Launch - Celebrate the Best Day Ever - January 2019


At the Cupcakes and Rainbows retail café, guests can shop for DreamWorks “Trolls”-inspired souvenirs and enjoy sweets. (Credit: Feld Entertainment)

Blockbuster ‘Trolls’ Movie Spawns Walk-Through 3D Experience

by Keith Miller

Trolls jumped from the silver screen and into a new immersive experience involving the first-ever collaboration of Universal Brand Development, Feld Entertainment, and 3D Live. 

“Trolls: The Experience”—based on the blockbuster 2016 DreamWorks animated musical film “Trolls”—opened in the fall of 2018 in New York City. Following a six-month run in the Big Apple, the experience will tour other cities across the United States.

Guided by a rainbow path, visitors to “Trolls: The Experience” will sing, dance, hug, and celebrate alongside DreamWorks “Trolls” characters before meeting the movie’s central character, Poppy. Feld Entertainment Show Director James Shea, who described the attraction’s creation as a “no brainer” due to the success of the “Trolls” franchise, says, “The addition of the storyline element of this experience is something that sets DreamWorks ‘Trolls: The Experience’ apart from any other walk-though experience in the market. Guests are embarking on a party-planning journey to help Poppy plan her annual ‘Best Day Ever!’ bash.”

With the goal of immersing guests in the “Trolls” fanciful forest environment, 3D Live developed new content to take advantage of its proprietary 3D display technology. The company also worked with NEC Display Solutions of America to create the unique LED panels that are used in the attraction.

3D Live Makes Images Look Holographic

Probably the most spectacular part of the new “Trolls: The Experience” attraction is the grand finale celebration called “Poppy’s Best Day Ever! Celebration.” This vibrant and colorful party is made possible by 3D Live and gives guests the impression they’re seeing real holograms. 

“Our techniques for polarizing are a proprietary technology,” says Christian Dieckmann, chief strategy officer for 3D Live. “A lot of people have seen 3D in a movie theater or theme park ride, and those are usually projection-based systems seen through polarized glasses. But true holograms are not yet possible. We use an LED display as the light source, and we polarize the light directly as it comes out of the screen. So, we’re able to get extreme 3D, and guests will notice an extreme 3D depth.”

Dieckmann says this depth of 3D currently can’t be accomplished with a projection, only with LEDs. Viewers still must wear 3D glasses, but he says the result is far better than with projections. The “Celebration” room is 10 feet by 25 feet and features about 1.5 million pixels.

“Our room is positioned toward the end of the attraction and is intended to be the finale experience,” he explains. “The premise is that the guests are coming into the room and they’ll see the 3D characters, but also what we call ‘negative z moments,’ such as when it looks like things are coming out of the screen and into the room.”

The 12,000-square-foot, multifloor “Trolls: The Experience” is divided into several different zones for guests to explore.  The journey begins with “Hair We Go,” where a team of stylists known as Glitter Gurus, with a little help from the characters Satin and Chenille, primp, polish, and prepare guests for “Poppy’s Best Day Ever! Celebration.”

Guests then journey to “Branch’s Musical Mash-Up,” where they become “Mix Masters.” By working together to create a mini-orchestra with the critters of Troll Village, they fill the space with music and colorful lights to try to lay down the perfect party track for the celebration.

Next, guests board the “Caterbus,” which is filled with floating, glittery gems they collect for the celebration. As a token of appreciation for helping to gather decorations, helpers called Party Pals award keepsake badges.

One of the more intriguing zones might be “Critter Creek,” where visitors get to splash across a virtual creek filled with gems, climb over a tree trunk, and play a game to invite guests to Poppy’s celebration. Virtual invitations are sent to partygoers and shared on an interactive wall.

Guests then arrive at “Poppy’s Best Day Ever! Celebration Pre-Party,” the last zone before the celebration itself. In the pre-party warm up, they can practice their dance moves and spin skills at DJ Suki’s turntable. When the countdown to “Poppy’s Best Day Ever! Celebration” begins, Party Pals pass out 3D Glitter Goggles and get the crowed hyped for the celebration.


“Trolls: The Experience” is made up of several different zones, where guests can encounter characters and prepare for “Poppy’s Best Day Ever! Celebration.” (Credit: Feld Entertainment)

Finally comes the grand finale, “Poppy’s Best Day Ever! Celebration.” Led by Poppy, guests sing and dance as the rainbow world of DreamWorks “Trolls” comes to life in 3D through magic party lights, colorful visuals, and high-energy music. The celebration wraps up with an appearance by character Guy Diamond delivering a glitter party. Before departing “Trolls: The Experience,” or even prior to their entry time, guests can shop for DreamWorks “Trolls”-inspired gifts and enjoy treats from the Cupcakes and Rainbows retail café.

Shea says as guest move through the attraction, they hear songs from the DreamWorks “Trolls” film and the “Trolls” series on Netflix, including Justin Timberlake’s hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” which is the centerpiece song of the 3D dance celebration. He notes that during high-attendance times, a total of 240 guests can move through the experience in one hour, with 60 guests entering every 15 minutes.

Tickets for “Trolls: The Experience” are required for all guests older than 2 years and are $40 per person.