6 Things to Know Before You Visit Candytopia
Candytopia is open in San Francisco, and we got an early look at the city's latest sugar-fueled Insta-ready experience this week. Much like Color Factory and Museum of Ice Cream before it, the space is bright, shiny, and filled with jumpsuit-clad helpers who are ready to cheerfully take photos on your phone. There's confetti, a "marshmallow" pool, and a surprisingly beautiful candy-filled sea inside, plus enough free sweets to last you until Halloween. Here's what you need to know before you go.
Candytopia set up shop inside the former Neiman Marcus Last Call Studio (767 Market Street), which you might remember just closed in July. That's not enough time for a full build-out in the space. Designers added bright lights on top of the existing store track lighting, jazzed up the escalator with neon, and mostly used paper backdrops and decals to cover white walls and concrete floors. Of the rooms, the library where you enter the tour and the candy portrait gallery are the best executed. Several of the other spaces feel a bit rushed, though the sea of candy was impressive.
Candytopia feels similar to the unconventional materials challenge on Project Runway. The paintings and sculptures throughout the installation are rendered in candy, and it's fun to see and touch the final product. The best detail within the tour is the placards detailing how many pieces of candy were used, and how many hours it took to make each piece of art.
It's harsh. Of all of these photo-friendly experiences, Color Factory and 29Rooms have offered the best lighting. If you decide to use portrait mode on your phone, the bright lights in Candytopia are useful, and they work well in certain installations, like the cloud scene. Generally, the angles and overhead lighting are tough to work with, and cast a lot of shadows. But, if you're taking photos with the overhead cameras built into the experience, those lights are amazing.
Lindor truffles, Pixi Sticks, Nestle Crunch: Candytopia doesn't pander to local tastes, but there's plenty of childhood nostalgia inside. Expect some kind of reward for making your way to each of the twelve rooms in the experience. And if you don't get your sugar fix with freebies, you can always buy more at the Candytopia gift shop.
If you want to use the mounted cameras within Candytopia for perfectly-positioned photos, you'll need the app, which you can also download on site. Scan your QR code from the app to activate the ceiling-mounted cameras.
Because Candytopia is located on Market Street, you can't actually take a car directly to or from the front door. To make ride sharing easier, set St. Patrick's Catholic Church or Beard Papa's on Mission as your drop off/pick up point, then walk along Yerba Buena Lane to Market Street. If you're taking Muni trains, you'll either want the Powell or Montgomery stops.
Can't wait for your visit to Candytopia? Tickets, ($34 for adults), are still available.