Amazon’s SDCC Activation Takes You Into Carnival Row

Danielle Radford
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San Diego Comic-Con is in full swing, with several off-site activations to get you pumped for new and returning projects.

One of the most notable among these experiences this year is Amazon’s activation, which features the upcoming series Carnival Row (starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne), along with the returning The Expanse, and new series The Boys.

Fandom paid a visit to the activation and found there was plenty to see.

Creature Feature

The Carnival Row experience at Amazon's San Diego Comic-Con Activation.

The Carnival Row experience takes you through the neo-Victorian world of the actual Carnival Row, while introducing the fantastical elments you’ll find in the series. We were handed a card indicating whether we were creatures or humans and then led into a magical farmer’s market. Actors playing various in-world characters reacted to each person’s designation. Cops really do not like creatures, but creatures will protect you from cops.

At one point, the creature actors ushered us into a parlor with low lights, a comfy settee and a (booze-less) bar – the experience is 18+, not 21+ after all. We were repeatedly assured that everyone is treated fairly, even the fairies. They’s a big focus on the beauty of creature/human love, including showing off a peephole where you can view scenes from the show.

The Carnival Row experience at Amazon's San Diego Comic-Con Activation.

The activation included two short live performances. The first was a creature cabaret singer belting out a balled and the second featured a fairy “burlesque” dancer – it’s risqué, but the only thing that came off was a robe.

To finish off the Carnival Row portion of the activation, a woman carrying a stolen flag ran into the space, followed by coppers that shut the party down.

You can get an expanded look at the world of Carnival Row when the series premieres August 30th on Amazon.

Bad Boys and Bad Lands

After you move through the world of Carnival Row, you can also check out The Boys and The Expanse. The Boys, also 18+, is as TVMA as the show promises to be. Characters playing loose associates of the lead characters take you through a crime scene, where the audience is tasked with finding clues to what happened.

The Boys experience at Amazon's San Diego Comic-Con Activation.

The Expanse took us to a planet where several factions are trying to lay claim. After separating us into groups, each group listens to an interrogation of a witness to a crime. There is some walking on red dirt, so maybe wearing nice shoes is a mistake.

There are a lot of lounging areas. In the center is a glowing tower with performances for each of the three shows. The tower is in an open area, so we were able to watch it with no separate line.

Don’t Be Shy

Each experience is roughly 15 minuntes long. If you’re here at San Diego Comic-Con, factor in the line to get into the Amazon space and lines to get into each individual activation, as it could take a good chunk of time to get the full experience.

The Carnival Row experience at Amazon's San Diego Comic-Con Activation.

If you love immersive interaction and the feeling of moving through a TV series come to life, this is likely for you, SDCC attendees!

Danielle Radford