We Visited WcDonald's Immersive Dining Experience, And It Turns McDonald's Upside-Down

Anime fans, listen up: McDonald's is giving its iconic golden arches a trendy makeover inspired by Japanese pop culture. For decades, the global franchise has been called "WcDonalds" in countless graphic novels, shows, and video games, with the name first appearing in the manga and anime franchise "Cat's Eye" in 1981. Now, the fast food chain is embracing its fictional doppelgänger and promoting it as a part of a bold and extensive anime-themed marketing campaign.

In a press release, Tariq Hassan, Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer at McDonald's USA, says, "Anime is a huge part of today's culture, and we love that our fans have been inviting us into the conversation for years."

Beginning February 26, McDonald's will invert its "M" and adopt the moniker WcDonald's, paying homage to the fictional fast-food chain regularly featured in anime and manga. The company's promotion involves four initiatives: limited edition manga-inspired packaging, four original anime shorts, a new savory chili dipping sauce, and an immersive dining experience.

We got an exclusive invite to preview WcDonald's immersive anime-inspired experience in Los Angeles and taste the brand's new dipping sauce, a limited-time offering. Read on to learn all the details of the global behemoth's new and hugely creative campaign that moves easily from fiction to real life.

What is WcDonald's Immersive Dining Experience?

On March 9-10, guests can immerse themselves in a multi-sensory dining experience in the first-ever IRL WcDonald's. The groundbreaking event will take place at a pop-up space located in the heart of West Hollywood at 8505 Santa Monica Blvd. Attendees will embark on a journey into the WcDonald's universe, surrounded by projections inspired by the four anime shorts commissioned for this project.

Not only is the experience a visual and sensory spectacle that transports diners into the dynamic world depicted in anime, but it's also a feast for the taste buds. Throughout the experience, guests will savor a curated menu featuring an array of WcDonald's signature food items, including the new, limited-time offering Savory Chili WcDonald's Sauce. To secure a coveted spot at this event, fans can make reservations via OpenTable beginning on February 28 by searching for "WcDonald's Immersive Dining Experience" on the OpenTable app or website.

What did we think of WcDonald's Immersive Dining Experience?

To summarize the experience: McDonald's transported us to a magical place we could have only imagined. The 360-degree screen show and tabletop projections were technically impressive, captivating, otherworldly, and magical. We particularly loved the interactive nature of the show, which got the crowd super excited and hyped. It was clear that everyone was fully engaged and there to have fun as we all went on a fast-moving, high-flying journey into anime space. We don't want to give anything away, but there's mystery, surprises, and even a monster.

As the show progressed, we were served by a brigade of WcDonald's staff who treated us to giant cups of ice-cold Sprite, 10-piece boxes of Chicken McNuggets, large fries, and copious amounts of the new Savory Chili WcDonald's Sauce. To top it all off, we were handed an Oreo McFlurry at the show's end.

McDonald's has developed a whip-smart marketing campaign that appeals to a younger audience obsessed with all things anime, creating a deep connection with their fans. Our final thoughts? The "W" in WcDonald's stands for a big 'ol win.

What is in the new Savory Chili WcDonald's Sauce?

McDonald's has unleashed a culinary sensation with its newest creation, the Savory Chili WcDonald's Sauce. It's made primarily with a blend of water, sugar, corn syrup, vinegar, brown sugar, modified corn starch, and salt. According to the company's website, the sauce boasts "fiery warmth of ginger [and] lingering umami from garlic and soy sauce with a little punch of heat from chili flakes." It's a bold departure from its current lineup of condiments, helping distinguish it from the usual offerings in the realm of fast-food sauces.

The new chili sauce is currently available at participating McDonald's for a limited time while supplies last. It is available with an order of Chicken McNuggets (any size) and can also be ordered a la carte from the condiments menu. Curious about its nutritional profile? The new sauce clocks in at 50 calories per container. In comparison, Sweet 'N Sour has 50 calories, Tangy Barbeque has 45 calories, and Honey Mustard has 60 calories.

What does the new Savory Chili WcDonald's Sauce taste like?

The new WcDonald's chili sauce comes in a rosy red cup with a peelable shimmery gold covering. This eye-catching presentation gives it a touch of allure tailored for the anime universe. The sauce is translucent with a captivating orange hue and dark specks of chili, and the consistency is a bit sticky. At first taste, the sauce packs a tangy punch, followed by notes of ginger and soy, with a noticeable hit of heat from the chili flakes. While there's a subtle sweetness, the predominant taste leans towards tang and spice, reminiscent of teriyaki sauce.

According to the company, the Savory Chili WcDonald's Sauce reflects "the bold, dynamic spirit of your favorite anime heroes." After having tasted it, we wholeheartedly agree. McDonald's new dipping sauce is savory, distinct, and full of flavor that lingers on the palate. Some may find the tanginess a bit strong and the combination of tastes overwhelming, but we thought it was exciting and fresh. Is it sweet, sour, spicy, salty? Well, it's all of those things, so be prepared.