The other day, my son received a Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story”-themed checkers game. It got me thinking about the board games I played when I was younger. In this age of digital games for all kinds of devices, there is something so timeless about grabbing a game from a shelf, opening the lid and spending a few hours playing with the family. I recently spoke with Qunyh Kimball, a Disney Design Group artist, who has spent the past few years designing several Disney-themed games for Disney Parks. The best part of his job – he gets to play them at work.
“It takes about a year to develop a game,” explained Quynh. “We start with creating a story for the game. After designing the game, we may play variations to ensure the best possible game play. Ultimately, telling a great story is the key to a successful game.”
One of those immersive story games is the new Monopoly – Disney Theme Park Edition. This is the third version of the game that was first introduced in 2002 with the opening of Once Upon A Toy. This version takes a familiar game – Monopoly – but adds some really cool features. The most impressive one is a pop-up Castle in the middle of the game board.
“We had seen a pop-up Castle a few years ago in Europe on a Disney version of Monopoly,” continued Quynh. “Since the Castle is such an identifiable Park icon, we knew a pop-up version would be perfect for a future Theme Park Edition game.”
In this version, the tokens are now Disney characters such as Figment or the Abominable Snowman from the Matterhorn Bobsleds attraction. There is also an exclusive seventh token that isn’t meant to be used. It’s the Partners Statue which sits perfectly in front of the Castle. This game is now available in California and will be arriving in Florida around December 17.
Quynh also shared with me two recently released games: Uno – Disney Theme Park Edition, where the cards feature Disney characters in front of classic Disney attractions; and a Disney Theme Park Edition of Operation featuring Lightning McQueen from Disney•Pixar’s “Cars.”
“For Operation with Lightning McQueen, we wanted players to feel like they were part of McQueen’s pit crew,” said Qunyh. “If you hit the sides when removing the various elements, you will hear automotive sounds, not a traditional buzzer. That feature is all part of the storytelling aspect we love.”
If you are visiting Disneyland Resort from December 10-12, demonstrations of the games mentioned above will be held at EngineEars Toys in Disney California Adventure park, World of Disney store in the Downtown Disney District and Emporium on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park. For demonstration times, locations and games, visit www.ArtofDisneyParks.com.
If you are in Florida on December 17, you can meet Qunyh Kimball and Casey Jones (who also worked on Monopoly – Disney Theme Park Edition 3) at Once Upon A Toy in the Downtown Disney Marketplace from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Oh, it’s my turn to roll.
I have a very old Haunted Mansion boardgame from the early 70s, as well as the Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea boardgame from the same year. I have a copy of Haunted Mansion Clue and I am trying to find more Disney boardgames, as my wife and I are avid boardgamers as well as Disney fans. I would love to see Disney make their own games and not just licensed properties, like Monopoly, Clue, etc. You used to do it; there’s no reason you can’t do it again.
When I saw the UNO pic, I assumed it must be vintage because it has an old pic of the fab 5 in front of the castle. I was surprised to see it’s a new game…
Why surprised? Because Donald hasn’t looked like that for a very long time…
Surely it wouldn’t have been hard to arrange a new photo shoot….
I wasn’t too sure about them changing the Operation game, but hearing a car instead of a buzzer that is too cute!
Ooh, these look fun! One of our favorite family games is the Magic Kingdom game, but we also love Disney Scene It (1 and 2), Haunted Mansion Clue, and Disney Sorry (to name a few, lol…we’re a board game, and Disney, family!).
This is very exciting, not only will I be at the Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party but now I will be meeting Qunyh Kimball and Casey Jones the people that created Disney’s Monopoly game. Born and raised just outside of Atlantic City, NJ to which the original version of Monopoly was originated after…this is very exciting.
Can you order it online? Through a Disney store? I want to get this for at least one gift this Christmas!
It will be released via the on-line store but it doesn’t look like it will be here in time for Christmas. Then again, things may change. Regardless, it will be on-line at some point.
@Krista – I heard the car sound A LOT when I played the game with my son this past weekend – LOL!
@Brad – I guess we were “kickin’ it old skool!” 😉 Did you catch the 1955 in the image above?
@Shaunnon – Lucky, lucky, lucky! I’d love to have those games in my collection (especially the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea one). For the Happiest Celebration on Earth in 2005, we re-created the Disneyland Monorail game. I spoke with the Toy Team and they said they have no plans at this point to re-create other games. Oh well, I was really hoping to see a Horizons board game (one can dream, no?). 🙂
Please tell me that Monopoly will be available to order online (by phone, whatever) for delivery!
When will it be available?
Would it be alright to share the token images on a board game forum?
@Chris – So glad you like the Disney games. Like Qunyh mentioned, telling a great story is key. I think that is why I enjoy them too. Just played Cars Operation with my son over the weekend. Fun times! Feel free to share this post with your friends.
Great post. I’m a semi-avid collector of board games and Disney memorabilia. I have an earlier version of Disney Monopoly (2001?), the Disney Magic Kingdom Game, The Disneyland Game, The Walt Disney World Game, Disney Sorry, and the Haunted Mansion Clue Tin.
These particular games don’t generally have the depth or mechanics that I love about board games, but they do have Disney’s attention to detail and the overall Disney charm. I especially love the pieces from Haunted Mansion Clue…so fabulous.
Looking at the player tokens for this new Theme Park version of Monopoly, I absolutely love them…I’m always stoked to see Figment get special treatment (he’s one of my favorite “overlooked” characters) and I totally love the Partners statue. Gorgeous. I can’t wait. 🙂
I love it!I would also like to know if the game will be available on-line or just at the parks. I will be at WDW this weekend until the 13th, four days shy of it’s availability. I must have it! lol
AWESOME! I cannot WAIT to get this!
My family have the Magic Kingdom Board game and we love to play that for family game night, especially when it gets closer to our next Walt Disney World trip!
Agreed Mr. Miller! Board games are the bomb. (Do people still say “the bomb”?)
So is the monopoly for sale yet? If so, will i be able to purchase it on the internet and have it shipped to my home in England?
@James – The Monopoly game is now available at Disneyland Resort and will be coming to Florida around December 17. I have confirmed with the Disney Parks On-Line Store (http://www.DisneyParks.com/Store) that they will be carrying the Monopoly game as well. Look for it later in December. The inventory hasn’t arrived yet at the warehouse.
The news Disney Monopoly looks excellent! Definitely will have to take a look at that.
Our son is a big Mickey and Toy Story fan, we have about 4 different versions of UNO (incl. all 3 Toy Story ones), as well as countless numbers of other Disney inspired remakes.
Just got him the Buzz Lightyear Operation for the holidays. Looking forward to rediscovering my youth once again with that one.