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Let’s be honest: people are always looking for fun, new, trendy activities to do. Especially in Orange County, popular choices like going to Disneyland, relaxing at the beach, or going to an Angels’ game can sometimes get old really quick, so it’s no wonder why people jump at the first chance to engage in the latest fad.
One of the hottest trends that has caught on over the last few years is the escape room, a unique, immersive adventure where participants are locked in a room and need to utilize their critical thinking skills to solve various puzzles and riddles in order to accomplish a goal. Whether the goal is to actually “escape the room” or complete a certain challenge, escape rooms provide the ultimate team building experience for families, friends, and companies.
Over the course of my experience at Brainy Actz and this industry as a whole (from being a host to working in pr, sales, and marketing), I’ve been in the middle of many different types of situations. To make things clear, I’ve taken the liberty to jot down 10 of the most frequently asked questions and provide more detailed explanations:
1. What is the cost to participate in an escape room?
Typically, the standard entry price across the escape room industry is $30 per person. Now this does vary from company to company, but it depends on the quality as well as the quantity of experiences provided.
Note: I’m not saying that doing an escape room is cheap or expensive, but let’s put it in perspective, shall we? Here’s a comparison chart of a few trendy activities to do in Orange County:
Not really going to break the bank, right?
2. I’m looking to kill some time. Do you allow walk-ins?
Usually, one would need to make a reservation in advance in order to participate in an escape room experience. Don’t get us wrong – we’d absolutely love to accommodate each and every person that walks through our door, but sometimes our hands are tied. Certain days are busier than others, but it’d probably be best to at least call in advance and see if there’s any immediate availability so that you can be accommodated.
3. How long is the experience? Will I be locked in for all eternity if I fail to complete the challenge?
1 hour and yes. Yes, you will…
Just kidding. I only tell people that if I feel they can handle a joke.
No? Alright then, moving on…
4. Am I actually locked in the room?
This is actually a question I get quite often. Even though this is escape room, you’re not actually “locked” in the room itself. It’s mainly due to safety reasons, but if you absolutely need to leave, then you’re free to do so at any time during the experience. We just like to engage you in the scenario and make it seem like you’re really transported in a specific world where you need to solve various puzzles and riddles in order to escape the room or accomplish a set goal.
5. Is there an age limit? Are your rooms appropriate for kids?
Depending on the theme of the escape room, there could be an age limit and therefore may not be appropriate for children under certain ages. For example, a murder-type escape room would not be suitable for kids.
Contrastingly, at Brainy Actz, we don’t have an age limit for our rooms because they’re all kid-friendly and don’t contain any sensitive/controversial material. We understand that children love games and it’d be unfair to exclude them from participating in our escape room challenges.
6. Is there a minimum/maximum number of players?
This again varies from company to company, but from what I’ve seen, the standard group size is for 2-6 people. If you’re planning on trying one out for the first time, I recommend going with a group of 4 so that there’s enough puzzles to work on and everyone feels like they can contribute.
It’s important to remember that having a small or big group doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll be successful in the escape room. It depends on how well you and your group communicate, and how adept you are at critical thinking and problem solving.
7. What is your refund/cancellation policy?
It is an escape room standard to enforce a “no refund” policy. This is to prevent any last minute cancellations/no shows (without good reason, of course), which robs other potential groups of making a reservation during the same time slot. Cancellation policies are usually stringent on notices anywhere from 24-72 hours in advance, however, you might want to contact the escape room to clarify.
8. Will I be paired with strangers?
Unless specified, if your respective group does not meet the maximum number of slots available, then there is a chance that your group would be paired with strangers. Some escape rooms do provide only private experiences, however, policies vary from place to place. It is highly recommended to call in advance to see if you’re being paired with other people.
Keep in mind: this is a team building exercise and it’s designed for you to work with other people, not just friends, family, or coworkers. So…is it really that bad to be paired with strangers?
9. How often do you change out your themes?
Certain companies may change out their themes from time to time or they may keep the same themes entirely. Every escape room is run differently and it’s up to management to decide how they want to run their operations.
At Brainy Actz, we try to swap out our themes every 4 months or so. That way, it keeps the experience fresh and allows our customer base to return to experience our new rooms. We take pride in creating unique adventures and hope to keep building upon our previous themes.
10. Can you accommodate special events?
Here’s the kicker: this is probably the most frequently asked question I’ve gotten in the last year and some change. Special events have become a big thing at certain fun and entertainment establishments, including escape rooms, so again, this varies from escape room to escape room.
As Orange County’s largest escape room, we’ve hosted many special events from birthday parties, company outings, date nights, and more! We strive to make any special accommodations for any special event you’re planning.