ATLANTA (July 18, 2011) – How does the world’s largest aquarium launch its largest expansion to date? With an equally large-scale, star-studded event spectacular. In partnership with Wolfgang Puck Catering, Your Event Solutions and Active Production and Design, Georgia Aquarium created an unforgettable two-night series of opening events for the launch of AT&T Dolphin Tales.
“For this major project four elements of the event seamlessly joined together to create a remarkable opening for VIP guests: cuisine, lighting, design and a unique, versatile venue,” said Natasha Cary, Director of Event Sales and Services at Georgia Aquarium. “Transforming a daytime family attraction to an upscale, sophisticated event was one hurdle both teams had to clear in order to impeccably accomplish the goal.”
The overarching concept of the party was to make guests feel like they went to three parties in one flawless night in celebration of the grand opening of AT&T Dolphin Tales. The first portion of the event honored the dolphin theme by utilizing the new exhibit’s logo colors, orange and blue. Georgia Aquarium’s Atrium served as the reception setting, which meant the design and logistics had to be created in a space normally open to the public within a limited time period. To tie in the theme, a custom illuminated dolphin water wall was the backdrop to a double-sided bar. The Aquarium’s public art project, Dolphins on Parade, was positioned around the bar as dolphin decor. The Atrium walls were also transformed using bright orange sequins fabric.
Wolfgang Puck Catering complemented the sophisticated and awe-inspiring scenery. Butler-passed hors d’oeuvres were served on whimsical trays that featured twirling dolphins. A pasta action station offered guests house-made mushroom ravioli with truffle jus and pappardelle pasta with seafood. Steak and Asian buffets presented guests with a variety of delectable cuisine options throughout the first part of the evening, which included Wolfgang Puck signature items such as Chinese chicken salad with garlic and ginger dressing and lobster and crab “Louie” horseradish panna cotta.
Energized by the show, guests made their way out of the theater toward the Oceans Ballroom where the party was just getting started. The constellation, a recurrent image used in the AT&T Dolphin Tales show, came to life in the 23,000 square foot space. A disco ball chandelier featuring over 50 smaller disco balls served as the glittering focal point of the room. Guests congregated around the two strategically-placed, illuminated bars to socialize throughout the event.As the dinner reception ended, guests were escorted to the event highlight: a private viewing of the new AT&T Dolphin Tales show. The spectacular 25-minute show, created specifically for Georgia Aquarium, is narrated by the show’s lead character, the StarSpinner, a mysterious adventurer and storyteller who leads the audience through an interactive journey across the oceans. Emmy award-winning producers and directors developed the production in concert with a world-class team of talented individuals, assembled from the worlds of television, film and Broadway. An original musical score was written and composed by renowned composer Tim Williams, and recorded by a 61-piece orchestra at Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles. This evening’s event offered one of the first-ever performances for an invited audience.
The wow continued as an assortment of miniature desserts including dolphin shaped cookies, blue velvet cupcakes and chocolate truffle cake were displayed on three 16-foot tall bubble tubes. The dramatic cheese displays were designed with an 8-foot wall of Mylar with a double-sided buffet that accented a silver runner and illuminated food risers. Fresh calla lily florals with submerged disco balls finished the tablescape.
Soft seating was created using 6-foot-wide lampshades wrapped in silver material with hanging glass bubble balls. White furniture with purple and silver accent pillows was angled around the lampshades along with lighted cocktail tables. The seating framed two Aquarium marquee exhibits, Ocean Voyager and the beluga whale habitat, highlighting the undersea ambiance.
The opening events for AT&T Dolphin Tales exemplified the Aquarium’s mission of inspiring guests and setting the standard for excellence. For more information on booking your event, visit www.georgiaaquarium.org/book-your-event.
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ABOUT GEORGIA AQUARIUM
Georgia Aquarium is the world’s largest, with more than 10 million gallons of water and six permanent galleries. It is considered one of the top Atlanta attractions and one of the best Atlanta sightseeing activities. The mission of Georgia Aquarium is to be an entertaining, educational and scientific institution featuring exhibits and programs of the highest standards, while promoting the conservation of aquatic biodiversity. Georgia Aquarium offers events in Atlanta throughout the year for guests of all ages, as well as engaging Atlanta kids’ activities and programs. Georgia Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. For additional information, visit www.georgiaaquarium.org.