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Get lost in Scottsdale at new attraction The Odysea Mirror Maze

Odysea Mirror Maze's elusive butterfly
Odysea Mirror Maze's elusive butterfly
Photos by Kevin Wierzbicki

The Scottsdale, Arizona entertainment complex Odysea in the Desert, already the home of the magnificent Butterfly Wonderland experience, has a new attraction that most people will find quite confusing. That’s okay; you’re supposed to be dumbfounded when you enter the Odysea Mirror Maze.

Designed by award-winning British maze designer Adrian Fisher, Odysea Mirror Maze features pathways leading to dead ends, false exits and “dummy loops,” all illuminated with LED lighting that changes colors constantly so you can’t find your way out by retracing your path based on color. Before entering the maze adventurers must don a pair of disposable exam gloves; this is to keep the mirrors from getting smudged by your fingers when you reach out to see if you’re at a passage or if you’re looking at a mirror, since mirrors placed at certain angles will not always reflect your own image. Then to get into the maze itself you need to cross a short bridge designed to mimic a rickety passage across a jungle gorge but look over the side and you’ll be peering into an “infinity chasm,” a mirror-lined abyss that seems to go on forever. Infinity passages are part of the trickery inside the maze too, where once into the middle of the layout you’ll find a slowly-spinning turntable on the floor. Done up with a “Twilight Zone”-like spiral, the disc creates visual stimulation verging on the psychedelic. After glancing down at the trance wheel a bit a fun thing to do before continuing on your way is to stand in the middle of the turntable and watch the mirrors as you spin around.

There’s an additional quest besides just trying to find your way that you can indulge in while in the Odysea Mirror Maze. As a tie-in with the adjacent Butterfly Wonderland, and in consideration of the fact that you are, after all, in the “jungle,” there’s an elusive butterfly that you can attempt to spot. Without giving too much away, suffice it to say that the butterfly is a digital image that will appear and disappear. Jungle sound effects are part of the fun too; you’ll hear hissing snakes, howler monkey yelps and the sounds of a tropical storm wafting over the giggles of your fellow explorers.

A one-day pass to Odysea Mirror Maze is $9.95. Combination passes that include entrance to Butterfly Wonderland are also available.

In the same building as Odysea Mirror Maze is the Laser Maze. This is a room that’s crisscrossed with beams of light similar to those used in high-tech security systems in real life. And just like in spy movies, the idea is to not break any of the light beams as you move about the room and complete your “mission” safely by touching strategically-placed buttons. You have a limited amount of time to bend, twist and crawl through the course, which can at your request be set to different levels of difficulty. Every time you break a beam a computer registers it and deducts points from your score, and outside the laser field your friends are all watching your exploits on a video monitor.

The Laser Maze adventure is $3.95 per person for three passes through the maze.

Odysea in the Desert will eventually include the Odysea Aquarium, slated to be the largest in the southwest, an IMAX theater, a Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum, an “Arizona Experience,” retail shops and a “Taste of the World” array of restaurants.

Visit the Odysea Mirror Maze website

To find other fun things to do in Scottsdale visit the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau website

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