Disclosure: We were invited on this day out for the purpose of this post however all opinions are my own.
Last week I was invited to Press Week at the newly launched Crystal Maze LIVE experience in London’s West End. The Crystal Maze LIVE has been around for a few years now but this is the first time it’s been seen in such a prominent part of London. Occupying the old Ripley’s building in the Trocadero, it turned out to be the perfect venue for such a unique experience.
I took a fantastic team of fellow bloggers with me to the Crystal Maze Live experience and when we arrived we were shown to lockers where we could leave all our things. We were all a little apprehensive at this – going anywhere without your phone as a blogger is unheard of but we followed the instructions, put all our belongings in the lockers and were shown to the start of the Crystal Maze.
Before our session got underway we went to the toilet, signed waivers and were given a few little pieces of information about the maze before heading into our first zone of the maze and meeting Bertie our pretty amazing Maze Master.
Bertie is a chimney sweep from Liverpool and, like all the Maze Masters at the Crystal Maze, she was in perfect character throughout the whole experience – complete with a loo brush to sweep chimneys with. She was a highlight of our experience, so friendly, so full of personality and just a really fantastic host. We met other hosts before and after our visit too and all were fun and friendly people, each with their own character theme. I feel the need to mention Captain Mack here and his authentic Irish accent. He definitely stayed true to his character throughout!
We were thrown right into the Crystal Maze experience. The maze is split into four different zones which fans of the Crystal Maze show will be instantly familiar with – Aztec, Futuristic, Medieval and Industrial and we started off in the Medieval zone, ready to see how many crystals we could find.
The Crystal Maze consists of 32 different challenges and Bertie threw us right in – asking if we wanted a mental, skill, physical or mystery challenge. Rosie kicked off the challenges with a mental one – finding clues to who the owner of the room was. This followed with Emily playing tunes on bells and Katy placing playing cards in the right order around a table. Then I found myself with a helmet and kneepads on, jousting my way through a physical challenge.
Our Crystal Maze experience took us to the Futuristic Zone where Mel worked her way around the Laser Assault Course, Emma cracked an emoji based challenge and Amie gave operated on an alien. We ended with Becky doing the Hive Mind challenge – placing coloured hexagonal blocks in the right order in a hive frame – and we realised at this point that the challenges were getting harder as we got deeper into the Crystal Maze.
Each of the Crystal Maze rooms was so much fun and a real challenge. They felt just like they were from the TV show – with windows or screens for the rest of the team to watch through and the risk of getting locked in during each challenge. Everything was in keeping with each zone and even getting from one zone to the next was an adventure – with tunnels to crawl through, ladders to climb and even a slide. Although there were more normal routes to take for anyone with disabilities or fears of confined spaces etc.
The whole Crystal Maze experience is completely immersive. For the hour and a half that we were in the maze we really were in the maze. The Crystal Maze music followed us through the challenges, we were full of excitement and anticipation and we were all cheering on the other members of our team. I have never felt so absorbed in an experience before and it’s something that I could have happily enjoyed for hours after it finished.
We reached the Industrial Zone and Katy cracked on with a pipe puzzle challenge before I did a traffic light challenge. Amie had to climb through a soft play structure to get power packs and Rosie had to turn all the lights in the world off before the time ran out. Some of the challenges really needed the team to help with them and in others the rest of the team really couldn’t help at all. But, throughout it all we were such a team and I loved every minute of it.
The final zone, the Aztec zone, brought with it so much sand and a photo opportunity for the team. In this zone Emily had to navigate a rolling log with buckets of sand, Emma had to make the stars align, Becky had to make a bamboo structure balance with the right amount of sand poured in each corner and we finished with Mel balancing scales with sand. By the end of the maze we had found twelve crystals and had a whole minute inside the Crystal Dome to come.
When we finally arrived at the Crystal Dome we were given Crystal Maze jackets to wear, had another photo opportunity and then got to say those iconic words ‘Will you start the fans please?’ before grabbing as many golden tickets as we could before our time was up.
We walked away with 220 tickets on the scorecard and feeling like we had experienced such a fantastic evening. I honestly cannot remember the last time I’d had that much fun in 90 minutes. It was amazing, exhilarating and such a great team activity.
I used to love Crystal Maze as a child. It was on TV until I was eleven and it was a huge part of my week. I was interested to see how the Crystal Maze would translate into a real life experience and, honestly, as a bit of a fan of the show I was incredibly excited but also a little bit nervous. What if the Crystal Maze LIVE experience didn’t live up to expectations?
But, the only things that the Crystal Maze experience was missing from the show was water and Richard O’Brien. Well, who wants to get soaked in the middle of a day out in London anyway? And Bertie was the best host we could have asked for – and definitely better than Richard would have been!
The Crystal Maze LIVE experience finishes back in the locker room, being given a map of the zones so you can check off the challenges that you’ve completed so you can do different ones next time, and the opportunity to buy photos and merchandise whilst looking at the Crystal Maze leaderboards. There’s also a bar where you can relax afterwards, talking about your best moments from your time in the maze.
The Crystal Maze experience is a phone free activity. But, you are so absorbed in the experience that you don’t need your phone and it’s actually amazing to switch off for an hour or so – have a little bit of time out from modern life and just get sucked completely into each challenge and the incredible atmosphere that only the Crystal Maze LIVE experience can bring.
I’m sad that the Crystal Maze Experience is over. It was everything I hoped it would be and more – I felt like I’d been transported straight into the world I knew so well from my childhood and it couldn’t have been better. I would love to experience the Crystal Maze again and I think that it would be a fantastic team building or stag and hen activity or something to do on a night out with friends. The Crystal Maze LIVE experience is now open to everyone over the age of 13 so it would be a fantastic event to bring your teenage children to as well. I can’t wait to do it again – and maybe even do it with LP and Little Man when they’re older!