So we were really excited to be invited to a Christmas Blogger party at the O2 with Sky Studios – a chance to step behind the scenes and experience some movie magic for ourselves.
Sky Studios is at the O2 in London’s Docklands, and offers families the chance to experience some fab movie-themed fun and games this Christmas – for FREE! (I’ll just pause to let you jump up and down a bit at the idea of free holiday fun).
The Studios has a range of experiences that kids and adults can try, and at the moment there’s a Cinderella and Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron theme going on – these being two of the movies you can enjoy on Sky Movies this Christmas.
We kicked our day off with breakfast in the Sky Backstage bar, and a spot o’ face painting (I went for a sparkly butterfly, if you’re interested), and then we head off to explore the attraction.
First up, you can try on Cinderella’s sparkling slipper, with an augmented reality experience from Swarovski – kids big and small can sit in a throne while an assistant uses an iPad to magically size the slipper to their feet with a little shower of magic sparks. Enter your email address and hey presto, the magic is yours to take home.
There’s also the chance to see the real life solid crystal slippers and the iconic blue dress from the most recent Cinderalla movie up close. Did you know that the costume designers used 1.7m crystals to give the costumes in the movie their sparkle? Mind boggling.
Flea’s favourite part of the day, however, came upstairs.
First, we checked out the interactive photo booths – take a seat and scroll through a selection of festive and blockbuster film stills and the magic of technology puts you in the middle of the picture. Sounds simple, but actually getting the right eyeline and being in just the right spot at the right moment proved well beyond two giggly, wriggling ten-year-olds, and we have some hilarious ‘out-takes’ from this part of the day!
Next up, there’s an immersive virtual reality experience for adults and kids aged 13+ which allows you to experience what it’s like to be in the middle of Stark Towers when all Hell is let loose – it’s a really fun experience but thankfully short because it’s remarkably discombobulating, and if you’re easily affected by motion sickness, take care!
Flea was a bit gutted to miss the VR but she did have a laugh at the Hulkbuster armour- another virtual reality app that invites kids to stand in between two giant screens and ‘experience’ wearing Iron Man’s suit and battling The Hulk – it’s a cross between VR and an X-Box Kinect game, and a lot of fun!
Perhaps the highlight of our visit, though, was the news reading experience at Sky Studios. Your child and a friend can take their seats behind the famous news desk and choose from six different news bulletins to read. The whole reading is captured by a PROPER camera, which Flea and her bestie thought was fantastic. You’ll come away with a 90-second video like the one below. Although I can’t promise that your video is going to end up quite this hammy…
As you travel around the experience, you can capture images onto a QR code that’s printed on your ticket – just scan your QR code in front of the various machines, and your photos will all be added to your account, for free download later. I thought this made for such a fun memento of the visit.
If you’re in the area of the O2 then I highly recommend popping in to Sky Studios – the studios are free and open daily from 12-8pm on event days, and from 12-6pm on non-event days, or from 11am on weekends. Further details over on the Sky website.