A sign on a yellow-sided building that reads “The Void”
USA

Our Experience at The VOID’s Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire

The VOID is a Star Wars-themed interactive virtual reality experience. They have locations at Disney Springs in Orlando and Downtown Disney in Anaheim, along with other locations worldwide. It allows participants to really step into the Star Wars world in a way that hasn’t before been possible. Check out their website here.

The Process

We booked online ahead of time. There were plenty of time slots available, at least in the Orlando location where we were, even just a couple of days beforehand. Payment in full is required at the time of booking, but you can get a full refund up to one hour before your scheduled time.

Only up to four people are allowed in one group. If your group is larger than that, it’s helpful to decide ahead of time who is going with whom. Since we were five people, we split up into a group of three and a group of two. The two-person group had strangers added in to make a group of four.

They ask that you arrive about ten minutes before your scheduled time. This is so that you can have time to fill out all of the paperwork, which is done electronically at the entrance. Then you wait in a vestibule area for your turn.

Next they call you into a preliminary room where you learn about your “mission.” From there, you’re lead to yet another room where you leave your belongings in lockers and suit up. Finally, you start your mission, which lasts about ten minutes.

Our Experience

AJ and I, our friends Samus and Adam, and AJ’s brother-in-law Jason all opted to try The VOID. We arrived at Disney Springs with plenty of time to park and get to the location ten minutes ahead of our 4:15pm start time. When we got there, they asked us to come back at our actual start time, since they were busy.

We wandered around Disney Springs a bit, stopping in Basin for some bath bombs (I got Relax, which it turns out smells like the Flight of Passage ride in Animal Kingdom). AJ and I are collecting pins as souvenirs of our journey, so we stopped to look at a pin store. We returned to The Void at 4:15, hoping they were ready for us.

At that point, they had us complete the paperwork and sign the waivers, but there was a long line waiting in the vestibule to go in ahead of us. It was probably 4:50/4:55 before we even entered the mission room. That was a bit disappointing. We’d left Typhoon Lagoon in a hurry that day in order to make it there before our start time, as instructed.

The employees were clearly frazzled and frustrated. I’m not sure what was going on or why they were running behind, but they didn’t seem to be handling it very well. I don’t think I ever saw a Disney employee respond in that way before or after. Not in the States, anyway. It was surprising.

Some elements of AJ’s suit were not working properly, and he didn’t feel like he got the full experience because of that. I didn’t realize that my VR helmet/visor thing wasn’t on quite right until the whole thing was almost done, so I could have had a better experience as well. That part is totally my fault.

Of course I don’t want to spoil anything about the story itself, and we’d probably have lawyers contacting us pretty quickly if I did. I will say that the virtual reality aspect of the experience was very well done. There were a lot of interactive aspects that also helped to heighten the experience.

Is It Worth It?

The cost of our experience was about $38 per person. That’s kind of a lot when you consider how short your time in the actual virtual reality part is.

I’ve been a Star Wars fan since I was a kid, but I’m not the type who knows the geographical location of every planet in the galaxy and speaks fluent Wookie. I’m also not a big video game player, as in, I don’t play video games at all these days. It was still fun, and I found it exciting once we got going.

AJ is probably less of a Star Wars fan than I am, but he’s more into video games. He really appreciated how realistic the VR was and the level of detail that went into it.

Some people in our group felt it would have been worth the price we paid if we been able to start on time. That kind of VR experience must have been very expensive to make. Others thought it was too short of an experience to warrant that price at all. We all agreed that having to wait around so long was annoying.

If you love Star Wars and/or video games, and you have the spare cash, I think it’s worth it. If you’re lukewarm on Star Wars or tend to get disoriented on the 3D, virtual reality-type rides at Disney World, you should skip it.

Have you done The Void at Disney or anywhere else? What did you think?

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