National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey in Times Square

in Fab Kids

We were excited to take our mermaid-obsessed, 4-year old to National Geographic’s Encounter: Ocean Odyssey in Times Square because it was the first of its kind to immerse you in an under-the-sea experience without requiring you to know how to swim!  (I’m the only one in our family who can so that was a relief!)  This cool new National Geographic Encounter allows you to virtually swim under and across the Pacific Ocean overnight, from Asia to California and explore the magical underworld that is their 60,000 square foot entertainment experience all without getting wet.  By harnessing ground-breaking technology (think video mapping, 3D effects, 8K photo real animation, enveloping sound system, mega projection screens, and“real-time” audience tracking),  you’re transported and traveling underwater.

national geographic ocean odyssey, national geographic encounter, things to do times squareThis first room really took my breath away.  With the floor to ceiling screen and the touch-sensitive projections on the floor, you really feel immersed in this underwater scene. ocean odyssey, national geographic encounter, national geographic ny, national geographic times squareYou can expect to encounter dolphins, sharks, stingrays and whales and may find your kids either mesmerized in one spot or chasing after them as they swim by.  It’s a sight to see and so fun for the kids to watch!

 

After the timed portion ends, you and the group follow the hosts who act as your tour guides and direct you into the reef room where you’ll find that coral glows beneath you and smaller creatures can be found if you look closely.  The production quality is truly remarkable.  I loved taking in every detail from the kelp forest to the underwater sounds of the most mysterious and mighty sea creatures.

 

And the interactive elements like the kelp mirror maze which we let Juliet lead us into and out of were truly engaging!Playing with sea lions and having them mirror our every move was so much fun!  Juliet tried to teach them ballet and some of her signature twirls lol 

 

Overall, the blockbuster digital technology wowed us all – even my geeky husband who thought he was up on the latest and greatest in technology was seriously impressed with the 40 foot 3-D dome room.  new york acquarium, nyc acquarium We just wish that part of the experience had lasted longer!

new york things to do, times square things to do ,digital acquarium, nyc fish, national geographic odyssey, national geographic encounterOverall, the visuals are truly stunning. The creators and producers of National Geographic Encounter, have engaged a world-class global team of Academy, GRAMMY®, and Emmy® Award-winning artists, including the design firm Falcon’s Creative Group and the visual effects team behind “Game of Thrones,” to produce this never-before-seen experience.  Everything from the majestic ocean soundscape across the 230 loudspeakers and 180 independent sound channels to the creative set design and cinematic quality forge to create an incredible state-of-the-art immersion.

 

You totally forget you’re in the bustling center of Times Square.  I love experiences that make me feel ‘present’ and in the moment.  Too often we are rushing and racing around whether physically or in our minds.  This experience had a calming, meditative effect on me that reminded me to enjoy the ‘now.’ Plus I’m happy to report that my little one learned a thing or two and piqued her interest in the underwater world.  Instead of talking just about mermaids, she now chats about squids, how large whales are and coral too!    People varied in their reviews of whether they liked that the bulk of the education and information was found at the end of the experience.  I preferred it that way.  I liked that nothing interrupted the sensory experience I was having in each room.  And this way I could explore whatever topics most piqued my interest at the end by finding the sound dome to stand under that matched the visual I loved.  Here, kids of all ages could learn through touch screens, audio-visuals, and taped interviews with marine biologists.

And in the end, Juliet had so much fun browsing the gift shop where she got to take home a fun souvenir to remind her of her newfound interests.  

 

 

DISCLAIMER:  Our tickets were complimentary in exchange for a review but all opinions expressed are my own.

ADDRESS:  226 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

Wednesday 10AM–10:30PM
Thursday 10AM–10:30PM
Friday 10AM–12AM
Saturday 10AM–12AM
Sunday 10AM–10:30PM
Monday 10AM–10:30PM
Tuesday 10AM–10:30PM

READ ON about another Times Square, family-friendly experience, Gulliver’s Gate!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

kris November 1, 2017 at 8:19 pm

Oh I had just heard about this. Thanks for the review!

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fabgab November 2, 2017 at 2:02 pm

glad to be of help!

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Alice November 2, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Been meaning to check this place out. It was pricey so wasn’t sure if it was worth it.

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fabgab November 2, 2017 at 2:01 pm

I do think it was a bit on the pricey side but so is everything in NYC…

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linda November 3, 2017 at 12:15 am

Ooh I’m taking my Director friend here. He would love this.

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Diane S. November 3, 2017 at 6:25 am

Wow! This looks amazing. My daughter would love it! !

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fabgab November 4, 2017 at 7:29 pm

YES she would!

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Mitch November 3, 2017 at 7:50 am

What a fantastic exhibit! And your little one seems to be enjoying it quite a bit! What an excellent way for her to learn to help our planet!

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fabgab November 4, 2017 at 7:29 pm

She had a blast.

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