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Gateway creates immersive candyland experience for festive visitors

This festive season, Gateway Theatre of Shopping in KwaZulu-Natal is transforming its expo court into a candy-themed visual feast. The Instagram-friendly Sweetopia experience will be a playful space for adults, children, teens and social media personalities to make and capture memories in a colourful, sugary fantasy world.
Sweetopia render
Sweetopia render

“It’s a beautifully constructed candy and dark chocolate storyboard where visitors can indulge their inner child and live in the moment. We’ve built on our experience with the popular Northern Lights attraction last year to create a unique escapist treat for visitors,” says Gateway Theatre of Shopping general manager, Feysel Potgieter.

The imaginative space includes a forest of lollipop trees, a meandering chocolate path, and models of iced cupcakes, colourful liquorice, glazed donuts dripping in chocolate and sprinkles, and larger-than-life ice-cream cones.

Sweetopia render
Sweetopia render

Specialist projection techniques, customised infinity construction and creative art direction shape an immersive 3D digital experience.

A wander along the chocolate path leads to the Big Box. "Once you have found a place on the digital chocolate bus, brace yourself for the virtual visual ride of your life! Keep your feet on the ground for a wild trip full of sweet surprises.

"Projected 3D scenes depict the thrill of narrowly escaping melting ice cream mountains; being chased by rolling lollipop tops through the Lolly Pop Valley. Without moving, it feels as though you make it out of Chocolate Canyon a split second ahead of the donut avalanche. Head through Wonderland, a playground beyond your most sugar-coated dreams. The fabulous Rainbow Ride takes you into the heavens, before the virtual ride coming back down to Earth," explains Gateway Theatre of Shopping in a statement

Potgieter concludes, "We envisage visitors will spend about 15 minutes in the fantasy land and immersive 3D experience. We hope everyone enjoys it as much as we’ve enjoyed creating it."

Sweetopia will run from 11 December to 17 January (closed on Christmas Day). The cost to enter is R10 per person. All Covid-19 protocols – sanitising, social distancing and the wearing of masks – is mandatory within the activation.

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