The Office Experience is now open in Toronto and here's what to expect
Dunder Mifflin Paper Company Inc. has a new branch located inside Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre and fans of The Office can now experience what it's like to sell paper products.
The fully immersive experience allows fans to step into the world of Scranton, Pennsylvania and recreate their favourite moments as the characters from the show in their own way.
Of course, as Dwight Schrute would say "Identity theft is not a joke, Jim. Millions of families suffer every year!"
I've seen videos on TikTok about The Office Experience in Washington D.C. and even debated on flying out to check it out, but now that it's in Toronto, it was well worth the wait.
So I made sure I dressed up in a suit to fully immerse myself in the experience and feel like Michael Scott.
A look inside The Office Experience in Toronto. Check out The Office Experience starting March 3 at Yorkdale Shopping Centre 💼 #Toronto #TheOffice pic.twitter.com/1O7DSvMUlW— blogTO (@blogTO) March 2, 2023
Upon arriving, you'll have your photo taken for your personal ID card. You'll be appointed to Dwight's job as Assistant to the Regional Manager. This card will allow you to become a Dunder Mifflin employee and experience all the photo booths.
When you first walk into the experience, you're greeted with a large "Scranton Welcomes You" sign. A very similar sign is seen in the show's introduction.
You then walk into the parking lot of Scranton Business Park where you'll find Michael Scott's parking spot. However, Michael's Chrysler Sebring convertible is not there.
One crucial element about immersive experiences from television shows or films that I'm picky about is the props and costumes on display. I believe that if you don't have the real prop or costume, don't display a similar or a replica inside a glass case.
I like to see how big these real items truly are or what type of material the items are actually made of.
The Office Experience proudly let me know that all the costumes and props behind the glass were used on the show and lent by NBCUniversal Archives.
This included items like Prison Mike's purple bandana, a Sabre Pyramid and the real Dundie Awards. This was really awesome to see in person. I love artefacts and I love knowing that some of these props made a huge cultural impact on society.
Moving through the experience, the main attraction is the Dunder Mifflin Scranton Branch office itself. Walking in, you'll see reception where Pam Beesly and Erin Hannon spent most of their days picking up calls for the branch.
Complete with candy, the always broken copy machine and Pam's sketches, for a moment in time, the office felt like an actual set.
What made this experience better than expected was the attention to detail and the subtle references to jokes made in the show. The stapler in the Jell-O, to a photo of Asian Jim, to the Froggy 101 sticker on Dwight’s desk just to name a few.
Of course, they couldn't get everything, however it was near perfect. I will say, one opportunity they missed was turning the clock to 5 p.m. in reference to the episode where they all left early.
This was a huge reason why I was very disappointed with the Friends Experience. It was lacklustre, poorly put together and for lack of a better word, cheap. It was like they grabbed items that were similar to what they used on the show but not really similar.
This also might be because I’ve been to the actual set in Los Angeles and was mesmerized.
Back to Dunder Mifflin (The people person’s paper people!). Michael Scott's office was also very detailed, however you might feel rushed as this is one of their photo booths and there's other people waiting so you're not able to take your time looking around.
The boardroom was quieter and it allowed you to shoot your own documentary-style scene. They also included scripts for you to read and a tripod to place your phone on.
While it's probably not recommended, there isn't enough space to do parkour. This area was too crowded. There were way too many people and it really dampened the experience.
At one time there seemed to be at least 45 people walking around the office area. For fans who want to take pictures at their favourite character's desk, you're going to end up being frustrated as you're most likely going to have random people behind you in your photos.
This isn't what you want, in the show, there are about a dozen or so people in the office. The overcrowding did not make me feel like I was fully immersed in the experience.
One of the most iconic lines in the show is Michael Scott’s response of "That's What She Said!" and the experience lays out every single time he says it in the show in a meme format. Right beside the meme wall is of course a nod to Michael Scott's debut film Threat Level Midnight.
The rest of the experience includes joining the Dunder Mifflin Olympics, playing Stanley's crossword on a very large scale and bringing in some of Kevin Malone's Famous Chilli (with undercooked onions of course).
There is a small Canadian connection to the experience. If you've ever watched the show, you'd know that Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly got married in Niagara Falls. Albeit, it was the US side, but it was on the Maid of The Mist.
A photo booth with a green screen allows you to take a picture like you're in Niagara Falls.
The experience ends with an opportunity for you to dance down the church aisle at Jim and Pam's wedding with Chris Brown's Forever playing in the background.
The gift shop at the exit allows fans to purchase the photos and videos from the experience and can run you up to $45.
The rest of the shop has typical The Office merchandise. If you're a big fan and have money to waste, they have packs of white paper with the Dunder Mifflin wrapping for $10.
The Office Experience is expensive, but worth it if you're a fan. Tickets start at $44 and if you want the full experience, the add-ons might have you yell out “I… DECLARE… BANKRUPTCY!”.
Overall, it's a great immersive experience and you could easily spend over an hour just walking around. However, compared to the other The Office Experience in Washington D.C., there are many parts that are missing in Toronto.
The recreation of Schrute Farms, the hot coals walk and the sumo suits from Beach Day were not part of this experience.
Compared to the Friends Experience, this is far more detailed and felt as if more time was invested in perfecting the experience. I would suggest you visit on a weekday during the day to take better pictures and spend more time looking at all the nooks and crannies of the place.
If you're a fan, you don't need to think long and hard ("That's what she said" -Michael Scott) about going to see this experience. It's worth it.
Here's hoping the next experiences to be launched are either How I Met Your Mother, Grey's Anatomy or The Big Bang Theory.
The Office Experience runs to June 4 at Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
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