Unfortunately, although moving around the park in the game isn't as unpleasant as contending with crowds and scorching summer heat can be at the real Disneyland, it brings its own frustrations. You use your arm to guide your character around, which is sufficient for heading in the right general direction but makes stopping in specific spots, which you need to do to take pictures of certain landmarks, needlessly difficult. On top of that, just waving to get a character's attention can be a small ordeal. You have to wave for a few seconds straight before a character acknowledges you, and it's not uncommon for the meter that fills up as you wave to suddenly disappear, even though you haven't stopped waving. These issues make the voice controls for certain functions especially welcome. With a few words, you can call up a map and fast-travel to any region of the park, or zip right to any attraction. But the Disneyland atmosphere is so outstanding that it's a shame the controls make it awkward to do such simple things as standing in a spot so you can get a good look at an accurately re-created statue.
It's in many of the game's attractions, though, that the controls become a real hindrance. There are 18 attractions represented, and each one is visually exciting and delightfully reminiscent of the actual experience you might have at Disneyland. In Peter Pan's Flight, you fly with Peter over a lovely animated London, and then enter Neverland and ultimately duel with Captain Hook himself. In Space Mountain, you go on a speedy journey through the stars that brings you close to a black hole, a gas giant, and a comet field. These experiences might have been enthralling, but unfortunately, the controls frequently come between you and the Disney magic. On Space Mountain, for instance, as on numerous other attractions, you steer with your arms. As you hurtle through space, asteroids, space debris, and other hazards often get in your way, and the controls just aren't precise enough to let you reliably navigate around those obstacles.
Other attractions have you using your arms to aim rather than steer, and these suffer from similar problems. On the Jungle Cruise, you use your arms to aim a hose. You're supposed to use the hose to (among other things) shoot water into the mouths of hippos, and it's much more difficult than it should be to find the exact position where the water hits its mark, and then hold it there until the satisfied hippo moves along. There's no significant penalty for hitting an obstacle or failing to meet a goal--your overall rating out of five stars may be diminished a bit, but you can't lose at an attraction--but it's nonetheless frustrating to see your avatar go flying into hazards in spite of your best efforts to avoid them.
And you thought the tickets were expensive!
Some attractions (or sections of attractions) fare better. The sword fights that cap off Peter Pan's Flight and Pirates of the Caribbean are good fun; you wave your arm vertically or horizontally to swing your sword in those directions, and you have plenty of time to leap over or duck under your nefarious opponents' attacks. Other attractions focus on dancing. It's a Small World has you dance along with dolls that are doing traditional dances from around the world, and the Disney Princess Fantasy Faire imitates the format of Dance Central, with the sequence of dance moves you must follow scrolling up the screen. These simple movements are recognized by the game, so you can focus on dancing along with Ariel as she sings "Part of Your World" rather than struggling with the controls.
But more often than not, the controls come between you and your adventures in Disneyland. Whether you're trying to take a picture of one of the many hidden Mickeys throughout the park or you're bouncing down a country path with Tigger, the game's failure to recognize and respond to your movements frequently takes you out of the moment. It's too bad, too, because the park here so accurately captures the atmosphere of the place itself, and the attractions offer such a visually diverse assortment of experiences, from sneaking through a Spanish port with a friendly pirate to infiltrating Zurg's lair alongside Buzz Lightyear. But despite bursting at the seams with the kind of Disney magic that will charm children of all ages, Disneyland Adventures doesn't create the kinds of happy memories you wish it would.