Welcome to the latest installment of the Disney Classic Console! As you may know, this is where we take a walk to the video game cabinet and see what classic Disney video games we can find. This latest entry is the newest one I’ve talked about so far, but it’s still a classic. Join me as I look at Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour for the Sony PlayStation!
Magical Racing Tour was released on the PlayStation on March 30, 2000. That means that its 10th anniversary is just around the bend, by the way. I know that’s not nearly as old as some of the other games I’ve covered before, but we are talking about an entire decade here. In technology, that’s pretty old. Also, we’ve seen two completely new PlayStation consoles since this game was released (the PS2 was released in North America in October of that year).
As with anything Disney, this can’t be just a racing game. It has to have a story, right? Well, Chip and Dale have caused some trouble. They found the Fireworks Machine – the contraption behind the fireworks that light up Walt Disney World at night. But Dale dropped some acorns in the machine, and it exploded – spreading its parts all over the resort. Chip has an idea, though: they’ll race around Walt Disney World to find the missing parts and reassemble the machine. They have to finish before dark, though, because there will be thousands of disappointed vacationers if the Fireworks Machine isn’t up and running in time.
Your journey will take you through all four parks and both water parks. You’ll ride a bunch of different vehicles, too, including a snow mobile, a rocket, a pirate ship, a log, and more. What tracks will you get? There’s actually quite a few, and some great ones at that. Here’s the list from the instruction booklet: Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, DINOSAUR, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Tomorrowland Speedway, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Disney’s Blizzard Beach, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Splash Mountain (bonus track), Test Track (bonus arena), Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon (bonus arena), and the Disney Studios (bonus arena). As you complete one track, it will open new tracks. You don’t get to pick and choose right away, which gives you incentive to go deeper in the game.
The only characters you’ll recognize in this game are the chipmunks Chip and Dale and Jiminy Cricket (he is an unlockable character). The other characters look like they were made for this game, and most of them have clever car-related jokes in their names. Their names are: Amanda Sparkle, Baron Karlott, Bruno Biggs, Polly Roger, Oliver Chickly III, Tiara Damage, Moe Whiplash, Otto Plugnut, Ned Shredbetter (secret character), and X.U.D. 71 (secret character).
What’s the game itself like? It starts with a nice little fly-by of Main Street, USA to get you to the title screen – Cinderella Castle. If you’re just starting, you’ll get to see the story, narrated by a computer animated Jiminy Cricket. After that, you’ll see a screen that shows your progress in collecting pieces of the Fireworks Machine. Here you can continue to the race selection screen and receive tips on playing the game. The race selection screen is laid out like a map of the Walt Disney World property.
As you’re racing, keep an eye out for power ups and items. You can find a number of weapons, including acorns to shoot at opponents, a guided rocket, a teacup mine, and a spell to turn your opponents to frogs. Also look for Zippers (Speed Gates if you’re in water) for a speed boost. Gold coins are scattered along the track, and collecting these boosts your speed. You’ll also see Lucky Fairies floating around each track. Collect these to increase your chances of getting a good power up and increase your opponents’ chances of messing up. There are also shortcuts that really help, so look for those. If you finish in 1st place, you’ll be awarded a Fireworks Machine part. But there’s also a two player mode in which you can race a friend on the regular tracks or compete in a Coin Challenge on the Bonus Arenas (shown in the screenshot above).
There’s a lot to do in this game. The story itself will keep you busy for a while, and the two player modes are pretty fun. I love this game simply because it takes me through some of my favorite attractions in my favorite vacation spot. The only complaint I have about this game is this: I’m always being turned into a frog. Maybe I’m simply not collecting enough good luck, but I seriously end up as a frog at least 5-10 times each race. Quite annoying. Other than that, I have a ton of fun playing this game. The shortcuts are invaluable, by the way. Try to find them and take them religiously.
If you’re looking to purchase this game, I found a number of them available on eBay and Amazon. Some people are charging upwards of $20 for it, but I found a really good used copy for $10 (including shipping). This game is easily worth that much. If you have an original PlayStation (or a new PlayStation that’s backwards compatible with these games – I played it on my PS3 Slim, for example), I recommend you give it a try.
The screenshots I used in this article are from IGN.com. Thanks goes to them!