the DA way

We’re all about immersive experiences at Drunk Animal, so when we were asked to develop two Christmas grotto experiences , we decided to go all out. 

We’d done some previous installations for Realm Ltd, owners of Princes Quay, before, but they wanted something bigger and better than ever. 

Our in-house design team set to work collating ideas and creating moodboards, and came up with the theme of ‘Enchanted Forest’, a winter wonderland in the realm of ‘Quayvaria’. We envisioned elves, gnomes, tiny houses, sparkly star-filled nights, and perfect snow-covered peaks.

Our experiences build team took the vision and devised a way to build houses, a forest of realistic trees, and an expansive snowy landscape that led its way to the main Grotto… all in a couple of empty shop units. 

To combat the crowds, the interior was designed with two grottos, with two Santas, cleverly separated so that the little ones were none the wiser! Each grotto was decorated with stockings, sacks of presents, a mock fireplace, and a comfy chair for the big red man himself.

After the grotto, the way out featured a walk through Santa’s ‘Toy Workshop’, where children had the chance to decorate their own tiny tree, with baubles and tinsel, before taking it home.

Wykeland, owners of Flemingate, wanted something completely different; something out of this world in fact. The client was a big fan of Star Wars, so we set about creating a grotto that you’d find in a galaxy far far away.  We got in touch with the Sentinel Squad, dusted off our lightsabres and got to work. 

Taking over an unused shop unit, we converted the cavernous space into a spaceship interior, complete with metal panelled walls, dramatic lighting and scars from lightsaber battles. 

Star Wars insignia were added throughout and the entire installation was filled with references to the films to give fans of the iconic saga something to discover.

We roped in a few Stormtroopers courtesy of the Sentinal Squad and, seeing as though the big man was busy running two grottos elsewhere, we asked Darth Vader to take on the role of giving gifts to the young ones. 

We made it so realistic we made a few kids cry… but it was all for a good cause so we didn’t feel bad; the grotto raised thousands for the charity, Little Hiccups