Epic Mickey: Mr. Schaller Goes To Florida
Posted on Wednesday, September 26 @ 11:13:03 Eastern by KevinS
I got the call a few weeks ago about a presentation to see Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion for the Nintendo DS. Just hearing that after seeing some play footage and feeling my retro-loving synapses firing gleefully, I was ready to accept. But then Nick told me I'd have to do some traveling to see the product… basically, flying out to Disney World in Orlando. I don't think he was finished speaking before I accepted.
After more than five hours in the aisle seat of a plane where the older gentleman across from me would stand up for twenty minutes every hour—and waggle his old dude butt like a Wii-mote mere inches from my face without anywhere I could escape to—I arrived in the muggy, tropical, family-friendly haven known as "Florida." For a native Californian, it was like breathing for the first time… underwater. Seriously, it was humid enough to drown Little Nemo.
But that aside, I hopped into a (thankfully) air-conditioned car and headed to the hotel, dropped off my stuff in my room, then met up for a pre-press event drink with my fellow writer nerds Did you know you can drink whiskey from Disney's Contemporary Hotel restaurant to your room? They offered a "to go" cup! Make it a double!
The event was midday on Thursday, so to keep us occupied, we were each given a day pass to the parks. A group of us headed into Disney's Hollywood Studios park to bomb around the Main Street, see a short animation presentation, ride a few rides (Tower of Terror is a personal favorite), and just generally "pass time"... in the best way I've ever "passed time" in my life.
After our admittedly short excursion, we headed back to the hotel, grabbed our badges, and took the bus to Epcot to play Epic Mickey: Power Of Illusion… for about an hour and a half or so. Then we bombed around the Magic Kingdom, in a tour led by Warren Spector himself. We were shown different parts of the park, heard him talk about the detail his team put into getting the details of Disney World juuuuuust right, and then—like bosses, which I'm not entirely proud of—we cut in line in front of a bunch of kids to ride some of the rides first.
I should've never gotten to the front of the line then, just to see the handful of tykes waiting in line and turning to their parents, as if to ask "why do the big kids get to go first?" It's okay, though. They'll learn when they get older that the cool kids get to cut in line. Took me almost 30 years to get over it, but maybe they'll be luckier than I was.
After our short tour around The Haunted Mansion and the Peter Pan rides we had some time to do as we liked once again (which was mostly taken up by Space Mountain, as is required). Then we were treated to a beautiful dinner at a restaurant where the fireworks could be seen from the balcony… or would have been, if the majority of us didn't run inside as if we'd melt if the rain hit us too much.
In fact, only two or three people stayed outside to watch the pretty explosions, and one of them was Warren. So we saw Warren Spector waltz back in like nothing happened, soaked to the bone, and sat down shivering a little to eat dinner with the rest of us. In his toast at the end of the night, he called us all wussies. It was perfectly justified.
I flew back to overcast San Francisco the next day, exhausted and giddy. The flights are a pain in the ass, and I never knew just how bad they could be, but this one—my first for this job—was exactly what I hoped it would be. Sorry for the braggadocios piece, but I couldn't help myself… it's not every day I get to do stuff this cool!