My fiancee Karen and I were first time participants in the Expedition Everest Challenge, organized by Run Disney, on May 7, 2013. The Expedition Everest Challenge has two parts. First is a 5K obstacle course fun run, at night with a 10 PM start time, that is partly inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom park. Second is a “scavenger hunt” through the Animal Kingdom park. To complete the challenge, you must finish both the 5K and the scavenger hunt.
As Expedition Everest Challenge newbies, Karen and I were grateful that participants of earlier scavenger hunts had posted and shared the clues from previous years’ races. So, I’m returning the favor here … in a karmic sense.
At the bottom of this post, I’m providing the solutions to all of the clues – so if you want to solve them for yourself as practice for the 2014 or later scavenger hunts, print out the images and don’t scroll past the spoiler warning at the bottom of this post.
At the packet pickup, each runner receives a practice clue card. Below is the 2013 practice card.
Scavenger Hunt Cards
This year’s race required teams to solve 5 clues. As with previous years, the solution to the 5th and final clue used the solutions to the previous 4 clues. While waiting for the start of the race, the announcers told us that all of the answers would be “directions.” That’s your only hint.
After completing the 5K, your team receives one copy of the first clue card and two small flashlights. (There was no need for a pen or marker.) The bottom of the card tells you where to go to pick up the next clue, so you can start running there as you are solving the first clue.
None of the clues or answers had anything to do with Disney. So, no need to memorize Disney trivia. All of the clues were visual puzzles that require you to carefully read the clue.
It’s slightly helpful to understand the layout and area names for Animal Kingdom. Each clue contains at the bottom an instruction that sends you to an area of the park to get the next-successive clue. So, you might want to study a map ahead of time. But, unless you’re one of the race leaders, you can easily follow the runners ahead of you.
When you reach the site to receive each clue, you tell the race volunteer who is holding the clue cards the answer to the previous clue. If you’re correct, the volunteer will hand you the next clue card. Then, you can start solving the clue while running to the site named on the bottom of the card you just received, where you’ll get the following clue. When you solve the final clue, you can cross the finish line and collect your medal.
Card 1 – Front/Back
Card 2 – Front/Back
Card 3 – Front/Back
Card 4 – Front/Back
Card 5 – Front/Back
Spoiler Alert – Solutions Below
Run Disney is all about the bling. The 2013 race medals feature an internal compass, so you’ll know the direction!
Practice Card: KEEP THE SOLUTIONS TO THE FIRST FOUR CLUES! THEY WILL BE USED TO SOLVE A SYMBOLIC FINAL CLUE.
Card 1: NW
Card 2: NORTH EAST
Card 3: SW (“S” is the 19th letter in the alphabet. “W” is the 23rd letter in the alphabet.)
Card 4: north east
Card 5: Look at the back of each card. On the reverse side of cards 1-4, note that the each edge is marked with a letter abbreviation for a compass direction. “n” for North at the top. “e” for East on the right side. Etc. Note that the corners contain partial-symbols. Note that the reverse of card 5 has no letter abbreviations or partial-symbols in the corners. That’s because you’ll only be looking at the front of card 5 as you solve the clue using the back sides of cards 1-4.
Where we went astray:
At first, we thought the backs of the cards should be oriented in the same direction, with the card placed in the quadrant indicated by the “direction” in the solution. So, NW would go in the upper left, SW in the lower left, etc. That guess fell apart when we realized there were two cards with North East as the solution. So, it had to be something else . . .
How we solved it:
Step 1 – For cards 1-4, use the symbol in the corner indicated by the “direction” in the solution from the front side of that particular card 1-4. For Card 1, the solution was NW, so use the partial-symbol between “n” and “w.” For Card 2, the solution was NORTH EAST, so use the partial-symbol between “n” and “e.” Etc.
Step 2 – As you identify the relevant corner with the partial-symbol for each card 1-4, hold the cards with the relevant corners pointing in the same direction (e.g, all pointing up). This is just so you can keep track of the relevant corner for each card (because you don’t have a marker, remember) as you proceed to the next step.
Step 3 – Place cards 1-4 on a flat surface in 2×2 square with the four relevant corners touching in the center. The partial-symbols indicated by the card solutions are also now touching at the center of the four cards. You now have a visual puzzle to solve. You must align the four partial-symbols in the four relevant corners so that they reveal a complete symbol that matches one of the four symbols on the race bib.
Here is the correct final answer:
Card 4: Upper Left
Card 2: Upper Right
Card 1: Lower Right
Card 3: Lower Left
Matches to the white flag symbol on the race bib.