Are You Up for the Challenge?
Antidote is one of seven themed rooms at Escapology.
Imagine that you are locked in a room with a series of clues to help you get out. You have a limited amount of time to accomplish this feat, and time is running out. Is it frustrating, unnerving or fun? Are you in The Twilight Zone? No, you are experiencing the newest interactive game sweeping the globe. You are at Escapology.
Escapology, the winner of a 2016 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award, is housed in a building at 11951 International Drive in Orlando. There are seven different themed rooms in which to play. They are titled: Antidote, Arizona Shootout, Budapest Express, Th3 C0d3, Cuban Crisis, Shanghaied and, the newest game, Under Pressure. You can pretty much figure out the theme of the game from the name, except, maybe Under Pressure, where you are onboard a World War II U.S. Navy submarine. A segment of a sub is housed in one of the escape rooms. Each group of two to six participants is assigned a game master to guide them through the clues and puzzles. They have 60 minutes to solve the mystery and escape.
“Escapology has [proven] to be a success beyond my wildest dreams,” said Simon Davison, chief escapologist.
The original Escapology was conceived and birthed on I-Drive in Orlando. Now there are 11 locations around the world, including sites in Las Vegas; Austin, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; San Diego; and Guayaquil and Samborondón, Ecuador. Twenty-five more are slated to open soon, with six in Florida alone.
Couples, teams of employees and groups of friends all book a room for an enjoyable, yet challenging, experience.
“People seem to have an incredible amount of fun and just keep coming back for more,” Davison said.
Each time, they try a different room, which Davison and his group of writers continue to design.
“We offer a challenging, immersive and interactive experience, where people generally feel that they are part of the story.”
Special storylines can be written to suit a particular occasion, like getting engaged. Davison said that most marriage proposals take place on the romantic trans-European Budapest Express, where it is the winter of 1931 and a murder occurs. Having a romantic setting leaves plenty of opportunity for a special something to take place. The difficulty rating to complete this game is 8.8.
Currently, Cuban Crisis is the most requested and played escape room game. Its story is based on President John F. Kennedy and the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The Soviet Union, under Premier Nikita Khrushchev, has strategically assigned ballistic nuclear missiles to the Cuban territory with approval from the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro. As an adviser to the president, you must help decide whether or not to invade Cuba. This game has a 7.5 difficulty rating.
Perhaps the easiest game to choose, rated at 6.9, is Antidote. In this room you find yourself in an abandoned Nevada desert laboratory, and the year is 2015. You and your team are tasked with finding the only known antidote to virus TS-51 before it gets passed into enemy hands.
Davison believes the challenges are not really frustrating, because a great deal of laughter occurs during the experience. Many business corporations use Escapology for team-building exercises. Even though some of the teams don’t complete the mystery in the time allotted, they still have a lot of fun. On the plus side, teams learn to communicate and trust the members of their group.
“The groups are hugely relieved when they manage to escape their room,” Davison said. “It is hilarious to hear the screams of excitement coming from the lobby.”
Escapology’s hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from noon-11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-midnight, and Sunday from 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Once you have experienced Escapology, you are invited to write about it on www.twitter.com/escapologyorl or www.facebook.com/escapologyorlando. Pictures can be posted at www.instagram.com/escapologyorl.
Isn’t it time to exercise your brain and have fun?
For more information about Escapology, call 407-278-1515 or visit www.escapology.com. A discount coupon can be found online. 💓