Universal Orlando Resort just opened the Jurassic World VelociCoaster last year, and the thrill ride is getting rave reviews as one of the best coasters in Florida. However, not everybody loves roller coasters, so if you’re interested in a more cerebral experience Universal may be looking to get you covered as well. It sounds like there is a plan to open escape rooms in the Universal Orlando CityWalk, that will include experiences themed after both Jurassic World and Back to the Future.
According to the rumor, first reported by UPNT, and confirmed by Orlando Park Stop’s Alicia Stella, the plan is to build the escape rooms in the area of the Universal CityWalk previously occupied by The Groove dance club. Construction walls were placed around the location at the end of last year, and the signage for the club was removed shortly after, signifying The Groove was done, but what was going in its place was unclear until now.
This is 100% true. https://t.co/zk9WoDYXlpFebruary 16, 2022
Escape rooms were becoming incredibly popular entertainment pre-pandemic and had sprung up all over the country. While details vary from location to location, a group of people is “locked” into a room, or a series of rooms, and is presented with a series of puzzles that must be solved within a limited time in order to find the way out. Escape rooms branded to certain popular IP have shown up from time to time, and following the pandemic even virtual escape rooms have become popular, but this is the first that we’ve seen of a major theme park leveraging its brands for a standalone escape room experience.
Just like making a really impressive roller coaster, a Jurassic World roller coaster can add something special to that experience, giving an escape room a story connected to Jurassic World or Back to the Future can also add something to that experience that guests can’t get elsewhere. One can easily imagine a Jurassic World escape room where dinosaurs have you cornered in a room and you must find a way to escape before they break in.
It’s unclear from the reports if Universal Orlando Resort is actually designing these escape rooms or if it's working with a third party and just licensing the IP. Either way, we could have a pretty high end escape room experience depending on the level of Universal’s involvement. Imagine actual animatronic dinosaurs that looked to be trying to break in during your attempt to escape. Will they hire Christopher Lloyd to do Doc Brown voice over for your Back to the Future escape room?
There are some interesting logistical questions to be considered. Escape rooms have a fairly low capacity compared to other attractions, and with the number of people who might want to do this, demand could be quite high. But depending on the size of the rooms we could see multiple identical rooms built in each theme to accommodate everybody.
If this is successful, one has to wonder if the competition over at Disney might want to try something similar. The company certainly has the IP. Who wouldn’t love a Star Wars themed escape room? It also has empty space, following the closing of The Void VR locations, which were not unlike escape rooms in their own way. Not to mention the massive, and completely empty NBA Experience building at Disney Springs in Orlando. You could build a few escape rooms in there.
There’s no indication how quickly we could see these escape rooms, but there’s plenty of exciting stuff on the way to Universal Parks in 2022 to keep us busy until then.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.