As many of you know, I am a huge fan of interactive attractions. In the age of constantly being connected with technology through iPhones and video games, the public seems to crave these new types of experiences. Luckily, I got to be one of the first to experience a new attraction in Orlando last weekend called The Great Escape Room.
Located at 23 1/2 Magnolia Avenue (the half is seriously part of their address) in Downtown Orlando, this attraction is a hidden gem just a few steps away from the Orlando Public Library in what used to be a small series of offices located on the second floor of a bar.
The premise is fairly simple; it seems that Sherlock Holmes needs a hand solving his latest mystery. In order to become his assistants, he has devised a series of puzzles for us to solve in order to prove that we are worthy of being the next Watson. However, there is a catch.
Groups of up to 10 people are locked in a room together and are tasked with solving a series of four extremely intricate puzzles. The clues to solve them are literally hidden all over this room and every inch must be turned inside out in order to find all the clues to solving the puzzles.
Your group will have exactly one hour to try find all the clues and solve each of the four puzzles. Once each one is solved, it leads to a lock box that contains tools and information on how to escape the room. All four puzzles must be solved in order to get out.
While The Great Escape Room may not be as high tech or elaborate as other attractions in Orlando, it’s intense, challenging and exhilarating. Easily the best time I have had at an Orlando attraction in years. It’s also important to note that you can definitely fall short and not escape the room in time. The group I was with was insanely close and if we had an extra two or three minutes, I think we would escaped!
I have been asked by a few friends already for some hints, so here goes…. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is go with a group of people. There is no way you’ll solve all four puzzles and escape the room within one hour with just two people. There’s too much to do. When you book through TheGreatEscapeRoom.com you can see how many other people have signed up for a particular time slot. If you are only two people, look for slots that have six or more people signed up already. It will make for a much better experience and your chances of solving everything and escaping increase dramatically. Finally, don’t be afraid to mix in with people you don’t know. It honestly helps to connect with complete strangers who may have problem solving skills that your friends or family don’t have. The group I was with over the weekend ranged from a 12-year-old all the way up to about 40 and everywhere in-between. Despite the age differences, everyone in that locked room brought a different puzzle solving skill to the table. If there is a downside to The Great Escape Room, it’s once you do solve the puzzles and escape within one hour (and it’s totally possible that you do), there is no need to go back. However, they are planning on changing out the puzzles every three months or so in addition to having themed event nights such as a Halloween-themed puzzles, thus bringing new challenges and a reason for amateur sleuths to return.
Personally, I will definitely be back once that happens. I had a great time and would love to come back and try my hand at another set of challenges. For more information visit TheGreatEscapeRoom.com! Make sure to follow Theme Park University on Twitter and like our Facebook Page!