21 Extraordinary Experiences Open Now & Coming Soon: July 2024

Welcome to this month’s round up of Extraordinary Experiences across all experience sectors and around the globe.

Europe is serving up a jam-packed summer of sport, with the Euros football tournament in Germany, Wimbledon tennis in London, and the Olympic Games in Paris, which will start in style with a floating opening ceremony along the Seine on 26 July attended by 300,000 spectators. We’ll be glued to the breakdancing, which makes its debut this year.

With the Tokyo Olympics having been blighted by Covid, resulting in ghost stadiums full of empty seats, this year’s games will bring back the drama and edge-of-your-seat excitement we crave. Those lucky enough to be in Paris will get to experience this glorious celebration – not only of athletic prowess, but also of the world coming together and collectively holding its breath – firsthand.

Outside of sport, art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast comes to Manchester this month, South Korea gets its first immersive Mecca, and Melbourne will play host to a naked fashion show.

If you’re working on an Extraordinary Experience you’d like us to consider for a future edition, please share it HERE!

21. EDEN at Illuminate Adelaide

Open: 4-21 July
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Experience Sector: Immersive

The unparalleled beauty of nature is showcased in all its vibrant glory in EDEN, an interactive experience that encourages everyone to see the beauty in the world around us. From acclaimed Berlin studio flora&faunavisions – the winner of the Science and Tech categories at the recent World Experience Awards – art and nature collide to unveil the playful and hopeful aspects of the natural world sparking curiosity, joy, creativity and optimism.  

With a digital garden at your fingertips that’s yours to create, discover how just one person planting a small seed in the ground can lead to the growth of a vast, lush surrounding. Let curiosity and movement guide you as the wonder of nature takes centre stage and cutting-edge digital technologies create plants and flowers that transform the landscape around you. EDEN invites you to explore the beauty and importance of our planet and marvel at what you have created in a world of imagination and inspiration. 

20. SwellSpa

Open now
Location: Online
Experience Sector: Immersive Wellness

New app SwellSpa is on a mission to harness the power of sound therapy and deliver it via mobile technology, making it inclusive, easy-to-access and cost-effective. The team worked with the University of Art’s MIMIC lab, which specialises in music and AI, on their groundbreaking algorithm, and spent months working with award-winning musicians and sound therapists to capture a range of instruments traditionally used for healing.

The team travelled to the most beautiful locations around the world to record areas of untapped beauty from the natural world, figured out how to make time elastic – so sounds are adaptable, can be choreographed to treatments and every listening experience is novel – and tested the beta version with neuroscience lab Kinda Studios whose study indicated listeners achieve deeper relaxation, less sleep disruption, emotional uplift, awe and inspiration, and closer connection to nature with just 15 minutes of listening time.

19. Mastery: Quantum Sound

Open: 24 July
Location: London, UK
Experience Sector: Immersive Audio

For sound-centered immersion, one-night-only Mastery at EartH (Evolutionary Arts Hackney) is an immersive sonic experience featuring a live ambient soundscape with sound therapist duo Cherub & Tim Wheater plus musician Daniel Avery. The project aims to “blur the lines between traditional sound healing practice and live electronic music performance, with high quality sound at the heart of every show.” The experience will utilise an L-acoustics L-ISA Spatial Audio soundsystem to amplify the physiological effects and transformative frequencies of sound.

18. Sweet Dreams

Headline and above image; Entheon, London, UK; Sweet Dreams, Manchester, UK

Opens: 11 July until 1 September 2024
Location: Manchester, UK
Experience Sector: Immersive Entertainment

We have the feeling that we’re going to be seeing a lot more of trailblazing art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast. Fresh from lending their personal brand of magic to the World Experience Award-shortlisted Forest Bathing Lupuna experience at Therme Euskirchen in Germany, their latest project will pop up in Manchester. Called Sweet Dreams, the immersive adventure invites attendees to explore their place in the food chain, wrapping big ideas about appetite, consumerism and desire in a surreal pop package through a blend of graphics, gaming and cinema.

Taking place at Factory International, during the multi-sensory journey you’ll meet Chicky Ricky, a fast-food mascot grappling with an uncertain future. Playful, satirical and surreal, Sweet Dreams charts Chicky Ricky’s quest to understand the strange and complex world of food today, and will force him to either adapt or face extinction. Voiced by actor Munya Chawawa, joining Chicky Ricky along the way are mascot Penny Peckish (comedian Morgana Robinson) and The Boss (comedian Reggie Watts) with input from chef Simon Wroe.

17. DreamWorks Land

DreamWorks Land, Florida, US

Open now
Location: Florida, US
Experience Sector: Themed Attractions

Just in time for summer Universal Studios Florida has opened the doors to its shiny new DreamWorks Land, which is squarely aimed at younger children. Among the thrills and spills on offer are a new Trolls-themed roller coaster and several interactive play areas, including a shaded space for the park’s youngest guests and multiple opportunities to get soaking wet. On the Trollercoaster you’ll join Poppy, Tiny, Satin and Chenille as you try to escape from spindly spiders. There’s also the chance to talk with Kung Fu Panda’s Po on a digital animated screen, who will teach you all his martial arts skills.

Shrek fans will have the chance to meet the big man himself along with Fiona and Donkey outside Shrek’s cottage and join them on a slide through his swamp. According to its creators, it will feel “incredibly immersive”, like “you’re walking right into the movie screen”. DreamWorks Land will also feature daily live shows with singing, dancing, special effects aplenty and a host of familiar characters. The aim of the space is to create a fun environment where kids can play freely, so Universal’s designers have tried to put as much physical and digital interactivity into the land as possible to maximise the fun factor.

16. The Oz Escape

The Oz Escape, Vancouver, Canada

Opens: 27 July 2024
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Experience Sector: Escape Room

If you’re a fan of The Wizard of Oz this outdoor escape room should be right up your yellow brick road. Called The Oz Escape, the interactive adventure will see the streets of Vancouver transformed into scenes from the film. Organiser Questo is anticipating hundreds of players to participate in the immersive escape-room event guided by their smartphones. The game is free for children and pet-friendly. Dressing up as your favourite Wizard of Oz character is highly recommended, so remember your red glittery Mary Janes and blue gingham dress if you’re in a Dorothy kind of mood…

Lasting around 90 minutes, the adventure, which is faithfully based on the original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz novel by L. Frank Baum, will see you follow the iconic team of misfits along the yellow brick road and escape from Oz before the witch has her way. The new adaptation of the children’s classic will see teams of two to six players race against the clock to tackle challenges, solve puzzles and discover clues hidden around the city via an immersive mobile app. The secret start location is sent to players before the game.

15. Le Space

Le Space, Incheon, South Korea

Open now
Location: Incheon, South Korea
Experience Sector: Immersive Entertainment

The South Korean city of Incheon has a shiny new immersive venue called Le Space, which boasts 18 display halls covering an area of 1.5 acres, making it the largest immersive space in the country. The brainchild of Hyundai Futurenet, which also produced the Arte Museum in Jeju, content at Le Space, which will include images and videos projected onto the walls, floors and ceiling, will be rotated every two to three years. Housed in the Inspire Entertainment Resort on Yeongjong Island west of Incheon, Le Space also boasts an outdoor discovery park, a 1,000-seater food court, and a digital entertainment street.

Keen to be up-to-date with the latest tech, Le Space has integrated fog, scent, motion recognition, touch and sound detection. The venue’s debut exhibition, Beyond the Cosmos, begins inside the Cosmos Station, where a video plays telling guests that a wormhole was discovered on Yeongjong Island. After passing through the wormhole that warps space and time, visitors arrive in a parallel universe where they’re free to explore 18 different zones, including Big Bang, where it feels like thousands of stars are falling on your head (in a good way), and the foggy Volcanic Zone, where you can smell the lava.

14. Entheon

Entheon, London, UK

Open now
Location: London, UK
Experience Sector: Immersive Art

Experiential art venue Illusionaries has launched a new exhibition (its third) called Entheon: A Sanctuary of Visionary Art, featuring the transformative works of New York-based artists Alex Grey and Allyson Grey, whose pieces explore the merging of the physical and spiritual worlds. Located at Crossrail Place in Canary Wharf, the show (a UK first) will transport visitors through immersive rooms and eye-catching installations designed to engage the senses and evoke contemplation through soundscapes, animations and projections.

Known for their exploration of the human condition, the show offers an opportunity to delve into their visionary perspectives on consciousness, perception and the human spirit. Each room explores a different narrative that invites visitors to perceive the world through a lens of wonder. One room promises a profound exploration of the self via a 360-degree immersive experience guiding visitors on a 15-minute journey through Entheon’s godly faces. In the mirrored Progress of the Soul room, reflections and animations combine to create a labyrinth of visual stimuli to aid spiritual reflection.

13. Poozeum

Poozeum, Arizona, US

Open now
Location: Arizona, US
Experience Sector: Museums

From the sublime to the ridiculous, as news reaches us that a museum dedicated to animal poo has opened in Williams, Arizona. Called – you guessed it – the Poozeum, the space showcases fossilised faeces and goes big on dinosaur poop. Originally founded in 2014 by George Frandsen as a virtual coprolite (fossilised poo) resource centre, the Poozeum now has a permanent home. Stool fanatic Frandsen holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of fossilised poo, which currently stands at 8,000 pieces, including rare dinosaur dung.

After creating a successful travelling exhibition, Frandsen wanted to establish a permanent home for his collection so that the public could marvel over it. Open daily and free to visit, the Poozeum boasts a gift shop where you can buy crap souvenirs to commemorate your visit. Look out for the ‘Barnum’ exhibit while you’re there. Measuring 67.5cm, it’s the largest fossilised poo from a carnivore ever to be discovered. This isn’t the world’s first paean to poop – Melbourne is home to the Unko Museum, an interactive experience focused on ‘cute poo’.

12. Paris Summer Festival

Julie Beres at Paris Summer Festival, Paris, France

Opens: 3 July until 16 July 2024
Location: Paris, France
Experience Sector: Live Events

Summer in Paris can mean only one thing: the return of its seasonal extravaganza of theatre, dance, circus, music, performances and art installations taking over museums, monuments, schools, parks and gardens, museums, swimming pools, squares and churches throughout the City of Light. Serving up a feast of creative festivities, expect visual arts, puppets, poetry, virtual reality and open-air installations that challenge conventions and make you think.

Taking place across cultural venues and open-air sites in Paris and Seine-Saint-Denis, many of the shows are free to attend and enjoy. Performing this year will be: Filipe Lourenço, Johan Papaconstantino, Olivier Dubois, Carmen Mehnert and Anne Schmidt, Julie Beres, Sébastien Barrier, Johana Giacardi, Galactic Ensemble and the sure to be uplifting DJ Wonderbraz. Faithful to its original mission, the event is committed to democratising access to art and culture, offering everyone the chance to enjoy it in a friendly environment.

11. Doloris

Doloris, Tilburg & Utrecht, The Netherlands

Open now
Location: Tilburg & Utrecht, The Netherlands
Experience Sector: Escape Game

Ripping up the rulebook when it comes to the attractions industry by being hazy on the concept, shunning the shared experience in favour of an individual one, and not allowing photos to be taken, Doloris is a unique maze experience taking over the Netherlands this summer. Secrecy is a major part of its success, a-maze-ment another. The concept is taking place at venues in Tilburg and Utrecht. Designed by Karmanoia, the Doloris Meta Maze in Tilburg is set across more than 40 rooms full of mysterious objects and hidden passageways.

At the Doloris Anoma Maze in Utrecht the concept has been ramped up, with the experiencing boasting over 70 rooms, making it almost double the size of the original. Let curiosity be your guide in this crawl-through-climb-through adventure where you can wander along a maze of corridors, stairs and rooms. Step inside, leave the familiar behind and explore a new world without the distraction of phones, watches and tech. An individual experience, guests enter the maze one by one and venture into the unknown, shaping their own journey. 

10. The Paddington Bear Experience

The Paddington Bear Experience, London, UK

Open now
Location: London, UK
Experience Sector: Themed Attractions

Having played a starring role in the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, Britain’s favourite marmalade-loving bear has been given the immersive treatment via a dedicated experience at County Hall in London. The world of Michael Bond’s Paddington has been re-created for the immersive Paddington Bear Experience, which unfolds across a 26,000 square foot space and features a series of interactive rooms that visitors can snoop around in, with production design from Immersive Octopus, the collective behind Peaky Blinders: The Rise.

Written by Katie Lyons, the experience is built around helping the Brown family prepare for a special occasion at 32 Windsor Gardens, where Paddington settles after arriving from Peru, and includes an interactive mix of games, performance and video content suitable for all ages. Designer Rebecca Brower of Path Entertainment Group took inspiration from the two Paddington films when creating the experience, and has sought to bring a similar dose of magic to London. We hope the themed food offering includes marmalade sarnies…

9. Another World VR

Another World VR, New Orleans, US

Open now
Location: New Orleans, US
Experience Sector: VR, Competitive Socialising

New Orleans’ first virtual reality arena – Another World VR – has opened in Harahan, Louisiana. Suitable for kids, teens and adults, visitors don VR headsets with handheld controllers on arrival and get stuck into a menu of interactive games, which rely on body movement and a few control commands to master. At Another World VR, up to six people can move around a 660-square-foot open space with wireless Meta Quest 3 headsets and hand controls. Another 450-square-foot space is currently in the works at the venue.

The equipment senses where you are and shows you in the game if you’re about to run into a person or a wall. Founded by Jocelyn Walker, who was inspired to launch the venue after gaming at a similar space in Toronto a few years ago, many of the games are first-person shooters such as Call of Duty, where you attack armed enemies, aliens or zombies. Younger gamers will enjoy island and space-themed laser tag. At Another World VR they use free roam VR that lets you move around freely, with each player needing 100 square feet of space.

8. Witness Her: Naked Fashion Show

Witness Her: Naked Fashion Show, Melbourne, Australia

Opens: 28 July 2024
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Experience Sector: Live Events

We know what you’re thinking – how can you have a ‘naked’ fashion show? Well, at Witness Her, the bodies do the talking. In this women-only event – a first for Melbourne – only participating women will be involved, there will be no photographs and outside guests aren’t allowed. The concept was created by former stripper and birth doula Caitlin Erica and has its roots in making women feel empowered about their un-airbrushed bodies. Witness Her is about claiming back your body for yourself, and having its natural beauty celebrated. The core focus is uplifting attendees in a safe and nurturing space.

Bringing together women from across the city, the event begins with a tailored, three-hour body confidence workshop that starts with activities geared towards getting everyone relaxed with the situation and one another, which then leads to a gradual shedding of layers along with emotional baggage. After you’ve shaken off your past traumas and/or jeans, the room will split into two for a fashion show where everyone has the chance to strut their stuff in their birthday suits. The vibe is a celebratory and non-judgmental appreciation of women at their most raw and stripped back that sticks two fingers up to body shaming.

7. Royal Railway – Utopia Station

Royal Railway – Utopia Station

Opens: 19 July 2024
Location: Utopia of the Seas cruise ship
Experience Sector: Immersive Dining

It may sound a little odd – a Wild West-themed immersive train carriage restaurant on a cruise ship bound for the Bahamas, but bear with us… Taking diners deep into the Wild West, the experience takes place on Utopia of the Seas, an Oasis Class cruise ship run by Royal Caribbean, and features a Western-inspired menu, themed cocktails, and a long-form narrative with immersive theatre mixed in. Seats are equipped with a ‘butt kicker’ so diners feel every last bump in the road, heightening the feeling they’re in a rail car.

Called Royal Railway – Utopia Station, the experience begins with a Pisco Sour in the cocktail carriage alongside Sarsaparilla and tipples inspired by the Gold Rush. A departure board, printed tickets and passenger gossip helps to set the tone before you step into the carriage. Designed to appeal to all ages, among the dishes on the menu are American classics like mac ‘n’ cheese and the Royal Railway Cigar dessert, which is shaped like a Cuban cigar. Ramping up the immersive element, expect to hear gunshots and smell pistol smoke.

6. Love Between Fairy And Devil

Love Between Fairy And Devil, Macau, China

Opens: Summer 2024
Location: Macau, China
Experience Sector: VR, Immersive Theatre

Chinese streaming service iQIYI is launching a new VR immersive theatre experience at the Galaxy Macau integrated resort this summer. Created by iQIYI Dreamverse Studio, the virtual reality experience is inspired by iQIYI’s hit series Love Between Fairy and Devil, which has its roots in Eastern mythology and traditional Chinese culture. By leveraging VR technology, iQIYI is seeking to further extend the long-tail value of its original IP, bringing Chinese culture to life in a way that resonates with a broader audience.

iQIYI’s latest LBE venue is enhanced through innovative technology like interactive gesture control and flight motion simulators. During the immersive experience, guests will find themselves in an ancient world where they have to solve puzzles and follow storylines. They will also discover a zone for dressing up in traditional Chinese garments, as well as themed photo opps. The project is part of iQIYI’s expansion of its location-based entertainment portfolio. It comes after previous VR experiences in China, including one based on popular drama series Strange Tales of Tang Dynasty 2: To the West.

5. When Night Comes

When Night Comes, Melbourne, Australia

Open now until 3 August 2024
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Experience Sector: Immersive Entertainment

Broad Encounters, the minds behind last year’s large-scale, free-roam production Love Lust Lost, are back with a new immersive show – an intimate soirée that embraces the immediacy of a smaller-scale space. When Night Comes is a multi-sensory theatrical experience that promises to be intoxicating in more ways than one. Set across several hedonistic spaces, those who dare to enter will be introduced to a “dark, decadent and delicious” den where the cocktails are as enticing as the cast. Keeping things co-creative, guests are encouraged to interact with the performers to help shape the narrative.

The organisers are staying tight-lipped about the exact goings on, but you can expect sublime sounds, visions, tastes and sensations throughout the night. Inside you’ll encounter “tantalising provocations, empyreal characters and an alluring bacchanalian world, in search of amusements, treats, tipples and secrets”. The production is set within a section of Collingwood’s Austral Theatre, one of Melbourne’s original dance halls, which opened in 1921. The building will sadly be demolished soon to make way for apartments, so this could be your last chance to take a peek inside the historical spot.  

4. Lore Of Loverboy

Lore Of Loverboy, London, UK

Open now until 1 September 2024
Location: London, UK
Experience Sector: Fashion, Immersive Art

We’re excited about Somerset House’s summer show, which shines a light on fashion powerhouse Charles Jeffrey ‘Loverboy’, celebrating 10 years of his club to catwalk designs. Described by The Guardian as “Infectiously joyful, looking back on a decade of tartan, trash, anarchy, paganism and punk”, Loverboy has been lauded for ripping up the fashion rulebook. One of Somerset House Studios’ original residents loved by the likes of Harry Styles and Tilda Swinton, Loverboy transcends disciplinary boundaries across art, design and music.  

Co-curated by Loverboy, Jonathan Faiers, Bunny Kinney and Somerset House, and designed by David Curtis-Ring, through a series of sensorially-led spaces rendered in Loverboy’s signature style, archival artefacts and newly commissioned works are brought together in a maximalist, immersive show to provide an accessible and engaging insight into creative production and industry. The exhibition offers a behind-the-scenes look into building a fashion business from scratch, focusing on the artistry that lies behind every process.

3. Fantasy Springs

Fantasy Springs, Toyko, Japan

Open now
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Experience Sector: Themed Attractions

Tokyo DisneySea Park has an ethereal new themed port called Fantasy Springs. Boating attractions based on some of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ most beloved stories, alongside a host of restaurants, a hotel and a gift shop, the new themed experience is expansive in terms of its scope and storytelling. Among the attractions is Rapunzel’s Forest, taking guests into the world of Tangled via a lantern festival, gondola tour and The Snuggly Duckling restaurant hidden beneath an overgrown tree.

You can also fly with Peter Pan and Tinker Bell in Never Land as they attempt to save John from the clutches of Captain Hook, then chow down on seaweed fritters at the Lookout Cookout washed down with a Pixie Dust soda complete with a dissolving star. Don’t miss the Frozen Kingdom, where you can take in the sights of Arendelle with Anna and Elsa in a boat adventure that includes songs from the film. Fantasy Springs has its own hotel with a Fantasy Château and a Grand Château adorned with flora and fauna motifs from the port.

2. TeamLab Borderless Jeddah

TeamLab Borderless Jeddah,

Open now
Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Experience Sector: Museums, Immersive Art

The canny crew at teamLab have made magic again at their latest venue in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which will help to put cutting-edge immersive experiences in the UAE on the map. The venue is a collaboration between teamLab and BeWunder, an expert in creating multisensory experiences with a range of media and tech. Seeking to redefine the limits of art and technology, the immersive digital art museum is inspired by the natural world and the interconnectedness of all things, which it will bring to life through tech.

This space’s imaginative potential is enhanced by its flawless integration of light, sound, and interactive elements, which transform every area into a blank canvas. Visitors enter a realm where boundaries are blurred and creativity is unbounded. Located in Jeddah’s historic district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, teamLab Borderless is a collaborative project with the Saudi Ministry of Culture. The 10,000 sq m space is filled with artworks that flood the walls, floors and ceilings. Among its themed areas are a forest and a futuristic park.

1. Olympic Games

Olympic Games, Paris, France

Opens: 24 July until 11 August 2024
Location: Paris, France
Experience Sector: Sport, Live Events

Taking over the City of Light this month will be the 2024 Olympic Games, which will see the great and good of the sporting world descend upon the city and going for gold. There are 329 chances for gold up for grabs across hundreds of events during the 16-day sporting extravaganza. Kicking it off will be a unique opening ceremony on 26 July, where the national teams will parade in boats along a 6km stretch of the Seine through the centre of the French capital. The floating spectacle will be watched by 300,000 spectators from the riverbank.

With 10,500 athletes from 206 countries competing in the games, the event is expected to draw over 15 million tourists to Paris, with the main events being held at the Stade de France on the northern outskirts of the city. The Pont d’Iena will host the cycling, and the start and finish points for the marathon will be the Hotel de Ville and Les Invalides. The 2024 games features four sports unique to Paris: breaking, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing. We’re excited for the breakdancing, which makes its Olympic debut this year.