The announcement came on the eve of the launch of JOYÀ, an intimate and
immersive theatrical and culinary experience developed by Cirque du Soleil
and Grupo Vidanta that premiered at the Riviera Maya on November 21st. “We
have been dreaming together with Cirque du Soleil to create new categories
of entertainment for Mexico and the world for more than five years,” said
Grupo Vidanta founder Daniel Chávez Morán. “The demand we’ve seen for JOYÀ
makes us confident future projects will be met with success. When guests
see what we are able to build in Nuevo Vallarta, they will know we are
now in the position to build our dreams.” Development of the Nuevo Vallarta
project aimed to reimagine the theme park experience in the same way JOYÀ
will redefine theatrical and culinary entertainment.
But much about the project has remained under wraps since the initial
announcement, until InPark Magazine ran a story on May 28th that helped
shed a little more light on the project:
Many people around the world credit Cirque du Soleil for reinventing the
circus,” said Martin Boudreau, President of Cirque du Soleil Parks, Immersive
Attractions and New Content division. “In our new joint venture, 4th Wall,
the combined vision of Cirque and the unique talents of Goddard Group (GGE)
come together. We now have the opportunity to apply our creativity to other
entertainment mediums, bringing to them the signature Cirque du Soleil
elements of imagination and originality that spectators have come to expect
The plan for what Goddard describes as an “experience park” includes a unique,
Cirque-inspired boat ride, a series of highly immersive attractions, including
the kind of outdoor live show only Cirque could create. Food and beverage
together with retail offerings will likewise be customized. The park will be
geared to an older audience (while including appeal for families with children)
and have international appeal, although most guests are expected to be from
Mexico, the United States and Canada.
Goddard likens the concept to something more resembling Discovery Cove than
Disneyland. But then he draws another comparison: “If there were a waterpark
created by Cirque for Burning Man, it would probably look like this.” The
elements, especially water, and natural vegetation will be important in creating
a unique environment that will feature live performers in many settings and
impart the sense of having come upon a hidden village in an enchanted forest.
Just a few days later, on June 10th, a video made its way to YouTube offering
up tantalizing new details about the project we’d never before heard; it had
us very excited! For the first time we were hearing about the resorts Vidanta
planned to build, the rides that might be associated with the park, not to
mention the other experiences. It was a gold-mine filled with information about
something we wouldn’t be able to experience for years to come. Alas, that
jubilation was short-lived, as the video was removed almost as soon as it was
discovered and circulated by fans. To rub salt in the wound we didn’t even
have time to save it for posterity. (Talk about kicking ourselves in the butt
for that oversight…)
But wouldn’t you know that video would make a re-appearance the second
week of August? This time we not only saved the video, but made a transcript
of all the information contained within – and there’s a lot! In the video we
hear from Daniel Lamarre, CEO of Cirque du Soleil; Gary Goddard, CEO of The
Goddard Group; Taylor Jeffs, Director of Design of The Goddard Group; Ben
Potvin, Director of Acrobatics at Cirque du Soleil; Amy Lareau, Director of
Business Development at Cirque du Soleil; and Martin Boudreau, Vice
President of Business Development at Cirque du Soleil. So, without further
ado: The Celebrate Project!
COMING SOON TO PUERTO VALLARTA
FROM THE IMAGINATION OF CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
AND THE VISION OF VIDANTA
COMES THE WORLD’S NEXT
GROUNDBREAKING DESTINATION RESORT:
AN ENTERTAINMENT DESTINATION
UNLIKE ANY OTHER IN THE WORLD
Daniel Lamarre: For 30 years the mission of Cirque du Soleil has been to
evoke the imagination, to provoke the senses, and to evoke the emotions
of people around the world. For many, many years we have been looking for
someone that could give us the opportunity to enhance the sandbox of
creativity of Cirque du Soleil. This is amazing that a visionary of the
resort business is meeting with a visionary of the entertainment world.
We are going to deliver an experience that is going to be totally unique
in the world.
Gary Goddard: We’ve been working on something new, something completely
different – it’s a new kind of destination resort. I’m always looking
for ways to do things in a new – that push the envelope. So in the ways
that we innovated in retail with The Forum (Shops at Caesar’s Palace in
Las Vegas) and hotels with The Galaxy and in theme parks attractions with
Spider Man (at Islands of Adventure in Orlando), with T2 (at Universal
Parks), with Caesars Magical Empire – all the things we’ve done – we want
to find a unique way into the whole Cirque experience and create a
memorable, unforgettable, emotional experience that picks up on the
things that we think of as Cirque and brings them to life in a new way.
At the first meeting with Guy Laliberte and with Daniel Chavez from
Vidanta we’d already had a day or two in the Vidanta Resort to see the
beautiful work that they do. In my mind what began to form was we can
take what Cirque does, and we can take what Vidanta does, and we can take
what GGE does, and we can create an entirely new kind of experience that
doesn’t really exist and that uses the best resources and abilities of all
of the people that comprised our various companies.
Taylor Jeffs: In a traditional Cirque du Soleil show you are in the role
of spectator, you sit and watch in the audience. However, imagine what it
would be like to get out of your seat and wander onto the stage and not
just that, but to be a character within this fantasy world they created.
Gary Goddard: The Celebrate Project, which is the working name at the
moment, is an integrated resort with 10 unique entertainment attractions
surrounded by three exclusive Vidanta resorts: the Kingdom of the Sun,
the Kingdom of the Stars, and The Grand Cascades.
Taylor Jeffs: These resorts literally put guests right in the middle of
the action. The Kingdom of the Sun Resort is a grand golden palace
located right in between the Village of Sun’s daytime experience and
the Valley of the Blue Waters waterpark experience.
Gary Goddard: This is the place where all things Cirque exist. You’ll
be able to enter the square which will be a beautiful plaza and there’s
a wide variety of attractions you should be able to experience while
you’re there. The village is also home to the CirqueCamp. The CirqueCamp
is a very unique place… this particular thing let you go and learn from
the Cirque performers themselves how to perform, how to put on the
makeup – you’ll be able to learn that with the masters from the actual
Ben Potvin: what we want to do is bring our expertise to the general
public. Our guests are going to be able to have fun in a safe
environment, as well as learn something new about themselves and about
Cirque du Soleil. We want to be able to bring to everybody what it
feels to actually be on a Cirque du Soleil stage. Everything that we
have in our shows we will have a component of that on site. We really
want to work together to bring to life everybody’s creativity and
bring this whole theme park experience to the next level.
Taylor Jeffs: On the opposite end of the resort we have the Grand
Cascades, which is a luxury spa resort located right on the edge of
the water park. Every single room ensuite has a premium view of this
incredible fantasy paradise that we’ve created.
Gary Goddard: You look out onto the Grand Cascades resort, which is
an amazing hotel – which has waterfalls – and that is actually our
water park that surrounds this hotel. We call that the Valley of the
Amy Lareau: This will be the world’s first theatrical water park and
here the guest is the star.
Taylor Jeffs: Just as a real theatrical performance begins with the
opening of a curtain our show begins with the opening of a curtain
also, but ours is a curtain made of water. As you arrive at the park
the curtain will actually part open revealing the park in front of
you, and from that point on guests are immersed in the theatrical
experience of our water park.
Gary Goddard: The Kingdom of the Stars as a magical palace. It
sits at the top of the hill and it forms a center of our entire
night time experience of which the feature is the Village of the
Moon. The Village of the Moon only comes to life at night, after
the sun goes down and we’ve designed the park to be on axis with
where the sun goes down so literally once the sun starts to go down
there will be a ceremony that happens across the lagoon, and if you
want to go there you need to go to the Embassy… you can get your
passport there, which will allow you entrance into this Village of
the Moon. And as you pass the threshold, your passport – with the
power of the moonlight – will glow as you enter, signaling that
it’s ok for you to enter. And from this village – just like a real
village – you have many opportunities: if you go down this path it
will take you to The Grotto, if you go down that path it’ll take
you to The Wylde, if you go down that path it’ll take you to The
Forest, if you go to this path it’ll take you to the Mechanical
Gardens. Now, what are all these things? Well the Mechanical Gardens
is actually a ride park, but all the rides have been twisted and
turned in a unique way that makes them uniquely Cirque. And then
if you go down that path – to The Wlyde – what is the Wylde? The
Wylde is kind of the area of nightmares. From there you might want
to go on The Grotto, and we’re going to – for the first time in a
boat ride – not only have animatronics and special effects but live
performers performing in unique new ways. And then there’s The Lake.
Amy Lareau: The Lake is another new kind of show for Cirque du Soleil.
It will be our first show to be staged outdoors and will feature the
largest cast ever put together by Cirque, and performances and acts
never seen before in any of our shows.
Taylor Jeffs: The other big attraction here is The Forest. We’re going put
guests on a train, take them out to the edge of the property, drop them off,
and their job from that point on is to find their way back to the village.
They’re going to discover these incredible worlds filled with fantasy
creatures, fantastical characters and interactive experiences unlike anything
they’ve seen before.
Daniel Lamarre: We are so excited to have the opportunity to finally push
the envelope, push the boundaries of creativity in conjunction with a unique
partner that we do respect very much.
Martin Boudreau: We are very confident by combining the amazing creativity
of Cirque du Soleil and the power of our brand through the expertise of the
Goddard Group and the talent of Vidanta team will give us everything we need
to build an amazing project in Puerto Vallarta.
Gary Goddard: I think the reason Cirque du Soleil is so beloved all around
the world is because it is always appealed to people’s emotions, it makes
them laugh, makes them cry, and it aspires to be a demonstration or a
reflection, like a mirror, of our best qualities. So if we can tap into all
these very human emotions and elements it will be an attraction that will
entertain people for generations to come.
THREE SPECTACULAR RESORTS
FOUR THRILLING DAYTIME ATTRACTIONS
SIX GROUNDBREAKING NIGHTTIME EXPERIENCES
A DESTINATION LIKE NO OTHER
ONLY AT VIDANTA