Star Wars fans don’t have to wait until the opening of Galaxy’s Edge to have an adventure in the “Galaxy Far Far Away”, as the much anticipated hyper-reality adventure Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire is up and running at Disney Springs. Originally announced back in August, tickets for this fully immersive experience became available in October and guests are just now beginning to experience the culmination of sights, sounds, smells, and tactile sensations that The Void promises will offer a “truly transformative experience”.
The Orlando Sentinel has recently given a rundown of how Secrets of the Empire plays out, as well as some insight from its creators. The story line puts you and your group into the shoes of four Rebel Alliance operatives tasked by Mon Mothma to go undercover as stormtroopers. According to the Sentinel, the experience will include “firing weapons, teetering near the edge of disasters, facing off with the enemy and coming virtual-face-to-virtual-face with familiar characters.”
At the outset of the adventure guests are given an adjustable vest and headgear to help get them into their stormtrooper roles. There is also a scanning process to ensure that the stormtrooper your friends are seeing matches up with your size and body motions. Guests are then sent in groups of four to perform “a specific mission that requires some action, teamwork and fairly simple tasks.”
What makes this adventure a bit different than your standard virtual-reality experience is the level of detail and immersion. Guests will not only get visual and auditory stimulation, but also smells, temperatures, and haptic feedback. Not only that, but the virtual reality settings and objects have real world counterparts. Co-founder and chief creative officer of the Void Curtis Hickman explained,
“Instead of just seeing a virtual world around you, you can feel it and touch it and interact it. If you see heat you can feel it. If you see a chair to sit down on, you can actually sit down on the chair. The world isn’t just virtually imaginary around you. It’s there, it’s with you.”
Executive producer with ILMxLAB Mark Miller said,
“People at the start are not sure what they can interact and what they can’t. Once you reach out and touch that first doorway … the mind kicks in and the immersion becomes so much deeper.”
Each adventure lasts around 30 minutes and is available to guests 10-years-old and up who are at least 48-inches-tall. The costs for the experience is $29.95 per person.
As for Disney and The Voids partnership, this could be just the beginning. Hickman said, “This is the first thing, which implies that there could be a second thing. The technology is such that we’re not limited only to this experience.”
Source: The Orlando Sentinel