Geeking Out at Atlanta’s Immersive Disney Animation Experience
Last week, Lighthouse Immersive’s critically acclaimed Immersive Disney Animation opened at the new Armour Yards development in Atlanta, Georgia. FanBolt had the chance to check out the experience, which takes over a 44,000-square-foot warehouse space in the coolest of ways. And being massive Disney nerds ourselves, we geeked out over the whole event!
Developed in collaboration with Walt Disney Animation Studios, Immersive Disney Animation presents the music and artistry within Disney Animation’s canon of films. Fans will recognize more recent films, like Encanto, Zootopia, and Frozen, and be taken on a trip down memory lane with the classics, including The Lion King, Peter Pan, and Pinocchio. Some more obscure titles, including Treasure Planet and The Rescuers Down Under, are also represented.
What to Expect at Atlanta’s Immersive Disney Animation
The experience gives audiences a chance to revisit their favorite Disney movies and an opportunity to feel as if they’ve stepped inside the films.
And beyond an unparalleled projection design, Immersive Disney Animation also offers some additional interactive features that fans of all ages will geek out over. From a responsive floor projection design that moves with the audience to custom bracelets that light up in sync with the projections and based on the audiences’ movements through the galleries, there’s always something to engage with.
But the raddest interactive feature is a particularly show-stopping moment. There are a couple of moments throughout the experience where the space fills with bubbles; one of those times, those bubbles are filled with smoke. It’s just freaking rad!
FanBolt’s Experience at Immersive Disney Animation
Finding a unique, fun, and engaging activity for all ages is rare. But that’s precisely what Immersive Disney Animation provides.
When we first arrived, we headed into a large room that sat next to the main attraction. There, we explored some background information on Disney’s approach to animation, including how they created the iconic sparkle in Cinderella.
The displays also highlighted the magical effects with the snowflakes in 2013’s Frozen and the water in 2016’s Moana.
A Drawing How-To
From there, we discovered an interactive station that walks you through how to draw Disney characters. The step-by-step instructions worked well for most of our group. Notice I say “most” because, despite my art school background (granted, it was for web design), my drawing of Daisy Duck looked pretty sad. Drawing just isn’t a skill I have.
My own personal artwork aside, the rest of my group all excelled with the directions. And from there, we continued exploring, learning more about Disney’s approach to animation and nerding out over a fun photo op.
The Main Event
And from there, it was time to head into the main event, the projection room. We grabbed floor cushions to sit on (included with one of the upgraded ticket packages). And over the next hour, we enjoyed the presentation, which brought back so many feelings of nostalgia.
It was a magical evening, from being in awe of all the projections to singing along to some of my favorite Disney tunes with my bestie.
Some of the younger kids that were in attendance entertained themselves by running around the room and interacting with the effects from the floor projector. By the time the show ended, new friendships had been made, kids were ready for a nap, and for those of us older Disney fans, we were filled with all the feels.
Having been to a handful of these immersive events now, I have to say I’m thrilled to see more themed experiences happening. It’s a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the fandoms you geek out over. And the Immersive Disney Animation experience is no exception. It’s one of the few events of this type that I’ve seen that is truly for all ages.
After the event, I created an Instagram reel to commemorate the evening. And while there wasn’t any appearance of Oliver & Company during the experience, I didn’t let that stop me from using the film’s soundtrack to set the tone for my reel. Check it out below.
A Positive Response from Fans
It’s not just fans in Atlanta that are loving the unique look at their favorite Disney films. Fans across North America have fallen in love with the experience.
“We have opened Immersive Disney Animation in eight cities so far,” said Corey Ross, producer and founder, Lighthouse Immersive Studios. “And while we expected a positive reception, we have really been blown away by just how incredibly excited audiences are with this experience, a testament to the timeless legacy of Disney Animation’s worlds, stories and characters. We can’t wait to share this very special presentation with Atlanta audiences.”
“Like so many of us, I have a life-long love of Disney films,” Ross continued. “And it has been quite a nostalgic rush seeing those films come to life in our venues across North America. I’ve grown up with these characters and worlds since childhood and so has my family. The work lends itself brilliantly to the immersive experience. Our team has created something truly special here.”
Visiting Immersive Disney Animation
The experience, which first premiered in Toronto in December 2022, is rolling out in select U.S. cities throughout 2023. So if you’re not in Atlanta to check out the installation here, you can still enjoy it in the below locations.
Immersive Disney Animation North American Locations
• TORONTO (1 Yonge St.)
• CLEVELAND (850 E. 72nd St.)
• NASHVILLE (4416 Ridgefield Way)
• DETROIT (267 E. Grand River Ave.)
• DENVER (3900 Elati St.)
• BOSTON (130 Columbus Ave.)
• SAN ANTONIO (221 Burleson St.)
• MINNEAPOLIS (1515 Central Ave. NE)
• LAS VEGAS (3720 S. Las Vegas Blvd.)
• COLUMBUS (940 Polaris Pkwy.)
• DALLAS (507 S. Harwood St.)
• ATLANTA (159 Armour Dr.)
Tickets start at $29.99 and are now on sale at lighthouseimmersive.com/disney! Be sure to grab them while you can, the event is now open through the end of September.
A Few Additional Fun Facts about Lighthouse Immersive
This isn’t Lighthouse’s first production. The company is known for creating, producing, and distrbuting innovative digital immersive art experiences through its experiential multiplex digital art galleries. Their goal? To cultivate community and creativity through large-scale events and exhibitions of all art forms.
Lighthouse Immersive has produced the world premieres of Immersive Van Gogh, Immersive Frida Kahlo,
Immersive King Tut and Immersive Klimt: Revolution in more than 21 North American cities, including Toronto, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Boston, and Denver. And they’re currently expanding into additional markets.
To date, they have sold over 5 million tickets to Immersive Van Gogh across North America, with Artnet calling it “one of the largest coordinated art phenomena of all time.”