You’re locked in a room that looks like the set to a play—an office, a ship’s hold—and given the clues hidden there, you must solve puzzles, crack codes, and find the key to get back out within an hour. Don’t worry: There are no scary gotchas, and because of fire codes, the door’s not really locked. If you struggle with the mental challenge, staff people who are monitoring you via camera (don’t pick your nose) can nudge you in the right direction. It’s much easier, and a lot more fun, to play with a group.

In Orlando, there's no escaping escaping. Escaping has flooded the Orlando market, and while some locations put on games that look as if they were decorated using a gift card at Home Depot, real gamer love goes into creating these puzzles, so each one is unique. There may be an age minimum of about 12 and you’re allowed to fail (many do), but always make a reservation first.


America’s Escape Game: 8723 International Drive, Suite 115, Orlando;; 407/412-5585. Rooms: White House, asylum, Egyptian tomb, pandemic, hermit cabin (just an 8% escape rate). $35–$45.

Breakout Escape Rooms: 8155 Vineland Ave., Orlando;; 407/778-4562. Fairly near Disney. Rooms: Zombies (the hardest), pirates, spy, evil circus. $33.

Doldrick’s Escape Room: 2943 Vineland Rd., Kissimmee;; 407/507-0506. This one near Disney isn’t a chain but a privately owned labor of love with high production values. Rooms: Bomb squad, pirates, Santa’s sleigh. $34–$40.

The Escape Game Orlando: 8145 International Drive, Suite 511, Orlando;; 407/501-7222. Rooms: Mars, Western, kids’ classroom, art heist, souk, prison break. $38.

Escapology: 11951 International Dr., Orlando;; 407/278-1515. Rooms: Haunted church, pandemic, Scooby-Doo, drug lord, submarine, train murder (the hardest), murder mystery. $32–$40.

The Great Escape Room: 23 1/2 S. Magnolia Ave., Orlando;; 386/385-8860. Rooms: Escape artist, nuclear crisis (most difficult), surgical emergency. $30–$38, discounts for veterans and students.

Lockbusters: 8326 International Dr., Orlando;; 407/930-0822. One of the best-detailed choices in town, near ICON Park. Rooms: Serial killer, pirates, bank heist, chopper crash (the hardest), haunted manor. $29–$35.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.