Pokémon Go at Walt Disney World

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We avoided the Pokémon Go crazy at The Disney Blog for just over a week until a trip to a local park got us into the game and we haven’t stopped playing since. If you’re not familiar with the game, Google it. But the basic experience is a hunt for rare creatures through another plane of existence (aka augmented reality) via the magic portal of your phone. Actually, that sounds a lot like something Disney might build.

This weekend was our first chance to visit Walt Disney World and see what it has to offer for players.

From the Ticket and Transportation Center, we took the Resort Monorail which allowed us to get a few Poke-stops as we journeyed to the Magic Kingdom. The entire park is full of poke-stops and each land had at least one gym.

pokemon-go-map

The gyms were under constant contention between the three teams. This mean, there wasn’t much of an opportunity to train, but if you want to battle, the parks (and Disney Springs) are for you. If you’re looking for a more leisurely time playing the game, consider a walk around the Seven Seas Lagoon. Each resort had a number of poke-stops.

SeaWorld and Gatorland have had special events where they set up lures themselves to attract gamers, it’s not clear if Disney is doing that too. But there are a lot of lures throughout the parks and Disney Springs. Hang out where you see multiple lures lurking, those are good places to find pokemon and level up quickly.

As you might expect, we found some rare Pokemon in the Magic Kingdom. Even got our first Pikachu. He’s the cutest.

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Tips:

  • Bring a portable battery (or two).
  • Disney has official recharging stations in the Space Mountain store, near the Tangled restrooms in Fantasyland, and in the yellow tent in Storybook Circus. .
  • Drink lots of water, most playing is outdoors.
  • Turn on AR for those rare Pokemon and take a photo for social media.
  • Please stay out of off-limit locations. You don’t want to get booted from the park just to catch a Pidgey.

As you go through the park, please be aware and alert to your surroundings while playing Pokemon Go. The parks can be crazy crowded and stopping in the middle of a walkway can end up with someone getting hurt. Also, watch for strollers, they’re often below your line of sight, but contain precious cargo. Remember not to go backstage or to enter gated areas. Gotta catch’em all only goes so far.

It is a little odd to have some poke-stops appear on the map that are actually backstage. I realize this is out of Disney’s Control. Keep in mind that most of the Poke-stops and Gyms were assigned in a previous version of the game. So there will be a period of adjustment.

I’ve written before about how augmented reality will come to Disney’s theme parks. I didn’t quite expect it like this. That said, there’s still a ton of potential to do something along the same lines. There’s no reason Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom couldn’t be adopted to an AR style game you play on your phone when you at the parks. Disney Infinity could live on in the same way.

As Pokémon Go continues to grow expect more opportunities to grow teams, develop gyms and poke-stops, and, of course, find new Pokemon at your favorite hangouts including Walt Disney World. Will you be playing on your next visit? What do you think about the arrival of augmented reality games that are really fun to play?

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6 thoughts on “Pokémon Go at Walt Disney World

  1. Kiersten

    I have no problem with Pokemon but my opinion is that I’m not paying several thousand dollars for a Disney vacation to play games on my phone. I’m going to put down my phone and experience what Disney has to offer. The Pokemon games can wait until I get back home to Virginia. That’s just my opinion though. :)

    1. Nicole

      It could be a good way to use downtime, like waiting in a popular ride’s queue or for your group to meet up, especially if someone is running late.

  2. Bev Hendricks

    WDW parks and resorts are a nice break for those of us who live right down the road. I’m an annual passholder who visits the parks regularly. It’s a terrific place to walk. Therefore, for me Pokemon Go is more of an enhancement, rather than a distraction.

    1. Susan

      We are annual passholders. The kids and I will play Pokemon Go to break things up and while we are enjoying our experiences. We’ve been there and done everything numerous times. So if my kids want to listen to the jokes on the Jungle cruise while playing Pokemon Go (volume is always off) instead of seeing the same things they have seen 100 times, its fine by me. It helps a lot when we are waiting for a show or in a line too!

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