Sony Pictures gives fans of some of the most popular titles and franchises the chance to immerse themselves in the world of Ghostbusters, Not mapped Zombieland and more as part of a new 45,000-square-foot entertainment destination.
The studio will launch Wonderverse, the first-ever immersive entertainment destination, this December just outside Chicago on the first floor of the Oakbrook Center. The space will offer a hybrid of physical and immersive multimedia experiences, interactive installations, dynamic attractions and themed dining experiences, based on major film, TV and video games, including Uncharted, Ghostbusters, Jumanji, Bad Boys, Zombieland And 21 Jump Street.
“Wonderverse is an exciting extension of Sony Pictures’ growing location-based entertainment experiences,” said Jeffrey Godsick, evp of Global Partnerships and Brand Management and head of Location Based Entertainment at Sony Pictures. “Experiences like Wonderverse give audiences the opportunity to enjoy our brands in new ways by immersing themselves in some of their favorite stories.”
Not mapped fans will act as explorers in a series of themed escape rooms with a cohesive storyline experience – The Heist, The Hunt and The Return – as they work to unearth hidden treasures, solve challenges and complete quests.
Ghostbusters fans join the VR Academy and have a chance to become a real Ghostbuster. Through two different virtual reality experiences, fans can experience the Arenawhere they will adapt to proton packs as you outsmart and capture ghosts, or take the driver’s seat of an Ecto hovercraft, in Lightning where participants compete to see who is the fastest and most skilled driver in a high-speed race.
Those with a need for speed get access to a different racing adventure Bad Boys Racing Clubwhich allows them to hop on racing simulators as part of a high-speed chase through a Miami-inspired skyline, with illuminated photo ops.
Zombieland enthusiasts have two options to explore at the entertainment destination, starting with a creative twist on bumper cars, where one car is selected as Patient Zero, and the others must avoid being bumped to stay uninfected and avoid a fate as a zombie . Fans can then head to the arcade experience Pacific Playland, which is inspired by the dilapidated carnival in the film and sees you battle among the undead to win prizes.
The latter experience helps realize the classic adventure film Jumanji, throwing fans into a virtual reality game where they must find a stolen gem, stop the spread of evil and reverse a curse.
Thematic food and beverage options include a hidden speakeasy, The ghost trapwhere ghostbusters can toast of fellow ghost catchers and their ghosts in a place where the paranormal exists around every corner; and a limited time 21 Jump Streetthemed pop-up bar experience, where participants go back to school for cocktail chemistry or take part in an art class for a paint-and-sip evening.
That’s in addition to the general Commissary Bar – led by Pernod Ricard’s mixologist Jane Danger and featuring specialty cocktails, mocktails and light bites – and the full-service Commissary Restaurant – led by industry veteran Chef Scott Donaldson and featuring a full menu of food, desserts and cocktails.
Admission to Wonderverse is free, attractions are individually priced and tickets can be reserved in advance. Guests of all ages are allowed until 7pm, at which point the space becomes a 21+ environment, but those under 16 must usually be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old.
“We are thrilled to be the first location for Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Wonderverse and that this is our largest entertainment option at Oakbrook Center,” Tim Geiges, senior general manager of Oakbrook Center, said in a statement. “We often hear from guests that they love our mix of entertainment, so we’re thrilled to be able to offer them a completely new experience, especially as we approach the colder months.”
Previews will begin in December 2023, ahead of the January 2024 official opening, with tickets and more information available at the Wonderverse website.
The immersive experience follows renewed commitments to experiences and parks by both Universal and Disney. The latter announced in September that it would invest $60 billion in expanding its park experiences, with a new Frozen land already planned for their park and resort in Hong Kong. It’s also been a busy year for Universal, which announced a kid- and family-oriented park in Frisco, Texas, a horror-oriented attraction in Las Vegas; a new Fast & Furious roller coaster in the LA park, where Super Nintendo World also opened in early 2023; and continued expansion in Florida with the Epic Universe park.