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Disney's new Star Wars resort will feature retractable, life-like lightsaber props

Business Insider logo Business Insider 2 days ago (Annabelle Williams)
a person holding a microphone: Disney © Provided by Business Insider Disney

Guests at Disney's new resort can get a more realistic Star Wars experience than ever starting in 2022.

On Tuesday, Disney confirmed that its retractable, life-like lightsaber will be one of the attractions waiting for guests at the new Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser park at Walt Dinsey World Resort.

In a blog post celebrating May 4, a day long associated with the franchise's catchphrase "may the force be with you," Disney said that guests at the park in Florida will get a first look at the new technology.

Gallery: May the 4th be with you! The legacy of 'Star Wars' (StarsInsider)

In the teaser video, an actress dressed as Rey from the most recent Star Wars trilogy holds the new lightsaber. The video urges fans to "see it first" when the Galactic Starcruiser experience opens next year.

The lightsaber was made by Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development, Disney said. Its realistic look and function is part of what the brand calls an "all-immersive" two-night experience at the new resort.

Guests will "be plunged into a Star Wars story where your decisions and actions - or even the casual conversations you may have - determine how your personal journey unfolds," according to the blog post announcing the opening. The company compares this Star Wars experience to a cruise ship, with guided activities and a set itinerary for all guests.

Disney mentioned the new product in a call in April, which was reported by The Verge. The chairman of Disney Parks experiences and products, Josh D'Amaro, pulled out a prop that managed to light up and retract at the same time, much to fans' surprise.

Previously, Disney's official lightsabers could only do one or the other. However, according to Disney fan and AR/VR developer Ben Ridout, this new technology works by a mechanism similar to a tape measure. The technology allows for a more realistic effect similar to the lightsabers shown in the Star Wars franchise.

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