We Tried the Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire VR Experience at Disneyland!
The highly anticipated hyper-reality experience, Star Wars™: Secrets of the Empire, debuted at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando on December 16 opens today Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to get a preview of the experience, and guys, it’s freaking amazing!
I won’t spoil the story for you, but I can give you a good idea about how it starts and what you need to know. First of all, if you haven’t done a virtual reality experience before and you’re worried about getting dizzy, don’t. I get vertigo from first person shooters and VR, and I was totally fine here. One of the guys on my team had glasses and the helmet fit over it perfectly.
Yes, so, helmet. When you get in to the room, (after a guy asks if you’re good with the Force…I said yes and ‘opened’ a door with my Force powers), you are suited up in a helmet, which allows you to adjust the fit horizontally and vertically. You’re also put into a vest, which is heavier than you expect. That’s adjustable, too.
Y go into a room where Cass (Diego Luna, as Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire takes place during the time of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), gives you a video briefing. The Empire has a container and the contents of it could change the course of the Rebellion. You and three companions choose your color and you get suited up. Once inside the experience, you put your visor down and suddenly, you’re in a ship! K2S-0 is in there with you and as you look around, you see all your companions and your own hands are in stormtrooper outfits. You’re undercover. Look up, down and around and you’ll see different levels and characters. You’re being transported to a certain hot planet that those who have seen the prequels will recognize. Reach out and touch K2S-0! He’s really there, and so are the walls. You won’t be running or jumping here, just moving with stealth and shooting, so you don’t have to worry about running into each other or falling down.
When the shuttle lands, you walk through corridors and press buttons (that are really there as well). If you do it wrong, K2S-0 will mock you, but who doesn’t want that? When the door opens on the planet, you feel the heat and smell the lava! You’ll be given blasters and you’re going to have to fight off the enemy once your cover is blown. That’s not the only thing you’ll be shooting, either!
Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire is an insanely immersive experience! In fact, it’s going to take over your dreams at night. There is a story point that I won’t tell you about, but that will be childhood wish fulfillment for you. The cool thing here is that you’re getting to interact with your environment, something you really can’t do with home VR systems. There is no tactile response there, but here, you really feel like you’re there. I’m a pretty big gamer and it blew away any other VR experience I’ve ever had. We all came out of there, gushing about it.
The experience takes place at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, so you don’t have to enter the park to take part. You do, however, have to get tickets, so check it out at www.thevoid.com. It’s sold out for a bit, so I’d say to plan early. I’m going back the second it opens up. Check out the trailer below. Are you guys hitting Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire? Let us know in the comments!