Disneyland Adventures Review (Xbox One X)

November 3, 2017

Disneyland Adventures is a remaster of a six-year old Kinect game, originally released for the Xbox 360, then known as Kinect Disneyland Adventures. Now on Xbox One, the re-release has come out very close to the release of the Xbox One X, due to its new 4K and HDR support, as well as the ability to play without a Kinect and just using a controller. Without Microsoft’s at-the-time vaunted camera, there wasn’t much reason to pick up Disneyland Adventures, but has the game found new life on the Xbox One X?

The immediate charm of Disneyland Adventures comes from the recreation of the park itself. From the outset of the game, you can explore a spot-on recreation of Anaheim’s Disneyland, with most of its attractions, rides, famous landmarks and costumed characters. I say ‘most’ because there are a couple of notable omissions, including the Indiana Jones and Star Wars attractions – understandable in 2011 as they would incur licensing costs, but somewhat bemusing now in 2017 when Disney owns Lucasfilm. Nevertheless, if you’ve been to Disneyland and want to bathe in nostalgia, or if you’ve never been and have always been curious to see just what it’s like, it’s a pretty accurate simulation (minus the churros and Mickey Mouse pancakes of course, but you can make those).

On Xbox One X, it all looks incredibly warm and inviting as well. Colours in HDR pop off the screen, especially in areas of the park like Fantasyland. While the park’s attendees are simple cartoony representations, most of the environments are incredibly detailed and also look great with the benefit of 4K. Instead of costumed characters roaming the park, you’re treated to actual animated versions of them. Some characters are quite wonderfully animated like Buzz Lightyear very awkwardly removing your child character from a hug, while others like Mickey (who you think would receive the most attention) stare awkwardly while they flail their arms around. There are quite a few bugs still present, the most egregious of which includes scenery that will sometimes fail to load in, and characters, which can be frustrating when you’re standing right on their marker to continue a quest and they never appear.

There’s actually quite a lot to do in Disneyland Adventures, as you create your own child character to explore the park with an alive ‘Golden Ticket’ (voiced by Sonic the Hedgehog’s Roger Craig Smith).  You can undertake quests, or ‘adventures’ for characters who are around the park like Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Ariel and so on. These are always guided by an glowing marker that will guide you to your next objective, making tasks relatively simple to complete. They range from collecting autographs from characters in the park, to taking pictures or finding hidden objects, or even riding some of the attractions. The famous ‘hidden Mickeys’ included all around the real Disneyland are actually included as an ongoing side-quest as well, which should please Disney fans too. Throughout the game, your progress is measured by coins you collect and special pins you’re awarded, reflecting the huge pin-collecting fad I’ve always seen (but never really got) at modern Disney parks.

While you can’t ride every attraction, of the ones which are available you’ll find that instead of simply simulating the actual ride, your character will enter a portal into a series of mini-games based on that ride’s theme. For instance, Peter Pan’s Flight turns into a recreation of some of that movie’s most famous scenes, including flying around London, and the Matterhorn sees you skiing down slopes and getting into snowball fights with Yetis. All of these mini-games were obviously built for the Kinect, and if you’re playing them with a Kinect on Xbox One, then kids especially should have a lot of fun. Using a controller will be the option most of us choose, however, partially due to the fact that the Xbox One S and X don’t support a Kinect without a $54.95 adapter. While they work, the controls are stiff and the gameplay unexciting and simple. Even interactions around the park without the Kinect are quite strange – taking a photo shows your character awkwardly and slowly bringing their camera out before setting up the shot, then waiting motionless in the frame as the timer counts down, I suppose waiting for you to pose in front of your Kinect (which you aren’t using). It just doesn’t feel streamlined for use with a controller.

However, the game is buoyed by the wonderful orchestral soundtrack that’s surprisingly the most polished part of the game, as it embraces the magic of Disneyland and Disney movies. In fact the sound design in general is pretty fantastic, especially as you walk around the park and can hear some of the real music and songs played in different areas.

Despite its issues, Disneyland Adventures on Xbox One is excellent for families and hardcore Disney-devotees, simply due to the way it nails the Disneyland park’s look and feel. If you’re not a youngling or a Disney-devotee, you’ll soon tire of the stiff mini-game controls and endless fetch quests, but if you have a genuine interest in Disney parks, there’s certainly enough here to keep you coming back for more than a single day at Disneyland.


- Faithful recreation of the Happiest Place on Earth
- Lots of content to get through, from quests to rides
- Plenty to collect and plenty of surprises for Disney fans
- Incredible orchestrated soundtrack


- Kinect-less, some gameplay is stiff and awkward
- Occasional visual bugs, even when on One X
- Some characters' animation receive more love than others

Overall Score: