Written by: Diana Wallenberg
Imagine being a first responder at a crime scene investigation. There has been a murder. Only you and those who came with you stand in the way of the criminal and his escape from justice. Would you be able to follow the trail of clues and put the bad guy behind bars?
Or imagine you’ve accepted a challenge to spend an entire night in a notoriously haunted house. The only catch is that you may never get out. Do you have what it takes to go face to face with your fear and see the challenge through to the end? Dorian Anderson of Escape Frenzy believes you do.
Escape Frenzy opened less than a year ago by Anderson, offers the Edina community an escape room experience of a lifetime. There are several unique rooms to choose from and endless possibilities for how to solve each one.
A Fearless Founder
Escape room puzzle solving requires a cooperative effort, a sharp mind, creative thinking, and a pinch of fearlessness. As an entrepreneur, a quick thinker, and a risk taker Anderson’s previous life experiences make her the perfect choice for creating an escape room space that checks all the boxes.
Her fearlessness is responsible for more ventures than one, however. Dorian and her husband have owned four businesses of which three are still operational. Anderson attributes her entrepreneurial success to embracing challenges and finding satisfaction in seeing them through from beginning to end.
With enthusiasm for pursuing inspiration, Ms. Anderson and her husband cofounded Escape Frenzy, an immersive escape room experience for people who think outside the box and are looking for something out of the ordinary.
You Can’t Escape Inspiration
Ms. Anderson is no stranger to the escape room experience. In fact, the idea for Escape Frenzy is related to Dorian visiting one such establishment with her family. The experience she had there was so unique and memorable that she was immediately intrigued.
After their visit, Anderson and her husband began separate private research into how to open their own puzzle room adventure. Dorian states, “[My husband and I] went to an escape room…and afterward we said we could do something cool with that; so on the side, we were both secretly looking for ideas.”
Do Something Crazy
Once they discovered they were both privately researching the same thing, their plans gained momentum. Anderson got on the phone with her contractor who said, “You’re crazy; let’s do it.” From there it was just a matter of making Dorian’s ideas a reality.
As Anderson and her husband brainstormed, they decided one of their first goals was to make Escape Frenzy fully immersive. They wanted each room to feel like its own world, separate from life outside. Ideas for the rooms fell into place soon after, and construction was rapidly underway.
Creating An Immersive Experience
Once complete the rooms took on a life of their own. The attention to detail for each theme in Escape Frenzy is incredible. Each escape room has been meticulously designed and entering each is like stepping into another reality.
While she wants guests to feel totally immersed in their escape, Dorian understands that not everyone enjoys high intensity or frightening experiences. Anderson emphasizes, “We want everyone to be on that cusp of being a little bit nervous and then getting into it and thinking that was the coolest experience I’ve had in a long time.” In creating Escape Frenzy, Dorian took all types of people into account and included four themes from which visitors choose one. From pirate adventures to deep sea diving, crime scene investigating to paranormal encounters, visitors will find an escape room they’ll want to try.
Can You Solve Them
But don’t expect to solve the theme you choose in a hurry. Dorian admits that while each room has a solution, even the most creative thinkers need some help figuring out a clue from time to time. Each theme in Escape Frenzy has game masters located outside the room who will give a hint or a little help if a group looks stuck. But only up to a point; during the last five minutes, “we let you solve the rest of the room on your own,” Anderson asserts.
Statistically speaking, even with some game master tips, only twenty percent of all guests solve an entire escape room. That doesn’t deter visitors from giving Escape Frenzy a try, though. Dorian asserts it isn’t uncommon among people leaving an unsolved room, “for everyone to be high fiving us on the way out, it’s that experience of excitement in that they did solve something,” even if a little mystery remains.
Team Building Outside the Box
It’s not just friends and families visiting Escape Frenzy. Dorian has had some big names in business come through her doors as well. Companies like Optum, General Mills, Wayzata Children’s Clinic and more have all brought teams of employees to Escape Frenzy for team building with fantastic results.
What can an escape room experience do to help create better coworker relationships? Plenty, says Anderson and with good reason. Dorian has seen people who work in entirely separate departments of one company team up to solve a puzzle and, in her words, “get a different feel for how someone is as a person not just in a work environment.” Escape Frenzy allows coworkers to communicate, get creative, and solve problems in ways they haven’t experienced before. Anderson remarks, “You can take that back to your work environment and really go far with it.”
A Permanent Escape
While Escape Frenzy is a new addition to the area, Dorian plans for the long term. Her goal is to have the business become a staple in the community. Anderson wants, “people driving by to know, oh that’s Escape Frenzy, we’ve got to check that out.” She loves her work, and loves, “to see people happy and getting enjoyment from something they did.” Anderson plans to continue sharing the fun and mystery of Escape Frenzy well into the future.
If you are looking for a new experience or an exhilarating escape from everyday life, Dorian Anderson is waiting for you at Escape Frenzy. Gather your wits and your group about you. The puzzle you are about to attempt is perplexing but not impossible; are your friends, family or co-workers up for the challenge?