What Is An Immersive Experience?

October 25, 2023

Thinking about trying an immersive experience or an interactive experience in NYC, but don’t know what to expect? Here’s a breakdown of what an immersive experience can entail. We hope it’ll help you understand our interactive museum in NYC a bit more!

What does immersive experience mean?

When you buy a ticket to an “immersive” experience, it means that you’ll be in an environment that feels or looks real, but is totally different to your original surroundings. 

For example, you might put on a virtual reality headset and appear to be alone at the top of a skyscraper - even if you’re standing in a room full of people on the first floor!

What is considered “immersive”?

Many experiences can be considered immersive. Usually, it involves your senses, such as touch, sight, taste and sound.

For example, if you went to a movie-themed dinner party, where the servers are dressed as the characters, the food is the same as the dishes in the movie, and you’re listening to music from the era the film was set in, this could be considered an immersive experience. 

A renaissance faire or a virtual reality game could also be classified as an immersive experience. A cultural immersive experience might be a food event that’s centered around a specific cuisine. The definition is very broad but it essentially means feeling as if you’re really in a new setting. Immersive experiences are a great idea for a day out and are perfect for families, date nights and group activities with friends.

What happens at an immersive experience? 

Usually, there is a specific experience being created, with a theme or a setting. 

Generally speaking, you’ll have some guidance on the type of experience you’re about to have and some health warnings in case there are any elements that you should know about (like strobe lighting). 

You might need to use technology to access the immersive experience, or you might need to commit to a costume - it can vary wildly!

View of RiseNY virtual Ride over Central Park in NYC

Types of immersive experiences and what to expect

What is an immersive museum? 

An immersive museum is a museum that invites you to take part in the galleries that it hosts. You might be able to touch artifacts or create your own pieces inspired by the works on display.

For example, in our interactive museum exhibit on the history of New York TV and radio, you can try your hand at being a radio announcer, or act out a scene on our Honeymooners set from the 1950s. 

What is an immersive art experience? 

Immersive art experiences use technology to bring aspects of the art to life. You might be able to “enter” famous works of art, seeing the piece from a totally new angle. 

What is an immersive theater experience?

An immersive theater experience breaks apart the usual idea of a play being set on a stage in front of you, with actors playing all the characters. Instead, you might take on the role of the character, or the “stage” might be all around you. You might be able to walk around and explore the production, with events happening in a spontaneous way depending on the actions you take.  

What is an immersive cinema experience? 

An immersive cinema experience puts you in a setting that’s relevant to the movie you’re watching. You might see actors playing out parts from the movie from a replica of the set and be invited to join in.

In our immersive experience in NYC,  you can enter a replica of New York’s City Hall subway to watch our film on the timeline of the city from the beginning of Times Square to the present day. With visual and special effects to help create the illusion that you’re in the now-defunct City Hall station, you’ll really feel like you’re in a subway car!

What is an immersive ride?

An immersive ride makes you feel as if you’re traveling in a whole new world! You might be exploring a haunted house with monsters you can shoot, or you might be going to outer space!

In our immersive experience in NYC, you soar above the skyscrapers of New York City! Suspended 30ft in the air, you’ll see a projection on our 40 foot, 180-degree dome that makes you feel like you’re really flying through the air. With wind, scents and more to really immerse you in the experience, you’ll forget you’re strapped in!

The technology behind immersive experiences

Often, technology is used to help amplify or enhance your experience. It can make the experience seem more realistic or more futuristic, depending on the theme!

What is a digital immersive experience? 

A digital immersive experience uses technology to enhance the immersion. Rather than relying just on props or costumes, it often uses augmented reality, projections, virtual reality and other types of technology to really give you the feeling of being transported to another place or time. 

What is an AR/VR immersive experience?

Augmented reality (AR) is where technology is used to create an immersive experience by superimposing computer-generated images over real images, footage or a real-time view of the world. If you’ve ever played Pokémon Go or used a beauty filter, these are good examples of an augmented reality experience. 

Virtual reality (VR) is an immersive experience that can only be accessed using a headset, as it completely hides your view of the real world. What you’ll see will be entirely computer-generated!

What makes an immersive experience special?

There’s nothing quite like an experience that makes you feel like you’ve visited another world. Whether you’re visiting your favorite movie, your dream house, or a historical period in time, an immersive experience makes you feel like you’re really in a different time or place!

The best immersive experiences make you forget where you are in reality and carry you to an amazing new world. 

RiseNY’s Immersive Learning Experiences

At RiseNY, our immersive learning experiences delight and entertain while providing an unrivaled look into the history of the Big Apple. Be transported into New York City’s past with immersive, interactive exhibits and rides!

Book tickets to our brand new NYC immersive experience today.