Magazine article USA TODAY

It's a Small "Virtual" World after All

Magazine article USA TODAY

It's a Small "Virtual" World after All

Article excerpt

Disney's trademark creative storytelling and state-of-the-art technology combine to create "Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters," an all-new interactive Disneyland park adventure, now open in Tomorrowland as part of the park's 18-month 50th anniversary celebration, continuing throughout 2006.

"Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters" is inspired by a Walt Disney Pictures presentation of a Pixar Animation Studios film, "Toy Story 2." It is the first Disney theme park adventure in the world to feature a real-time interactive online component during the actual "ride" portion of the attraction. This never-before-attempted convergence of the real world and the virtual world allows guests on the attraction to be paired randomly with online players via web-cam technology. At-home participants help increase the scores of riders by raising the value of targets along the way.

The space adventure stars Buzz Lightyear, the intrepid galactic hero from the hit film "Toy Story 2" Enlisting Disneyland guests as members of the Universe Protection Unit of the Space Ranger Corps., would-be Space Rangers help Buzz defeat the evil Emperor Zurg before he corners the galaxy's energy supply.

"Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters" is an interactive experience in which guests pilot their own Space Cruisers and twist, turn, and fire personal laser cannons in order to hit targets and gain points that will protect the peace of outer space from the forces of the Emperor Zurg! Total scores--representing one's ranking in the Space Ranger Corps--appear in the Space Cruiser at the conclusion of each adventure. …

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