Belgian Escape Days 2022

Last weekend we were invited to come to take a closer look at the first-ever Belgian Escape Days event in the Brabanthal in Leuven. We were quite unsure what to expect, especially with the offered ‘Starter Pack’ tickets we were given. That being said, we braved the awful Belgian weather and made our way to the event. What started off with a healthy dose of curiosity and anticipation, quickly turned into sheer disappointment. Here’s our short breakdown of the event.

As stated above, we were sent the Starter Pack entrance tickets, which normally cost 26.5 Euros per person. We were unsure what would be able to do at the event, but we were looking forward to the promised goodie bag that comes with these tickets. Alas, we were not given a goodie bag or anything at all. We were greeted by two people at a tiny table, where one would manually scan our tickets. When asking about the goodie bag, we were told that we would be sent digital coupons in the future (so no goodies). Even now, at the time of publication, we still have not received our so-called goodie bag.

First negative sentiment aside, we were looking forward to seeing what the event had to offer on the inside. When entering the main hall, it was clear this event would be an enormous letdown for those purchasing a Starter Pack ticket.┬áThe only available activities available were those that didn’t even have anything to do with escape rooms. We could queue up for a type of VR dodgeball, oversized wooden (board)games, a bouncy castle, or wait in line to fire a few rounds with a paintball gun. We found pretty much all of these items out of place for the event, and they didn’t offer any extra value. There were a few mobile escape rooms available, but sadly these were already fully booked when we got there.

The hall had two food trucks and a drink stand, and when we decided to perhaps just have a drink, as we had seen everything the event had to offer in about four minutes, we saw yet another ludicrous sales tactic being utilized. For some reason, the event had a four-drink minimum purchase, which would set you back another 12 Euros. You couldn’t buy a stand-alone drink, which is absolutely ridiculous. We saw a few couples who had probably also bought a Starter Pack ticket, who would then order their four drinks and just chug down two drinks per person before inevitably leaving disappointed. To round things out, even the restrooms were not free. We were surprised people didn’t have to pay upon leaving the tiny venue.

Those who purchased more expensive tickets gained access to escape room-related activities, which is at least something. But, we can’t wrap our heads around the overall Belgian Championship formula. You have people who had to qualify beforehand (physically and via an online event), to then pay for a ticket that was a whopping 71.50 Euros. We don’t understand that when people qualify for a championship that they have to pay additional money to actually enter the championship they qualified for.

Conclusion

What sounded like a good idea on paper turned out to be somewhat of a letdown for those entering the event with a Starter Pack ticket. There are huge conventions in Belgium that actually cost less, and those will entertain you for far longer. If the same event would be held next year, we suggest you just meet up with your friends and book a few actual escape rooms. You’ll probably find us somewhere else as well, enjoying the possibility of being able to buy a single drink.

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Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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