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Immersive Disney is a big hit at Arsenal Contemporary Art; Nearby Petros Taverna a good dining spot

 Immersive Disney is a big hit at Arsenal Contemporary Art
Montreal - Thursday, January 11, 2024

Just a few months ago I went to the Arsenal Contemporary Art in Griffintown to see the incredible  Notre-Dame de Paris: The Augmented Exhibition. So, when I heard that Immersive Disney Animation was headed to the same venue, the kid in me could not resist the temptation to experience this as well.

The Montreal limited  engagement has been extended to May 5. Tickets are available at for both French and English versions of the experience.

Just like I was impressed by the Notre-Dame de Paris presentation, this one-of-a-kind immersive experience was a lot of fun. In fact, the greatest enjoyment was watching the little kids in such awe as they tried to reach out and touch the Disney characters.

The 360 degree projections are incredible

The 360 degree projections are incredible.

Immersive Disney Animation is an innovative celebration that takes you inside the greatest films of Walt Disney Animation Studios, from their very earliest, groundbreaking features to the beloved hit movies of today.

Parking is available in front of Arsenal Contemporary Art at a cost of $15 plus tax (payment by credit or debit card only). The exhibition space is accessible to people with reduced mobility. The entrance is right off the lot so there are no stairs.

This experience does contain bright and flashing lights that may cause discomfort for people with photosensitive epilepsy. There is also some loud music and effects. Part of the immersive experience is in fact the music. This may cause discomfort for people with sensitive hearing. Earplugs are available upon request.

Disney offers special sessions with a welcoming and comfortable space where viewers with special needs can have the best possible experience. The next such viewing in English will take place on Sunday,  Jan, 28 at 9:45 a.m. Tickets are available directly from the online ticketing service and are labeled "Adapted Experience." Watch out for other such showings to be added in March and April.

Adaptations include reduced sound volume, reduced capacity, comfortable gallery lighting at all times, and no blackouts, sensitivity warnings for content and quiet areas outside the gallery where you can take a break from the show.

When you enter there is a large room with a variety of features

  • Immerse Yourself. Learn more about how Walt Disney Animation Studios brings the movies you love to life!
  • The Art of Story. See how animators use storyboards to map scenes and narrative at Immersive Disney Animation!
  •  The Art of Creating Worlds See the real-world locations that inspire the worlds of Disney Animation at Immersive Disney Animation!
  • The Art of Effects Discover how Disney animators make the magic happen at Immersive Disney Animation!

After this you proceed to the theatre where you stand or sit on the floor for about 50 minutes. Scenes and music from iconic Disney films are projected on four different walls. The little kids were really going crazy, most of them dancing up a storm. I was with someone who has mobility issues and the staff were kind enough to find her a chair to sit on.

Additional interactive features within the show include a responsive floor projection design that moves with the audience and custom bracelets that light up in sync with the projections and based on the audiences’ movements through the galleries. In a particularly show-stopping moment, the Gazillion Bubbles special effects team fills the 500,000 cubic feet of galleries with bubbles.

A scene from the Lion King.

A scene from the Lion King.

Creating iconic animated stories for all ages for nearly a century, Walt Disney Animation Studios has joined forces with North America’s top creator of experiential projection exhibitions   to present the music and artistry within Disney Animation’s canon of films—from hits of today like Encanto, Zootopia and Frozen, to all of the classics including The Lion King, Peter Pan and Pinocchio. 

Audiences feel like they’ve entered the incredible worlds of beloved Disney characters and become one with them.   

As  Corey Ross, producer and founder of Lighthouse Immersive Studios states:  “Just imagine journeying through Zootopia with Judy Hopps, diving to the ocean floor with Ariel, flying on a magic carpet with Aladdin, and stepping into Casita with Mirabel and the family Madrigal. This is where Immersive Disney Animation takes you.

“We had Immersive Disney Animation in 16 cities so far ,” added   Ross. “And while we expected a positive reception, we have really been blown away by just how incredibly excited audiences are with this experience, a testament to the timeless legacy of Disney Animation's worlds, stories and characters.

 Families enjoying the show.Families enjoying the show.

“Like so many of us, I have a life-long love of Disney films,” Ross continued. “And it has been quite a nostalgic rush seeing those films come to life in our venues across North America. I’ve grown up with these characters and worlds since childhood and so has my family. The work lends itself brilliantly to the immersive experience. Our team has created something truly special here.”

On your way out you will want to spend some time at the Disney gift store. There is also a snack bar.

Arsenal Contemporary Art is located at 2020 Rue William in Griffintown.

See the trailer: 

Dinner at Petros Taverna Afterwards

Paul from Petros Taverna Griffintown.

Paul from Petros Taverna Griffintown.

Arsenal Contemporary Art is up the same block from Petros Taverna Griffintown, a fabulous restaurant. Ted Dranias is the owner of this and four other Montreal locations in Westmount, Lachine, Mile End and Little Italy. His partner here, Karim, runs a fabulous operation. They are thrilled to hear the exhibition has been extended, for  so many visitors are dropping by Petros prior to or after their visits.

Specializing in Greek Mediterranean Cuisine, Petros Taverna offers a variety of homestyle menu choices. I have been going there on a steady basis for the past seven years and  I love their noted items such as lamb chops,  moussaka,  fresh fish,   the special (fried zucchini) and the Greek spread medley.    

After attending Disney Immersive, heading up the block for dinner at Petros Taverna Griffintown was a natural. If you have mobility issues, you can go through the alley near the main door and be dropped off at the back entrance where there is handicapped access. On busy nights, valet parking is available.

It was nice to see veteran server Paul welcome us to the restaurant. He has been a mainstay at Petros Taverna Griffintown for 10 years now.

 The rib steak.The rib steak.

 The Petros special.The Petros special.

We started off with the Petros special, accompanied by tzatziki, along with some pita and taramousalata and their trademark chopped salad. For the main course we enjoyed their absolutely fantastic USDA prime rib steaks. I must say that the quality hear definitely rivals that of some of the big players on the town.  As a side I treated myself to some crispy fries. We could not resist the Greek honey balls for dessert and a couple of cups of mint tea.

This is a Bring Your Own wine establishment.

Petros Taverna Griffintown is located at 1613  William Street. For reservations go to 514-935-8500. They open at 5 pm each day and have plenty of space for private parties.

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