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World of Illumination opens Reindeer Road Holiday Attraction in California
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World of Illumination, known as the producer of the world's largest drive-through animated light experience, has brought a new theme park to Southern California. The Reindeer Road holiday attraction opened November 17th at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, and continues through the holiday season.

The park's lit-up attractions are synchronized in full to holiday music, as guests traverse a road through mountains, ice caves, and tall forests, taking a simulated journey to the North Pole. The show takes up over a million square feet and showcases more than 250,000 glittering lights. Colorful LED lights and cutting-edge displays, all designed to be taken in from guests' vehicles, mark the exhibitions mile-long trajectory. Guests are told to allow approximately 30 minutes for a relaxing drive-through.

According to World of Illumination CEO Yakir Urman, the exhibition is “larger-than-life, [a] completely immersive audio-visual experience.” Reindeer Road will be open each night November 17 through January 2nd from 6 to 10 p.m in Los Angeles. Ticket prices are per vehicle, so there is no limit per car as to number of attendees. The week-day pricing starts at $79 per vehicle, with a $99 rate available for admission with no wait time. Weekend tickets range from $89 to $109. Presale tickets, which were available at a discounted rate through October 26, were also available. Online reservations are required: no at-the-door sales. A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit Make-a-Wish Greater Los Angeles.

Along with the event's run in Southern California, which is held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, there are two events running in Arizona, in both Tempe and Glendale; and two events in Georgia, in Marietta and Hampton. Next year, the event's founders plan to expand to additional states. Ticket pricing in Georgia starts at $45; in Arizona, at $39. Each follows a slightly different holiday theme, Candy Rush and an iteration of Reindeer Road in Arizona; Rockin' Christmas, and Arctic Adventure in Georgia.

Stacey Kole, the principal behind branded content marketing associated with the event, says World of Illumination's Reindeer Road is the group's first in the Los Angeles area. Debuting in LA was a considered choice, Kole remarks. “We want to share our love of storytelling and art with as many people as possible, and what better community is there to share this with than our nation's entertainment home.”

Kole wants people to know that exhibition is unique over other light events, and truly does consider itself a theme-park-type of attraction. “World of Illumination prides itself on creating immersive experiences that push boundaries when it comes to audio-visual and drive-through entertainment. We're not just about creating spectacles in our work. Our team of artists, engineers, designers, and technicians are passionate about telling stories, and that is reflected in Reindeer Road. Reindeer Road puts you at the center of the story as you journey to the North Pole right from the comfort of your own vehicle.”

The per-car ticket cost that allows unlimited passengers, space allowing, makes it a strong draw for family-based drive-through attractions. Kole expects a big turnout for the event, and reiterates that online purchasing is necessary. “To maintain safety and an optimal experience for our guests and crew, we require that passes be purchased in advance, as we will not be selling passes at the park. We anticipate over 250,000 people,” she says, also encouraging attendees to get passes far in advance due to the expected number of guests, as some dates will sell out.

The event was developed by a team that Kole says she is proud to represent. “World of Illumination has an incredible group of storytellers, entertainment nerds, and inspiring and supportive staff, all working together to create the world's largest drive-through animated experiences. Reindeer Road was developed by a team of artists and technicians under the design leadership of Aaron Curry, WOI's Creative Director.” She notes that before joining WOI, Aaron worked as a lighting designer, handling staging for theatre and opera. His technique was “blending art, design, and creative collaboration in the pursuit of inventive, inspiring, and impactful visual experiences.” Bringing Reindeer Road to life was a new step in his creative vision.

The exhibition was inspired by the idea of a winter wonderland – something that isn't seen in the Los Angeles area. It utilizes classic images of traditional holiday stories. Kole says that Curry and his team “imagined what a journey to the North Pole might look and feel like, and we created themed areas in the park to reflect that sense of journey and adventure as you make your way through the park.”

She explains that “In Reindeer Road, your vehicle becomes your sled on this larger-than-life trek as you explore mountainous terrain, traverse glacial peaks, wander through ice caves, jet across the sky, and roam the forests of the arctic.” The end destination is, no surprise, “the heart of the North Pole - Santa's Toy Shop.” There she says guests will encounter reindeer, snowmen, a cheerful gingerbread village, and other attractions that for now, she keeps as a “surprise” for attendees to enjoy.

Founded in 2016, World of Illumination has lit up other U.S. skies prior to its arrival in Southern California. The events' founders strive to be leaders in audio visual, experiential events. In its Marietta, Georgia installation, the exhibition features set pieces such as 40-foot candy canes, a 500-foot tunnel doubling as a portal to the North Pole, and sugar plum fairies. There is also a simulated snowfall. The Marietta event is being held at Six Flags White Water.

Last year, WOI's venues offered a particularly hopeful and lively conclusion to a COVID-riven year, and for 2021, staying safe is still timely. The company's co-founder, Simon Kriesberger says “All of us at World of Illumination have been working hard for many months to provide safe and much-needed family entertainment to the community.”

And this year, the community has expanded to include Southern California.
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