12 Mar You Won’t Believe Who We Fought At Downtown Disneyland
The galaxy needs you! Recover Imperial intelligence vital to the Rebellion’s survival during Disney’s new cutting-edge hyper-reality experience.
The Virtual Reality industry has had its ups and downs in recent years. Hardware has fallen short of expectations, content is lacking, and the overall adoption of the technology is still at a slow climb. What’s fascinating, however, is that this slow pace has not stopped industry leaders from continuing to take a stand for what’s possible inside the future of VR.
Enter The VOID – a location based Hyper-Reality startup with 8 locations worldwide.
The team at The VOID recognized consumers were not yet ready to spend hundreds of dollars on expensive VR headsets. Their locations offer a full service entry-point for VR, allowing for a powerful experience inside Disney’s massive story worlds. Made for groups of 3-4 players, The VOID has taken a leap forward with their social wireless, Roomscale VR experience, setting the stage for many more to follow.
We began our journey with The VOID, going undercover as Rebel Spies in their new “Star Wars – Secrets of the Empire” multi-sensory interactive story.
Using the 5 E’s of the User Journey, we break down the customer experience for The VOID’s Star Wars Experience.
Entice – 4/5
While you may still be in the dark about The VOID, there’s no doubt you recognize the Star Wars IP. The above trailer is beginning to make the rounds, and given the wait list is generally full days in advance, enticing fans to experience Star Wars HR (hyper-reality) is simply a question of “When do you want to go?”
Enter – 4.5/5
Your HR experience begins as soon as you step through the door (although your excitement begins much sooner). A team member greets you at the threshold, answering any questions or directing you where to go. You are no longer you at this point, but are now referred to as a Rebel Operative. Language and brand tonality is just as important in verbal POS to building the storyworld in your consumers’ minds.
The entrance provides a lot of opportunity to expand – from life-sized character figures for photos with built in social sharing to an AI version of a Star Wars characters to answer common customer questions.
Experience – 5/5
Once you’ve signed in and gotten your bracelet with your unique identification code, it’s time to step through the bay doors and into your mission briefing. At this point, it’s a *No Pictures or Video Allowed* type experience, as Poe Dameron gives you the low-down on the Rebel Alliance’s current status and what they are calling upon you to do. The lasers begin to fire and it’s time to put on your gear – an immersive backpack and headgear that literally turns you and your team into ‘Rebel Stormtroopers’.
Without too much of a spoiler alert, let’s just say that you’re by the comedic droid, K-2SO (Kay-Tuesso), as you shoot and fight your way through enemy ships. At one point you’re even outside, floating on a hover ship as the smell of sulfur fills your nostrils. Yeah, it’s full on.
Exit – 4/5
After taking your photo with your Rebel team members, you de-gear and head back into the lobby. There, you can choose to purchase your photo and have a digital version of it sent to you. You can also take a digital exit interview via a kiosk at the exit, giving feedback upon your experience.
It’s quite an abrupt ejection from the immersive world of Star Wars, especially given all the build-up as you enter. I would really like to see this transition concepted into a more engaging exit experience as you leave.
Extend – 4/5
There isn’t much set up to really extend the experience you just emerged from (beside the movies and massive Star Wars Universe, in general). This provides a huge opportunity to really extend and enhance the experience for The VOID and it’s experience stakeholders. This could be anything from sending you a performance report of how well you did as a Rebel Operative, a chance to share your photo via social, or even a mobile Augmented Reality game to continue the fun you started in the experience.
OVERALL – 21.5/25
Overall, the experience far surpasses any type of simulation or video game I’ve ever played. I was completely immersed and did not want the fun to end. As always, Disney is flawless at integrating story and theme throughout the entire experience. The attention to detail is extraordinary, down to the smells and hand/arm recognition in the Virtual experience – and I haven’t even touched on the wonderful use of space and feedback from the built-in haptic systems.
As a one off experience, The VOID has something extremely special – and you can bet it won’t stop at the Star Wars IP. I can’t wait to battle Magneto as the X-Men one day. However, given the resources of Disney and their massive worlds, there is a lot of opportunity to really create an extend storyline experience before you step foot into the space and extending long after you’ve fired the last pulse of your blaster.
Grab your tickets and find more information on The VOID’s website here.
(Price: $29.95 for ages 10+)