ODDITIES – Jurassic Planet at the LA County Fair – CA


I’ve never been particularly interested in dinosaurs, but I heard about Jurassic Planet and my curiosity got the best of me. I’m glad it did. 

For only a small $5 up charge to your fair admisssion you can walk among 40 life sized realistic animatronic dinosaurs. It pretty darn cool! I know they aren’t actually real dinosaurs (except for a few live creatures on display such as an emu, alligator and tortoise), but they seem pretty real if you let your imagination run wild. I found myself wanting to pet them and at one point talking in “baby talk” to a few adorable animatronic baby dinos. 

I really enjoyed Jurrasic Planet and wanted to share it here. I also recorded a bit of my experience which you can watch from YouTube below. 

2016 EVENTS ATTENDED DURING HAUNT SEASON

I love going to haunts and Halloween themed events all year, but I go a little crazy during haunt season (late September through early November). Here is a list of the events and haunts I attended in 2016 in no particular order.

SOCAL HAUNTS:

The Tension Experience

Universal Studios HHN

Fright Fest at Magic Mountain

Knott’s Scary Farm (Skeleton Key)

Sinister Pointe

Motel 6 Feet Under

Delusion

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

ROT

Coffin Creek

Scream Kingdom

All Saints Lunatic Asylum

Scream Zone

HOME HAUNTS:

Rotten Apple

Backwoods Maze

The Haunt with no name

Boney Island

PENNSYLVANIA HAUNTS:

Terror Behind These Walls

Field of Screams

Shocktoberfest

Pennhurst Haunted Asylum

 

MASSACHUSETTS HAUNTS:

Barrett’s Haunted Mansion

Spooky World

Haunted Overload

Chambers of Terror

Hysteria Conner’s Farm

Gallows Hill Theatre (performance)

 

ESCAPE ROOMS – Escape Hotel: Jack Reacher – California

*YouTube Video

ESCAPE HOTEL: JACK REACHER

I want to start off by letting you know that Escape Hotel offered free tickets to the general public on their website to play the Jack Reacher game for beta testing purposes and I that is how I booked tickets for this experience.

I didn’t know anything about Jack Reacher going into this escape room experience (aside from Tom Cruise being in the movie) and I didn’t learn anything about the story from playing the game either. I would recommend at least watching the movie trailer before playing the Escape Hotel’s Jack Reacher room if you want some idea of what the story is meant to be about. There isn’t really any story given to you for gameplay, however I think it’s assumed that the story is there from players’ prior knowledge of it. My team did mention that they didn’t think the room had anything to do with the movies aside from familiar faces in pictures used in some of the props. There is a video at the beginning of gameplay outside of the rooms we were locked in with the mascot of Escape Hotel talking, but I wasn’t really able to hear it because it wasn’t loud enough. That video might have given some of the information I was looking for, but alas I don’t know. There was an attempt at immersion through the use of blindfolds and environment, but it would have been much stronger if the story was made clear.

The room layout was interesting. We started out blindfolded and were placed in three different cells where we worked to escape our small cells into a larger room to work together to solve the final objective. It was unclear to us that the objective was not to escape the room. Since we entered blindfolded, later in the game I accidentally opened the exit door while exploring because I didn’t realize it was the exit door.

Puzzles. There were a few puzzles in the room. I hate to be too critical of puzzles since this was a beta test situation. I always try to be forgiving of small glitches and tech issues when testing a game prior to ticket sales opening up to the public and in this case we only had one, so I won’t elaborate on that. I will say that the room has some tech and I assume it will work wonderfully once the room is officially open for ticket sales. There weren’t very many puzzles for the length of the game. They all seemed fairly simple aside from one major puzzle that stumped our group until we asked for a hint. Once we were looking in the right place, we easily understood the rest of them. Sometimes I am not sure if it is fair to say that puzzles are easy when I am playing with experienced teammates because we’ve been exposed to so many different puzzles.  However this time, along with my husband and a friend, I had two random teammates that had never played an escape game before and they didn’t have any trouble with the puzzles either. Again I want to stress that since we played during beta testing, it is very possible that the puzzles will change or more puzzles may be added to the game.

The rooms decor was not as elaborate as I expected. One of my favorite things about Escape Hotel is the amazing lobby. Unfortunately the beautifully themed lobby is not a reflection of the decor in the games that I have seen at this location including Jack Reacher. It was rather plain and parts of the set dressing was already falling apart. The props looked a little more like handmade craft projects than professionally designed props. It’s disappointing that the game itself isn’t more elaborately decorated since it seems the purpose is to promote the movie and give customers a “Hollywood” experience.

This game is a ticketed game, meaning you buy a ticket and may be playing with random customers that also bought a ticket. Normally I dislike playing with strangers, but our team ended up being a lot of fun. There were five of us, which was more than enough to play the game. There were times where there wasn’t really enough for all of us to do. I will say we had fun playing the game together though.

We escaped in time and then waited for the game master to come congratulate us. She did not, so after an uncomfortable amount of time we exited the room ourselves and made our way back downstairs to retrieve our phones from the lockers behind the check in desk. The receptionist called the game master on her walkie talkie and she came out and apologized for not coming up to get us and explained that there is a blind spot in the room, so she didn’t know we had escaped.

If you haven’t played an Escape Hotel room before, be prepared to arrive 30 minutes early and fill out a waiver and create your passport. Also leave plenty of time for unexpected traffic and parking. There are paid lots nearby and some street parking. This location is also easily accessible by metro.

I can’t stress enough that this experience was a FREE BETA TEST and may or may not reflect the experiences of those that pay to play the Jack Reacher game once they officially start selling tickets to the public. I am curious to hear from others that play the game in the future to see if it has changed. If you play Escape Hotel’s Jack Reacher please leave a comment here on this blog post or on my YOUTUBE video for it.

 

 

 

CALIFORNIA ESCAPE ROOM LIST

Below is a list of the Escape Rooms I’ve played roughly in order of MY favorite to least favorite. Note: I prefer strong storytelling and immersion, especially in horror, paranormal & magic themed escape rooms, so my preferences may be different than yours. Feel free to write to me Twitter @christinebarger or Instagram @TheHauntGirl  GROUPED BY REGIONS:  LOS ANGELES AREA, “THE VALLEY”, ORANGE COUNTY, INLAND EMPIRE, HIGH DESERT, VENTURA COUNTY, PALM SPRINGS, BIG BEAR, SAN DIEGO, SAN FRANCISCO

LOS ANGELES AREA ESCAPE ROOMS

Maze Rooms: Magical Kingdom

Maze Rooms: Sky Odyssey

Quest Room: Red Giant

Maze Rooms: The Abyss

Quest Room: Bloody Elbow

60out: The Orphange

Maze Rooms: They’re Coming

60out: Hyde Circus

Quest Room: Perfumer

60out Escape Rooms: Outbreak

Planet Escape Rooms – Wise Guys

60out Escape Rooms: Titanic

Planet Escape Rooms – Game of Swords

60out Escape Rooms: Wizards Workshop

Maze Rooms: World of Illusions

60out: Alice in Wonderland

60out: Time Machine

Quest Room: Cannibals Den

Maze Rooms: One Way Ticket

60out: Houdini

60out: Wizard’s Workshop

Maze Rooms: Lunar Station

Escapedom: The Lair

Exit Game: The School of Sorcery

60out: Amityville

Quest Room: Da Vinci’s Challenge

Maze Rooms: The Dragon’s Lair

60out: Zen Room

Planet Escape Rooms – Cntrl-Alt-Reality

Fox In The Box – Tesla

Exit Game The Ai

Exit Game The Villains Lair

Maze Rooms: Jack the Ripper

60out: Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle

60out: Grandma’s Masterplan

Roomescape LA The Bank (now Fox in a Box)

60out Escape Rooms: Casino

60out Escape Rooms: Doctor Psycho

Exit Game An Hour To Kill

Escape Hotel: Agent

60out Escape Rooms: Cartel DEA Undercover

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie & Still Hungry

60out Escape Room: P.U.T.I.N. (now Red Alert)

Escape Room LA: The Theatre

Get the F Out: The Virus (we played the old location)

60out Escape Rooms: Ghost Ship

60out Escape Rooms: The Mystery of Senator Payne

Roomescape LA: Prison (now Fox in a Box)

Countdown Live: Tiki Palace (now 60out)

60out: DaVinci’s Secret

Maze Rooms: Castle

Escape Room LA: The Detective

60out: Nautilus

Mobile Escape Room LA: MacGuffins Cocktail Room

Maze Quests: Clinic

Countdown Live: Pandorus (now 60out Galaxy Quest)

Maze Rooms: Secret Mission

Roomescape LA: Bunker (now Fox in a Box)

Exit Game: The Lab

Escapedom: Den of the Occult

The Laboratory Escape Room

60out Escape Rooms: Quest in a Box (temporary popup- availability varies)

Escape Room Long Beach: Bad Blood

Horror Escapes LA: Edmond’s Attic

Horror Escapes LA: Captive Chamber

Horror Escapes LA: Dr. Office

Back in Time – Salem Witch Hunt

Escape Hotel: Day Care

Maze Rooms: Motel

Roomescape LA: Zombie Lab (now Fox in a Box)

MagIQ Room: Secrets of Wizardry

Escape Room LA: The Alchemist

Maze Rooms: FBI

MagIQ Room: Pirate’s Den

60Out Escape Rooms: Hangover Game(now Mafia)

Escape Hotel: Witchcraft

Hatch Escapes – Lab Rat

Escape Room LA: The Pyramid

Escape Hotel: Jack Reacher (renamed Espionage)

Escape Haus LA: Masquerade Ball Room

EscapeIQ: Alcatraz

“THE VALLEY” LOS ANGELES ESCAPE ROOMS:

The Basement (Basement, The Elevator Shaft & Study) *NEW GAME* The Courtyard

Level Games: Fortune Teller

Level Games: The Menagerie

Maze Rooms: Wizard’s Tower

Maze Rooms: Lord of the Swords

Escape the Room: South Park

Escape the Room: Jurassic Escape

Exit Artists

Theme Quest Escape Room: Houdini (now Architect)

Maze Rooms Pirate Bay

Theme Quest Escape Room: Bonnie and Clyde (now Architect)

Haunted Recording Studio

Escape Chronicles

Nodus 805 Escape Room

Paniq Room: Bunker

Amazing Escape Room: Mystery of the Red Dragon

Arcane Escape Rooms: The Hideout

Amazing Escape Room: The Starlight Lounge

Amazing Escape Room: Escape the X Corporation

Unlocked Escape Room: The Professor’s Basement

The Bunker Experience (the original version)

Arcane Escape Rooms: The Agency

The Room Live Escape Room: The Cabin

Paniq Room Insane Asylum

Hidden Passage: Pharoah’s Curse

Escape the Room: Clock Tower

Enchanted Escape Room

ORANGE COUNTY ESCAPE ROOMS:

CrossRoads Escape Game: Hex

Quest Room: Amnesia

Quest Room: Resurrection 

CrossRoads Escape Game: The Psych Ward

Scenario Escape Rooms: Mad Rapper

Mission Escape Games: Escape the Hydeout

Unlocked Escape Room

Hidden Donkey – Irvine School of Wizardry

Cinema Escape Room – The Strange Thing

Puzzle Workshop: CSI Hollywood

Puzzle Workshop: Secrets of the Illuminati

Crossroads Escape Game: Funhouse

Escapade Games: Zoe

Escapade Games – The Last Experiment

The Escape Bus

TrapZone Escape Rooms: The Asylum

Detectives Society Escape Rooms: Da Vinci’s Lost Workshop

EscapeX Rooms: Mafia Heist

Escape ERA – Ben Franklin

PuzzleMazement Escape Room: Paranormal

Immersion: The Cursed

PuzzleMazement: The Dollhouse(original version)

Legend X Iteration(original version)

Square Room: Harry Potter (now Sorcerer’s Study)

Brainy Actz

*DeadRingers by Escape Bus (seasonal 15 minute Escape game)

*Crossroads: The Asylum (ScareLA mini-game availability varies)

INLAND EMPIRE ESCAPE ROOMS:

Wizards & Wires: The Ghost Chamber

Breaking Point – Whitmore Estate

Wizards & Wires: The Curiosity Shop

Containment: Carnival

Gaslamp: The Sword in the Study

MindTrap – Wizard of OZ

Mind Trap Escape Room: Gold Rush

The 13th Room: Chapter 2 The Silence

Xscape Pods: Galaxy Adventure

Quest Tavern: Last Supper

Breaking Point: Patient 17

Hall of Shadows: Shadow Menagerie

Clever Fox – Book of the Dragons

Mind Trap Escape Room: Conspiracy

Trapped! Escape Room: Sector 13

Hall of Shadows: The Signal

Xscape Pods – Pharaoh

Clever Fox: Forbidden Temple

Quest Tavern – Witches Cauldron

Trapped! Escape Room: Puzzlemaster (original version)

The 13th Room

Xscape Pods – Government Secrets

Containment – Cabin

Open Door Escape Games: The Study

Chronos – ChronosTopia

Get a Clue Room Escape: The Toy Shop

Chronos – Jurassic Island

One Way Out: Bank Heist (now Exodus)

Unity Escape Rooms: The Cabin

Unity Escape Rooms: The Temple

HIGH DESERT ESCAPE ROOMS:

Escape the Asylum

CENTRAL VALLEY ESCAPE ROOMS:

Xcape Room Fresno: Murder Scene (original version)

Breakout Fresno: Sabotage – Code Red (now Method of Escape)

Bakersfield Escape Room: RESCUE (now Puzzle Effect Bakersfield)

VENTURA COUNTY ESCAPE ROOMS:

House of Clues: Pirate Ghost Ship (original location)

The Ultimate Escape Rooms: We Are All Mad Here

PALM SPRINGS ESCAPE ROOMS:

Escape Room Palm Springs: Dark Shadows Room

Escape Room Palm Springs: Saw Room

Escape Room Palm Springs: Titanic

Escape Games at the River: Secret of the Dragon’s Spire

Escape Games at the River: Baker Street Mystery

BIG BEAR ESCAPE ROOMS:

Mountain Room Escapes Big Bear: Alpine Ski Lodge

SAN DIEGO ESCAPE ROOMS:

Quicksand Escape Games: China Town

Steal and Escape

Quicksand Escape Games: The Diner

The Unlockables

Escape Game SD: Japanese Thriller Room

Quicksand Escape Games: The Speakeasy

Boss Play – Chocolate Factory

The Entrapment: The Disappearance at Fogmore Manor

3rd Day Escape: Harvest Motel

Escapology San Diego: TH3 C0D3

Top Tier – Atlantis Dive to the Forgotten City

Enigma HQ

Clue Avenue: Villain’s Lair

Mighty Awesome: The Office of Professor R.K. Alogee

Nightwalker Caverns Escape Room: Clownotorium

Escapism: Art Gallery

3rd Day Escape: Hourglass (original version)

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA AREA ESCAPE ROOMS:

Enchambered – Whispering Halls

Enchambered – Containment Breach

Palace Games: Houdini

Omescape: Kingdom of Cats

Omescape: Omega

 

R.I.P.

These are rooms that I have played in California but are not currently available:

The Purge Truck

Enigma: The Will

Enigma Escape Rooms: The Seance

Enigma: Apartment 205

Countdown Live: PsychoCountdown Live: Spaceship

Countdown: Mrs. Jezebel’s Tea Party (original version)

School of Hard Locks: Halloween Room

CatCon Animal Planet Escape Box

Exodus: Quake Escape

Exit Game: The Chamber

Captured LA (old location)

Paniq Room: Creepy Cemetery

X Room Victorian Mansion

X Room Court in Session

X Room Escape the Wonderland

X Room Curse of the Mummy

Trapped! The ChamberTrap House (Think Tank)

Square Room: Mario Brothers

Real Escape Room: Treasure Island

Countdown: Special Event Beta Test

Kaien (the game we beta tested, but isn’t open yet)

School of Hard Locks: Principal’s Office

SCRAP Real Escape Game Escape from the Cursed Forest Event

SCRAP Real Escape Game Escape the Magic Show

Salvation Room: The Inferno

Amazing Escape Room: Black & White

Ace Escape Game The Pharaoh’s Treasure

SCRAP Real Escape Game: Escape from the Time Travel Lab

The 13th Room (ScareLA mini-game)

Trapped! Escape Room: Jailbreak 

Room of no return: Jail

Mysterium Escape Room

Escape the Night (VidCon)

The Cromwell Estate (Midsummer Scream mini-game)

Maze Quests: Queen Anne’s Revenge

Countdown Live Escape: Krampus

Evil Genius Escape Rooms

Enigma: Crime Scene

Enigma: Secret Temple

Mobile Escape Room LA: Sleep Study

Captured LA: The Starlet Killer

Logiquit: Warehouse of Jack Travis

Logiquit The Laboratory of Dr. Lev Pasted

Logiquit Secret Agent Room

Logiquit: CSI Room

Escape Room Treasure Hunt: The Alchemist’s Lab

The Basement: Boiler Room

Amazing Escape Room: Operation Desert Storm

Famous Escape Rooms:  The Great Redemption

Maze Rooms: Demon Hunter

S.H.A.D.I.E. Grove Escape Room

Hollywood Escape House: The Royal Indian Dungeon

Eskape Rooms: Operation Dream State

PuzzleMazement Escape Room: Professor S!

Escape the Place: The Chamber

PuzzleMazement Escape Room: Saving Christmas!

The Cromwell Estate

The 13th Room: Alchemy & Wizardry

The 13th Room: Jack the Ripper

The Game Maker Escape Room (temporary room at Coffin Creek)

Funhouse Escape 60 Minutes to Curtain & Another 60 Minutes to Curtain

Real Escape Room: Bomb

Broken Chains Escape Games: Caught In A Rumple

Real Escape Room: Crazy Secret Laboratory

One Way Out: Apocalypse (now Exodus)

Escape This! Mosi’s Curse

Rooms of No Return: The Classroom

Rooms of No Return: Dead Silence

The Great Escape: Mafia Bomb Squad

Bakersfield Escape Room: Winter Fall

Real Escape: Bootlegger Warehouse

Real Escape: Wizards Lair

Excido: Studio

Excido: Casino

Escape Room Palm Springs: Mystery Room

Divergent Realities: The Informant

Great Room Escape San Diego: Houdini’s Hidden Workshop

Great Room Escape San Diego: The Lab

School of Hard Locks: Art Class

Maze Rooms: VR Cosmos Game

Escape Room Police

Omescape: Forgotten Treasure

Spookador

Escape SF: Escape from Antique Room

Escape Room LA: The Cavern

Kaein LLC: The Alien

Kaien: Time Machine

Suite 201

Escape the Night – PopUp at UTA

LA Dragons – Knights of the Round Table

Escape From Godot