The Great Movie Escape is Universal Studios Orlando‘s newest project: two escape rooms, a Jurassic World escape room and another based on Back to the Future. Jurassic Park is one Universal’s most famous and popular franchises. With the recent release of the third Jurassic World movie, Dominion, it makes sense that Universal would capitalize on the hype. The Universal theme parks have also recently been making some incredible attractions themed around the Jurassic Park universe, such as the Velocicoaster. There are some high hopes for this new escape room, especially since it is being designed by the team behind Halloween Horror Nights.
Here at the Escape Effect, we know escape rooms; all four of our rooms are made by our in-house team. So when Universal made this announcement, we asked ourselves, what will this Jurassic World escape room be like? At the time of writing, all we really have to go off of is the promotional image and a few lines of description in the official press release.
Let’s get into the many possibilities.
Public or private games?
Our games at the Escape Effect are all private. This means that, when you book a room, it is guaranteed that the only people you play with are the people in your personal group. But this isn’t the case everywhere. At some escape rooms, if you don’t have enough people to fill up all the spots, you could be placed with strangers or be required to pay for the remaining slots to make the experience private. Universal is most likely going to be a public experience. After all, being in the high-trafficked CityWalk, they are likely going to want to push as many people through the room as possible, and allowing guests to experience it with strangers is one of the most effective ways to do that.
If getting lots of people through the room is the business goal, then there is also a chance that it will run like the SAW Escape Room experience in Las Vegas, where guests keep moving from room to room. Jurassic World is a theme that could work with that style of escape experience. After all, both the original movie series and Jurassic World involve lots of running away from dinosaurs! The developers of Halloween Horror Nights haunted houses have made experiences that flow well from one room to the next. There’s no doubt that, if they go this route for the escape room, that it’ll be a smooth experience.
Design and story elements
There are lots of different directions that the story could take for the Jurassic World escape room. The beginning of the series focused on a dinosaur theme park experience and everything that goes wrong, while the most recent installment, Dominion, deals with dinosaurs that are loose in the rest of the world. Based on the press release and promotional art, it looks like this room will take inspiration from the first movie, Jurassic World, when the dinosaur park still existed.
The setting of the movie is a massive theme park, but the Jurassic World escape room is more likely to focus on a smaller part of it. Escape rooms are time-based, so having a limited area, such as the Innovation Center, would make a great set-up for the experience. It might include other areas, like one of the dinosaur enclosures that you need to escape from. you could take on the role of either park guests or park employees when you are trapped in a dinosaur enclosure. In the press release, Universal called the rooms “state-of-the-art missions” with “captivating storytelling” so it seems likely that such a “mission” would have a set goal such as escaping from or recapturing dinosaurs.
Gameplay and puzzles
With a set goal and possible story in place, what’s left to speculate about this new escape room but the actual gameplay itself? Escape rooms can be quite varied in their style, from linear lock-opening experiences to solving a murder mystery to non-linear ghost hunts. This Jurassic World escape room is most likely going to be linear, in order to make it easier to guide groups through and reset after they are done. Or maybe the resets will be automated (an idea that gets us excited as builders)! It is also going to be “multi-sensory” according to the press release, which implies that the puzzles and activities in the room itself are going to be more than just opening letter or directional locks.
Based on some of the events in both Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, there could be a puzzle that deals with getting power restored, since that is often the catalyst to problems in the movies. A puzzle like that could involve flipping switches in a specific pattern or connecting wires in the right way. There may also be a puzzle to open a breaker box in order to access the power switches.
Another puzzle could be a technology-based puzzle focus on genetics, since one of the most important dinosaurs in Jurassic World is the Indominus rex, which was created through genetic splicing. Even in the original Jurassic Park, there was a focus on the genetic science that allowed the dinosaurs to be brought back in the first place. Having a puzzle that requires you to splice together your own genome or read some kind of genetic code would be quite on theme.
If the room is very ambitious, there could even be a driving puzzle, especially if the setting is in multiple areas of the park rather than just one dinosaur enclosure. After all, some of the most iconic moments from the films involve driving either a park jeep or another kind of vehicle like a motorcycle. It would be quite impressive and immersive if this room simulated those scenes while also integrating a puzzle element.
It’s hard to speculate on how difficult the puzzles are going to be. If Universal’s goal is to ensure that everyone gets through the room and enjoys the experience, they may choose to make the puzzles simple even if they are technically impressive. It’s going to be an “escape adventure,” to quote the press release, so it probably won’t exactly mimic the difficulty and stakes of an escape room you would play elsewhere.
A waiting game
More announcements about The Great Movie Escape will likely come out soon, and you can bet we’ll be eagerly awaiting the news. Unfortunately, we won’t know whether any of our predictions are correct until the Jurassic World escape room actually opens later this year.
While you wait for a chance to play Universal’s escape rooms, now is a good chance to try another escape room in the Orlando area. If you’ve never played one before, it’ll be good practice for when The Great Movie Escape opens up. You can also re-watch the Jurassic Park or Jurassic World movies and study them—just in case you end up getting chased by a dinosaur!