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Everything You Need to Know About Universal's Great Movie Escape

by Leap on March 4, 2023 2 Orlando

Universal's Great Movie Escape - PinterestUniversal CityWalk at Universal Orlando Resort is called "The Epicenter of Awesome" for a reason. Complete with a delicious array of restaurants, a wide variety of specialty shops and unfrogettable family entertainment, it's not uncommon to just spend a whole day here before, after or in-between long days at the parks. Well, CityWalk just got even more awesome with the addition of Universal's Great Movie Escape, a one-of-a-kind escape room adventure that not only puts you right in the action of your favorite movies, but also your puzzle skills to the test in order to save the day. Ready to race against the clock? Then keep reading because I'm sharing everything you need to know about this epic experience. Hold on to your butts! This is about to get heavy ...

What is Universal's Great Movie Escape?

If you think this is your ordinary escape room, think again. Located on the second story of CityWalk in between Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food and Fat Tuesday, Universal's Great Movie Escape is an "escape adventure" themed after two of the biggest movie franchises in cinematic history, "Back to the Future" and "Jurassic World." Each experience features eight impressively themed rooms that contain challenging puzzles your team is tasked with solving.

Universal's Great Movie Escape - Back to the Future

"Back to the Future: OUTATIME" takes place in 1993 after the events of the third film. You and your team are guests at Doc Brown's Institute of Future Technology (a name that might sound familiar if you ever got the chance to go on Back to the Future: The Ride at Universal Studios Florida). There's no time for a tour, though. Doc and Marty's old nemesis, Biff Tannen, has stolen a new time travel device and — to no one's surprise — begun wreaking havoc on the timeline. Great Scott! It's up to you to travel through time and make right what's gone horribly wrong. From the wild Old West to the infamous Enchantment Under the Sea Dance to a dystopian "Biff-ified" future, your literal race against time will take you to some of the film's most iconic settings and new locations just waiting to be explored!

Universal's Great Movie Escape - Jurassic World

"Jurassic World: Escape" dumps you straight into the events of the first "Jurassic World" film. What should've been an frogciting first day as geneticists-in-training at the prehistoric park turns into a living nightmare when the power goes out and a ferocious apex predator breaks loose. All professionals have been evacuated, so it's up to you and your team to help get the park guests to safety. From room to room, you'll find yourself splicing DNA, creating genetic codes, running security and, of course, running from big, hungry dinosaurs. Hope you're tech-savvy enough for this tablet-heavy task because every second counts. Life found a way. Can you?

What Should I Know Beforehand?

Slots sell out fast, so we highly recommend purchasing your tickets online before you arrive. Not only will you have to pick your escape experience, but you'll also decide whether you want to buy tickets individually or purchase a private experience for a group of up to eight people. For the individual tickets, groups are maxed out at six. If your party is below that number, you'll most likely be grouped with another party that's booked in the same time slot. (Private rooms are labeled: private.) Only then can you book your time slot. Prices vary depending on whether you choose a time before or after 6 p.m. but, regardless of your time slot, your ticket does include complimentary regular self-parking.

Universal's Great Movie Escape - Hoverboard Highball

Universal Orlando advises you to arrive 15 minutes prior to your time slot. That gives you time to check in, get to know your teammates, play a little movie trivia on the big screen, store your belongings in a locker ($5 each) if you desire, head to the restroom and grab a drink at one of the two lobby bars if you so choose. (I highly recommend the Hoverboard Highball ... either with or without vodka.) The art deco-style, theater-inspired lobby is incredibly relaxing with a bunch of plush armchairs and couches throughout to chill out on. There are even a few costumes and props from the films on display, as well as merchandise to purchase.

Universal's Great Movie Escape - Lobby

When your team is called, you'll head inside a private room to watch a brief safety video. It's here you're warned about strobe and fog effects, enclosed spaces, low lighting and loud noises. (The "Back to the Future" experience has one particularly ear-piercing sound in the second-to-last room that lasts for just a second.) You're also told that if you want to leave at any point during your experience, make an X with your arms above your head. A team member will see via their security cameras and escort you out. That being said, if you decide you want to exit, you can't re-enter. The experience lasts about an hour, so be sure to use the restroom beforehand.

Fortunately, you don't need to have seen any of the movies to know how to solve any of the puzzles, but fans of the films will undoubtedly be impressed by how incredibly every room immerses you in each cinematic world. The "Back to the Future" experience, particularly, is filled with iconic props, music, locations and even features a familiar voice. That being said, "Back to the Future" is more prop-based and full of both memory and lateral thinking puzzles, whereas "Jurassic World" is more screen-based and the tasks are a bit more intuitive and quicker to figure out. Oh, and if you're doing "Back to the Future," I highly suggest making sure at least one frog in your group knows how to work a rotary phone. (Tad stared at it like it was an abacus and begrudgingly passed that particular task off to me.)

Universal's Great Movie Escape - Costumes

Is It Worth It?

Mini-spoiler alert! Whenever you enter each room, you're given a puzzle. If you solve that puzzle in enough time, you're given another puzzle. If you don't, you'll hear an automated message saying whatever the problem is has been miraculously solved and the door will open to the next room. That being said, you will eventually escape. There also isn't a giant clock counting down your time. Suffice to say, if you're looking for a traditional escape room experience, you won't find it here.

What you will find is a completely Halloween Horror Nights-level immersive adventure that makes you the star of your favorite movies and challenges you intellectually! I would absolutely recommend checking out Universal's Great Movie Escape if you're looking for an hour or so to kill during your vacation or just a fun family activity when it's too hot outside for Hollywood Drive-In Golf! (Which, let's be real, is most of the year.) Frogs of any age and ability can participate — however, if you utilize an ECV, you must transfer to a standard wheelchair provided at check-in. Individual tickets start at $49.99 per frog and private rooms start at $300 per party. Pricing and availability vary depending on the time and date.

Universal's Great Movie Escape - Shot Glasses

Which experience at Universal's Great Movie Escape are you itching to try first? Let me know in the comments below!

Related: Our Favorite Reasons to Visit Universal Orlando Resort in Fall

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Mar 6, 2023 at 9:56 p.m. Leslie Ramey Says...

Might be fun to watch the tadpoles try to use a rotary phone for a minute. Lol! This sounds like a fun experience.

Mar 4, 2023 at 7:31 p.m. crystal Says...

"The bars — and the lobby in general — are open to frogs even without an escape room reservation." I went to Universal on January 23-28, 2023, and tried to go inside the great movie escape to purchase some merchandise and look around. But when I got to the front door I was turned away by security who said "Only people with reservations can come inside." If I wanted to buy the merchandise I had to go to the Universal Legacy store.

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