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In the shadow of the Sphere, an immersive box of dreams is coming

The new attraction at Linq Promenade is the anti-Sphere.

Dreambox 360, with several experiences in a 360-degree, “5D” projection format, opens in mid-July at Linq Promenade. Creator Noel Bowman and his team at Minus 5 Icebar created the space.

The designer’s early description is, “If you like the Sphere, then you’ll love the Box!”

This venue is a different shape, of course, and a far smaller size, at 1,000 square feet. The Sphere is (double-checking the specs) 875,000 square feet.

But Dreambox does pack a (rum) punch.

Groups of up to 55 can board “The Arctic Ghost Ship: A Quest in Search of the Lost Rum,” which is a 12-to-15-minute animated experience in which guests sip cocktails/non-alcoholic beverages with a projected Captain Flint McGreggor as they search for his wayward booze.

“You step into the Box and the adventure begins,” Bowman says. “It’s like a Disney ride. It’s not just some passive, come in and enjoy the optics. We’re gonna get after it.”

The technology from Lumen and Forge, with a rich history in such attractions, is typically described as 4D — the simulated effects of wind, rainfall, fog, heat, bubbles and such. The “5D” is the taste effect, with the drinks involved.

“It’s a little play on 4D,” Bowman says. Despite the rummy adventure, Dreambox is open for ages 12 and older.

Aside from the Captain Flint adventure, Bowman has planned “Weekend Trip,” a psychedelic display at 11 and 11:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. That trippy experience runs alongside, though not formally connected with, the Dead & Company shows at the Sphere — which is visible from Linq Promenade.

These are a “microdose experience” (a reference to the relatively short 30-minute visit), with a live DJ and “free hugs.”

Bowman is especially excited about the “Birthday Box” concept.

“You’re surprising someone turning 50 or on an anniversary, and have a private celebration for a half an hour,” Bowman says. “You’re going to send me like 60 or so still images, videos, testimonials from your friends or grandparents, and it’s going to be put up in 360 degrees, flying all over the room. It’s a whole a whole slideshow to you, with open bars.”

Along with Icebar clubs at Mandalay Place and The Venetian’s Grand Canal Shoppes, Bowman’s company has also created the new 1923 Live space. That spot sits just above Icebar at Grand Canal Shoppes, accessed via two elevators.

That space opened last weekend with sellout performances by Vegas yacht rock band The Docksiders and the close-up magic show “Legerdemain,” starring magician/producer Jonathan Levit.

For Bowman, the magic trick at Dreambox 360 will be to generate an audience amid a strong field of similarly styled attractions. (Tentative plans are for tickets to be on sale Friday at dreambox360.com.) Bowman stresses his starting price point, $28 with an option to buy a drink, is less than the advertised prices for Illuminarium at Area15, Fantasy Lab at Fashion Show mall and Particle Ink at Luxor, amid a sea of immersive entertainment experiences in Vegas.

Whether Dreambox can prove a worthy option to those popular spaces remains to be proven. As the veteran entrepreneur says, “My goal is to be very competitive,” and maybe even the Sphere will take notice.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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