I was recently invited to screen the Disney’s new live-action Aladdin in 4DX and it was a very unique movie-going experience! 4DX is a movie technology that is augmented with environmental effects like seat motion, wind, rain, lights, and scents along with the standard video and audio. The 4D technology immerses the audience with a multi-sensory experience, allowing them to connect and feel like they are part of the movie. The experience was developed by CJ 4DPLEX which has a headquarter in Seoul, Korea with international offices in Los Angeles and Beijing.
The 4DX movie experience is only available in specialty-equipped theaters. There are currently 5 locations in California — 3 in LA county and 2 in San Diego county. The 4DX theatre is similar to any other theatre until you sit down. The seats were more stiff than usual movie seats. The arm rests are also fixed with a cupholder for your drink. The seats felt somewhat like a massage chair which had a button on the armrest for the option to turn on or off the water effect. During the previews, there are two short movies that take your seat out for a test drive. The first one is the 4DX brand trailer that lets you experience the motions of a motorcycle. The second preview was like a mini roller coaster that shifted the seat in many different directions. These motion chairs and environmental effects work in perfect synchronicity with the action on screen.
Disney’s live-action Aladdin was a great movie to watch in 4DX. There were so many memorable scenes that the 4DX experience enhanced in the movie that I cannot imagine watching them in any other way. When the Cave of Wonders was collapsing with Aladdin in it, it felt like a Disneyland park ride. The scenes with Aladdin and Jasmine walking through Agrabah smelled deliciously sweet. The pounding of Jafar’s snake staff created some fun vibration effects. Rain water and face spray were used to full effect in unexpected water sequences. The seats swayed left and right as we sailed across the sea. My favorite scene was the fantastic magic carpet ride that had me soaring through the sky for the ‘A Whole New World’ scene.
This type of movie experience does cost a little more than a regular movie ticket. In Los Angeles, the 4DX price ranges are:
- Matinee: $26 for Adults, $25 for Child/Senior
- Evening: $29 for Adults, $25 for Child/Senior
The up-charge in ticket prices would have me be more selective in which movies I would want to see in 4DX. The experience is well-worth it and will have you leaving the theatre like you just walked off an amazing ride with a big smile on your face.
This was my first time seeing Disney’s live-action Aladdin and I was completely blown away. I enjoyed all of the musical scenes, especially “Friend Like Me” which had me laughing as my seat was moving all over the place. The music is amazing as you would expect from any Disney movie, but the song “Speechless” resonated with me as it redefined Jasmine as a strong and empowering character who does not need to wait around for a prince. Aladdin’s agility and cleverness absolutely shined on the screen. What made the movie shined the most was Will Smith’s role of the Genie. He definitely made it his own and it was hilarious. Think of it as a cross of the Fresh Prince in Agrabah. All in all, I had a wonderful time thoroughly enjoyed the 4DX experience. Not only was I watching the movie on the silver screen, I also became a part of it.