Gateway’s fantastical Sweetopia is a visual treat these holidays

Escape to the candy-themed picture-perfect fantasy world we call Sweetopia at Gateway Theatre of Shopping this festive season.

An artist’s impression of ‘the candy-themed fantasy land, Sweetopia. A larger-than-life chocolate road leads visitors to enter a 3D immersive virtual ride full of surprises.

It’s jet-fuel for your imagination when you cross the threshold into the magical world of Sweetopia. Keep your eyes wide open as childhood dreams come to life in this indulgent visual feast.

Sweetopia is a playful place for adults, parents, children, bloggers, influencers, and social media movers and shakers to make memories. In Sweetopia everyone gets to be a happy, carefree kid again.  Faced with instagrammable opportunities at every turn, you can snap the perfect shot to make your profile pop! Dress up, dress down, no filter required.

“It’s a beautifully constructed candy and dark chocolate storyboard where visitors can indulge their inner child and live in the moment,” says Gateway Theatre of Shopping General Manager, Feysel Potgieter.

A one-of-a-kind experience, only at Gateway, sees a giant forest of lollipop trees whose canopy is a pastel palette of turquoise and pink and lime. Imaginative scenes wait to be discovered along the meandering chocolate path. There is a mouth-watering cupcake iced to perfection; glazed donuts dripping in chocolate and sprinkles.

 The timeless favourites are there in their colourful liquorice and sugary glory. The tall, the round and even the bumpy sprinkle-coated ones. Whirls of larger-than-life ice-cream look desperate to be licked as they melt in their cones.

The candy-themed ‘Sweetopia,’ is is bursting to make instagramers profiles pop! Above is the glorious  chocolate-styled bus and the pretty pastel Lolly Pop forest.

But Sweetopia is so much more than a physical fantasy. Specialist projection techniques customised infinity construction and creative art direction shape an exhilarating immersive 3D digital experience.

A wander along the chocolate path leads to the intriguing Big Box. Once you have found a place on the digital chocolate bus, brace yourself for the virtual visual ride of your life! Keep your feet on the ground for a wild trip full of sweet surprises.

Projected 3D scenes depict the thrill of narrowly escaping melting ice cream mountains; being chased by rolling lollipop tops through the Lolly Pop Valley. Without moving, it feels as though you make it out of Chocolate Canyon a split second ahead of the donut avalanche. Head through Wonderland, a playground beyond your most sugar-coated dreams. The fabulous Rainbow Ride takes you into the heavens, before the virtual ride coming back down to Earth

Amuse your kids, invite that someone special on a romantic whirl. The cost to enter Sweetopia is a nominal R10 per person. “We have kept the entrance fee low,” says Potgieter, “to share the fun with everyone.

“We’ve built on our experience with the popular Northern Lights attraction last year to create a unique escapist treat for visitors,” says Potgieter.

“We envisage visitors will spend about 15 minutes in the fantasy land and immersive 3D experience. We hope everyone enjoys it as much as we’ve enjoyed creating it,” he concludes.

Although Sweetopia is a fantasy, covid-19 remains a reality. All protocols – sanitising, social distancing and the wearing of masks is mandatory within the activation.

Sweetopia Fast Facts

·       Where: Expo Court, Gateway Theatre of Shopping

·       When: 11 December – 17 January 2021 (closed on Christmas Day)

·       Open daily from 9am to 7pm

·       Tickets: R10 per person available at the door.

·       Suitable for all ages.

·       Can’t wait to see your pics! Please add #PlayAtGateway when you post.

Gateway Theatre of Shopping is located on the beautiful East Coast of South Africa, in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. This super-regional centre is one of the largest in Africa at over 179,000 sqm and houses more than 450 tenants.



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