During the 29th edition of Città dei Balocchi in Cernobbio (CO) from Dec. 7 to Jan. 8, Villa Erba Park was transformed into a magical Christmas village.

Light shows, talking trees, videomapping, craft markets, skating rink, circus and puppet theater enlivened the Park.

Among the initiatives, the Fantastic Journey to Rovaniemi accompanied more than 4,000 people to Santa’s headquarters.

The interactive experience took place inside a real sleigh, where people, mostly children, wore virtual visors.

Through an ‘application developed in the LEM platform, an elf, our guide within the experience, commanded the various stages of the journey:

  • Departure from the park of Villa Erba
  • Overflight of the city of Como and the first basin of the Lario River
  • Crossing the clouds
  • Arrival in Rovaniemi
  • Entrance to the Toy Factory
  • Interactions with Santa Claus
  • Receiving and sharing gifts
  • Return to Cernobbio

Settings and Characters were reconstructed in 3D. Users were displayed within the application as avatars and were placed exactly where they sat.

This aspect, together with the possibility of hearing their own voices, seeing and using their own hands to take and open gifts, or even trivially greeting and acknowledging each other, was the real plus of the experience, the reason why participants felt totally involved, immersed and transported in the virtual journey.

The Master Elf, played by the staff, had the opportunity to interact verbally and physically with the participants. In fact, he could draw their attention and answer their questions. In this way each travel experience, lasting about 15 minutes, was different each time.

The “Fantastic Journey to Rovaniemi” initiative was done in partnership with Calcio Como.