13 December 2010

When danger calls

Children and preteens have always been fond of rollercoasters and the wonderfully storytelling inherent in all attractions of Walt Disney World. Yet, as technology becomes faster and increasingly interactive, it becomes harder and harder to hold the interest of young minds. To counteract this trend, queues have become more and more engaging in the past several years, but so to have the attractions. One area that severely needed a hook for the tween crowd, World Showcase. Luckily, Disney knew of a secret agent who needed a little assistance.

For those who have never taken part in the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure, here’s the sitch. You have been assigned to support Kim and her sidekick Ron thwart one her nemeses who are running amuck with an evil scheme in one of the countries of World Showcase. Using a Kimmunicator guests tangle with several clues and diabolical devices in an attempt to corral the criminal. The final piece of any investigation, whether it is the retrieval of a stolen idol, the villain themselves or another surprise, is always impressive.

Although the incessant four beeps that signal the Kimmunicator have been permeating the soundscape of World Showcase since January of 2009, I am still a big fan of the engaging children in World Showcase. The presentations of the various nations from around the globe is fantastic for teens and adults, but has for years left children and preteens itching in their skin. Now, they are gobbling up massive amounts of culture and history without ever removing themselves from an engaging activity and technological device they are familiar with. Now, that’s what I call edutainment.

However, given my blue sky pencil, I would love to see a small change to the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure, and it is in the very name itself. Kim Possible began in 2002 and ended its run in 2007, well before the 2009 launch date in Epcot. Now, I understand things stick around with syndication, but these days it is almost impossible to find Possible on television. Luckily, Disney has a large lineup of potential replacements in Agent P, from the Phineas and Ferb cartoon, the host of Marvel superheroes and superheroines, and the Disney Host Interactive (DHIs) from Ridley Pearson‘s Kingdom Keeper book series. Each has mass appeal to children young and older, boys and girls and, with the Marvel supers, a proven longevity record.

Another change I would love to see with the World Showcase Adventure? Expansion. Currently, there are several countries not participating in the activities. Let’s go ahead and bring them into the fold. Next? Let’s send some trouble towards Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There is so much to be garnered from the trails, exhibits, and buildings of the park, why not craft an interactive tour that defeats evil and saves the creatures we share the world with. I don’t know about you, but animals tend to tug on the heartstrings of children I work with, and would definitely inspired children to want to help.

At the end of the day, however, we currently only have Kim Possible saving World Showcase. While I may dream of what may come next, I am still in love with the variety, repeatability, fun, and ability to engage of the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure. Chances are, if you find me in World Showcase, I’m either eating, watching Impressions de France, or hot on the trail of a dastardly villain.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

We really loved doing this on our last trip. But I really think the Disney TV & park people should talk. Kim Possible episodes are no where to be found these days & with a fairly new attraction based on the show I think that's a mistake.