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Exploring Philly with the “Alice in Wonderland Experience”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Jefferson chapter.

A few weeks ago, my friends and I completed the “Alice in Wonderland Experience” in Philadelphia. When purchasing a ticket, the event was just advertised as an “immersive outdoor experience” and provided little background information, so I truly went into this with almost no expectations. The experience turned out to be a sort of escape room based on finding different locations in the city and receiving virtual clues when you arrived at those locations. It was an interesting and different way to spend an afternoon and my team even finished in the top five fastest times of the city!

A few days prior to the event, I received an email about where my team would be starting our experience and nearly 20 minutes worth of video tutorials about how to use the app that directed you through the clues on the map. (While I did not need these tutorials, they would be great for people less familiar with technology!) We took advantage of our free SEPTA rides from CollegeFest that weekend and headed to Dilworth Park, one of my favorite spots in the city, to start the game! At each location, each team member’s phone would display the clue, riddle, or mini game prompted by the character or item we visited on the virtual map. I enjoyed that each team member was engaged by the app equally rather than only one person being able to complete the activity. We visited a number of great Philly landmarks, such as Love Park and City Hall. The game itself began with a riddle that you had to answer to begin, and then once this was completed, lots of classic Alice in Wonderland characters popped up on the map. We visited each location and completed activities that required us to interact with our phones, our team members, and do different puzzles. Other challenges required us to reach a certain location within a certain amount of time. Typically after completing a puzzle, you would be introduced to how the next character or item fit into the overall story of saving Alice from the Queen of Hearts. Throughout the game, you can collect items that will benefit your final score. In the end, the team works together against the clock to complete a series of riddles and successfully finish the game! There was no pressure if you could not complete a riddle or puzzle in time though, the game giving you and your team multiple chances to complete each challenge. 

My favorite part of the experience was the smaller experiences we had in between clues or locations. One of my friends bought art that she loved from a street artist and another got some information about how to vote! We never would have come across these things without being prompted by the game and although it felt like the in between was a little hectic, it was a great way to explore the city in a new and exciting way! I would have been really interested to see how the game would have played out with some more in-person elements rather than being purely virtual, such as physical characters handing out clues or riddles. I do understand the restrictions that the format of the game places on this and why it may not be feasible, but I think it would be really interesting to explore and make the experience feel much more interactive. Many other teams that we saw chose to dress up in Alice in Wonderland themed costumes for the game and seeing so many other teams completing the same riddles and challenges added a really fun immersive aspect to the game as well! 

My friends and I all enjoyed the experience, although we are unsure if we would choose to do the experience again with a different theme. I had a great time and am really happy that I was able to try it! If you enjoy riddles and exploring your city, I would definitely look into trying this experience or something similar for yourself!

Emma Prushan

Jefferson '25

Emma is a junior at Jefferson studying Visual Communication Design/Graphic Design. She serves as Senior Editor, Events Coordinator, and Graphic Designer of HerCampus Jefferson. In her free time, she enjoys reading, doing crafts, playing the guitar, and taking any opportunities to be creative!