For those of you living under a rock on Tom Sawyer’s Island, Pokémon GO came out (finally) a couple of days ago. This augmented reality mobile game has Pokémaniacs all atwitter about the opportunities this game presents. Real-life locations of interest become Pokéstops and Gyms in the game, as you wander the world attempting to catch ‘em all!
As it happens, I have on very good authority (my own) that there’s a very large cross-section of Pokémon and Disneyland fans. Well, good news everyone! Disneyland is a FANTASTIC place to play the new game, and is saturated with content due to its high traffic nature.
I put on my trainer’s hat and went over to Walt’s place for a few hours the other day, and can now share a few tips and tricks with you to be the very best in the Magic Kingdom.
- -As I mentioned, locations of interest become places in-game, and there are a LOT of places that fall in to that category in Disneyland. I spotted dozens of Pokéstops, and at least five Gyms in the original park alone.
- -This is is a free-to-play game, with the option to purchase in-game items through micro transactions, so finding a place to get these items for free is a high priority. Every Pokéstop gives you a few of these items, which refresh every five minutes. Plan a lap of the park to hit as many as possible on your route, and you’ll be well set for a day of free fun.
- -Expect a fierce battle for any of the Gym locations in the park. Trainers are obviously eager to claim the prestige of locales like Sleeping Beauty’s Castle (yes, that is a Gym), so be prepared. Remember, even if you can’t beat the Gym, taking out one or two of the resident Pokémon will lower the “prestige” level of the gym, making it eventually easier for your team to take control!
- -Different Pokémon can be found in different areas of the world, and those rules apply in the parks! Catch some Water-types near the Rivers of America, or catch a Ghost-type near the Haunted Mansion at night!
- -There are some GREAT photo opportunities using the AR camera, but please be aware of your surroundings. I pride myself on my courtesy in the parks, and I quite literally found myself stopped in front of a quickly approaching All American College Band over a Magikarp. To line up the perfect pic with a with a wild Pokémon, turn AR off in the top right, move to a safe place, line up your shot, and turn AR back on. The Pokémon will adapt to the new angle!
- -Take advantage of having so many trainers in the same place! Find a good place in range of a couple Pokéstops, and drop a Lure Module on one of them. This will draw Pokémon to the location for every Trainer nearby, so it’s a great way to make friends!
- -This game can be a HUGE battery drain for your phone, so come prepared. Mobile chargers help considerably, and there are a limited number of charging lockers available in each park. Turn off background apps you’re not using. Lower the screens brightness as much as you can without having to strain to see. Lastly, please don’t use AC chargers in Disneyland’s plugs. Chords lying about are a huge safety hazard, and you will be asked to stop. Moreover, those plugs are often made to handle much stronger electronics than your cell phone, and there’s a very good chance the voltage can fry your phone entirely.
- -Be respectful of the Cast Members if they ask you to move, or make a request of you. Many of them are Trainers just like you, and are just looking out for your safety. Be sure to ask for tips if a Cast Member strikes up a conversation about the game! This is their stomping ground, they know it well.
- -Remember, above all else, you’re in Disneyland, one of the premiere travel destinations in the world. If you’re on vacation, and are only in the parks for a limited time, please, please, please, limit your play. Enjoy the parks. Or, if you’re fortunate to be a regular visitor like myself, make sure that everyone in your party is aware of your Pokémon training intentions (Pokétentions) before they join you for a day in the parks.
I can’t wait to see all of my fellow Disney/Pokémon fans around the parks! To close, here are a few personal tips/thoughts from my experiences in the parks.
- -Head over to the fire Station by City Hall on Main Street USA. You can get three Pokéstops in-range at the same time, and it’s a great place to drop a Lure Module, use an Incense to lure even more, and set up shop near some great entertainment. Just keep an eye out for groups like the Dapper Dans, they use the space, so don’t get in their way!
- -Despite the temptation, please keep your cell away on attractions. The most notable offender is the World Famous Jungle Cruise, which has Pokéstops only accessible on the boats. Be the better trainer, and be respectful of the skippers. You’re missing out on nothing by opting for other Pokéstops.
- -As any experienced trainer knows, Gyrados is awesome. Magikarp, on the other hand, is not. The game requires you catch enough Magikarp to evolve one in to the legendary dragon, and the required number is steep. Try Magikarp hunting by lapping the Rivers of America, I had quite a bit of success!
- -There are other Gyms besides the castle! I had a lot of luck over by Toontown, and even took over a Gym Leader for a time.
Happy training, everyone!