Sony Pictures is opening a new immersive entertainment destination called Wonderverse just outside of Chicago. This 45,000 square-foot 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 game franchises. Some of the popular titles and franchises that will be featured include Ghostbusters, Uncharted, Zombieland, Jumanji, Bad Boys, and 21 Jump Street.
Jeffrey Godsick, EVP of Global Partnerships and Brand Management and head of Location Based Entertainment at Sony Pictures, expressed his excitement for Wonderverse, stating, “Experiences like Wonderverse provide audiences the opportunity to enjoy our brands in new ways by immersing themselves in some of their favorite stories.”
The Uncharted experience at Wonderverse will feature a series of themed escape rooms with a connected storyline experience, allowing fans to become explorers and unearth hidden treasure while solving challenges and completing quests. For Ghostbusters fans, there will be a virtual reality experience where attendees can become real Ghostbusters by catching spirits with proton packs or competing in a high-speed race in an Ecto hovercraft. Fans of Bad Boys can enjoy a racing adventure that simulates a high-speed chase through a Miami-inspired skyline.
Zombieland enthusiasts will have the opportunity to participate in a creative take on bumper cars, where one car is selected as “Patient Zero,” and others must avoid getting bumped to remain uninfected and stave off a fate as a zombie. Additionally, there will be an arcade experience called Pacific Playland, inspired by the decrepit carnival in the film. Lastly, Jumanji fans will be thrust into a virtual reality game where they must find a stolen jewel, stop the spread of evil, and reverse a curse.
Themed food and drink options at Wonderverse will include a hidden speakeasy called The Ghost Trap and a limited-time 21 Jump Street-themed pop-up bar. Additionally, there will be a general Commissary Bar offering specialty cocktails and a full-service Commissary Restaurant serving a full menu of food, desserts, and cocktails.
Wonderverse will be open to guests of all ages up until 7 p.m., after which the space becomes a 21+ environment. However, those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old. The immersive experience will include attractions that are individually priced, and tickets will be available for advanced booking.
Tim Geiges, senior general manager of Oakbrook Center, expressed excitement about being the first location for Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Wonderverse, stating, “We’re thrilled to offer a completely new experience for them to enjoy, especially as we approach the colder months.”
Previews for Wonderverse will begin in December 2023 ahead of the official January 2024 opening. Tickets and more information will be available on the Wonderverse website.
The opening of Wonderverse follows renewed commitments in the experiences and parks space by companies such as Disney and Universal. Both companies have announced significant investments and expansions in their respective parks and attractions. Disney is set to invest $60 billion towards expanding its parks experiences, while Universal has announced various new attractions and parks, including a horror-focused attraction in Las Vegas and the Epic Universe park in Florida. This suggests a growing trend of immersive and interactive entertainment experiences in the industry.