Defined as a vacuum, the VOID sounds ominous, but at Walt Disney World it is an amazing Star Wars virtual reality experience located in Disney Springs for ages 10 and up. As a first time visitor to the VOID, I had no idea what was about to happen to me or the emotions I was about to encounter. My group visiting the VOID consisted of four teens and two adults. As only four people maximum can experience the VOID at a time, our group was divided into two teams of three.
After arriving for our scheduled time, we received wristbands with our names, rebel information, and access codes to the system. Up to two teams can be lead into a black room with two screens and eight tablets. At this point all cameras were banned from use. We didn’t want to jeopardize our mission! Each team was given a mission by a Star Wars character. Cassian told us that we were to retrieve an Imperial weapon. Once we received our objective, each person in our group scanned their band, and were linked to our own Stormtrooper, indicated by a unique color so you could identify yourself and others as you traversed the world.
Next it was time to gear up with a vest and helmet, all explained with a video sequence. Then it was time to begin! You travel through different areas, completing smaller tasks to complete your main objective. On our adventure we solved a puzzle of flashing lights, flew on a spaceship, and were confronted by Darth Vader himself who appeared to be very real and very much out to destroy us! The most realistic part of the experience was battling the Stormtroopers while trying to complete some of the smaller tasks. Blasters are available and be ready because a group of Stormtroopers must be defeated while protecting your teammates before you can continue. The vests have sensors built in and every time you are hit by a Stormtrooper’s blast, your vest buzzes to make it feel as if you were hit. Traveling from room to room in the virtual world, you actually are traveling to different rooms in the physical world so the blend of virtual and reality walls, benches, and other obstacles blur your awareness between fantasy and reality. Even as a teenager, some parts made me nervous and even scared because it seemed so real. I did not want to fall off the platform into the lava!
After about half an hour of thrills and excitement, we were successful in our mission. We flew back to real life in our spaceship and then had a group picture (available for purchase), before taking off our gear and returning to the lobby of the building.
The VOID is an experience that all Star Wars fans will love! We thoroughly enjoyed it and I can’t wait to go back on my next trip to do it again!