The Otherworldly Dreamer
Having built a successful haunted house business in his teens, Jordan Renda found himself at the forefront of the escape room craze in 2015. His desire to create something even more engaging and immersive ultimately led him to the creation of Otherworld. Nestled in Columbus, Ohio, Renda’s vision materialized in the form of a unique fusion of a high-tech museum and immersive theater. At Otherworld, visitors are transported to another world via a sprawling mélange of artwork, holograms, holodecks and other mixed-reality effects. Following the success of Otherworld Columbus, Renda and his team recently launched a second expansive location in Philadelphia this past August.
Jordan’s aim with the 32,000-square-foot Otherworld in Columbus, Ohio? To immerse guests in such fantastical images and effects that they forget all about their smartphones. Mission accomplished! Well, except for the selfies enthusiastic visitors snap around the immersive museum’s 45 rooms filled with fuzzy creatures to climb over, 190,000-plus LED lights that respond to movement, mixed-reality playgrounds, secret passageways and more. While there’s a slight narrative thread throughout each visit, guests are encouraged to simply let themselves — and their imaginations — roam free. In the brand-new Otherworld Philadelphia, hidden LiDAR sensors and other tech features up the ante, allowing visitors to actively change the mind-blowing scenery and effects just by their movements on the multilevel structures. Jordan’s first project was Night Terrors Haunted House, which he opened as a teen in Jacksonville, FL, after discovering there were no haunted houses in the area to celebrate Halloween.