Step right up and prepare to be terrified! The ultimate horror escape experience is back and better than ever. Escape IT Chapter Two, a collaboration between Warner Bros. Discovery Global Themed Entertainment and Egan Escape Productions, is open and ready to transport fans into the spine-chilling world of Pennywise.
The multi-room escape adventure spans over 30,000 square feet and features 16 interactive rooms, each more terrifying than the last. “Each one is totally different because the franchises are so different. There’s always a fine line when you’re creating the tasks and puzzles to make sure you create it for both an escape room connoisseur as well as beginners,” Escape IT Owner Jason Egan told us. “We go through weeks and weeks of testing to ensure that we hit the levels just right. Even IT Chapters 1 and 2 are so different from one another because one took place 27 years later, and so much had changed with the storyline.”
From the eerie lair of Pennywise to the carnival-inspired Derry Canal Days Midway, guests will be fully immersed in the world of IT. With cutting-edge special effects, lighting, animatronics, live actors and even nods to the first film and escape room, this will be an experience that horror fans will never forget. “First and foremost, I love the franchise,” Egan said of his choice to create the IT escape room experience. “It lends itself to a perfect escape experience where guests have to escape from Pennywise. Not to mention, IT is the top-grossing horror movie of all time.” With such a rich subject matter, it’s easy to see why. “Luckily for us, Stephen King put in most of the work, which makes our lives easy, but we have to make sure our attraction lives up to the iconic storyline he created.”
While most escape rooms concentrate solely on puzzles, the rooms at Escape IT are a fascinating mesh of escape rooms and horror attractions. “There are no other horror escape rooms in the world like Escape IT Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. I always say these things are like escape experiences on steroids,” Egan told us. “Each one is approximately 10,000 square feet, and each has 16 different rooms, taking over an hour to get through each chapter. Each chapter also has 30 different games and puzzles throughout. We spared no expense on the sets in order to really make guests feel like they’re in the movie. Both chapters are a combination of amazing sets, fun puzzles, interactive elements, special effects, smells, and so much more.”
So, what goes into creating such a unique experience? “The first thing we do is determine which intellectual property we want to work with, meaning which film we want to partner up with,” Egan explained. “Then, once that’s determined, we study all of the films in insane detail and then figure out which scenes are the most iconic to the movie. After that, we determine which of those scenes lends itself best to puzzles and interactive gameplay. After that, believe it or not, a lot of the designs start on a cocktail napkin, and then from that level, we go all the way up to 3D renderings or video walk-throughs. At this point, we have already started working with the studios, so we have in-depth meetings with their creative teams to make sure that we are on the same page prior to finalizing any plans. After everyone is signed off on the plans, we go to the building stage, most of which is done in-house.”
Though visitors may feel they’ve been transported to the horror setting in Derry, there is never a moment when safety isn’t at the forefront of the experience. “Safety always comes before the scare, and maintaining safety is our top priority. We always ensure that our staff never crosses the safety line with our guests,” Egan explained. “We always take safety into consideration with whatever we do. Not only do we have actors in the room with groups, but we also have a dedicated game master who’s watching the group the entire time. We also practice evacuations of the facility often to make sure our actors are trained in case of an emergency.”
Escape IT has become a must-visit attraction for tourists and locals and has even had a number of special visitors. “One of the most memorable moments from Escape IT was when the IT filmmakers, Andy and Barabara Muschietti, came through to visit,” Egan told us. “Getting to see them enjoy the attraction was really a feather in my cap. Seeing such talented Hollywood icons who helped create this franchise enjoy it so much and get scared while going through really made me feel amazing about what we had created with Escape IT. Knowing that I did their iconic film justice is really something else. Barbara got to do a fun activity, which I won’t give away, in our clown funeral room and had a blast doing it even though she was scared.”