OCEAN CITY – Planet Maze is celebrating its 20th anniversary of providing family-friendly fun for all ages in Ocean City.
Planet Maze, owned by the Thaler, Albright and Gordon families, is an interactive amusement facility located on 33rd Street and Coastal Highway that offers Lost Galaxy Golf, Lasertron, a climbing wall and maze, arcade, youth and adult parties and team building excursions.
“We all had toddlers and we wanted a place for them to play. Back then there were not a lot places, especially in the winter time or on a rainy day, to have birthday parties. We were looking for a place that could be open year-round that would support young families like ours as well as for families who come to Ocean City as an added attraction,” Rina Thaler said. “The great thing about this place is by having the different attractions we cater to families of all ages. Adults and teens love the laser tag, while the younger children can play in the maze and everybody can play golf. It makes a complete experience.”
At that time, the facility included an outdoor and 650-square-foot indoor climbing maze, snack bar, arcade and a 2,000-square-foot indoor laser tag arena, Laser Storm, which was the largest in Maryland at that time.
Planet Maze has grown over time. In 1998, the building was expanded to provide a larger laser tag arena
and a second story for party rooms. Around 2003, the outdoor climbing maze was transformed into the Lost Galaxy Miniature Golf, and in 2010 Laser Storm was converted to Lasertron, a more accurate, intuitive laser tag system that better tracks hits and even has a deflection mode, allowing less accurate shots to ricochet.
This past year the mini golf was updated and this week the laser tag was being modernized with new score boards, LED lighting and TVs looking into the arena.
Planet Maze is always keeping up with up-to-date technology and equipment by upgrading and modernizing.
The laser tag is a capture the flag concept where players prepare in a “ready room” by suiting up and watching an instructional video. Upon entering into the area there are several different interactive elements such as each team has a rechargeable home base as players run through the course where there is LED lighting, music and fog going off.
Planet Maze is a member of the www.ocfamilydiscountfun.com community, a must for any visiting family and a favorite for local school fundraisers and athletic teams. Over the years, they have sponsored several youth programs, such as indoor soccer and summer sports camps, as well as supplied coupons for thousands of campers.
Al “Hondo” Handy, an activity specialist with the Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department, said, “Planet Maze has played a valuable role in Ocean City’s Play It Safe Project for high school graduates held every June. In the last 13 years, 140,889 graduates have had the opportunity to participate in the activities and Planet Maze has always been a favorite.”
Thaler added Planet Maze is known for hosting a variety of parties, especially birthday parties.
“Being that we are the party place we are having a big party for our 20th Anniversary,” she said.
Join Planet Maze on Saturday, May 2, from noon-2 p.m. for a birthday party commemorating its 20th anniversary, featuring complimentary laser tag (ages 8 & up), climbing maze (ages 10 & under), and mini golf (all ages). Pizza, cake and soda will be served as well as door prizes and giveaways.
“The most important thing is the community has been very supportive of us over the past 20 years and we are very appreciative. Come by on May 2 so we can thank you,” Jamie Albright said. “We are very proud being family owned and operated and still in business but it has been a community effort.”
In celebrating their 20th anniversary, Planet Maze is holding contests to offer free fun.
From now until the end of the year, submit photos of favorite past and present memories at Planet Maze. The grand prize winner will be selected by the public in December and will receive an Apple® iPad® sponsored by Comcast Spotlight, a free year of play, and the photo will be used in Planet Maze advertising.
Additionally, customers can enter into a drawing during every visit to Planet Maze, and weekly winners are selected at random and receive one full day of free admission.
Visit www.planetmaze.com for more information.
In 1995, Thaler and Albright did not imagine Planet Maze being where it is today. Their children have grown, and the operation is still in action.
“It is just fun,” Thaler said. “We are here to provide a fun-clean-safe experience for residents and visitors alike. It’s an added attraction for Ocean City. We have taken it a step further being all very committed to this community. Watching people come in here and have so much fun while they are here, that keeps us going.”
Thaler and Albright added it couldn’t have been done without Planet Maze’s staff throughout the years who have all become one big family.
“It is good local people here,” she said of the growing community. “We are moving forward for another 20 years.”