Tuesday the wildly elaborate Escape IT Chapter Two opened just minutes from the Vegas Strip. This was, naturally preceded by the opening of Escape IT Chapter One. Prior to that, Egan Escape Productions developed the Official Saw Escape and Escape Blair Witch attractions, both of which are located just down the street from IT. With this quadruple threat, Las Vegas is now home to the crown jewels of escape room experiences.
We arrived at the Escape IT Experience and began with Escape IT Chapter One. After signing the requisite waivers, our group was escorted to another waiting area to begin our first journey. The throughline for this chapter is that we are looking for one of the many missing children in Derry. As New Kids on the Block drones in the background, we wandered the room to soak in the details.
We were immediately assigned parts, and thrust into problem-solving mode. In Chapter One we journeyed into the expansive sewer system of Derry, visited the dilapidated Nebolt House, and came face to face with Pennywise himself. To progress through our journey our crack team of puzzle masters had to pull together and decipher everything from color codes to numerical conundrums. Thankfully experience is constructed in such a way that each group can experience each scene regardless of skill.
This was our first time through Escape IT Chapter One and we were left speechless. To continue referring to these attractions as “escape rooms” would be dismissive. This is fully immersive and interactive horror fun on a level only afforded by a permanent location, the backing of a major studio, and fiendishly creative minds.
Again we checked in at the lobby, signed new waivers, and donned new name tags. This time, however, we were escorted to the entrance of a Chinese Restaurant. We enter the Jade of the Orient and get a video message from Jason Egan himself. It has been 26 years since the events of Chapter One and the Losers are back in Derry for a reunion. Jason apologizes that he cannot make it to the reunion but tells us to enjoy dinner.
We enter the first scene. It’s a floor-to-ceiling-themed puzzle room, complete with a real fish tank. We are now in the Jade of the Orient from IT: Chapter Two. As we explore the room a helpful cast member is on hand to nudge us when things become unclear. Easily one of my favorite puzzles in the entire chapter, this scene propels us into Escape IT Chapter Two.
Suddenly we are in Mike’s Office, uncovering clues that will advance us in our journey. We also hit the Loser’s clubhouse, Mrs. Kersch’s apartment, the Nebolt house again, a disorienting mirror maze, and the expansive carnival midway at Derry Days. Everything culminates in our plucky band of Losers confronting IT and hopefully defeating him for the final time.
With the opening to Escape IT Chapter Two and its predecessors, Egan Productions has reinvented the Escape Room and blended it with immersive haunts, to create something entirely new. Patching what works from each, Egan and his team employ engrossing puzzles, talented actors, incredible sets, cutting-edge technology, animatronics, and even pyrotechnics to dazzle players.
Each of the attractions empties out into a midway-themed arcade and gift shop. This is perhaps the only predictable element of the entire endeavor. Here though, actual set pieces and costumes are on display from the film. All of the items are screen-used and on loan directly from Warner Bros.