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Kevin Williams of KWP Reports DisneyQuest Closure

Kevin Williams of KWP Reports DisneyQuest Closure
Kevin Williams of KWP Reports DisneyQuest Closure
Kevin Williams reports for Road to VR on the sad confirmation from the Orlando Sentinel that DisneyQuest, the famous Indoor Interactive Theme Park, would be closing its doors in 2016 for the final time.

Williams writes: "Originally opened in 1998, the Orlando, Downtown Disney virtual entertainment facility was to have been one of over twenty facilities planned; however, only a sister site would ever be opened in Chicago, and that would close just over a year from opening.

The remaining five-story Orlando DisneyQuest went on to be an imposing and popular site in Downtown Disney, an area that is currently undergoing major renovation and will soon be renamed Disney Springs. The 100,000 sq ft. site that DisneyQuest currently inhabits will be redeveloped to become the ‘NBA Experience’, comprising a restaurant and interactive elements.

DisneyQuest was part of a concept to develop a new kind of entertainment facility (Indoor Interactive Theme Park); the estimated $90m that was invested into the concept at the time was spent on cutting edge computer graphics for the time (supplied through a partnership with Silicon Graphics Inc.,), along with state of the art head-mounted display’s, simulator platforms, and immersive projection technology.

Since 1998, the Orlando DisneyQuest has seen steady visitation from local Orlando residents and holiday-makers, seeing the greatest traffic during inclement weather in the area, proving a popular venue to entertain audiences of all ages when the conditions are not suitable to walk round the rest of the resort while offering unique thrills.

However, following the collapse of the management team behind the concept investment at the end of the ’90s, the facility lost internal support and it has begun to look tired and dated with no reinvestment. It was announced last year that one of the two virtual reality attractions (‘Ride the Comix’) was to close, leaving only the ‘Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride’ as one of the longest continuously operated VR attractions in the industry’s history.

The facility proved to be an incredible testament to the power of VR attractions, and a valuable testbed for much of the wisdom needed in the current phase of VR adoption. We will miss you DisneyQuest."


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