Theme Park Insider

A Star Wars VR experience is coming to Disney later this year

August 3, 2017, 10:08 AM · It looks like Disney is getting a virtual reality attraction, after all. Disney CEO Bob Iger earlier this year dismissed the idea of Disney developing VR attractions for its theme parks, but a Disney partner announced today that it will bring a "hyper reality" Star Wars-themed experience to its Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.

Okay, its going into Disney Springs and Downtown Disney, so it's not going to be part of the theme parks. And "Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire" doesn't appear to be a Walt Disney Imagineering production, but a joint project between Lucasflim's Immersive Entertainment division, ILMxLAB, and VR entertainment center developer The VOID. So, technically, I guess Iger wasn't misleading anyone. ¯\_(?)_/¯

"Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire" will be the featured production at two new VOID Experience Centers to open at Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort starting "this holiday season," according to a VOID press release.

"Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will plunge guests directly into the iconic Star Wars galaxy. They will move freely throughout the untethered, social, and multi-sensory Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire experience in a way that allows them to interact and engage with friends, family and Star Wars characters," the company said in the statement.

The VOID currently has four experience centers: Madame Tussauds in New York, The Rec Room in Toronto, Canada, The Beach in Dubai, and its headquarters outside in Lindon, Utah, just outside Salt Lake City. Those locations currently are running "Ghostbusters: Dimension." That production has a 48-inch height limit and is intended for ages 10 and up, according to The VOID's website. Tickets cost $24-25 per person in Toronto and Utah, and are packaged with Madame Tussauds admission in New York.

No word yet on pricing or restrictions for the Disney installations.

Replies (10)

August 3, 2017 at 11:02 AM · I've tried roomscale VR recently and it's amazing. Not quite Holodeck amazing, but these are great steps towards that!
August 3, 2017 at 11:04 AM · So is this replacing Build a Bear and the Car model store? Build an Empire instead.
August 3, 2017 at 12:37 PM · VR and AR are very cool. However, I don't really want to see them take over theme parks. VR and AR will become something commonplace that we can do at home.

Coasters retrofitted with VR are a huge cop out too.

August 3, 2017 at 12:37 PM · VR and AR are very cool. However, I don't really want to see them take over theme parks. VR and AR will become something commonplace that we can do at home.

Coasters retrofitted with VR are a huge cop out too.

August 3, 2017 at 3:24 PM · Disney just keeps bringing it! As I have posted previously these are small steps that will build momentum as we race toward 2021 and the fiftieth anniversary of WDW. The new films drop at 'Mission: Space in August. This is followed by EPCOT Food & Wine and the mouse parties at Halloween and Christmas. Of course 'Pandora: The World of Avatar' keeps packing them in like a Broadway hit ("ahem"). And now the enormous success of Disney Springs will get a boost from state-of-the-art VR featuring the most powerful IP in motion picture history.

Disney is just killin' it!

August 3, 2017 at 9:40 PM · This is wonderful. Hopefully this leads to more interactive experiences in the area that will fill the disney quest void. The area could use an immersive dinner theatre multi-room experience like they have in London. Oh and a disney themed escape room. $$$$$
August 4, 2017 at 8:32 AM · Star Wars....hmmm....nope, doesn't ring a bell. It still might be cool even if it's not a well known IP. ;)
August 5, 2017 at 12:44 PM · Yes! I searched about this company, and this is not just VR. Not something you can do at home. A entire place built for you to walk around, while with the VR, touching and feeling, being in the middle of the action... That's theme park level stuff! And Star Wars? Damn! Can't wait!
August 6, 2017 at 7:30 PM · If only they had place in downtown Disney specifically geared at that type of experience. . Maybe they could even have put it in that facility instead of not updating that place for a decade and letting it languish until they shut it down.
August 7, 2017 at 7:24 AM · Let's see how this plays out TH. VR is not the end all be all of themed entertainment. Six Flags chose not to renew their partnership with Samsung because their attraction overlays with VR were not as successful as anticipated. SeaWorld is trying to get into the VR game, but there have been mixed reviews on Kraken Unleashed. I just experienced VR on Iron Dragon at Cedar Point, and while it was decent, it didn't add enough to warrant the 45 minute wait caused by dreadfully slow operations.

Let's see what this VR experience looks like (and how much they're going to charge for it) before deeming it the next small step to WDW50. It could be similarly rejected like Disney Quest was, or simply cost so much and be so limited in throughput that it ends up like the silly coaster simulators you used to see at shopping malls. I'm slightly intrigued by this, but want to see some reviews and additional details before I would plan a trip to Disney Springs to experience it.

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