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Davis Journal

Enter a world of dragons at Unwordly

Jun 06, 2024 09:41AM ● By Braden Nelsen
The crew for Dragon Fest at Unworldy: (L to R) Maxwell Hornbeck, Jaylee Bouwhuis, Troy Larson, Tonya Thomas, Jesse Zeliff, and Dani Hatch.

The crew for Dragon Fest at Unworldy: (L to R) Maxwell Hornbeck, Jaylee Bouwhuis, Troy Larson, Tonya Thomas, Jesse Zeliff, and Dani Hatch.

LAYTON—It seems like the one constant throughout all fantasy series is the existence, and sometimes danger posed by dragons. Whether it’s “The Lord of the Rings,” “Harry Potter” or any of the other thousands of fantasy stories, the winged, fire-breathing reptiles are a favorite amongst wizards, hobbits, knights and chosen ones, but they’ve always been a little unattainable, and out of reach. The people at Unworldly, however, are changing that.

Davis Journal readers will remember reading about Unworldly, a one-of-a-kind special effects exhibit in the Layton Hills Mall (April 26 edition). While the exhibit remains, keeping intact some of the amazing effects and behind-the-scenes looks of before, there has been a veritable transformation. Instead of a static look at special effects, this summer, guests will be treated to an immersive experience, plunging them into the world of dragons as part of Dragon Season.

Stepping through the door, guests enter the world of “Aethelweld,” where dragons aren’t only real, but you can actually meet them in the flesh, and, should the mood strike, give them a pat on the head, or scratch under the chin. The staff at Unworldly has developed a rich and complex mythology that presenters deliver, in character to the groups that pass through. 

From representatives of the different dragon-centric clans, guests learn about dragon battles, breeding and rearing, and even the excavation of a mysterious and ancient dragon that seems to be on the minds of each different clan. It’s an amazingly in-depth storyline that has been in the works for quite some time now.

Troy Larson, special effects master and owner of the exhibit started developing the mythos behind Dragon Season while working at the now-defunct Evermore Park. Larson had put time and effort into creating storylines, names, and backstories for characters and creatures that either had an extremely short run or never saw the light of day. Now, at Unworldly, these storylines, characters and mythology have another chance.

While the focus this summer will be on dragons and those who love (or fear) them, those interested in the special effects side of things, the horror costumes and effects built by Larson, Dani Hatch and their team, are still available to view upon request. It’s a fantastic opportunity for dragon enthusiasts, and special effects lovers alike.

DragonSeason has just begun but will run through July, concluding on Aug. 3, and while the tour comes with a fee, there are still free offerings, including a dragon trainer story time, Saturdays at noon. More information on Dragon Season, and other events hosted by Unwordly, can be found at