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Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Embarking on a Pirate's Adventure in Magic Kingdom

 by Beth Keating

Park Life


September 13, 2023


I’m a Disney planner.  In the days before the My Disney Experience app (where all your plans are now electronically kept in one spot), I was the Disney mom with pages of spread sheets, color-coded, of course. Back in the days of Fastpass (remember those?), I had my three Fastpasses lined up months in advance, and they were carefully spaced apart from dining reservations. I had a schedule to keep!  Woe to the one who dared to put that schedule out of alignment.

Wilderness Explorers Handbook at Animal Kingdom

Then I had an elementary school child who wasn’t impressed with my carefully crafted plans.  He wasn’t even impressed with the rides. We got to the parks, and said child decided he wasn’t really interested in going on the rides. We did a lot of rider swaps on that trip.

Suddenly, something sparked an interest in the wee lad. He discovered that the “wilderness must be explored” with the Wilderness Explorers activities in Animal Kingdom.  And my meticulously planned trip went right out the window as we traded one of our park days for a second day in Animal Kingdom so he could complete all the activities in the Wilderness Explorers’ handbook and earn his explorer badges.

The next trip, we tackled the Pirate’s Adventure in the Magic Kingdom.  And he had just as much fun.  “A Pirate's Adventure ~ Treasures of the Seven Seas” is an interactive treasure hunt of sorts, and it is still offered at the Magic Kingdom today. (The Pokemon Go! folks among you will be familiar with the concept of electronically hunting and catching.)

Could this be one of the scenes hiding Captain Jack’s clues?

If you find yourself at Disney on a day when the wait times for the rides are super long, the Pirate Adventure may just fit the bill to keep your kids (or you!) engaged when you can’t face one more 60+ minute line for an attraction. It lets you slow down and enjoy the carefully Imagineered details for a while.  


The Pirate Adventure’s interactive hunt is good for all ages, though younger kids may need some help with the hidden clues that you will find while scavenging through the displays and tableaus set up throughout Adventureland. You’ve probably walked right by many of the set pieces scattered about near Pirates of the Caribbean without realizing that a number of clues and treasures were lurking therein.  You’ll follow your talisman, and when you find yourself in the correct spot, pirate voices will suddenly emanate from a treasure chest, or things will light up and make sounds to let you know you are on the right track.  (Remember the “Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom” card game? Think along those lines.)

Hmm, or maybe it’s this one?

Cast members are available at varying hours to sign you up and get you started, but most days the hunt is on from noon through dinner time. You can start an adventure up until 30 minutes before Adventureland closes, though, and even start and stop various adventures as needed, just in case a dining reservation pops up or you are due at a Lightning Lane.


The premise of the free adventure is this: Captain Jack needs your help!  You are searching for some hidden treasure, and you need a special talisman to help you find the clues.  You’ll start out at “The Crow’s Nest,” where helpful cast members will give you the talisman and a secret treasure map.

There are 5 “raids” to complete, all taking place in Adventureland, and you’ll link your MagicBand to the game so that you can come back later and complete the additional missions.  No need to finish them all in one afternoon as there is no time limit, though it is sort of addictive and each hunt takes a relatively short 15-20 minutes.  As you complete each adventure, you receive a treasure finder card, but the big payoff is that after you collect all 5, you’ll get a sixth celebratory card signed by Captain Jack Sparrow himself!


If you have a young swashbuckler in your family, or if you are just looking for something unique to do in the Magic Kingdom, this pirate quest may be the way to add some adventure to your day, Matey. Gather the little scallywags, and head to The Crow’s Nest to begin your journey.  




Beth Keating is a theme parks, restaurant and entertainment reporter for DisneyBizJournal.

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