Atlanta (CNN) — Want to hang out with Cardi B? How about the legendary Marilyn Monroe or the famous Mona Lisa (the painting, that is)?
Imagine being in the same room as all three!
And imagine if that room was adjacent to a giant aquarium and a larger-than-life garden with exotic wildlife. With Narnia-like doors of wonder that lead into rainbow tunnels heading up to the clouds where unicorn-pigs fart confetti. The distant roar of cannon fire sounds in the background, except in this wacky world, the cannonballs are marshmallows, and everything and everyone is made of candy.
Jackie Sorkin, co-founder and co-creator of Candytopia, calls the sweet creation “an incredible candy wonderland.”
Where everything runs on candy
Hundred of hours (approximately 317) and 7,800 pieces of candy later, the sphinx looms large at Candytopia.
Candytopia, an immersive experience, thinks of itself as a mini theme park, “a place where you come to escape the world, Sorkin says. “It’s really just this magical place that runs on sugar and candy, and you lose your mind here. It’s just a place to have fun!”
There’s a Garden of Eden-esque interactive space containing giant flowers squirting unique candy-themed smells, a tiger and a Komodo dragon made entirely of jelly beans and a cacophony of sounds coming from the four sound installations.
The mini-theme park pays homage to “Game of Thrones,” Marilyn Monroe, Cardi B, Mona Lisa and, of course, Willy Wonka. Other famous celebrities are featured as well.
The twist, however, is that they’re all made from hundreds of grams of candy and sugar, including the intricate and ornate centerpiece — a sphinx.
An Instagram dream
The life-size deep sea diver was hand-crafted from gummy bears, licorice, jelly beans and gumdrops.
Hundreds of thousands pieces of candy are used to create the 3-D models, explains Sorkin. Licorice, jellybeans, gummy bears gumdrops — these are all manipulated to create the pop-up’s art. “We look at candy in a completely different way. It’s art to us,” says Sorkin.
The sweet experience includes illusions of tunnels, green screens that serve as a backdrop for photos, and a candy aquarium with sharks, fish and a life-size diver.
Every room is an Instagrammable sugary sweet experience and a candy-coated photo opportunity for kids (and adults) of all ages.
“You know, I started creating my candy art pregnant and broke, out of my garage,” said Sorkin. “I mean it can’t be more cliché than that … the principles of the [Willy Wonka] movie, you know, the dream-big mentality, never give up, have crazy ideas, let people think you’re nuts, and keep going anyway. That really struck a chord with me when I was a kid.”
A rainbow vortex
The Rainbow Vortex is one of several rooms set up as an AR (augmented reality) interactive photo station.
Covered in confetti
The confetti “surprise” required close to 7,000 pieces of candy.
If you go, have your smart phone ready and your sweet tooth primed. Oh, and make sure to watch out for the not-so-discreet confetti attacks around the unicorn-farm pigs, and try not to get caught in the crossfire of the marshmallow cannonballs!
If it sounds bizarre, that’s ok. It’s sort of the whole idea. “It’s just so weird,” said Sorkin. “And it makes everyone smile.”