Even though science fiction isn’t my preferred genre, Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is probably one of the most unique events at Walt Disney World. To think that fans from all over the world congregate each spring to share their love of the films and participate in celebratory activities is pretty epic. Special guest appearances, limited time character meals, new shows, unique merchandise, and a well-themed parade all make this a grand time for fans. What’s even better this year is how Disney is using technology to enhance the experience even more. Thanks to the use of augmented reality, the Star Wars universe will come to life in a whole new way and bring park guests along for the ride.
In collaboration with HP, Disney’s official technology partner, for the first time ever, Disney will offer interactive experiences to fans during Star Wars Weekend (SWW). Utilizing an app called Aurasma, guests can hold up their smartphone or tablet to the official SWW logo and watch spacecraft, asteroids, lasers, and more come to life right before their very eyes! Try it yourself right now by downloading the app and holding it up to the image below:
Cool, right? This happens on any posters or merchandise with the official event logo. Want more? Well, Disney has a few other ways to use augmented reality during SWW. While checking out all of the event merchandise in Darth’s Mall, keep your eyes open for the Aurasma logo (a little purple “A,” as shown in the pic below). When you see it, whip out your electronic device and watch what happens. Some very famous characters are waiting to interact with you!
Augmented reality experiences can also be found on the official guide map for the park. Hold up the app when perusing the event food offerings and James Arnold Taylor, the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi, will welcome you to SWW and share insider tips about what’s in store.
All in all, this new technology has me very excited for things to come. If received well by guests, I can see Disney using augmented reality for other things around the parks. Just think of the possibilities: interactive Food & Wine Festival guides, scavenger hunts, character experiences, Flower & Garden Festival activities, and more! This could even take things like the Sorcerers of Magic Kingdom or Disney Phineas and Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure to an entirely new level. The use of FastPass+ already relies on one having a smartphone or tablet with them anyway, so this adds to what you can do with them in the parks. And better yet, because Aurasma specializes in augmented reality and has been around since 1996 (on a much more basic level, mind you) including at your local AMC Theater, we can rest assured that the experiences will only enhance your time spent in the parks. Bravo to Disney for branching out to this level of technology integration. I can’t wait to see what’s next!