Disney has released new footage of some of Walt Disney Imagineering’s (WDI) innovative offerings, including robots, rides and a realistic, retractable lightsaber.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser guests will be the first to enjoy lightsaber training when the immersive hotel experience launches at Walt Disney World in 2022.
The Star Wars lightsaber appears at the 0:43 mark of the video, which you can watch below. The replica weapon is held by a Walt Disney Imagineering employee who ignites it to make the blue blade appear.
“When people come to visit Disney, they want to enter a world where anything is possible,” said Josh Gorin, who leads Imagineering’s Blue Sky and creative strategy.
WDI’s realistic, retractable lightsaber
“As Imagineers, it is our challenge to apply both creative and technical skills to make that magical world come to life. We have to keep upping our game – that means innovation in storytelling and technology.”
The ‘real’ lightsaber was announced in April during a virtual event hosted by Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. It was later teased in a promo for the Galactic Starcruiser.
According to Disney Parks Blog, Walt Disney Imagineering and Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development hold more than 500 US patents.
Star Wars hotel experience opens 2022
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser activities include a trip to the vessel’s bridge to learn how to operate ship systems, as well as a day at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
“Guests get to choose who they want to interact with or they get to choose to sit and watch,” said Sara Thacher, senior R&D Imagineer. “There’s so many different ways to engage – you don’t have to participate if you don’t want to.
“You can stay in the story and live out the different storylines or just go be a tourist – head back to your cabin, take a nap, have some lunch. You can choose to be as casual about this as you want or dive as deeply as you want.”