3. Throwback Thursday: DisneyQuest
As far as I'm concerned, 2016 was a pretty good year for VR. People were starting to get really excited about the technology and some significant advances were being made, and I wrote my first article about VR Porn for Playboy. But it was also the end of an era as Disney announced that it would be closing down its pioneering Indoor Interactive Theme Park, DisneyQuest.
Originally opened in 1998, the Orlando five-story indoor interactive theme park cost an estimated $90 million and boasted (for the time) cutting edge computer graphics and HMDs (whenever you moan about how bulky VR headsets are, do take a look pictures like the one below to put things into some perspective).
Multi-sensory rides such as "Aladdin's Magic Carpet" and "Ride the Comix" proved really popular for years, but by the end of the '90s it was suffering from a lack of investment, before finally closing its doors permanently and making way for a new attraction on July 3, 2017. Still, it was a relatively early proof of concept as to the appetite for location-based VR entertainment, something that companies like The VOID are now reviving in a big way.
Not only that, but DisneyQuest was also the launchpad for many prominent careers in the immersive field, as those who worked for the company are still shaping the industry ecosystem. Case-in-point being Avi Bar-Zeev, who after working for them in the 90s moved to Microsoft and then Apple, where he was rumored to be involved in the development of their AR glasses.