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A visit to Company D, a Minnie's Moonlit Madness test run and this year's first visit

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  • Trip Report A visit to Company D, a Minnie's Moonlit Madness test run and this year's first visit

    We've got a special treat today, and it's not just the ice cream we're all enjoying.
    Today the fearsome foursome is back together and ready for competition!

    Any time we get together near Disneyland (without the kids) a stop by the cast member exclusive Company D is in order. Jacob made some of his famous Rice Krispy Treats for Theresa to celebrate her recent birthday.

    It's been raining off and on all morning. Dry for now. Let's head inside. There's not even any signs here showing what this place is.

    Just these frosted entry signs that blend in to the glass.

    Inside you'll find deals on all sorts of things you'll find around the Disney Resort. And there's no telling what will be there. Merchandise is always changing.

    Love the attraction themed shirts.

    Some cute Star Wars skirts.

    And all kinds of other random shirts.

    Outside, the sky had opened up and the bottom was falling out. I sprinted out to the car to grab the umbrellas, them we made our way back to the car with our purchases covered.

    Over to the Toy Story parking lot to wait for a bus.

    Smile team!

    Quick backstory behind our hats today. Back in October, the four of us plus the kids went to all the Asia Disney theme parks. I'm way behind on writing up that trip. There's four theme parks
    1. Tokyo Disneyland - Japanese Hachimaki headband
    2. Tokyo Disney Sea - Blue Mickey jeweled hat
    3. Hong Kong Disneyland - Mystic Point (from Mystic Manor) fez
    4. Shanghai Disneyland - Red Minnie Beret.

    I know berets are associated with France, but this is definitely from Shanghai.

    Alright team, we're assembled and prepared. And now for the reason we're here!

    Minnie's Moonlit Madness is an awesome after-hours cast member only scavenger hunt. We've participated quite a few year, but our best finish was 2018 when we came in 1st place out of 400 teams!
    We're not participating this year, but we're still able to help out. One of the Clue Crew members Craig gave me a call in December letting me know about a few changes they're making this year.
    The biggest difference is that they're getting rid of Clue Central. In past years after every clue you solved, you had to go to a central location to pick up your next clue. With 400 teams converging on the same place, Clue Central was always a madhouse and hard to navigate. This year teams get all 10 clues at one time! No more back and forth and back and forth!

    To help out, the clue crew is giving us 10 clues and we're going to be running around the park trying to solve them while they observe. We'll have 2 hours to solve all the clues, just like we were competing for real. What they're really trying to figure out is, will teams finish with lots of time to spare or will it still take close to the 2 hours.
    I was surprised to learn that most teams competing only get through 6 clues, and because you only get 1 at a time, most teams never even see those last 4 clues. By giving everyone all the clues up front not only will all the clues be seen, but you also get rid of clue central, and smart teams can reduce their walk-time quite a bit if they can map out a good route to solve everything.

    Clues are broken up into three types.
    1. Observational Clues - Requiring walking to a specific location and doing a puzzle based on input you can only find there.
    2. Action Based Clues - Requires walking to a specific location, but you're meeting a clue member and performing an action.
    3. Logic Problem Clues - These can be solved anywhere.

    Knowing this, as soon as we were told GO, we found a nearby trashcan and opened all 10 clues. We made a list of all the places we'd have to visit and separated the Logic Problem clues from the rest.
    While we walked to the first location, Ruston was in the back solving those clues while we walked. Having all the clues at one time lets you work in parallel!

    All the clues we have today are from past challenges. Nothing is from the 2019 MMM Clues. Inside the Sorcerers Workshop, we used the characters in the brass reliefs on the wall to solve a puzzle that led us to a question asking us Which Character represents the now Closed section of the Sorcerers Workshop. The answer is of course Ursula, who used to have a section where she stole your voice, or you could dub your own words to classic Disney songs.

    One of our Action clues had us playing a Disney A to Z name game that we've actually played before while waiting in line for ride. Starting with the letter A, name a Disney character and proceed all the way to Z. You can skip 2 letters. No using your phone. Each team member goes in order, but you can help each other with clues.

    In the heat of the moment, this might be a little more difficult, but one of the presents Uncle Ruston gave our kids was this fantastic Disney ABC pop-up book.

    Inside is a beautiful pop-up of a character with the letter of their name. I bet Ian could have done this challenge!

    I think having all the clues at once is going to be great. It gets rid of the congested Clue Central and helps reduce the walk-time from clue to clue.

    Our last clue brought us to Buena Vista Street and we're looking for the name of Walt's Second Floor Instructors.

    Found it! I bet this would be easier when the door is shut when the store is closed.

    In the end, we took all 2 hours to get the 10 regular clues and solve an extra bonus clue.
    I think what we learned is that even though we have the same 2 hours to solve everything, we're really able to divide and conquer, spending much more time on a clue while the Logic Problem style clue gets solved in parallel.
    In the past format, you'd only get an average of 12 minutes per clue. Now, you can spend more time on an Observation clue, perhaps having 3 team members work it, while the fourth works a Logic clue.
    It's going to be an interesting year for Minnie's Moonlit Madness. Come February, 600 teams will be running around the park tied together and trying to solve everything. I'm glad we got to help out some!
    And we didn't leave without some prizes. AMC movie tickets, a Disney trivia book, and lots of other Disney swag. Thanks!

    Nice work team! Let's celebrate with ice cream!
    Visit my blog at

    I stayed overnight in the Disneyland Dream Suite! Read all about it here!
    Joe's Epic Overnight Disneyland Dream Suite Trip Report

  • #2
    Happy New Year! The kids have been saying how it's been a while since we've been to Disneyland. I suppose that's true. It's been nearly a month since our last visit was back on December 16thbefore all the Christmas madness.
    For the past year I've tried to have a theme for the hats we wear each week. I'm going to try to continue that this year as well. My Disney hat collection still has a few more that haven't been seen.
    This week's theme is hats from the Asia Disney parks. Back in October, we made it out to Tokyo Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Shanghai Disneyland. It was an awesome trip and I need to hurry up and get my write-up started.
    Ian and I are wearing fez hats from Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland. Alli is wearing an adorable pink pom-pom hat she picked out herself from Tokyo Disneyland. And Theresa is wearing a beret from Shanghai Disneyland.

    I'm really looking forward to the opening of the new parking structure. We arrived at the entrance to the Mickey and Friends parking garage at 8am, but it was a waste of 15 minutes while we slowly made our way to the parking booth.
    Today we're doing somewhat of an experiment. Theresa is going to walk with Alli and the stroller through Downtown Disney. Ian and I are riding the tram.

    There's a reason we're splitting up today. It takes a little longer to get a stroller onto the tram and I thought me and Ian could make it to the entrance faster if we went by ourselves. Unfortunately for us the price for annual passes went up unexpectedly overnight last week. Oh well, what can you do. We get plenty of enjoyment out of Disney and it's a lot of fun to be there as a family all the time.

    If Theresa and Alli had decided to walk right to the entrance, we probably would have met up just as we finished buy Ian's AP. Instead, she decided to take the monorail into the park and that turned out to be a timely mistake. After scanning in, it was another 16 minutes before they finally got to board. Only one monorail running today?

    Ian and I took a trip on Star Tours to Jakku and Crait (is it still fixed on these two Episode VII and Episode VIII?) while we waited for them. He's really looking forward to Star Wars Land opening later this year. And I think on this trip he got his first peek behind the magic. While we were getting thrown around during all the fighting, he decided to lift his glasses up. Afterwards he told me, "I didn't know it was just a screen." I guess in his head we've been looking through a windshield on all our past adventures.

    Theresa and Alli finally made it into the park and walked right onto Buzz while Ian and I were finishing up Star Tours.

    One of our treat we purchased for the kids at Company D yesterday. Purple Fruit Punch popcorn, from Bing Bongs I think. And only $2!
    Alli, where should we go next?

    Gadget's Go Coaster!

    With these short lines, we'd end up riding twice.

    Ian, what's next? Roger Rabbit.

    I love how characters just wander around back in Toontown.

    Both kids trying to get into the same skip pattern as Pluto as they skipped through Toontown.

    When it comes to themed queues, I think the queue for Indiana Jones is the winner. But a close second is the queue for Roger Rabbit. Theresa just wishes you could skip the long walk when there's zero line.

    They get such a kick out of making that puppy pop his head up out of the window and bark at them.

    The lines have been great so far today. At 10am, the carrousel had no line.

    Ian named his horse Albert II. Let me know in the comments if you get the reference.

    Alli was happy to get her favorite pink and purple horse.

    Anyone concerned that they're only eating junk, here's the rest of their morning snack. Cucumbers, carrots, and bell peppers.

    Ian's next request was Big Thunder Mountain. I'm happy for the bench seats because it means I can take both kids at the same time and Theresa doesn't have to ride. Alli said it was her new favorite ride when we finished.

    We're in the picture somewhere, but I just wanted to comment the beautiful blue skies. So Cal just got some heavy rain yesterday and that really clears up the skies.

    One of the perks Cast Members get each holiday are coupons for a free treat in the park. Yesterday Ruston used four of the six coupons. He wanted Ian and Alli to have the last two, so they were both excited to get a special treat today.
    Ian loves popcorn, but only the really buttery yellow pieces. From my experience, the most buttery popcorn at the resort comes from this popcorn cart near the Matterhorn. I don't know why it's so much different than other stands, but from what I've seen, it is.

    Yum! Ian made sure to record a special thank you message for Ruston.

    Satisfied with everything we've accomplished so far this morning at Disneyland, we made our way over to DCA. I think this park is a little more crowded because of Extra Magic Hours this morning. Normally we'd skip Mater if there's a 20 minute wait, but today we'll give it a shot.

    We do look like Shriners don't we. Another person wanted to know where we got the Abu (from Aladdin) hats.

    Group photo before lunch. They're still not giving out chocolate samples. Disappointing. Lunch was seaweed, rice, carrots, applesauce, yogurt, and buttered bread from the Boudin Bakery.

    With Grizzly River down for refurbishment, the water level here in the wharf area is also drained. The ducks and seagulls are still hanging out and looking for kids to throw them bread.

    While Theresa and Alli went to Toy Story Midway Mania, Ian and I went to visit the Tivan Collection. I wonder if Tanaleer Tivan would be a member of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers(like Lord Henry Mystic and Harrison Hightower III).

    Great photo! Groot, don't push that button!

    Theresa and Alli rode the Jumping Jellyfish three times while Ian and I rode Goofy's Sky School twice. I'm glad he loves these types of rides.

    Can we go again Daddy?

    I traded kids with Theresa and ran over to the swings.

    Love it!

    Here's a look at that coupon.

    Share Alli! Thanks Uncle Ruston!

    Time to wrap up this day and head home. We're ending it as we've been doing so often now, by winding it down at the gazebo near the Disneyland Hotel. Relaxing for some. A chance to run around for others.

    On our walk back to the car, we encountered not one, but two Cats of Disneyland.

    Both of these guys were hanging out near the formal Gazebo near the Frontierland Tower.

    It was a great day to be at Disneyland and it's good to be back! Here's to another wonderful year of visits.
    Last edited by mre200200; 01-13-2019, 11:52 PM.
    Visit my blog at

    I stayed overnight in the Disneyland Dream Suite! Read all about it here!
    Joe's Epic Overnight Disneyland Dream Suite Trip Report


    • #3
      Great report, what fun to get to test the new Moonlight Madness system for them too bad you won't be competing this year.
      BGood! It's not just my motto its my name!


      • #4
        MMM sounds SO cool. I can't wait to read about your trip to the Asia Parks! Tokyo is next on my list.