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Ralph Breaks VR experience at Disney Springs


Ralph is the newest resident of Disney Springs. The bulky, overalls-clad animated character is the big presence in the Ralph Breaks VR experience, which debuted Wednesday at The Void attraction.

Fear not, friends of the Force. The Void’s “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire” is still there. It will run concurrently with Ralph, officials say.

The Ralph version would qualify as a kinder, gentler, more pancake-oriented take on virtual reality. Customers don VR helmets and a snap-up vest/backpack that help immerse them into the bright, graphic otherworld of the internet. The storyline involves Ralph and Vanellope (voiced by John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman, respectively, in the movies) break into the internet to play mini-games.

The Void offerings are tailored to the franchises’ fan bases, said Jonathan Deyber, a guest relations representative at The Void.

“Where ‘Star Wars’ is very story-driven and very based on your mission that you go on, Ralph is about having fun and breaking the internet and going on this experience to play all these mini-games,” he said. “It’s very bright and colorful, and it keeps you engrossed in that child-like, family-friendly land.”

It’s all tied to the “Ralph Breaks the Internet” animated feature, now in theaters. You don’t have to be up on your “Ralph” storylines to have a good time at the new VR attraction.

There’s a lot going on, virtually before your eyes. Look around, up and down, even during the gameplay. You’ll see your three competitors sort of dolled up like “Ralph” characters (it’s your internet disguise, we’re told). This is tied to the card you pick up at sign-in. So while I went with a blue look because it matched my shirt, it resulted in my VR persona being in a blue dress (Say it with me: DBevil in a blue dress). My co-VR-ers enjoyed me twirling around in it.

It also pays to pay attention to the instructions given by young Vanellope. Although parts of the gaming are intuitive, there’s a bit of a learning curve and no way to reboot by saying “Wait, go back and do that scene again.” My amateur advice: Just keep shooting, even if it’s at each other. Or at bunnies or kitties.

Like the “Star Wars” experience at The Void, there is walking from space to space, some peril and extreme virtual heights, if that sort of thing unnerves you. There’s shooting, but it’s cartoonish and, well, bakery-scented.

“Ralph enjoys the smell of pancakes, so we like to keep that aura in the environment so you’re fully immersed into the game,” Deyber said.

One experience at The Void costs $34.75 on weekdays, $38 on weekends, and lasts about a half-hour. For reservations, go to thevoid.com.

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