SDCC13: Godzilla Experience
Fans Struggle To See The King Of Monsters...
Legendary Pictures is paving the way for live-action giant monster movies, with Pacific Rim currently tearing up theaters (#1 on the International Box Office) and Godzilla bringing back the King of Monsters May 16, 2014. To help fans get excited about the upcoming film (and erase all thought of the dismal 1998 release), Legendary's Comic-Con booth enticed attendees with free swag and a chance to see the Godzilla Experience.
Secretly located outside the convention center, the Godzilla Experience was NOT an easy attraction to get into. Monitoring Legendary's Twitter account alerted Con-goers to set times when they would be passing out goodies, as well as tickets, to get into the event. As you can imagine with a convention that attracts more than 130,000 attendees, getting back to the Legendary booth in a timely manner upon receiving the tweet was a nightmare. If you managed to get there on time, you were given a pass and ANOTHER time to come back to line up and get the actual Godzilla Experience ticket. This ticket gave you yet another time slot to reach the event outside, located at 7th and J streets. Once there fans had to endure ANOTHER line to get in - the attraction letting in groups of around 10 people at a time, each tour lasting around 15 minutes. As you can probably already surmise, the Godzilla Experience, for whatever reasons, was not thought-out very well for an event the size of Comic-Con.
So was it worth the hassle? That's subjective, but I will say that the attraction was pretty cool. Once the doors opened, fans were escorted into a large room dressed like the streets of Toyko in the film. Street signs from the movie were scattered about, while an open sushi bar (you couldn't eat there) grounded the realism. The group was let loose to explore this "zone". Many side rooms displayed Godzilla memorabilia, from the giant lizard's many movies to a section devoted entirely to Godzilla toys released throughout the years. The actual Millenium Godzilla suit was also shown, confusing many people to believe it was the new look for Godzilla 2014.
After about ten minutes browsing the 'zilla-packed exhibits, an alarm went off and actors dressed in HAZMAT suits quickly ushered the group through a pair of doors, through a decontamination room, and into a control room. This is where things started to get exciting...
From this point on all photography was forbidden, though on further reflection, I don't know why. In the control room we were instructed to "track" Godzilla's approach, basically letting us play with all the buttons, switches and knobs in the room. Suddenly we had to exit via entering the next pair of doors. This was made to look like a large elevator. Smashing the button to reach the top floor and escape, the elevator vibrated and shook, eventually snagging on an upper floor. From there we entered an abandoned office with slotted blinds offering a panoramic view out of the skyscraper we were in. Digital monitors behind these blinds provided the illusion of other nearby buildings in the dark and an ominous downpour of rain. Our guide tells us all to be silent so that the approaching Godzilla will pass us by - and it does - the monitors showing it's massive head walking by. Whew, we made it - NOT! Suddenly Godzilla backtracks and peers in at us. AWWWWWW! Our guide rushes us out of the room and to the end of the Godzilla Experience.
We never did get a clear view of Godzilla from the new movie - what was glimpsed being just the creature's head in the dark and rain. From what I could tell, however, the new Godzilla looks to be staying true to the long-loved Toho series and is - thank goodness - nothing like the 1998 movie monster. As a reward for surviving the Godzilla Experience, everyone was given a collectible Godzilla poster (pictured above), a Mondo art print made exclusively for the event. The Godzilla Experience was a nice teaser to the movie, but I left wanting more (and hours of my Comic-Con life back). Still, Legendary is to be commended for putting together a unique attraction, on par with many theme parks, smack dab in the middle of San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter. Check out more photos from the event by following the link below! ROOOOOAAARRRR!
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