I had the absolute privilege to try out Sounds And Sorcery, an immersive Disney’s Fantasia experience at the Vaults, last night, thanks to Love Pop Ups London. Described as an immersive sound and visual extravaganza, it more than lives up to the expectations created by their promotional material. Upon entering, we were given headphones and short instructions and were sent off on our journey into the wonderful world of Fantasia.
Warning: There is quite a lot of haze and strobe effects in this experience!
The tunnels of the Vaults under Waterloo station, one of my absolute favourite event venues in all of London, have been turned into a series of rooms that can be freely explored. Some rooms have absolutely gorgeous visual installations, perfectly paired with music from Fantasia and reminiscent of the animated scenes accompanying the music in the film. Choreographed light effects absolutely immersed us in the music and made it feel like a magical journey.
We ventured through electric gardens, watched mushrooms dance, travelled up a waterfall, and danced in a beautiful underwater world. And all of that was just one single room! The garden room is such a delight to explore with so many hidden corners and light up flowers strewn about. Definitely take your time to thoroughly enjoy every room for what it is, they are all just so beautifully done.
Each room has a different theme and different elements to explore at your own pace. The music, lights, and visual installations were all paired so perfectly, this experience truly evokes a sense of wonder and magic in young and old. Some parts might be a little bit scary for very young audiences, especially moments of complete darkness, but these just enhance the immersion in the soundscape of each installation.
The volcano room is dark and spooky, serving the music perfectly with precisely times sound and light effects and many different paths to explore. We took our time exploring even the far reaches of this installation, finding a few surprises and ‘easter eggs’ along the way.
While most rooms can be explored at your own pace, there are two shows which start at specific times but are definitely not to be missed! One of them is the magic sorcerer’s apprentice experience, which is so wonderfully brought to life! Do be careful, you will get splashed quite a bit in this room, but absolutely do not miss it, it is just so beautifully done.
The second show you might have to wait for is the wonderfully cheesy ballet scene on the long, checkered stage in the large bar space. It is just so well done, funny and beautiful, do not miss out! Here’s your chance to grab a drink and sit down at one of the garden tables while you wait for the next show to start. It’s absolutely worth the wait, I promise!
Lastly, the final room is a bit on the scary/creepy side for children, but leads into a beautiful forest hung with lanterns, it is such a perfect ending to a fantastic experience. I do think children under 4 might struggle with some of the scarier scenes, but for older kids and curious adults it is a beautifully extravagant, immersive event. I absolutely recommend Sounds And Sorcery to everyone who likes art and music.
Five and a half out of six rainbow sloths from me!