The concept is pretty great. You buy a starter pack, which consists of a pin lanyard that has no pins, but it does have a decoder medallion and a fancy zipper pocket that says Pin Quest on it that you can put your quest tickets in. You cannot, however, put the other part of the starter pack--the all-important map--inside the pocket (at least not without folding it extra times), because the default fold leaves it just barely too big to get past the zipper pull on the pocket, alas. (Maybe if we tried inserting it diagonally, but then how would we ever get it out again? Diagonally?)
So the starter pack costs about fifteen dollars, but unless you want a kinda neat pin lanyard and slightly unusual map of the park, it's not going to do you a whole lot of good. To do the quest properly, you have to buy the ticket with the first clue. Solve the clue, and you get a pin that will lead you to the location of the next ticket. See, it all sounds super cool, right? Until you realize that you can just buy all the tickets at every store, so what's even the point, am I right? Well, the point is exclusive pins, but I don't care about exclusive pins, I care about video game style side quests that earn me neat rewards...which may or may not be pins.
There are two other major drawbacks to the whole ticket system, the first of which being the price. It's ten bucks for a ticket. That's actually not so bad when you consider that you get the pin at no additional cost, but that brings me to the second drawback, which is that the pins seem a little on the cheap side. I mean, I'm no expert, so it's possible that the exceptionally lightweight metal is not cheap aluminum, but some super high-tech, extremely durable alloy. So maybe I'm passing judgment too quickly. I actually like the designs pretty well--they each have a character to represent the store where you got them, with a symbol in the background that matches the one that the cast members stamp on your map at each location when you solve a clue.
And "clue" reminds me that the pins weren't actually the second drawback. They were just the real reason behind the first drawback. The second drawback is that the clues are kinda boring. We only did half the quest, because we had reevaluate whether or not we wanted to spend the money to do the whole quest. I mean, I like the pin designs, but the hula girl on the pin from the It's a Small World shop was totally off-model. But anyway, the clues, at least for the first half of the quest, are all, "Look around the store and answer this super easy question." On the one hand, it is kind of a nice way to draw guests' attention to the detail they put into decorating all the stores, and I do think that sort of thing ought to be appreciated. But on the other hand, the Small World clue was about a poster, and that store has the cutest non-poster decorations!
And that reminds me of what really had me disheartened about the whole thing. The cast member at the Small World store had to tell us that the clue on the ticket had been misprinted (because if he didn't tell us, we would have spent hours (or minutes, before we gave up and asked...or just gave up) trying to find the poster in question). So first we learn that they couldn't even do enough quality control to make sure none of the clues (you know, clues--where it's super important to get the details right if you don't want to mislead anybody) had mistakes. And second, he had to warn us that one of the other tickets had a misprint, too. Really, Disneyland? I expected better from you. That and the overpriced pins had us rethinking whether or not we wanted to let the park keep swindling us.
Aaaanyway, if we decide to finish the quest, there are three pins left to go as part of the quest itself, and when we finish, we'll get the completer pin! ...Only not really. We'll get the right to buy the completer pin. So let me rephrase: When we finish, they'll let us buy the completer pin! I seem to remember the Disney Parks Blog saying the completer pins was another $20 or so... The helpful cast member on Main Street told us that the whole quest was like $84, so maybe the completer pin is the same as the others.
And so, in sum, it's a really fun idea and I like the concept so very very much. But I feel like I'm being ripped off, and I don't like that so much. I mean, if the clues were at least more interesting and/or involved... And yet, we are completists, so we're torn about it. But Gaston will be coming down later this week, so we'll have another chance to decide before too long. It's only going on "while supplies last", after all.
Today I'm thankful for at least getting to see what Pin Quest was all about, buying some delicious cookies on the way home (not from Disneyland; we were done giving them money...for today), getting to go on Alice in Wonderland, making fairly good progress on Corpse Party despite taking the morning off, and it being time to take a break.