|Banzai||Flying Attacks||Gross Attacks|
|Scar||Strong Attacks||Charming Attacks|
|Cloud Scar||Quick Attacks||Flying Attacks|
|Alpaca Guard||Charming Attacks||Gross Attacks|
|Kronk||Quick Attacks||Strong Attacks|
|Yzma||Gross Attacks||Charming Attacks|
|Flotsam and Jetsam||Charming Attacks||Quick Attacks|
|Glut||Flying Attacks||Gross Attacks|
|Ursula||Energy Attacks||Charming Attacks|
|Goon Guard||Quick Attacks||Gross Attacks|
|Maleficent||Strong Attacks||Wishful Attacks|
|Dragon Maleficent||Energy Attacks||Flying Attacks|
|Drum-Playing Soldier||Energy Attacks||Gross Attacks|
|Governor Ratcliffe||Flying Attacks||Wishful Attacks|
|Lawrence||Quick Attacks||Wishful Attacks|
|Shadow Demons||Wishful Attacks||Energy Attacks|
|Dr. Facilier||Gross Attacks||Charming Attacks|
|Chernabog||Wishful Attacks||Strong Attacks|
Hard was played pretty much the same as Medium until October 2013 when things got amped up. Now, weaknesses of the villains change every time you play the game on this mode. The challenge here, is to determine who is weak to what. In order to do this, you actually have to watch the animations of the cards in order to know which animation is the highest spell level being cast.
The best way to tackle this challenge is to cast several different spells at your first portal and watch all of the animations. The correct spell type will show at the highest power level. If none of the cards are correct, the battle will end. If even just one card reads, then the battle continues. This means you have to be quick on your toes, find the right spell type and stick to it for the remainder of the fight.
If you didn’t get it right on your first try, that’s okay, rearrange and cast a whole new set on the next one and you’re sure to find the right type. You want to try to win the battle in the first two portals as each battle will not last more than three and you want to get that high score. No one plays Hard mode without the intention of being able to brag about it later.
My favorite part, and I do mean this, is the community. During our first trip to the park, which many of you may remember as the day we got engaged, a young lady by the name of Ceili approached as we clumsily tried to play the game. (Not standing on the circle of power) and asked us how long we had been playing. We told her, of course, that this was our first day. She walked over to a nearby barrel and plopped down two large binders. “How long have you been playing?” we asked hesitantly. She proceeded to gift us with several of the cards and gave us some tips on the game. Since then, I’ve joined the Facebook group that she is a part of and have come to find that those who play Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom are some of the most kind, generous and supportive people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.
That’s the thing about people who play this game. What they want more than anything is to get you into the game so that you can see how much fun it is. It’s a game that gets people helping each other, trading cards and having fun around the park. Want to know more about the group I’m in? JUST CLICK HERE.
Either way, I strongly recommend trying the game out next time you’re in the park. You can even purchase a home version of it and though it’s not a superb board game, it does make a nice souvenir to remember your time of fighting villains in the Kingdom.
Do you play Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom? If so, what’s your difficulty of choice? Let me know in the comments down below. I for one can’t wait to fight me some baddies, next week on our trip!
Most photos here are mine, but several are courtesy of the fantastic Facebook Group: Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom Rebel Alliance. Thanks guys!!!