Absolute Beginner - Can You Help With My Project

OK, so after buying this Arduino kit I've had a look at a few tutorials. I'm confident I can copy a pre-made code, but I don't know enough to write my own.
I have two projects I would like to do. Can anyone help me with them:

1 - I have a large barrel (diameter approx 600mm, approx 1500mm high). I want to cut some slots in it (probably 3-5), so that when swords are inserted into the slots it makes a platform inside raise through a hole in the top. Kind of like a large pop up pirate.

2 - I simply want a mag lock which is activated by a specific phrase. This has to be very accurate, as I do not want it opening accidentally.

Do these sound feasible? Any help would be much appreciated.

Do these sound feasible?

1 - Yes
2 - Not very. Voice recognition can only be done on a processor attached to an Arduino, normally in the form of a shield. And even when you do that the results are not very good with both false positive and negative results.

I would strongly encourage you to learn at least a bit of code. Look at the examples in the IDE and challenge yourself to extend them and make them do other things.

Thanks for that. With the voice recognition it is imperative that it works flawlessly, so if that's unlikely I'd probably just give it a miss.

Is there an example of something similar to the barrel idea I have? I'd like to look at what sort of thing I need to do.

To detect the sword being inserted use an opto slot sensor like this:-

Then to raise / lower the platform use a stepping motor. Read all about them here Stepping motor basics

Put a threaded rod on the motor with some runners each side of the platform on linear bearings to make a linear actuator. Look at 3D printer designs such as the RepRap site for ideas of getting stepping motors to move platforms.