This time of year, in the cold of winter, the cobblestone streets of downtown Annapolis might make you think you’ve stepped into a Charles Dickens’ story. There is something about the charm of the old town that whisks you into another world.
Another such world is Mission Escape, located at 40 West St. Annapolis (missionescaperooms.com/annapolis). As an avid escape room fan, I was ecstatic to be offered the opportunity to test out their newest room. I was even more thrilled when I found out that the room I would be trying to escape from was modeled after one of my favorite childhood classics: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol.
As an avid reader and writer, I appreciate the literary themes in the lobby, which includes many subtle nods to different classic novels. The walls are covered in old books, there is a hall of mirrors, a gorgeous copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland sits on a side table, and gracing the hallway is a hilarious cutout of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.
The Alice in Wonderland room is like stepping into the story itself. At first, when you enter, you are awed by the beauty of it. Green grass, shrubbery, and crawling ivy are everywhere. The large, gorgeous roses are reminiscent of the Queen’s croquet lawn from the book, giving the whole room the feeling of being outdoors. And of course, the whole place is utterly filled with pieces from the book, from paper machete characters up on the walls, to the Cheshire Cat’s hookah, and many other elements that would be too much of a spoiler to tell.
As for the gameplay, I can describe it in one word: challenging. The entire room is based upon observation. If you take a moment to walk through the room and just look at everything first, it will help you understand how all the clues fit together as you go along. All of the clues require critical thinking, but everything you need to succeed is right there at your fingertips. However, if you need a little extra help, they offer unlimited hints. At the push of a button, you can talk to someone who will give you just a little nudge in the right direction.
What if Alice in Wonderland really isn’t your thing? Well then, you’re in luck, because they offer three other amazing rooms, with a wide variety of themes from the Military room, to the Black and White room, and then to the one I’m going to try next: the Edgar Allan Poe room.
So the big question is: Did we escape?
No. Sadly we did not. Thankfully, however, one of the employees stepped in after our time ran out and showed us that we were only one clue away from escaping. I’ve only ever done escape rooms with my husband, and I’m pretty sure that if we did them with more people, that we’d escape faster. The Alice in Wonderland room allows for up to 7 people, so feel free to bring some friends!
So over all, do I recommend the Alice room? I do, 100%. I think you’ll find it thrilling, challenging, and breathtakingly beautiful. Have fun!