One of the newest attractions at Walt Disney World is StormStruck, a 3D adventure in EPCOT’s Innoventions East. And since we decided to take it easy on this trip, we actually had time available to hunt it down and try it out.
The attraction starts you off in what appears to be a sunroom which is next to a garage with a parked car and across from a large house and a big tree. Soon a storm erupts and things go haywire. The garage doors blow, power lines come down, and the house across from you ends up with some pretty significant damage. You don’t even want to know what happens to the house you’re in…
Then everything pauses and a cast member comes out and begins talking to you. There’s a screen in the back of the seat in front of you with two buttons marked A and B. You’re taken through a multiple choice quiz with questions such as whether a house built with nails or straps are stronger, as well as a few myth based questions like whether you should have windows open or shut during a storm.
The answers are collected and majority rules. How your particular group answers questions builds the next storm scene, and you’ll get to see step by step whether your group is storm savvy or not.
StormStruck is actually a 4D show- a 3D screen but with air and water effects. It is at once very realistic, and very unrealistic. The realism comes from Disney’s usual well timed air and water effects, while unrealism comes from poorly scaled computer generated images.
Not only are the buildings, trees, and other props very unrealistic, but the size proportion is completely off. I would say that the graphics are closer to Playhouse Disney than the latest action flick.
Oddly enough, the sponsors at the end are a work of beauty- the names simply hanging in mid-air, beautiful enough to rival Philharmagic’s quality. I sat enchanted just staring at the State Farm logo while the cast member went over the final speech before letting us out of the room.
Despite the less than stellar graphics, I would recommend StormStuck to anyone who hasn’t participated. The room is quite small, seating perhaps 30-40 people, but shows are often, and aren’t crowded. It is educational, and if you plan to build or buy a home, some of the tips included in the show may be worth noting.
Some children may be frightened by all of the noise and things crashing around you (on screen, but it is 3D), but some may be merely entertained by it all. Use your own judgement, and remember that you’re in Innoventions- as long as there’s an adult around, there’s always something that they can do to stay occupied while you participate in a bit of edutainment.
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