Everything You Need To Know About Disney Animation’s New “Immersive Experience”

A few days ago, Disney Animation invited me to a press conference, but of course the invitation was vague, and had no details at all. All I knew, was that they were gonna “unveil a new immersive project coming to cities worldwide”. So of course I was excited when they said WORLDWIDE! But when I finally entered the press conference and Disney announced their “Immersive Experience”, which is basically an awesome art gallery experience (I’ll explain more below), I pretty much lost it!

I’m a BIG fan of art, and art galleries, even though it seems like everyone around me isn’t. I’m actually just an ART lover in general, from books, to movies, to paintings, to music, to theater.

I love it all! (I even got invited to attend a few Disney painting classes a few years ago, which I LOVED and can’t wait to do again!)

You can check out more of our Frozen paintings on Instagram! Riah got to paint Elsa!

But since everyone LOVES Disney, I may be finally able to drag my friends and family members to an art experience. But of course, Disney didn’t share ALL the deets about their new “Immersive Experience”, so we’re all just waiting and wondering what this really will entail!

But … luckily for those of us who attended the press conference, Disney did share a few things they didn’t include in their press release, so I’ll share all those deets below. I’ll also update this post as Disney shares new information over the next upcoming weeks. But here’s everything we know so far.

Disney Animation’s “Immersive Experience” Will Bring Films To Life

DISNEY ANIMATION: IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE – Immerse yourself in the magic, music and wonder as @DisneyAnimation and Lighthouse Immersive Studios team up for Disney Animation: Immersive Experience, which will debut this December in Toronto. © 2022 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Yup, that’s what we were told during the press conference!

The Disney Animation Immersive Experience will also give fans a behind the scenes look at the animation of some of our favorite Disney films, which … as a behind the scenes geek, is exciting!

But um …

What are immersive experiences?

disney animation immersive experience
DISNEY ANIMATION: IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE – Immerse yourself in the magic, music and wonder as @DisneyAnimation and Lighthouse Immersive Studios team up for Disney Animation: Immersive Experience, which will debut this December in Toronto. © 2022 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

I don’t think I’ve ever personally been to an “immersive experience”, but if you do a quick Google search, you’ll get this definition:

“An immersive experience pulls a viewer into another real or imagined world, enabling them to manipulate and interact with their environment. Immersive experiences use a blend of visuals, sound and technology to deliver unforgettable and engaging worlds.”

And art mixed with Disney, is always a good time!

So what will Disney Animation’s Immersive Experience include? How long will the experience be?

disney immersive experience frozen elsa
DISNEY ANIMATION: IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE – Immerse yourself in the magic, music and wonder as @DisneyAnimation and Lighthouse Immersive Studios team up for Disney Animation: Immersive Experience, which will debut this December in Toronto. © 2022 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

So far, here’s what we know …

  • Guests will receive a wristband, that will activate ‘things’ so they can be apart of the show.
  • The experience will reintroduce guests to some of their beloved Disney animated films.
  • It starts from the moment you purchase your ticket.
  • This will celebrate the work of Disney animators!
  • There will be interactive lobby elements that guests can enjoy before or after entering the gallery.
  • It’s going to be edutainment, aka educational and entertaining.
  • We’ll get to see how they make characters and a bit of the storyboarding process.
  • Lots of music and sound design will be involved!
  • There will even be a few photo opps so you can share your experience online, of course.
  • It’s a 360 degrees art experience.
  • The experience should last about 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 mins. The experience itself is about 45 minutes, and then however long it talks you to do the ‘walk through’ with your family afterwards is up to you.

Yes, I know that’s all extremely vague, but the Disney reps were careful to drop only a few hints of what was to come, as to not spoil the entire show.

They did mention you may or may not be able to experience “standing on the top of the ocean like Moana”, and someone mentioned “lava”? Which means that the Moana film will definitely be featured, and I’d love to see the ocean at my feet.

It’s basically going to be an interactive “Disney art museum experience”, but with sound design, based on our favorite films, and they had me at ‘art’. But what films you ask?

Films that will be included in the Disney Immersive Experience:

disney immersive experience
DISNEY ANIMATION: IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE – Immerse yourself in the magic, music and wonder as @DisneyAnimation and Lighthouse Immersive Studios team up for Disney Animation: Immersive Experience, which will debut this December in Toronto. © 2022 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

It was said that Disney films — old and new, were going to be featured. And while I’m sure they didn’t tell us every single film, here are the ones that were mentioned:

  • Encanto
  • Moana
  • Zootopia
  • Frozen
  • Aladdin
  • The Lion King
  • Peter Pan
  • Pinocchio
  • Rapunzel

Even Mickey and Fantasia were mentioned!

But where will fans get to go on this new adventure with their friends and family members?

The Disney Immersive Experience will start in Toronto, and then take place in the following cities:

disney immersive experience lion king
DISNEY ANIMATION: IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE – Immerse yourself in the magic, music and wonder as @DisneyAnimation and Lighthouse Immersive Studios team up for Disney Animation: Immersive Experience, which will debut this December in Toronto. © 2022 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

After Disney Animation’s “Immersive Experience” debuts at Lighthouse ArtSpace Toronto in December 2022, it will then be seen in:

  • Cleveland
  • Nashville
  • Detroit
  • Denver
  • Boston
  • San Antonio
  • Las Vegas
  • Minneapolis
  • Columbus

Fans, including myself were a bit shocked that New York, Orlando, and Los Angelos weren’t on the list. But these are just the cities for the first four months of 2023. Additional cities are currently being scheduled, including Tokyo, which will be the first city outside of North America.

So hopefully, we’ll get something close to NYC next year. But to be honest, I may not have a problem flying out to Boston for this!

What are the Disney Immersive Experience tour dates?

disney immersive experience moana
DISNEY ANIMATION: IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE – Immerse yourself in the magic, music and wonder as @DisneyAnimation and Lighthouse Immersive Studios team up for Disney Animation: Immersive Experience, which will debut this December in Toronto. © 2022 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Outside of knowing that the experience will happen in Toronto during December 2022, and in the above cities from January to April 2023, I don’t have actual tour dates yet.

But I’ll update this once Disney releases the dates.

Either way, I’m super excited to check this out in person, and I mean … if Disney wants to send me to Toronto in December to check it out, I’d be more than happy to go!

Here’s a sneak peek of the experience below:

When Lighthouse Immersive founder Corey Ross was asked about his feelings on working with Disney, he captured the excitement both Disney and Lighthouse Immersive feel for this new project by saying: “Just imagine journeying through Zootopia with Judy Hopps, diving to the ocean floor with Ariel, flying on a magic carpet with Aladdin, and stepping into Casita with Mirabel and the family Madrigal. This is where the Disney Animation Immersive Experience will take you.”

The schedule of openings, on-sale date for tickets and prices will be announced at a future date, so stay tuned. Until then, you can sign up to receive more information at disneyimmersive.com.

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