LIGHTHOUSE IMMERSIVE GOES GLOBAL
Following meteoric rise in North America, the Canadian company embarks on its international immersive journey
WORDS BY MEGAN APA | ALL PHOTOGRAPHS COPYRIGHT OF DISNEY | PARTNER
JUN 30, 2023 | ISSUE 12
At the Disney Animation Immersive Experience
“We have to be very flexible. We have to be very open and conscious that every market has its own description, its own items, its own timing.” Vicente Fusco
Immersive experiences have emerged as a transformative force in the global art scene, captivating audiences and redefining the boundaries of artistic expression. These experiential installations and exhibitions engage the senses, transporting viewers into worlds where art merges with technology, sound, and space. By immersing viewers in multisensory environments, these experiences have fostered a deeper connection between art and its audience, shaping the future of artistic innovation.
Over the last three years, Lighthouse Immersive has emerged as a leading force in the realm of interactive entertainment. Following its remarkable success in North America, Lighthouse Immersive has embarked on an international journey, selecting Japan as the inaugural destination outside of its home continent. Japan, a country renowned for its rich history, technological prowess, and vibrant cultural tapestry, stood out as an ideal location for Lighthouse Immersive's global expansion. Likewise, with Japan being a significant Disney market, the decision to bring the Immersive Disney Animation experience to Tokyo became an obvious choice. To learn more about this international expansion, smART Magazine sat down with Vincente Fusco, Lighthouse’s Global Business Developer (and key cog in the company’s Immersive Frida exhibit).
Vicente Fusco - by Kalya Ramu
Immersive Experience - From The Lion King
DRIFT TO TOKYO
sM | What other factors influenced the selection of Japan as a destination?
VF ─ First and foremost, we’re super excited about being open in Tokyo. To start off with, it’s one of the greatest cities in the world. But there were a few factors that went into deciding where we wanted to go. We started off by trying to identify the bigger Disney markets around the world. We collaborated with the great people at Walt Disney Animation Studios and the Disney regional offices across the globe, who have all been super supportive. We were also very lucky to have collaborated with a great group in Japan called Nippon Television. We then identified the markets that made the most sense for our expansion. After that came the process of figuring out: how do we make this work?
sM | Japan has such a specific culture. Considering that, how did Lighthouse Immersive ensure that the exhibit resonated with a Japanese audience?
VF ─ There are a lot of different elements that go into it. First and foremost, the show is 100% in Japanese. As you know, it’s a very musical show─Immersive Disney Animation is really the soundtrack to some of the greatest hits of the Disney movies. So it was really cool to see the show in a completely different language. But we couldn’t have done that without Disney Japan being very big on the collaboration. They were literally guiding us along the way. And this is gonna happen, by the way, globally. The same approach will be given to Latin American possibilities, European countries, and so on.
sM | Speaking of which, when can audiences expect to see Lighthouse Immersive in Europe?
VF ─ We’ve been very ambitious and aggressive in our openings in regards to North America. And at the same time, we’ve been very careful as to how to plan out our international strategy. Everything’s coming together now after many months of work and travel and identifying cultures. I cannot disclose anything right now because it’s not official, but you can absolutely expect at least five new markets on an international level towards the end of this year. We’re very excited about that, and we’re very anxious about announcing it as soon as we can. There’s a lot of work going into it and a lot of progress, great partners, and great cities. It’s gonna be very exciting.
Disney Animation Immersive Experience - From Frozen
sM | When it comes to selecting expansion cities for Lighthouse Immersive, what factors are you considering?
VF ─ Immersive Disney Animation, by definition, is a huge show in terms of dimensions. You need a lot of footprint, and you need high ceilings. So identifying the right venue in different countries is a very big challenge. In North America, it’s a little bit easier to find big rooms because everything in North America is big and wide, and there’s space. But in many of these markets, that’s a luxury. One important factor is that we’re obviously celebrating Disney’s 100th anniversary, which is huge. But at the same time, because of that, there’s a lot of celebration going on worldwide in terms of Disney products. So it’s important for us to recognize where the different Disney products are and not to bump into each other, respecting a certain calendar.