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Beyond King Tut immersive experience
Photograph: Shaye Weaver/Time Out New York

A first look at the new immersive King Tut experience that takes you inside his tomb

You’ll come face-to-face with Ancient Egyptian gods, journey into King Tut’s tomb and join his quest for immortality.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver
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As NYC sees a reemergence of immersive exhibits this fall (there are so many), a new King Tut-themed experience distinguishes itself from the others by placing you in a recreation of the boy-king’s hidden, far-off tomb.

Opening today, October 28 and running through January 1, “Beyond King Tut: The Immersive Experience” has taken over Pier 36 with a multi-gallery, multi-sensory exhibition that promises to “whisk” you away to Ancient Egypt. Inside the experience, you will discover King Tut’s story, from his time as a child Pharoah to the discovery of his tomb in 1922 and beyond with “cinematic storytelling and soaring imagery.”

You will also “meet” Ancient Egyptian gods like Ra and Anubis, take a trip into King Tut’s burial chamber, join his quest for immortality and relive the discovery of his tomb after 3,000 years. The exhibit is opening in NYC just in time for the 100th anniversary of the tomb’s discovery.

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The show opens with a short, eight-minute film that gives a summary of Tut’s rise to power (he was only 9 years old when he became pharaoh!) and the incredible discovery of his tomb (he died at age 19) but had made a massive impact on Egypt in just 10 years.

Then, after two big doors open to the rest of the exhibit, you enter a recreation of a tomb, where you learn about the artist and sponsor who were responsible for the discovery of the tomb in 1922, what they found and how the treasures and artifacts inside were preserved. Walls digitally crumble away to reveal Tut’s belongings. 

Beyond King Tut immersive experience
Photograph: Shaye Weaver/Time Out New York
Beyond King Tut immersive experience
Photograph: Shaye Weaver/Time Out New York

Just a note: you won’t see any actual artifacts at this ehxibit—everything is digital or huge, high-res images. There are some very cool interactive elements, from a recreation of Tut’s own golden throne to an Ancient Egyptian game you can play.

Another section, surrounded by massive projections about the Ancient Egyptian gods and how they would usher Tut into the afterlife, depicts his sarcophogus and uncovers each layer one by one. Then, into a long hallway with pillars, you explore aspects of Ancient Egyptian burial from mummification to how one is ushered into the afterlife. Finally, you end the hour-long exhibit in a massive room with five huge screens (one of them is the sail of a long wooden boat—what the Ancient Egyptians would ride on the Nile to the afterlife) that plays three 25-minute-long videos.

Those who purchase VIP tickets can see the award-winning “Tutankhamun: Enter the Tomb” VR companion experience voiced by lauded English actor Hugh Bonneville. We checked this and found it to be pretty cool and just another way to feel like you’re in Tut’s tomb.

Beyond King Tut immersive experience
Photograph: Shaye Weaver/Time Out New York
Beyond King Tut immersive experience
Photograph: Shaye Weaver/Time Out New York

The show is from the same team behind “Beyond Van Gogh” which is not to be confused with last year’s “Immersive Van Gogh” or “Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience,” and is in the same space as the Van Gogh Show at Pier 36.

The show is produced by Paquin Entertainment Group in association with Immersive and the National Geographic Society.

“Beyond King Tut will be a must-see for anyone interested in Egypt and the history of King Tut,” said Kathryn Keane, vice president of public programming for the National Geographic Society. “New technologies are making it possible to fully immerse people like never before in important stories from our past, allowing us to develop connections and understand history’s influence on our present and future generations.”

Timed tickets to “Beyond King Tut,” which opens October 28 at Pier 36, must be bought in advance at beyondkingtut.com and start at $47 for adults and $34 for children ages 5-15 (including ticketing fees). VIP Tickets include a flexible entry time, merchandise and the VIP experience.

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