You may remember that it was a couple of weeks ago that I first posted about my experience playing Pokémon GO at Walt Disney World, along with the emotional draw that led me to the game in the first place. (If you haven’t read that first post yet, you may want to do that now, especially if you’re new to the game.)
Since that first post two weeks ago, where I reported on my experience playing Pokémon GO at Epcot, I’ve had the chance to also play the game now at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Magic Kingdom, and Disney Springs. Each of these Walt Disney World locations seems to have its own sort of “personality” within the Pokémon GO game. In this post I want to highlight the characteristics of each of these locations which stand out for me. Again, this is based on my experience so far at Epcot, Disney Springs, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and the Magic Kingdom.
Epcot and Disney Springs: PokéStops Galore!
If your primary interest in playing Pokémon GO at Walt Disney World is hitting up PokéStops for supplies, look no further than Epcot and Disney Springs. In fact, you may want to consider a “bag upgrade” or two before visiting either of these spots, especially if you want to carry your supplies home with you after your visit.
As far as Epcot goes, as I noted in my previous post, I counted around 80 PokéStops there, which comes in higher than the 50 or so that I noted at the Magic Kingdom.
(I will also mention here in passing that if, in addition to playing Pokémon GO, you’re also using a RideMax plan to visit the attractions at Epcot or one of the other parks, you may want to use the “slow touring speed” setting within RideMax. This should give you a plan with a short time cushion as you’re moving from ride to ride, allowing you to hit up those PokéStops along the way *without* sacrificing too much of the efficiency of your personalized RideMax plan.)
As for Disney Springs, while it may not have the number of PokéStops that Epcot does, they’re spaced very conveniently as you move along the walkways, and it’s very easy to walk along and activate multiple PokéStops as you do so.
One big advantage of playing Pokémon GO at Disney Springs is that several of the businesses there seem to keep Pokémon lures running more or less constantly. In fact, I spent an hour or so one evening sitting at the intersection of THREE lures running simultaneously just in front of the Raglan Road restaurant. It was a great spot for catching Pokémon and activating the three PokéStops, as I’m sure the many other players located there could attest.
Of course, another advantage of Disney Springs is that it’s free — including parking. If ALL you want to do is play Pokémon GO one day while you’re at Walt Disney World, you might as well save yourself the cost of the park ticket and hang out at Disney Springs. You should find lures and Pokémon in abundance.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Loads of Magikarp, Challenging Pokémon GO Gym Placement
Compared with the other locations I’ve tried at Walt Disney World, I’d have to say my experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom was just OK. Don’t get me wrong — playing Pokémon GO at Animal Kingdom is still lightyears beyond the experience I’d have playing in my own neighborhood — but it probabaly comes in at the bottom of the Disney World locations I’ve tried. (I have yet to play Pokémon GO at Hollywood Studios, so I can’t render an opinion on where Animal Kingdom would fall relative to the Studios.)
I will say that if you want to gather a lot of Magikarp in pursuit of an eventual Gyarados, the Animal Kingdom is a great place to do that, especially if you have time to just sort of hang out near the river that runs between Expediton Everest and Africa. If so, just look for an active lure and take a seat nearby. Having said all of this, you can *also* gather a lot of Magikarp at the Magic Kingdom (more on this below), so this isn’t a unique advantage to the Animal Kingdom.
One peculiarity with playing Pokémon GO at Animal Kingdom is the Pokémon Gym placement. Although there were four Gyms scattered near or inside the park, only one of these — the Gym at Expedition Everest — was easily accessible.
In addition to the one located at Expedition Everest, there is also a Gym placed at the bus stops outside the park, and two more on or near the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction. One of these is near the hippo pool, which I’m still not sure is accessible from anyplace other than backstage, and another is near the waterfall at the end the ride. (If someone knows where you would actually do battle for the hippo Gym, please let me know in the comments below.)
I will say that I did start battling for the “waterfall Gym” at the end of the Safaris, but we weren’t stopped long enough there for me to complete the task. I suppose the challenging nature of battling at this Gym might be seen as a “cool extra” by some, making it all the more attractive a target should you be successful in attacking it. If this includes you, then have at it. You never know if your particular ride vehicle might stop long enough to take over this Gym.
The Magic Kingdom: Magikarp, Slowpoke, and the PeopleMover Pokémon GO Egg Hatchery
In my opinion, the Magic Kingdom offers a great mix of benefits for the Pokémon GO player.
First of all, the Magic Kingdom has an abundance of PokéStops, even if there aren’t as many as there are at Epcot. I will note that six out of the fifty or so PokéStops are located on the Jungle Cruise attraction itself, so if you’re using RideMax to plan your day at the park, you’ll want to make sure you include the Jungle Cruise in your plan if playing Pokémon GO is also high on your priority list.
The Pokémon Gyms are also nicely placed at the Magic Kingdom. There are Gyms located at the Main Street Train Station, Cinderella Castle, the Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean. And, unlike at the Animal Kingdom, all of the Pokémon Gyms are located in easy-to-access public spaces.
I should note that if you’ve come to conquer as many Gyms as possible during your visit, you may come away disappointed. There are so many guests competing for them at the same time that even if you are successful in taking one over, your stay there will likely be a short one, as you’ll quickly be replaced by the next guest who comes along competing for it. I think a better use of your time is to use the PokéStops to your full advantage, stocking up on supplies to take with you after your vacation, as well as capturing as many Pokémon as possible, especially rarer ones that you might not find in your own hometown.
Speaking of specific Pokémon, like the Animal Kingdom, the Magic Kingdom also offers a lot of Magikarp, especially in the Rivers of America area, or around any of the water areas, for that matter. In fact, it was at the Magic Kingdom that I finally captured enough Magikarp to put me over the top and allow me to evolve that Gyarados pictured at the top of this post.
I also found a lot of Slowpoke Pokémon at the Magic Kingdom. While this may not be a particularly strong creature in and of itself, if you catch enough of them, you can evolve one into a Slowbro, which I’ve found to be a very helpful addition to my own Pokémon lineup.
The image above, taken from a PokeVision.com map of the Magic Kingdom, shows the various Pokémon available at the time I captured the image. If you click on the image for a larger view, you can see there were two Slowpoke Pokémon available at the time, including one on the Jungle Cruise ride itself. At one point in the day I visited, I think I counted three or four of these lined up at the same time in the Rivers of America area.
Psyduck are also plentiful at the Magic Kingdom, good for evolving into a much more powerful Golduck.
Moving on from the specific Pokémon available at the Magic Kingdom, fans of the game will know that in order to hatch the Pokémon GO “eggs” available in the game, you will normally need to walk around while keeping the app open. I first heard about this next little tip on Twitter, but one “cheat” you may find helpful is that the PeopleMover runs slowly enough that you can sort of fake the app into thinking you’re walking, at least for parts of the ride. Though a game “purist” may disagree with this approach, I found this sort of a cool way to incubate some eggs, so take it for what it’s worth. The other advantage of riding the PeopleMover is that there are several PokéStops available along the route. Just be aware that you’ll have to activate most of them very quickly in order to access the contents before you move out of range.
I still need to try Pokémon GO at Hollywood Studios, but I hope this post helps you get a feel for some of the characteristics of the game you’ll likely encounter if you play the game at the various Walt Disney World locations I’ve listed above. If you’re new here and missed my initial reaction to the game, be sure to go back and read Part I of my post on playing Pokémon GO at Walt Disney World.
I hope you’ve found these additional details helpful. If I’ve missed anything or if you have a question, be sure to leave a comment below. (I do read all of these!)
And as always, if you’re looking for a way to save time in line at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, be sure to subscribe to RideMax. RideMax is a planning tool that allows you to create custom, time-saving itineraries for the parks, and contains tips and hints designed to give you the “inside track” on getting the most from your visit.
Now, get out there and catch ’em all!