At the tender age of nine, The Boy tore through the first four books of the Harry Potter series over summer break. He found his preferred literary niche, and has remained true to all things mystical ever since. So when he had the chance to actually become a wizard at MagiQuest, and be a part of the world’s largest live action game…well, he showed more emotion that morning than most tweens do in a whole year.
Where we went, and who was coerced into going:
While planning our Myrtle Beach spring break trip, I read about the Broadway at the Beach entertainment and dining district. Then I noticed MagiQuest, and knew it would be a hit with everyone in our unabashedly geeky family.
Okay, what was so cool about it?
This is the largest MagiQuest location, and one of two “Mega Kingdom Realms.” (The second is in Tokyo.) There are three smaller “Kingdom Realms,” and ten “Forest Realms,” which are located within the Great Wolf Lodge indoor water parks. When you arrive for the first time at any MagiQuest location, you choose and purchase your own casting wand, which you keep and can use at any location. Through some super duper technology, the wands interact with video screen kiosks and the sets within.
To become a “magi,” you must select your alias. The Boy chose Orc, after the cave trolls in The Hobbit. During the orientation, the Questmaster describes the game. You then get a copy of the Ancient Book of Wisdom, your cheat sheet for finding each clue. There are 45 quest and adventures in all, and it takes multiple visits to solve them all. On each quest, you earn spells and skills in order to complete each adventure, as you work your way to becoming a master.
Once you enter the enchanted kingdom, you and your fellow “magis” can either work independently or together, consulting the Stone Circle video screens or the “Ancient Book of Wisdom” for guidance through this labyrinthine space where nearly every tree, column, cauldron or crystal formation interacts with the chip in your wand, producing sound and special effects.
For the next two hours, my kids were a blur; running from this area to that, hitting the library, the fairy hollow, the castle, the dungeon. For older kids like The Boy, who was 12 at the time, there is strategy involved to hit each station in the right order.
The Girl, who was five at the time, simply delighted in approaching every touch-screen kiosk she could find for frequent updates. As her parent-in-attendance, Matt got the lucky task of following her dervish movements up and down the stairs a thousand times.
We didn’t go so far as to purchase our own wizard capes or any bling to accessorize our wands, although you have ample opportunity to do so in the gift shop. Of course, this is where you end your visit, and it’s here where you get to see your score. The Boy was in the top ten when we left. He was a little misty-eyed as he let go of his Orc persona.
How it rated on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = snoozefest, 10 = add to your bucket list):
If princesses, wizards, goblins, unicorns and dragons are conjured up in your living room on a regular basis, this is the place for your family.
Hey YOU! Go BIG!
1185 Celebrity Circle, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577