On 28 December 2023, Florencia Santorun and Santiago Laidlaw from Argentina became the 2.5 millionth visitors. Ron Tan, executive chairman and Group CEO of the NEON Group; Felix Loh, CEO of Gardens by the Bay; and Eko Pup and Kanu Pup celebrated this historic milestone with the guests as they entered the Cloud Forest, just days before the experience ended in Singapore.
This attraction, which drew inspiration from Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water, held the attention of global audiences for more than 14 months. By the end of its run in the Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore it had welcomed a total of 2.63 million visitors.
Disney Location-Based Experiences, James Cameron and Jon Landau’s Lightstorm Entertainment, and NEON started working in partnership in 2021 to create an immersive walkthrough event that was inspired by the beauty and distinctive storytelling of Avatar, the highest-grossing movie of all time worldwide. The Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore was the ideal setting to host this type of experience.
Avatar: The Experience formally opened on 28 October 2022, with a launch attended by the deputy prime minister of the Republic of Singapore, Heng Swee Keat, senior representatives from NEON, Singapore Tourism Board, Lightstorm Entertainment, and Disney Location-Based Experiences.
This experience has welcomed an extraordinary 2,630,925 people across 419 exhibition days, setting a new record for the most attended experience among all of NEON’s IP shows worldwide. On 24 December 2023, it reached a record daily attendance milestone of 12,251 guests, demonstrating Avatar: The Experience’s lasting appeal.
It has received global recognition for its creative and technological achievements, with NEON receiving the Outstanding Attraction Experience Award at the 2023 Singapore Tourism Awards, which are organised by the Singapore Tourism Board. This honour demonstrates the Group’s consistent dedication to creating outstanding experiences, exceptional narratives, and innovative use of immersive experiential technologies.
Its commitment to giving back to society resulted in almost 50 corporate social responsibility (CSR) visits through a partnership with Gardens by the Bay in the Gift of Gardens programme.
This community outreach initiative by the Gardens works with over 3,500 beneficiaries from charitable organisations such as Big Love Child Protection Specialist Centre, Care Corner Singapore, Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore (CPAS), Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS), The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, and others.
Ron Tan, executive chairman and Group CEO of NEON, says: “It was an incredible journey of 419 days of Pandora adventure, right here at the Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay, since the world premiere of Avatar: The Experience on 28 October 2022.
“We are immensely thankful for the strong support from Gardens by the Bay, Disney Location-Based Experiences, and Lightstorm Entertainment and together, we would also like to express our thanks to visitors from around the world for your tremendous support.
“Welcoming over 2.6 million guests into the enchanting world of Pandora has been nothing short of phenomenal. Together, we’ve redefined the boundaries of entertainment, and we look forward to continuing this remarkable journey of innovation and imagination in our next endeavor.”
Felix Loh, CEO of Gardens by the Bay, adds: “Gardens by the Bay is honored to have been the first location in the world for Avatar: The Experience. The event has not only augmented the visitor experience, but also added a new dimension to the Cloud Forest. We look forward to curating other immersive and educational offerings for visitors as we refresh our offerings in Cloud Forest.”
The Cloud Forest experience, combined with Pandora’s bioluminescent landscapes and Na’vi culture, offers an unforgettable experience for visitors. This demonstrated NEON’s commitment to pushing boundaries and providing unmatched experiences that engage and inspire audiences globally. The firm plans to share further details about Avatar: The Experience’s next destination soon.
NEON recently announced that it has collaborated with Boston Dynamics through its fully-owned subsidiary ANIMAX, a leading creative robotic entertainment company. Together, the firms are placed to reshape the media and educational industries.