Disney gets real with virtual park in Philly

Summer 2000 set for DisneyQuest unveiling

Disney Regional Entertainment has chosen Philadelphia as the next home for DisneyQuest, an indoor virtual-reality theme park planned for summer 2000.

The five-story, 80,000-square-foot park will combine Disney’s magic with cutting-edge immersive technologies and interactive attractions.

Joe DiNunzio, VP of new ventures for Walt Disney Imagineering, said, “DisneyQuest utilizes certain new emerging technologies that enable us to deliver immersive character and story-driven experiences. It’s an opportunity for us to expand our business into markets we historically have not been in.”

DisneyQuest, a concept created by Walt Disney Imagineering, offers guests such virtual adventures as river rafting, a roller coaster ride, a journey into the underworld with Hercules and a ride on Aladdin’s magic carpet.

Disney chose Philadelphia to take advantage of the business and tourism momentum being generated by the city, which attracts more than 20 million people annually.

According to DiNunzio, Disney is pleased with the number of guests visiting the flagship DisneyQuest facility at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, which opened in June. A Chicago site is slated to open in summer 1999.

Calling DisneyQuest “a different kind of Disney storytelling experience,” DiNunzio said Disney plans to build several more of the parks around the country, which it can do for a small fraction of the cost of a theme park.

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