“Mom, I know that we have to leave to catch our plane, but there’s a rumor that a Charizard is in the park! Can’t we catch the next fight?” asks your child, making you grit your teeth harder than when you stubbed your toe fumbling around in the dark three nights ago looking for a Squirtle.
Pokémon Go has taken over your children’s lives. And now it’s endangering the already paid-for vacation that has been in the works long before the game was even unleashed on the world. Your biggest worry is that all of your meticulously planned activities will be jettisoned in favor of a hunt for yet another rare digital critter.
Fear not, exasperated parent of a Pokémon obsessed kid, there is a solution to your dilemma.
Integrating your child’s new passions into your vacation plans will take some more work, but it will be well worth it to ensure that everyone’s desires are satisfied.
Although it wasn’t necessarily on your wish list of things to do at any of the Orlando area theme parks when you booked the trip, all of the theme parks and shopping districts are teeming with Pokémon and a good hunt can fill the downtime or keep kids entertained while you indulge in some grown-up time.
Heck, you can even use the app as a motivator to get the kids on older rides you want to revisit but that they label “lame”. For instance, on Epcot’s Spaceship Earth ride, the animatronic figure with gogo boots is a Pokéstop (area where players load up on supplies to aid their hunt). If you want to experience a piece of nostalgia by riding this decidedly retro-ride, you can lure your kids onto it with the prospect of collecting Pokéballs.
But, you’ll need a guide to help you with all of this plotting and scheming, and we’re here to help. Here’s a not-nearly-complete list of areas in the park where your kids can power-up. It’s not everything, but it’ll get you started. Once in the park, the game app will fill in the rest.
Gyms: Cinderella Castle, Pirates of the Caribbean, Main Street Train Station, Haunted Mansion
Pokéstops: Partners Statue, Monsters Inc Laugh Floor, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Villains Lot Tram Station, Ferry Boat Entrance, Mickey Mouse Topiary (TTC), Minnie Mouse Topiary (TTC)
Gyms: Entry gates, Spaceship Earth, Japan Pavilion, Germany Pavilion, Mexico Pavilion
Pokéstops: Spaceship Earth, Fountain of Nations, MouseGear, Universe of Energy, Club Cool, Innoventions East, at least four Millennium Torches, Odyssey, Test Track, The Land, Wonders of Life, Germany Pavilion, Morocco Pavilion , Japan Pavilion, Canada Pavilion, China Pavilion, Norway Pavilion
Gyms: Expedition Everest
Pokéstops: Tree of Life
Gyms: The Great Movie Ride, Tower of Terror
Pokéstops: Superstar Theater, MuppetVision 3D gift shop
Pokéstops: Make a Wish Fountain, Planet Hollywood, Candy Cauldron, Splittsville Luxury Lanes, La Nouba, Mickey and Minnie Topiary, Towmater Topiary, West Side Dock, Raglan Road, T-REX Restaurant, Fulton’s Crab House, Lego Store, World of Disney, Lady and the Tramp Topiary, Rainforest Café.
Another important note to consider is that many Pokéstops are in backstage areas that are strictly off limits. Do not enter unauthorized areas and spoil the magic for you and your kids – people are typically ejected from the park for entering unauthorized areas.
Now, getting them to ignore that Charizard near your house and load into the car bound for the airport? That’s something you’re going to have to work out on your own.