In the News

Department of Wonder wins prestigious Blooloop award for storytelling

Department of Wonder, just eight weeks after its grand opening, has won a first place Blooloop Innovation Award for storytelling.

Blooloop is the leading online resource for professionals working in the visitor attractions sector. The Innovation Awards shine a spotlight on what the smartest minds in the visitor attractions business are creating, building, and thinking right now. The criteria for the storytelling award is how well an experience translates a story into an engaging visitor experience. 

To learn more, visit the Innovation Award website.

Featured on Houston Chronicle: Sugar Land’s Department of Wonder lives up to its name

The Department of Wonder is finally open in the Sugar Land Town Square, and it truly is a magical time, even in an age where immersive experiences are common.

Part escape room, part live-action video game and part Universal Studios-style attraction (minus the roller coaster), Department of Wonder is a collaborative adventure that starts the second a visitor enters into its steampunk lobby. Mushrooms grow out of the counter, strange objects line the shelves and players are gifted a special lantern that will track their progress and unlock the games as they move through the world, which takes roughly an hour.

The plot is that players in groups of up to 20 have been recruited by an explorer named Ferris who has discovered a portal into a realm filled with light-harvesting pixies. The hub world has puppets and CGI fairies to interact with, the latter of which are controlled remotely by an actor using motion capture in a back room that allows the creature to respond in real time and mimic facial expressions. Though the animation isn’t exactly Disney quality, the effect is still instantly engaging. Communicating with the illusion feels like a conversation with a cartoon character, and it’s easy to forget it’s all smoke and mirrors.

To read more, check out the full article on Houston Chronicle.  

Featured on CultureMap: Immersive and interactive new adventure lights up Sugar Land's Town Square

December 13, 2021

Immersive experiences are all the rage; Houston already boasts two Van Gogh experiences (including yoga) and a Frida Kahlo event on the way.

Now, a new entertainment concept offering up exploration and discovery will open its first Houston location in Sugar Land in early 2022. But rather than passive viewing, this immersive activity sets the visitors on a quest in both physical and digital worlds.

Department of Wonder is a new, 10,000-square-foot venue that stages an immersive, mixed-reality fantasy in Sugar Land’s Town Square (2180 Lone Star Dr.). Guests wield a light-gathering lantern and are charged with unraveling stories and solving puzzles amidst a universe of interactive experiences and colorful characters, per a release.

To read more, check out the full article on CultureMap. 

Featured on Secret Houston: A Theatrical Mixed-Reality Experience Opening Pandora’s Box In Houston This Year

March 6, 2022

Something wonderful comes this way. A fantastic new interactive experience is coming in Sugar Land this year with the opening of a massive new entertainment venue, the Department of Wonder. 

Slated to open in 2022 in Sugar Land Town Square at the space formerly occupied by Z Gallerie, the Department of Wonder is an immersive, experimental mixed-reality experience that blends fantasy elements of cinema, theater, and cutting-edge technology. Here, at the 10,000-square-foot venue, visitors are charged with solving puzzles and unraveling stories in a physical as well as digital space.

To read more, check out the full article on Secret Houston.

Featured on Community Impact: Theater, technology entertainment concept Department of Wonder announces opening date

March 29, 2022

Department of Wonder, the new location-based entertainment concept combining interactive theater with emerging technologies that is coming to Sugar Land Town Square, has announced its opening date.

The entertainment concept has slated April 24 as its opening date, according to a March 28 announcement.

Between March 28-April 23, Department of Wonder is offering a 25% presale discount on its standard ticket prices, according to the announcement. That standard pricing is set at $39 for adults, $29 for children ages 4-13 years old, $29 for seniors age 65 and older, and free for children under 3 years old.

To read more, check out the full article on Community Impact.