By Jim Frye
Ralph and Vanellope are back—in more ways than one.
Fans of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ hit Wreck-It Ralph are in for a double treat come November 21 as the highly anticipated sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet, lands in theaters on the same day that a brand-new Ralph-themed virtual reality attraction opens, inviting guests to become part of the world of the films. So get ready to buckle up and join everyone’s favorite videogame bad guy, Ralph, voiced by John C. Reilly, and his zippy little friend, Vanellope, voiced by Sarah Silverman, in a whole new experience that puts guests right in the middle of the action—literally!
The VOID, the global leader in immersive virtual experiences, and ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s award-winning immersive entertainment division, bring Ralph Breaks the Internet to hyper-reality in Ralph Breaks VR, opening at Downtown Disney at Disneyland, Disney Springs at Walt Disney World, and other locations across the country. Fans will remember that The VOID and ILMxLAB also partnered on last year’s Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, a virtual experience that enabled guests to square off against Stormtroopers. This time, however, instead of blasters and lava, guests will be launching pancakes and ice cream sundaes against bunnies, kitties, and drones.
In Ralph Breaks VR, groups of four players, disguised as characters from the film called “Netizens,” break into the Internet with Ralph and Vanellope to play the newest, coolest video game ever. And as can be expected, everything goes wrong—which is where the fun begins!
“You basically have to try to get out of the Internet alive before you’re eradicated as a virus,” says Pamela Ribon, the writer for Ralph Breaks VR and co-writer for Ralph Breaks the Internet. “You don’t have to know any of the characters to experience this. It’s in the world that we have for the sequel, but it’s not dependent on the sequel to have a good time.”
In addition to writing, Ribon also lends her voice to a brand-new antagonist for Ralph and Vanellope—and us!—to face off against: B.E.V., which stands for Built to Eradicate Viruses. “B.E.V. is the security cam who’s chasing Ralph and Vanellope and the players as they move through the Internet,” Ribon says. “When she finds something that’s not supposed to be in the Internet, her job is to eradicate it.”
B.E.V. was actually a character in earlier iterations of Ralph Breaks the Internet, but had to be let go as the story evolved. “We’ve always had a fondness in our hearts for B.E.V.,” says Ribon, “so when Ralph Breaks VR needed a villain, I thought, ‘Oh gosh, we have one.’”
Ralph Breaks VR is unique in that players actually move around inside the warehouse-sized space, talking to each other, helping each other. Players physically move from room to room, and each location is a different candy-colored virtual space in Ralph’s world, including the Pancake Milkshake Diner, where players get to launch pancakes and sundaes to help rescue Ralph.
“Designing the elements that pull you irresistibly into the unique world of Ralph and Vanellope has been an incredibly fun process,” says Curtis Hickman, chief creative officer and co-founder of The VOID. “What we’ve created together with ILMxLAB is an astounding adventure that allows people to experience a unique extension of Wreck-It Ralph’s characters, environments, and stories.”
Tickets for Ralph Breaks VR are now on sale at www.thevoid.com