Apparently, as of Saturday, 2/25/2012, the Habit Heroes attraction has been closed due to concerns of insensitivity toward the topic of obesity. (Please note, this has not been officially announced by Disney or either of the exhibit’s sponsors, but has been inferred by the Disney blogging community based on the concerns raised by some online about Habit Heroes and the fact that the attraction was abruptly closed over the weekend.) I am leaving the rest of my article below as a reference for those searching for information about what Habit Heroes was like when it was open, and I will update the article again if more information about the closure comes to light.
A new game called Habit Heroes has now opened at Epcot’s Innoventions East. It’s sponsored by Florida Blue and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, and it aims to inspire us all to kick (or at least control) our bad habits.
It’s located across from Sum of All Thrills inside Innoventions East. There’s a line snaking against the wall, back toward the test seats for Sum of All Thrills. When it’s your turn to enter the Habit Heroes game area, you’ll watch a short pre-show video introducing you to your trainers, who will tell you that they have found a boy who is overwhelmed by his bad habits and he needs your help. You’ll also get a rubber wristband from the Cast Member here, which will be blue, yellow, green, or red. (Do not worry about different members of your party getting different colored wristbands, you will still play the games together.)
After the pre-show, you’ll be escorted into the first of three game rooms. The boy you are trying help overcome his bad habits is watching too much television, and you will help him defeat that habit in this game. There’s a large screen up high on the wall, covering almost 360 degrees of the circular room, and underneath, there are many game stations (see picture to the right). Notice how there’s four different colored buttons on each station, corresponding to the colors of the wristbands given out in the pre-show room. Once the game starts, different colored televisions will drift down the screen all around you. When you see a television matches the color on your wristband, you should run to the game station right below it and hit the button corresponding to your color to zap it. Everyone needs to work together to alert each other to where each team is needed. It’s a lot of barely-organized running around, and as such, it is obviously very fun. After you zap enough televisions, you will defeat the bad habit and it’ll be time to move on to the second game.
The second game is sort of a Toy Story Mania lite game. There are large screens on each side of the room, with several game stations facing them. (Pictured to the left.) The bad habit we’re fighting in this game is eating too many sweet and fatty foods. You can use your game station to aim at and fire carrots, broccoli, apples, and blueberries at foods like french fries, burgers, hot dogs, ice cream sundaes, and sugary sodas. After taking out most or all of these tempting but unhealthy foods, the second game ends and it’s time to move to the last game room.
In the third room, get ready to put down your backpacks and cameras, because this is where the “moderate physical activity” really starts to factor in. We’re fighting a very tough bad habit in this room, inactivity. Each player stands on a circular Habit Hero logo, and soon, you’ll all be led through some aerobic exercise by the Habit Hero trainers. Yes, you could decide to see this as embarrassing, but I prefer to think of it as an exercise in remembering that having fun is always more important than being wrapped up in looking “cool” in every moment of your life. The groups that we played in today all got into this game and there were lots of smiles and people enjoying themselves. (And yes, some of us looked a little winded at the end!)
After we help defeat the spectre of inactivity, our time at Habit Heroes is complete. Well, there are actually some computer stations outside the exit of the third game room, but as this attraction is very new, they are not open yet (as of February 2, 2012). This post will be updated after these stations open, but I would wager there will be a way to enter your email address to continue playing the game at home (similar to other Innoventions games).
In addition, Disney, Florida Blue, and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield have set up an online Habit Heroes game to support this attraction, which you can visit to get a taste of what awaits you when you visit Innoventions on your next Walt Disney World trip.
In all, I was very impressed with this new game and I think it’s a worthy addition to Innoventions. The games work well, they kept the players entertained, and I think the message behind the attraction is a worthy one.