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Both Disney Theme Parks are currently under construction to bring the world of Star Wars to guests in a big way. However, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge won't be the only way to experience the galaxy far, far away. Disney Parks has announced plans to bring "hyper reality" experience centers to both parks that will allow guests to enter, and interact, with the world of Star Wars. While details are minimal, this will apparently involve using virtual reality, as well as other concepts to create an experience that guests can go through together.
The new project is a collaboration between Disney Parks, Industrial Light and Magic's ILMxLab, and The VOID, a company that specializes in creating virtual reality experiences. The experience centers will be located at Downtown Disney in Anaheim and Disney Springs in Orlando and are scheduled to open this holiday season which means we don't have long to wait.
The experience is called Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, but beyond that, no details are being released about exactly what sort of experience is in store for those that go along for the ride.
We can get something of an idea of what Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will look like by taking at look at a previous experience created by The VOID. At Madame Tussauds in New York, you can currently take part in a Ghostbusters themed experience. Check it out in the trailer below.
If we take this, combined with the promotional image above which was supplied by Disney World's press release, we can begin to get an idea what Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire looks like. Imagine you and a friend, or friends, moving through a virtual world that, thanks to VR headsets, looks real. Maybe you'll be armed with a blaster or a lightsaber which feels real to you and can be used within the VR space. From there you defend yourself against an attack by The First Order or have a light saber duel with Kylo Ren. It could be absolutely amazing, and the fact that you don't have to play alone would make it all the more fun.
It just goes to show how big virtual reality entertainment is becoming when Disney is going to dedicate precious space entirely to the experience. I'll certainly be giving this a try on my next trip to Disneyland.
My biggest question is where these buildings are going to go. There isn't a lot of extra space at Downtown Disney though there's currently a large bowling alley going in where the House of Blues used to be. Depending on exactly how big this space is, it's possible it could be attached to that.
Disney Springs in Orlando recently saw the closure of DisneyQuest, a similar location that provided video games and other Disney themed interactive experiences. I wouldn't be shocked to see Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire taking up space in the exact same location.
Image courtesy Walt Disney World News