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Shark Bait

Escape My Room builds new attraction at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas



 

A new immersive experience is coming to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and you’re going to need a bigger boat. On Tuesday, Nov. 13, Escape My Room will open its collaboration with the aquarium, Escape Extinction: Sharks.

The aquarium has seized on the growing popularity of “escape room” activities and will now feature a family-friendly, scientifically-backed thrilling adventure as part of its offerings. Combining imagination and problem solving skills, the “mission” of Escape Extinction: Sharks is to save sharks from going extinct.

Guests will work through the experience in groups of up to 12 and are guided by an actor portraying a captain. They are greeted and briefed by the captain before entering the submarine S.S. Audubon, a freestanding, specially-designed escape room set created in the lobby of the Entergy Giant Screen Theater.

Development on the experience began in March 2018 between the Audubon Aquarium and Escape My Room.

“We worked with the aquarium to create a fun, challenging experience that helps make guests aware of declining shark populations, and to help them realize what sharks are doing for us and what we can do to help sharks,” explained David Hamilton, general manager of Escape Extinction: Sharks. “We hope to combine our escape room experience with Audubon Nature Institute’s focus on conservation.”

During the experience, guests will become members of the Human Animal Rescue Team (H.A.R.T.). They will be tasked with plotting a course through Finn’s Hollow Marine Protected Area, steer the submarine through the Gulf and explore a cave. Each guest will receive a score at the end of the mission and will be assigned a rank. Guests are encouraged to return and work to earn higher ranks (and bragging rights).

It was important to the designers that the experience is family-friendly. It is meant for children six and older, and they require adult supervision for children under 12. The experience isn’t scary, rather it is described as if it “were a movie, we think it would be rated PG for some dramatic effects. There are several intense moments that utilize lighting and sound effects, but they are not meant to be scary.” The experience has also been designed to be accessible for those with disabilities, including for those using wheelchairs. Organizers request advance notice of those guests so they can plan to best accommodate them.

The one-hour activity is meant for groups of 12. Those with smaller groups who want to have a private experience may purchase all 12 tickets for that time slot. Admission for those age two years and up is $19.95 for Audubon Institute members and $23.95 for non-members. Children under two are free, although do keep in mind the experience is recommended for children age six and up.

Escape Extinction: Sharks is a separate experience from the aquarium. Tickets for admission to the escape room are sold separately from admission to the Aquarium and vice versa. There are also combination tickets available. Tickets will be available for purchase online starting next week, and they are also available in person at the Audubon ticket counter. The intention is that this will be an ongoing attraction and there is no closing date.

 

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Tourism with Jennifer Schecter

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Once a tourist in New Orleans herself, Jennifer Gibson Schecter is proud to call NOLA home. Prior to New Orleans, she wrote for publications in the Midwest and New York City. She advises travelers to ask their cab/pedicab/gondola driver where their favorite restaurant is and to eat there.

 

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