Walt Disney World’s Star Wars: Before the Galactic Star Cruiser, there was chaos in Disneyland’s Frontierland.
Galactic Starcruiser is an immersive, two-day, live-in theme park experience in which guests learn to operate a lightsbar and interact with characters such as Captain Kevin and a semi-engineer. Meanwhile, Coyote Chris, William and Red, among other Wild West characters, were among the short-lived Frontierland legends at Disneyland in the summer of 2014.
It was one of Disney’s most important LARPs – a live action role-playing game – and it helped inform participant experience with the Galactic Starcruiser.
So while California Disney theme park fans must travel around the country to experience the expensive Galactic Starcruiser – a cabin for two starts at about $ 5,000 – Anaheim Regular has been one of the company’s primary players in recent years. Will become one of the most active-driven attractions. The Galactic Star Cruiser, commonly referred to as the “Star Wars” Hotel, is a full two-day LARP in which visitors are encouraged to follow a variety of stories. Think of the immersive theater of New York’s “Sleep No More” or a full-scale, all-safe role-playing game that spans just over 40 hours.
Frontierland legends tried to turn the original Disney “Land” into a game board of their own. It was one of several platforms drawn from Disney’s large SoCal user base, with the goal of seeing how Walt Disney Imagining – the arm of a company dedicated to theme park experiences – could push guests into game-driven endeavors. It was a hit, as it was essentially re-imagined by Knott’s Berry Farm and continued to live as Ghost Town Alive, proving that the mainstream audience was, in fact, for LARP. Are ready
But if Legends of Frontierland was a successful platformer for the fictionalists, it left something to be desired as an experience, according to Scott Trobridge, who built the Galactic Star Cruiser and Disneyland and Walt Disney World Land Star Wars: The Edge of the Galaxy. Led the teams. .
The game of Frontierland legends was relatively obscure. The guests tried to collect small wooden tokens known as “bits”, which were used to buy land or bribe others. The goal was to be on the team with the most land. But many stories and sub-plots developed. One could be thrown in jail or even bought a Frontierland landmark such as the Golden Horseshoe.
In a sense, the game dates back to the beginning of Frontierland, before the park was built by Mine Train through the Wonderland of Nature and replaced by the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, when the land was heavily inhabited by the Wild West. “Traders, Trappers, Cow Hands, ‘Two-Gun Men,’ Friends and Dance Hall Girls, ‘as described in some Frontierland Park publicity from 1955.
For 21st century imaginators, this provided a key lesson for the Galactic Starcruiser: no “bits”.
“It didn’t work out as an experiment,” says Trobridge. Asked to elaborate, Trobridge cited Guardrail’s shortcomings and said the idea of a fictitious financial currency does not translate into a Disney park or resort. In short, as a result, some guests have too much perceived power and the company is constantly trying to reset the game.
“Lesson 1: In-game economies are tough,” says Trobridge. “It simply came to our notice then. It’s hard to keep balance. We made a little game that was a front and back area, and we didn’t balance that game effectively. Hopefully it was invisible to our participants, but you want them to be balanced at the top of the cliff, and what we found kept rolling down the cliff, and behind the scenes we kept pushing it up the hill. Fell
Here are some key lessons in making Galactic Starcruiser a behind-the-scenes game. On a simple level, the StarCruiser Play relies heavily on the Disney Parks app, which helps provide it with the infrastructure that Legends of Frontierland lacks. This is because the app can create the impression of interacting with the actors who fill the game, which in turn informs of improvements. But Frontierland legends also led to some conceptual ideas that driven the StarCruiser to choose between, at its highest level, the good guys of resistance or the evil forces of the first order.
“We have changed the currency. In Frontierland legends, the currency was actually a bit, “says Trobridge. “in the meantime [Starcruiser] Experience, currency trust and information. What do you know Do I trust it? It makes it sound very cynical, but I don’t think it is.
“It’s a relationship building experience,” says Sarah Thatcher, one of the architects of the Galactic Starcruiser game.
What does it mean to convert currency from bits to information as players learn and move forward through the Galactic Starcruiser? It’s curiosity and not the desire to raise counterfeit money that is rewarded by riding on a cruise-inspired experience.
Thatcher joked that she had done more LARPs than Cruz, and one of the lessons from the former – as well as Legends of Frontierland – was to make sure the setting was so impressive that guests would gladly explore it. This, combined with the reliance on the Play Disney Parks app, can help prevent a hiccup in an immersive theater, with participants crowding around an actor.
In other words, make sure the environment can handle some heavy lifting, as players will only want to hang out in the lounge, for example, and play a card game.
“The reason being there means that amazing things are just going to wander inside,” says Thatcher. “I’m playing in the lounge, and it gives me a reason to be there and feel part of the world. I can keep my Han solo moment and put all my chips in the center of the table. It’s not a big story, but it allows the big story to come and find me, not the other way around. It’s really important – the reasons to live and be a part of the world. ”
Prior to joining Imagineering, Thatcher specialized in creating alternative reality games, perhaps most notably as a co-creator of the Jejun Institute, which inspired the AMC series “Dispatch from Other Places”. When it launched eight years ago, the Galactic Starcruiser was still a few months away from its original concept, but Thatcher’s role was to recognize from the outset that today’s guests were already playing through fan meetings and themed days at Disney Parks. Are, and to see how many more attendees may be willing to participate.
“We were in this business, ‘What are the experiences that can add to the palette of guest experiences?'” Says Thatcher. “How can we emphasize the duration of those experiments? What types and ways can guests be involved, and how much more can they be part of the story? That was a big part of why I came on board.
Thatcher developed two keynote face-to-face experiences that helped inform StarCruiser. There was an alternative reality game from the 2015 movie “Tomorrowland” called “The Optimist”. It is associated with the history of Disneyland and Walt Disney and lasted for a fixed period of six weeks. Another 2016 project was Ghost Post, in which three puzzle boxes and an epilogue envelope would be sent to the participants who purchased it. It was limited to 999 players.
Ghost Post was integral, using an app that could trigger reactions at Disneyland, but both were important in figuring out how fluid a game could be over time. One of the initial lessons was that players should be able to enter the story at any time. Thatcher says running something entirely on an “event-based nature” can drive people out, as the narrative can be faster than their play.
The trick is to avoid feeling like a “live radio broadcast” – that is, if they miss a part of the story, they get lost – and to make sure more than 40 hours is enough. Ghost posts, for example, took 10 to 16 hours to complete most of the players, Thatcher estimates, and it was without actors. Include LARP lessons that were Legends of Frontierland, and begin building blocks for StarCruiser, where there are rooms for interacting with actors, playing card games, searching rooms and ship controls that can be hacked. .
“I would say that all of these experiments convinced us how important the structure was,” says Thatcher. “We looked at each other during the development process and said, ‘How? We’re creating a 45-hour experience! What a story!’ And we were experiencing a 45-hour experience in which not everyone experiences the same thing. So having things in our back pocket, whether it’s Frontierland or Ghost Post, was about to begin to realize that we had to make a lot of things. How much content is needed for
All of this is further evidence that, no matter what the theme park experience may have been, its roots can probably be traced back to Disneyland.