Have you ever found yourself wandering Disneyland‘s Main Street, USA or New Orleans Square and interacted with the fortune-telling machines named Esmeralda and Fortune Red? For just 25¢ a pop, these two plaster prognosticators will guide you through the rest of your day at the Happiest Place on Earth by dispensing advice in the form of an appropriately yellowed fortune card.
Now Esmeralda and Fortune Red have become even more interactive, thanks to the Play Disney Parks app and a new activity that offers Disneyland guests both a fortune and a story. Next time you’re in the park, simply launch Play Disney Parks and you’ll find two new orange icons near the Penny Arcade or Pieces of Eight shop.
Clicking on either Esmeralda’s or Fortune Red’s face will bring up a screen explaining the process of obtaining “a Fortune and a Story Too” without inserting any quarters. As the app explains, you must stand in front of the machine to begin.
Next, you’ll be introduced to either “Esmeralda the Fortune Teller” or “The Tall Tales of Fortune Red” and prompted to click the “Play” button. After that, a title screen appears welcoming you to the experience.
From this point on, you can acquire the parts of a story, one at a time, by following the instructions on-screen. According to Play Disney Parks, there are three ten-part stories to collect for each machine. The stories we started off with during our first encounter were “Riding the Rails” from Esmeralda (about “a locomotive led by a mystical guide”) and “A Pirate’s Tail” from Fortune Red (concerning a familiar-sounding encounter with a cursed key-bearing canine).
I won’t spoil the rest of these stories here, but guests can pick up another chapter from each machine once per day for no additional charge, or if you don’t want to wait that long or don’t happen to be a Disneyland regular, you can plunk down a quarter per chapter to complete the full tale during the same single-day visit.
“Fortune and Story” is another great way to get guests acquainted with the Play Disney Parks app before it becomes an integral part of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge next year. And anyone who played the Haunted Mansion-themed Ghost Post immersive mailing experience knows this isn’t the first time Esmeralda has responded to an official Disney app. Good fortune to you in retrieving these fun, strange stories from Disneyland!
Mike has been fascinated by theme parks and Disney all his life. He has worked in the entertainment journalism field since 2015, after spending a decade as a film projectionist at one of Hollywood’s most prestigious movie theaters. He resides in Burbank, California with his wife and cat.