Winning is FUN!!!
First and foremost, thank you, thank you, thank you to the entire MP staff! I think this is the most fun we've ever had at a Mouse Adventure, and I'm not just saying that because we won. Long before winners were announced, we talked to tons of people. EVERYONE (including us) had smiles on our faces and lots of laughs. We all talked about our favorite parts, which quests were the most fun. No talk of which gave us the most pain and annoyance. Awsome job guys!! (and a certain someone is completely exhonerated for slowing us down a little at the beginning )
Secondly, winning is FUN!!! Don't know where to begin. I could write a book about the day. I'll try to keep it short and to the point.
Biggest screw up for us: Right out of the gates. Our first stop was NOS. We took the pink quest, alphabatize the gods. Problem was, we failed to read the top of the paper and didn't notice the "/Adventure Land." We spent a good 10 minutes wandering NOS looking for gods! I can conclusively tell you that there are no gods in NOS. FINALLY, CP says, "Tiki Room is the only thing I can think of!" and THEN noticed the key info on the paper. We thought for SURE we shot ourselves in the foot with that one. It didn't help when we saw the Gauchos arriving at NOS for the SECOND stop while we were finighing our first.
Random bits of knowledge are good: CP knew where the bubbles were! I had NO idea. But she led us right to them. HUGE time saver.
Luckiest break: Long story here. Basically, we got the Red Rocket host wrong (we saw the giant Coke sign for the bevarage cart). Therefor we figured we had missed a Pinnochio or two and had the wrong question. We saw the "What does X cost?" question. It HAD to be a mess up (they planned to replace the X with a product, but forgot). But, we decided to double check the menu anyway. Thank GOD we did, because on the menu was the actual name of the hosting company. Phew!!
Best decission: We had completed all 8 quests and were holding the last one (in Fronteirland) in our hand. We had a decission. We needed one more item for Scavenger Hunt Bingo, a Space Mountian FP. Again, we were in Fronteirland. So we took a second and weighed our options. Turn in the paper and take the time as it was, or trek across the park for the FP. Well, at the speed we can power-walk, it would take us a little over 5 minutes to get there and back. The Scavanger hunt was worth a 15 minute bonus. That's almost 10 minutes in our favor. Decission made. So we motor our way across...and on the way CP spots Lani! Suddenly, our 5 or 6 mintue detour netted us a last second 25 minute bonus!! That's what sealed it.
Biggest risk: We had two FPs, Mansion and Space. We decided to risk them both. It was a gut decission. Basically, I was banking on Alex not being evil enough to choose as the joker FP one that was on the scavanger hunt sheet. I second guessed that decission all the way until we heard our team called. "The 6 minutes was not worth the risk of losing 15 minutes." But knowing the spread between 1st and 3rd, I'm REAL glad we did it.
So we heard the Gauchos' time of 1:15. Now, I knew what bonuses we got, and I knew what time we turned it in, so I knew our time was 1:04....IF we didn't get the Fastpass joker. Otherwise, our time would have been 1:25. So when we weren't second place, I though for sure we'd lost it. There was no way 1st was only 11 minutes faster than 3rd! So it was a total shock to hear our names. That was a TIGHT pack at the top. I can't wait to see the second place team's time to see if we really did need those 6 minutes that the 2 Fastpasses gave us.
For the record, we turned ours in at 1:37. We got 15 minutes for scavenger, 10 minutes for finding Lani, 2 minutes on Eyespy (we knew one of them by site, we didn't even waste time looking for any others), and 6 minutes for Fastpasses for a total of 33 minutes in bonus time.
Okay, that wasn't short. Sorry, but I'm still really excited about the whole experience. I had a great time. And I think it really made a difference that seemingly everyone did!