When planning our recent day “Eating Around the World” at EPCOT, we tried to pace our indulging by interspersing non-food activities. While there are a few movies and brief shows in several of the countries and I personally love just walking around and admiring the architecture, there isn’t a whole lot for kids to do in World Showcase. Shopping gets boring fast and we tried a few KidCot stations on our last trip, but our boys just aren’t very interested.
Fortunately, there is one more activity for kids to explore EPCOT’s World Showcase – Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure. This adventure is a smartphone-led mission in the world of Phineas and Ferb along with their pet, Perry the Platypus (“Agent P”). Missions are available in most countries in World Showcase – United Kingdom, France, Japan, Italy, Germany, China, and Mexico – and you may choose the country of your adventure when you register. Each mission takes approximately 30 minutes and sends you on a scavenger hunt around the selected country’s pavilion.
We decided ahead of time that Japan would be the perfect country for our first mission as it is evenly spaced between countries with other activities (the movie in France the show in the USA) and is completely gorgeous so we wanted to spend more time there.
THE SIGN UP
Receive your mission assignment at the recruitment center on the main bridge to World Showcase in the shadow of the monorail track. We had heard about secondary recruitment centers in the United Kingdom and Italy pavilions and planned to receive our assignment in the UK as it was more convenient. However, after searching and searching (having a nice tour of the UK pavilion as a result!) and eventually asking a cast member, we learned that it was “taken away” some time ago. The main recruitment center was our only option. So, we continued on our Eating Around the World journey and took a Friendship Boat from Morocco back to Showcase Plaza to receive our assignment.
At the recruitment center, a cast member asked what country we preferred for our mission and if we had our own phone. We did so we weren’t offered to use a provided flip-phone, which I heard are available. She directed us to a website, gave us a unique code to submit, and we were off! After taking a Friendship Boat back across the lagoon to Morocco and reaching Japan, we pressed a start button on the first screen to begin our adventure.
Our mission brought us all over the Japan pavilion. On the phone, we watched a series of animated videos telling the story of Dr. Doofenshmirtz’s latest evil deeds. We were instructed to move to any random location several times in an effort to remain untraced on our mission. We were also shown photos of specific locations to find within the pavilion where additional questions would be answered. Correct answers produced special effects, lighting and smoke, and Agent P himself motoring around Japan’s castle moat and imploding a torpedo!
The entire mission was possible on our own phone using Disney World’s free wifi although we did have trouble with the signal underneath bulky overhangs.
When the mission was complete, agents are congratulated but don’t receive any tangible momento like Animal Kingdom’s Wilderness Explorers program. The entire mission is completed on the phone and the reward is simply time well spent exploring one of the beautiful pavilions.
When the mission is completed, we were immediately able to sign up for another. Returning to the main recruitment center isn’t necessary if using your own phone. We chose Germany, but decided against completing another mission when we reached the pavilion an hour later (see “THE BAD” below!).
The concept of Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure is brilliant. My boys love Phineas and Ferb so they enjoyed the characters and exploring the Japan pavilion during our mission. These missions are certainly a great way to explore the pavilions that you might typically bypass on your journey around the world.
The special effects are wonderful and unexpected, especially to other guests nearby who didn’t suspect that we were triggering them! I didn’t expect our answers to trigger actual events within the pavilion.
Unfortunately, we felt our mission required us to spend far too much time staring at a phone screen when we should’ve been exploring our chosen country. This is probably apparent by the content of the photos accompanying this blog post! There was too much storyline that didn’t pertain to the country at all and we just sat for minutes (which seem long at the time!) at a time watching this TV show play out on our phone. We wanted to get moving! A skip button was always available and, in hindsight, we should’ve used it but I thought bypassing content would lose the storyline.
The video-watching time would have been bearable had the program run in a timely manner. When the screen instructed us to move to a different location (over a half dozen times total), we were instructed to press the provided confirmation button when we arrived at the new location. There was always a significant delay after pressing this button that just left us sitting and waiting for the next instruction. This break in the sequence always caused the boys to lose interest and increase frustration.
Had the program run smoothly without the delays and if the storyline videos had been shorter, the Agent P World Showcase Adventure would have earned rave reviews. Unfortunately, both left the boys with little interest in completing a second mission that day.
While we had no criticisms of the Wilderness Explorers program at Animal Kingdom, we definitely found flaws with Agent P’s World Showcase adventure that will affect our future involvement. I would like to try a mission in another country during our next EPCOT visit to compare to our experience in Japan, but if the same two main flaws exist, we’ll give Agent P a permanent pass.