REVIEW: The Void VR Experience at Disney Springs

It's no news flash that you can enjoy Star Wars-themed experiences at the Walt Disney World Resort. In case you missed it... Galaxy's Edge is open at Disney's Hollywood Studios! Of course, anyone who's ever heard of a Wookie is aware of this by now, but Galaxy's Edge is not the only place to enjoy an immersive Star Wars experience on Disney property. In fact, you can step into a stormtrooper's shoes (er, boots) yourself for a truly superior experience without even stepping inside a theme park!

If you're familiar with Disney Springs, The Void will be especially easy to find. It's in the Marketplace area, on the side of Once Upon A Toy. (In fact, this space used to be an expanded portion of the toy store!) When you arrive for your scheduled game time, you'll be asked to sign a digital waiver on a tablet... much like any VR or escape room experience. You are then briefed on your mission before suiting up for game play. Throughout the entire experience, from waiver to your post-game photo, you'll be assisted and monitored by your friendly game guide. We were lucky enough to work with Lily, who was very helpful and full of personality. Since I seem to be a walking glitch at all times, I encountered a minor snafu with my equipment before the start of the game, and Lily even managed to make this a fun (and themed) aspect of our visit.

In Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, parties of up to four guests are transported to a galaxy far, far away to the molten planet of Mustafar. You're on a mission for the rebellion that involves infiltrating an Imperial base to recover critical Imperial intelligence. Lucky for you, you'll be disguised as a stormtrooper, and provided with a droid and a blaster because trust me... things are going to go a little sideways on your mission. A few words of warning now that I can consider myself a veteran of this galactic war: beware of giant lava monsters, pay attention when it comes time to enter a code or your snarky droid will be all too happy to scold you, and there are many - many stormtroopers. One final tip: when you hear that familiar breathing of someone tall, dark, and evil - there are probably more productive things to do than say "wow" as you gawk at him. Yes, that would be me... the same goof who continued to smile and wave at the R2 unit on the "ride" back. But you know what? When I removed the VR gear when the experience was over, the R2 unit was actually, really there in the room with us, so who knows what kind of Disney-infused magic was at play in that virtual experience? Maybe I truly flattered tall, dark, and evil with my "wow" and that's how I lived to tell the tale? Sure... let's go with that.

Pay close attention and enjoy the trip over to Mustafar! As cool as the whole experience was, this portion was SO well done that I almost forgot to prepare myself for the battle at hand! You can actually smell and feel burning embers and heat as you fly through - genuinely incredible. I "wow"-ed my way through that part, too. I would have loved a lightsaber battle with Darth Vader, if I'm to be entirely blunt. I guess I was feeling bold and empowered. As luck would have it, there's a new Star Wars Galactic Outpost right across the way where you can build your own lightsaber and continue your battle well after you leave Disney Springs.

For less than $40 per player, this is a don't miss experience! If you're missing the interactive adventures of Disney Quest, if you're seeking interactive galactic fun without a day at the theme parks, or if you're looking to round out the perfect Disney vacation with a little something extra, The Void is going to be a brilliant fit for your team. It's an experience that the whole family can appreciate, and it fits the bill for a perfect stop in the middle of your Disney Springs day (or night). If you're a local, it's easy to stop in for a quick game without the commitment of a full day out in the tourist zone.

The Disney Springs location is not the only one for The Void. There are multiple locations in California, as well as Atlanta, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, New York City, Washington, D.C, and Plano, TX - and that's just the U.S.-based locations! More locations are in the works - find them all here. Games vary by location. I have to say, I'm really hoping that The Avengers: Damage Control makes its way here soon!