If you're a STAR WARS fans, the recent films have offered an incredible feast of new intergalactic adventures (and you may well be reading this on your phone while awaiting the first screenings of STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, which opens tonight). Now everything you loved about this incredible cinematic adventure series expands beyond the movie screen and into Disney with STAR WARS: THE SECRET OF THE EMPIRE, a new hyper reality experience debuting at both Disney World and Disneyland Resort.

We don't yet have the full story behind the attraction's main scenario, but what is known has real promise. Participants get to be members of the heroic rebellion fighting against the evil Empire, which is out to subjugate freedom throughout the universe. In order to defeat the Empire's latest plot, they will be going on an undercover sabotage mission tn the molten planet of Mustafar. They are disguised as Stormtroopers and aided in this quest by a K-2SO robot that has been taken from the Empire and reprogrammed to help defeat it.

STAR WARS: THE SECRET OF THE EMPIRE is the work of The Void, a Utah-based virtual reality entertainment company whose previous work includes the popular GHOSTBUSTERS attraction. The company's website promises that SECRET OF THE EMPIRE delivers "a whole-body, fully immersive VR experience, full of surprises at every turn." Expect lava monsters, laser battles, and puzzles to solve along the way.

Virtual reality has supplanted 3D as the preeminent "you are there" entertainment delivery system, and some very exciting advances in recent years have really brought the technology up to date.

Fans thrilled to a preview video released online in October, and the wait is almost over. The attraction opens first at Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort this Saturday, and then at Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort on January 5th, 2018. Tickets are available now.

Main Street, U.S.A. Station Entrance in Walt Disney World. By Jackdude101 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Disney name is all over the entertainment world nowadays. You can hardly buy a ticket to a movie and not have either the Disney, Pixar, Marvel, or Lucasfilm logo appear onscreen. The company is truly a juggernaut that seems intent on conquering all aspects of the business.

However, after some tentative success in the late ‘30s and ‘40s with animated features, Walt Disney truly became a household name in the 1950s, thanks to the WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY television series and their Disneyland theme park. An immediate success, it was followed in 1971 by the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

Both parks have their charms, but one may be better suited to your family than the other.

Size

After the gigantic success of Disneyland, developers knew that they could afford to go beyond the original’s 500 acres: Disney World is a whopping 43 miles long and offers four parks as opposed to the original’s two.

Because of this, there is inevitably more choice at the Florida location. However, both resorts contain the major attractions that draw crowds year after year. If you don’t want to deal with endless traveling between rides and your hotel, choosing the smaller park can definitely be an appealing option.

Outside Activities

If you need a break from the resort, Disney World has more options nearby than Disneyland.

The “Invisible” Experience

Disneyland ended up being more popular than expected and the staff sometimes had trouble keeping up with things like garbage detail, marring things a bit for guests at times. Disney World was designed with a series of underground corridors that allow park staff and performers to easily get from one place to another without being seen. This design touch helps to make the experience a bit more magical when you don’t see quite so much of the behind the scenes workings.

pack

Here are all the things you should pack when visiting Disney!  Whether you're coming in from Orlando or all the way from Australia, there are some essentials you'll need and some items that are good to have.  Remember, things will change depending on who you're bringing.  I.e. Children will require more things versus two adults that might just be traveling through for one day!  Make adjustments as needed - this is just a guide.

Clothing Items - For clothes, you want to pack according to the weather.  For most of the year, Orlando is quite warm.  If you're coming during the summer months, make sure to pack shorts, t-shirts, and running shoes.  If you're visiting during the winter months, we suggest you bring pants and sweater because it does tend to get quite cold at night.  Always remember to wear comfortable shoes, preferably running shoes, because A, you'll be doing a ton of walking, and B, most of the rides require you to wear appropriate footwear.  There are also a ton of nice restaurants in the park so maybe bring one or two fancy outfits you can wear to dinner.

Toiletries & Accessories - Feel free to bring whatever toiletries you normally use.  Disney has many stores that you can purchase items you might have forgotten.  If you're staying in a Disney resort, they will also be able to provide you with shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, and body wash.  Other items like hair combs, toothbrush, toothpaste and razors may also be provided if you ask.  Don't forget things like medication or id wallet card for any medical concerns as the hotel may not be able to provide you with the proper medication if you forget.

Food - The great thing about Disney is the food.  If you're able to go to Epcot for a day, you'll enjoy vast amounts of food from all different cultures.  A great tip is to stock up on snacks and breakfast each day, then purchase food in the parks.  DO bring a ton of water and make sure to pack it with you each day.  Make sure to wear a medical bracelet for any illnesses or conditions.  You can find a great engraved, custom medical bracelet at emergencyid.com.

Random - Don't forget your camera or phone to take wonderful pictures at the park!  You should also bring hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, sunglasses, bug repellent spray and sunscreen to the park in a bag.  You can also bring in some food like fruits and granola bars as well as drinks like water.  If you forget anything, there's no need to worry because the park is very accommodating and will be able to provide you with most things.  Good luck!

Never been to Disney World before?  No worries, because we've got you covered.  This blog will be all about Disney - travel, what to pack, what to see, where to find tickets, plus all the information you might need if you're thinking about visiting Disney World.  It's a huge amusement park (if you didn't already know) full of wonderful and exciting attractions, rides and foods to try.  If you have young children, they will love it.  Even if you don't have children and are just looking for the happiest place on the planet, look no further than Disney World.

Here are some tips and information you might want to know before heading in:

  • There's a walkway from Disney's BoardWalk Inn to the Swan & Dolphin that connects Epcot to Hollywood Studios.  This walkway takes about a half hour.  That might be faster than traveling by car or bus between the two parks.
  • If you hate waiting in lines, read up on their website about their FastPass selections.  FastPass enables you to skip lines at rides, so you're able to save a ton of time waiting in lines.

disney

  • Disney offers a free vacation planning DVD.  Grab one from them to better plan your Disney vacation.  It's a ton of fun and will get you super excited for your trip!
  • If you're feeling extremely over heated in the park, but can't find any shade, make your way to the Frogg Togg Chilly Pads.  They're a great way to keep cool under the sun.

Hope you found some of this information useful!  Stay tuned for our next blog post - everything you need to park for the best Disney vacation!