What the Las Vegas Sphere Means for Theme Parks

I recently visited the Las Vegas Sphere for the Postcard From Earth show, and it was everything I thought it would be and more. You may be asking yourself “What is an article about the Sphere doing on a roller coaster website?” I believe the Las Vegas Sphere could set the stage for a new generation of theme park attractions, even if on a smaller scale.

Las Vegas Sphere

For those unfamiliar with the Sphere, it is a one-of-a-kind entertainment venue that features a 160,00 square-foot LED immersive display. It contains the world’s largest beamforming audio system and 10,00 haptic (vibrating) seats (out of 17,500 seats). The Sphere was announced in February of 2018 and opened its doors in September of 2023 to the residency of the rock band U2 and a final cost of $2.3 billion to build.

The size and scale of the Sphere were almost impossible to grasp until I was up close and personal with it as it towers 3666 feet high and 516 feet wide, adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip. My Sphere experience started with an Atrium interactive experience leading up to the start of the show, featuring Artificial Intelligence (AI) robots that interacted with guests, holographic art installations, and 22nd-century technology. My immediate reaction was that this felt like an experience that would exist at EPCOT at Walt Disney World. Every experience I had in the Atrium left me wondering how this could be implemented in theme parksjust imagine the possibilities of having Disney or Universal bring to life a character using an AI animatronic and voice to hold real conversations with guests.

I then scaled three massive escalators to my seat for Postcard From Earth, a multisensory show from director Darren Aronofsky, known for the movies Black Swan and The Whale. I went into the show expecting a bigger and better IMAX movie that could be seen at my local science center, but what I got next was something that left my jaw dropped. Not only was I presented with beautiful landscapes on the massive screen, but I also experienced the haptic seats that vibrated along with what was being shown, as well as unexpected wind elements that were perfectly timed in the theater.

What does the Las Vegas Sphere mean for theme parks?

If a theme park could implement an experience similar to the Sphere, into a smaller version, I would be all-in. I look to rides like Soarin’ and Avatar Flight of Passage that provide sweeping views and sensory-oriented experiences that are not too far off from what the Sphere had to offer, making the possibility of seeing a condensed version of the Sphere coming to theme parks, well, possible. Theme parks could even theme the outside of mini Spheres to fit a given land or area of the park to give guests that fully immersive experience that is so sought after. The possibilities for the LED screen located on the outside of the Sphere are truly endless, even spotlight advertisements on an even larger scale. I’m very excited to see what the future holds for theme park technology and what the Sphere might mean for the industry.

Have you visited the Sphere in Las Vegas? What are your thoughts on similar technology being implemented at theme parks? Let us know in the comments section below.