Walt Disney World and Disneyland are both getting a new Star Wars experience by the end of the year. Just after the official announcement of Disney's new theme park titled Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, it's no surprise that other locations around the massive parks are also getting new Star Wars attractions to ramp up the excitement for the new expansions.
With news about Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, set to open in 2019, debuting at the D23 Expo in July - including details about the remote trading port on the edge of wild space and news about a new immersive Star Wars resort set to open along with the park - it's no surprise that the Disney Parks division is testing the waters with a new immersive experience that will transport guests straight into the world of Star Wars.
An official announcement earlier today by Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB and The VOID reveals plans for Disney and Lucasfilm's new first-of-its-kind “hyper-reality” experience titled “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire”. The attraction will make its debut around holidays outside of the parks at Disneyland's Downtown Disney and at Walt Disney World's Disney Springs, the "free-roaming virtual reality experience" is a collaboration between Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division ILMxLAB and The VOID.
Here is what Curtis Hickman, co-founder and chief creative officer at The VOID, said about the collaboration:
“At The VOID, we combine the magic of illusions, advanced technology and virtual reality to create fully immersive social experiences that take guests to new worlds. A truly transformative experience is so much more than what you see with your eyes; it’s what you hear, feel, touch, and even smell. Through the power of The VOID, guests who step into Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire won’t just see this world, they’ll know that they are part of this amazing story.”
So far there is no information about the storylines that guests will experience or what eras "Secrets of the Empire" will take place during, but the promotional art released hints that it may take place during the Star Wars: Rogue One time period since security droid K-2SO is featured in the artwork. Here is what Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive in charge of the division of ILMxLAB tasked with creating the attraction, said about the new experience, plus a look at the concept art:
“At ILMxLAB, we want people to step inside the worlds of our stories. Through our collaboration with The VOID, we can make this happen as guests become active participants in an unfolding Star Wars adventure. By combining Lucasfilm’s storytelling expertise with cutting-edge imagery, and immersive sound from the team at Skywalker Sound, while invoking all the senses, we hope to truly transport all those who experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire to a galaxy far, far away.”
With this technology going far beyond the normal virtual reality experience including immersive sounds, feelings and even smells, it sounds like this new attraction and Disney are going to break boundaries when it comes to just how far they are going to go to make Star Wars a real-life experience for fans.
Sources: Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB, The VOID
- Star Wars: Battlefront II (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Star Wars: Rogue One / Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) release date: Dec 16, 2016