Escape Artists: Is it accessible? | Escape Room Review!
I’m originally from a small town in Pennsylvania where basically nothing ever happened and there was nothing fun nearby to do. Needless to say, I was pretty stoked when I moved to Florida. Suddenly I was so close to a city and tons of places to explore. When we got here, we had no idea what we’d be able to do, though. For years, we struggled to find accessible options for us. Most places don’t have any accessibility info, and the info that is available isn’t super dependable.
That’s why I’ve decided to start sharing my favorite accessible activities in the sunshine state! If you live in the area or are thinking of visiting, hopefully, I’ll help you find some new places to check out!
I’m kicking off this series with a place I just recently visited – Escape Artists! I’ve been dying to try an escape room. It was my best friend, Lexi’s, birthday last week so we decided to go for it!
It’s located in Sanford, which is about a half hour or so from Orlando. Sanford has a cute little downtown area with a riverwalk that’s super close to Escape Artists, too. So there’s plenty to do nearby once you finish playing the game.
There are no steps to get in and I had no problems fitting through any of the doorways. There isn’t a button to open the door automatically, but nothing in the downtown Sanford area really does so I wasn’t expecting it. The waiting room is pretty small, but there was enough room for both my brother and me to comfortably get around. Side note, I didn’t think to check the bathrooms, but I didn’t have problems anywhere else so I’m hoping that’s the case for the bathrooms as well.
We booked in advance, which I recommend if you’re going with a group. I wasn’t sure how much my brother and I would be able to participate, so I emailed them before paying and they responded super quickly. Everyone I spoke with was really helpful and friendly! When we came in we confirmed our group and we all had to sign waivers. They used small tablets and I had to have my friend hold it for me because I couldn’t pull up to the counter. It wasn’t a big deal, though, and I’m sure the staff members would be willing to help you out if necessary.
The games last one hour and range in price from around $29 – $39 per person.
Escape Artists has four different games, and the one we were recommended and played is called Cat Burglar. We asked about the others before we left. Rest Easy Motel is an option for wheelchair users but they told us there’s a part of the game that isn’t accessible. I’m not sure what all that entails since they can’t give away much without spoiling the game, but it’s something to consider. The other two games, Protocol Zero and Secret Society, are too small for wheelchairs.
I won’t share any spoilers, but I have quite a bit to talk about here! So, when you enter the room, you go over the rules with whoever is running the game. They play a couple videos to explain your game, ask if you have any questions, and then they start the clock. You’re not actually locked in, so if you ever need to leave, you’re free to go but the clock never stops.
One thing I wasn’t expecting was how dark it was. We had to use little flashlights, and even with them, there were a couple times I had a hard time seeing things. If you have difficulties in low light, this might not be for you. Also, there wasn’t braille for anything so that’s something to keep in mind as well.
You’re able to get hints throughout the game by using a walkie talkie and if they see you struggling for a long time, they might send you one randomly. Some of them appeared on a tv and one we got over an intercom. If you’re deaf or HoH, you might miss if they send you a hint without you asking since sound signals you to check the tv.
Technically, the game was accessible, but if I’m being honest, it definitely wasn’t as accessible as I had hoped. You’re given a whiteboard to help you keep track of clues, but it was hanging way too high for anyone in a wheelchair to use. There were a few things that were too high or in an area we couldn’t easily get close enough to see, but not many.
It’s a pretty physical game. You have to pick things up, move things around, use keys and locks, reach up high and low. I knew this would be the case. But, I had hoped there’d be at least a few things I could do myself. I do have significantly limited arm strength and mobility, though, so you might not have the same problem. There was a lot at the right height for someone in a wheelchair, so that gives me hope for others!
All that being said, I was definitely still able to participate. My brother and I focused on suggesting ideas and helping to solve the clues, which is equally important! As long as you go with a good group who will let you play to your own strengths and include you, you can still have a really fun time – even if you never touch a single item in the room.
The room itself was pretty small, but doable. There was enough space for my brother and me – and our chairs need a decent amount of room to maneuver. I was a little nervous about this, so it was a pleasant surprise! I don’t know how well it would’ve worked with a third wheelchair in the room, though. It could probably (maybe) be done, but it’d be cramped for sure.
The game itself was so clever. There were a few reveals that had us yelling, and it’s so exciting when you figure something out. I loved that it was an actual challenge. To be fair we weren’t great at it, but I think you’d still enjoy it even if you’re way better than my team was. We got pretty close to the end and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I’m dying to go back and for a redo. We had a handful of clues that I still can’t imagine what they mean. I gotta know!
I really enjoyed this escape room, even though we sadly failed to escape. While my brother and I needed a lot of help to be able to play, we were still able to participate and have fun. I know that it looks like I had a lot of complaints, but I can’t make this clear enough: we all genuinely loved it! There were quite a few things that I noticed that could be improved, accessibility wise. But all things considered, I feel like Escape Artists has done a really great job. We’re already talking about going back to try the other accessible room (or maybe the same one again). If you’re looking for something to do on a hot or rainy afternoon, I’d absolutely recommend Escape Artists!