This past year I’ve had a blast diving into the world of VR, but I had never done anything that felt like I was in an animated feature until last week when I experienced The Void’s RALPH BREAKS VR at the Glendale Galleria. If I ever wanted to know what being immersed in a cartoon was like, I have finally experienced it and it was one of the most fully immersive VR experiences I have done.
Based on the 2018 Disney animated feature Ralph Breaks the Internet, RALPH BREAKS VR takes participants into the animated world of the internet alongside Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz. While traveling through the internet guests have the chance to play some of the newest, most exciting games available while also having the ultimate food fight using pancakes and milkshakes against some nefarious bunnies and kitties.
Upon arriving, my partner and I were taken to a separate room where we were outfitted with the gear used to bring us into the world of virtual reality. As we are both larger individuals, I was grateful that they had different sizes in regards to the vest so that we didn’t have to worry about not fitting into them properly. Once these vest backpacks were situated, we then were instructed to put on a helmet which had a visor that, when the time came, we would lower so as to transport ourselves into the virtual reality experience. Everything went smoothly and our guide’s instructions were clear and concise which I really appreciated.
Upon getting situated with everything, we were then led into another room where we watched a short instructional video that introduced Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz. After this we were then instructed to step inside another room where we were informed that we could lower our visors and begin the experience. What happened next was an incredible ascension into the animated world of the internet and video games. When I say that this experience is fully immersive, I mean that wholeheartedly, as all your senses are activated. Personally, my favorite part was when we had to battle the hilariously outrageous bunnies and kitties with pancakes and milkshakes. We were given a blaster of sorts that, when the VR was activated, looked like pancake and/or milkshake shooters. When you would pull the trigger and a pancake flew out you could actually smell the pancake and syrup. There was even a moment where an animated fire occurred and you could feel the heat on your skin. Having all our senses used throughout the entire VR really heightened the overall experience.
Along with this, the animation was beyond superb. I’ve done some really terrific VR this year, but in terms of visuals, RALPH BREAKS VR has got to be my favorite. Growing up, my dream was always to become an animator, and though that wasn’t the path I went down, I still have a fondness for all forms of animation. Being able to experience something like this, where I’m an animated character surrounded by a Pixar animated film, was something I never though I would find myself doing. It brought back memories of why I love animation so much and I hope this type of VR is something that we see more of. I can easily say that RALPH BREAKS VR is some of the best visual effects I’ve seen in the world of VR and I can only imagine just how much more fine tuned it’ll be in the years to come.
Overall, RALPH BREAKS VR is an absolute must-do. The experience itself is approximately 15 minutes, which I found to be rather short compared to others I’ve done, but this is truly my only complaint and it’s because I loved the experience so much. I’m not sure how this compares to the other VR experiences that are at The Void as I haven’t done them yet, but if RALPH BREAKS VR is any indication of what is to be expected than I have a feeling they are just as marvelous. If you are a fan of VR, and haven’t yet made it to The Void, stop everything you are doing and schedule a time to go and make sure to check out RALPH BREAKS THE VR, as well as their other experiences, Star Wars: Secret of the Empire, Nicodemus: Demon of Evanishment, and Ghostbusters.
For more information on The Void’s RALPH BREAKS VR visit www.thevoid.com