Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Disney Game

Our family has been playing a sort of variation on twenty questions for years to make waiting in lines or dealing with delays a much more amusing time for The Peanut.  It occurred to me the other day, as we were playing it yet again waiting for a table at a restaurant, that this might be a fun idea to pass along for other families, too.

Here is how we play it:

One person thinks of a character from a Disney movie.  It can be classic Disney, newer Disney, or Pixar, or even one of the Pixar short films.  But we do try to stick to cartoons or movies where there is some level of animation (say Mary Poppins, Pete's Dragon, or Enchanted, for example).

Once the character has been selected, everyone else gets to guess who it is.

We generally begin with a clue that goes something like "this character is ____________."  This can be hairy, stinky, green, crazy, evil, covered in spots, slightly coated in mucus, whatever...but the fill in the blank part needs to be something descriptive and just obscure enough that it doesn't give it away from the get go.

As an example, the wolf from Sword in the Stone that chases Arthur up the hill and through the forest for a while before he finds Merlin might be described at the start of the game as "grayish and slinky."  Then everyone gets a chance to ask questions, such as "Is it classic Disney or newer?"  (Our dividing line on that tends to be Fox and the Hound as where "newer" begins, but YMMV.)  

Eventually, we run out of initial questions and another clue is given, "This character can be found in a forest."  More questions from the players at this point, as well as guesses as to which character it might be.  And if we still can't figure it out, a final clue will be given, something like, "He makes a wheezing sound like this..."  (The wheezing sound for the wolf gives it away every time.)

The person who guesses the character during the game is the next person to think of a character for everyone else to guess.  If no one gets the character, the original "it" gets to think of another character and more guessing happens.

We kind of got the idea from the scene in Finding Nemo where Dory and Marlin are playing something like this:
Dory:  "I'm thinking of something small." 
Marlin:  "Nemo." 
Dory:  "That's just scary.  How do you keeping doing that?  Okay, I'm thinking of something small..."

Except we have the whole host of Disney films and characters at our disposal for guessing.

The best part of this game is that it works with tiny kiddos as well as adults who love Disney, too.   You can completely tailor it to work with little kids, and they have lots of fun thinking of clues as well as guessing.  Plus, it makes standing in line waiting for rides at Disney World as well as sitting and waiting for your table at a restaurant or waiting for a doctor's appointment in a crowded waiting room a lot more enjoyable.

A variation on this theme is to try to name Disney characters for each letter of the alphabet.  For example, if you are doing "A," you might say Aurora, Ariel, etc., and so on all the way through the alphabet.  The Peanut and I once got through a 50 minute wait for the Toy Story ride by doing this, and had folks on either side of us in line playing along, including a large group of Japanese tourists that we later found were still playing it a couple of hours later while we were all waiting for the Star Wars ride...too funny.

Parental sanity is nothing to sneeze at, let me tell you.  If your child hates lines and waiting as much as ours did when she was tiny, this game can be a lifesaver.  And now that she is older and more mature, it is still an awfully fun way to pass the time when we have a long wait, although our characters have gotten way, way more obscure and difficult to guess these days, which just makes it more fun and challenging for all of us.

Hope this can be fun for other folks out there.  Enjoy!

(Photo via JD Hancock.  Loved this!)

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