Legends of Frontierland: The Adventures of Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason
Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com and Disneyland blogger Laura Gilbreath spent some time Friday, July 18, 2014 exploring the Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush! at Disneyland.
Legends of Frontierland is a new interactive guest experience at Disneyland this summer. From the information pamphlet:
"You are invited to play an immersive game in which you can create your own persona and frontier story. Start out as a friend of Frontierland or Rainbow Ridge and work your way up to become a legend."
As it was explained to us, the citizens of Rainbow Ridge are down on their luck - the gold mines are played out and their water has dried up. They've now got their eyes on the more prosperous Frontierland, and are trying to take it over, and the folk of Frontierland are trying to prevent that.
There's no charge to play and no age restrictions. The object seems to be to perform various tasks to earn "bits" so you can buy land. The bits look like wooden poker chips - each chip is 5 bits. You can exchange 50 bits (10 chips) for a gold nugget. With 100 bits you can purchase land for either Frontierland or Rainbow Ridge.
There's a land map at the entrance to Frontierland that shows the territory and who owns what. Here is the land map as we started the adventure.
You begin at the Trading Post where a cast member attempts to explain the game, and you decide if you want to play for Frontierland or Rainbow Ridge. You are given a map, a colored name tag, and a western name. If you don't have a name in mind the CM will help you choose. We chose to play for Frontierland, and our names were Lasso Laura and Jiminy Jason. Here's the inside of the map:
Jason writes: Our first stop was the Telegraph Station to see what was going on, since one of the easiest/most obvious ways to earn bits is by delivering telegrams.
Laura writes: There were several incoming telegrams at the time, but there was sometimes a line of people waiting for telegrams so they could have something to do.
Jason writes: Our first quest.. find Runaway Roseanna and deliver this telegram.
We started looking in the stores.
Having had no luck finding Runaway Roseanna, seems she ran away.. another cast member (missed her name) offered us some jobs to do to earn bits. She took us over to the Leather Shop where there were horses that needed to be ridden so Laura took the reins.
She then set off to ride around Frontierland.
She stopped long enough for a couple pictures before taking a second lap.
There are some props you can purchase to use in the game.. mustaches, hats, and other disguises.
A new outdoor vending cart along the Rivers of America. LB Enterprises, part of the Legends of Frontierland has opened a business selling various elixirs.
Laura struck up a conversation with LB and tried to convince him to join the Frontierland side.. no luck.
Laura writes: We were told that you could potentially earn quite a few bits for converting someone.
Jason writes: Each elixir has a song too.. here is LB performing the Charm song.
Stopped by the Golden Horseshoe.
Laura writes: There's a talent agency at the Golden Horseshoe, which has a "Talent Wanted" ad on the map, so it's supposed to be a way to earn bits.
The only "Talent" thing we saw was people drawing. If that's the talent they are looking for then I'm out of luck, since I can barely draw stick figures. There were some pretty nice drawings!
Another way to earn bits is by playing cards. NOT poker, though. :-) They were in between card games, so I don't know how this works, either.
Jason writes: We returned to Frontierland after taking a detour to the Music of Nashville and finally found Runaway Roseanna. Laura showed her the telegram and convinced her to switch back to Frontierland from the Rainbow Ridge side.
Returned it to the Telegraph Office to earn 5 bits.
Laura writes: The Telegraph Office was staffed by Rainbow Ridgers, who were not at all impressed that I had converted Roseanna, so I didn't get any extra bits from them. But a fellow Frontierlander gave me an additional 5 bits.
Jason writes: As part of this event there are live performances inside the Golden Horseshoe again. This week the stage show was listed on the times guide. 11:15, 12:15, 1:15, 3:00, 4:00 and 5:00. Miss Violet was performing this show.
Laura writes: The show was pretty short, and featured just a piano player and a singer. Not much to it - so don't go thinking it's the classic Golden Horseshoe show of the past.
Laura writes: There are some special menu items at the Golden Horseshoe: "Outlaw Style" chili fries, chili bread bowl, or chicken salad, and root beer with different flavors added. None of it sounded very good to me, though.
Laura's thoughts: The game seemed popular, and there were quite a few guests playing - I saw a lot of yellow and orange name tags in that area. And there were a LOT of cast members involved exclusively in the game.
I found it very unstructured and it was not clear to me what we needed to do to play. It's not like Kim Possible or Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom where there are specific places to go and things to do. For this one you have to be willing to engage with cast members and other guests - it's not something to really do on your own.
The telegrams were the only activity that seemed pretty straightforward, but as I mentioned earlier, there were usually people waiting for a telegram to come in just so they would have something to do.
Other activities that people seemed to be doing were "capturing" outlaws who were on WANTED posters, and challenging someone to a "Rock, Paper Scissors" duel. I couldn't tell if you got some or all of their bits if you won. There was a jail - I don't know if the loser went to jail, or if there was some other reason someone got put in jail. Did I mention that this whole thing wasn't very clear?
But some people were apparently getting it because there was a lot of land purchased between when we first started playing around 1:45, and when we last went through the area around 4:30. The game ends at 6:00...it looked like Frontierland was going to hang on as the winners of that day's land war.
So...I thought it was an interesting idea, but the execution isn't quite what it should be. I might try again on a future visit and see if it's any different.
Hope you enjoyed this look at the Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush at the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.