Orlando Gets Terrifying Halloween VR Attraction

  • Sherri L. Smith

Theme parks and tourist destinations are getting decidedly more virtual, with a variety of locales featuring their own VR-based attractions. Universal Orlando will be the latest amusement park to get in on the fun with an experience called The Repository. The attraction will debut starting Sept. 29 until the end of October and cost an additional $50 on top of the admission to the park's Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando.

Similar to the Ghostbusters Dimension setup at Madame Tussauds in New York City, The Repository will have customers walking through an actual space while strapped into a VR headset. But instead of bustin' phantoms, Repository visitors will be working in small teams to solve a paranormal mystery. Set in a secret warehouse where supernatural artifacts are housed, the setting is rife with ghostly energy, enough that visitors have the ability to travel to the other side using spectral dark portals.

The biggest difference between the two experiences is that Repository visitors will be using a wireless setup instead of the rather large backpack that hyper reality company The Void utilizes for Ghostbusters Dimension. The Repository will also feature actors who will interact with guests during the experience. Since Universal is billing this as “a new generation of psychological horror,” The Repository is not recommended for kids younger than 13.

As virtual reality becomes a more viable and lucrative way to engage thrill-seeking audiences. It only seems like a matter of time before we start seeing virtual arcades springing up outside of amusement parks. What if, instead of the usual game of laser tag, you and your team are transported to a distant planets where you're shooting it out with hostile aliens for the fate of the universe? Or how about a VR version of Clue, complete with the candlestick, gun or pipe in the study, library or billiards room?

Whatever form these arcades of the near future take, if the owners can keep admission prices reasonable, it could be the perfect gateway to consumers buying their own HTC Vive or Oculus Rift In their current form, both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive are pricey options that demand certain specs and room space to be used effectively. An arcade option can let the VR-curious get a taste of the action without making a huge financial commitment. Either way, I'm hoping that I'll be able to take a group of friends to a VR arcade and go on a Dungeons & Dragons-style quest one day soon. (source)