Located about half an hour’s drive from Salt Lake City, Utah in a town called Pleasant Grove is Evermore Park.
Evermore isn’t your typical theme park, but rather a giant stage where you are one of the players. If you’ve ever played games like Dungeons & Dragons or Skyrim, its similar to this. You are a traveler, or world walker, who has entered the magical town of Evermore through a portal. Other creatures and characters have also come to stay in this town through other portals, some good and others more sinister.
Now this is where I mention Evermore has seasons, each named after which world’s portal the season is focused on. This was Lore aka the spooky portal. Simply Lore is a corrupted world and its corruption was sweeping through the town infecting inhabitants and causing all sorts of madness and terror. There were beautifully themed pumpkins, haunt walks through catacombs, ghosts looking for justice for their murder, giant monstrous puppets, infected folks coming after you, etc.
What to do in Evermore?
While waiting in line for the park to open we were greeted by Aros the Beastmaster and his pony Red (yall this place has so many adorable animals) who gave us a park map containing an intro quest that’s designed to get your bearings in the park. He briefly summarized events going on inside the park and where to go first once inside (If you want to do archery and axe throwing get those done first as the lines build up quick.)
Denizens of Evermore are identified by glowing pendants they wear. You are encouraged to speak to them and learn more about them and the town. If things go well they may have their own quests for you like we had including helping find a cure to Lore’s infection or participating in trials to join their guild. Over two nights I joined the Blackhearts (Van Helsing-esque monster hunters), the Knights of Evermore, and a newly founded coven. To join the knights I had do demonstrate their tenants by giving gold I had earned from quests to a person in need, brave the catacombs, and declare myself a friend of an Evermorian. (I immediately chose my quest giver Ser Rooster as he was my favorite character in the park.) Each Guild has their own initiation ceremonies to take part in once you are eligible to join.
(Note: I apologize for vertical video it just tends to make it easier for cropping on Instagram.)
As you walk through the town you will come upon scenes between Evermore’s characters furthering the plot and character development and i highly encourage stopping and giving it a watch. One scene I witnessed was Evermore’s recently infected scholar explaining how the infection works to other world walkers, while using other infected as an example.
Another heartbreaking scene concerned Suds the tavern keep, who was struggling to keep himself together after being infected and quarantined behind his own bar. Cleo, a musical character of the park, tried to soothe him with one of his favorite songs. Towards the end you’ll overhear a conversation with some World Walkers who had been testing out potential cures on Suds. (“the plot thickens!”)
How do I know keep up with the plot of Evermore if I’m not attending regularly?
Since each season has its overarching story, with multiple smaller story lines going on concurrently, folks can understandably feel a little overwhelmed going in. From my group’s experience here are a few options I suggest trying out.
1.) Go in completely blind! It’s like any adventure story, the events are already in full swing and its up to you to put the pieces together. This is how half of my group did it and had a blast discovering characters and places in the park. They didn’t feel any pressure to complete specific agendas.
2.)Be a completionist like me. I’m an obsessive researcher by nature, particularly when it comes to trip planning or series with a lot of lore. (ha ha) To catch up on who’s who and what’s what I used the resources posted at the end to get me all caught up including two podcasts run by local, frequent attendees. From there I was able to settle on what story lines interested me the most and pursued those while enjoying catching snippets of other plots playing out in the background. (Such as the murderer in town being arrested over the weekend and eventually being murdered himself during an escape attempt.)
3.)BRING. A. NOTEBOOK. Some quests required researching or remembering character names and having a place to note it down made it much easier. Also if you’re going with option 2 I used the first few pages to make list of characters I wanted to meet and places to check out in the park.
4.)One addition made to Evermore this season was the use of town newspapers to give folks a quick rundown on key events. The newspapers are published weekly so any major events noted are current.
Trading is another activity that has developed in the park, both as a way for World Walkers to earn gold and for other World Walkers to meet up with each other. Popular items are shiny stones, jewelry, and other trinkets. To prep for this I went through my old costume accessories and jewelry and brought pieces I don’t use anymore which ended up being a hit. You will frequently see Evermore’s townsfolk sporting goods they have received from world walkers.
left grouping is a sample of types of items I brought to the park: gemstones, gold coins, gambling dice, etc. Right grouping are some of the items I received from trades.
What do you do with Gold you’ve earned in Evermore?
Gold has multiple uses in the park. There were several quests that involve the use of earning and spending gold. In previous seasons if you earned enough gold you could apply it for a discount in the merchandise shop. I used mine for advancing quests and buying a postcard from the town postman. (For those wondering what you would do with an Evermore postcard, I have heard of folks using it to exchange sensitive information to other characters, set up characters on dates, etc. I personally just wanted a souvenir.)
These activities are the backbone of the park. There’s no right or wrong way to interact, everything is designed to work at your level of interest. The first night there I mostly took in the sights and scenes, and once I had my bearings on the second night dove headfirst into joining guilds. You truly get out what you put into it.
Do you have to dress up or assume a character?
There’s nothing requiring you to dress up in the park but it enhanced the experience for me. As long as you follow Evermore’s costume guidelines you can come as a knight, witch, anime character, whatever suits you. I attended with my dnd party and so of course we made up our own characters. I came as “Sundew the Bog Witch” (hence me joining the coven) and my costume helped me garner character’s interest and was a great conversation starter. If cosplay isn’t your thing don’t worry nobody will give you a hard time for coming in jeans and a hoodie.
Evermore is home to a number of animals and hosts a bird and reptile show featuring a variety of exotic birds, including my favorite an African Hornbill. Many of the trainers also roam the show area with other animals as well, including a very pregnant pig I met named Jellybean who was living the dream in a drawn cart with a blanket and snacks.
Meeting the Fae King
Down in the ruins in Evermore awaited a giant monster, one reveling in the terrible events wrecking havoc in the park. This was the fae king, a former cheery fairy king fully corrupted by Lore’s darkness. You could visit him during the night and hold court, where he would often give cryptic answers to questions he received. A huge and incredible puppet I loved going to visit.
The wildest part of experience was the end of the second night where those infected by lore broke out of their quarantine zone and the few surviving people of evermore pushing them back so we could get out safely. I was on the front line of this and watched Mr.Phillip Humphreys (the towns recently infected mailman I had a lovely conversation with earlier that night.) take another character out at my feet. I had been separated from my party and they thought the person who had been taken out was me and that I needed to be rescued!
There are several snack and food locations throughout the park. The pricing was very reasonable by theme park standards and pretty tasty. My garlic truffle fries and wassail were my standouts. You wont find the standard renfaire assortment of of Turkey legs and ale. To my understanding Evermore is working on a liquor license, but the tavern does have several delicious soda options.
The lines do get long quickly so if you are planning to eat in the park get there early.
Tickets, Hours, and Waivers
Tickets for adults ranged from $20-$30 depending on the night, and hours were 6pm-11pm. You can purchase your tickets ahead of time on the Evermore Park Website or at the gate. In addition to tickets you are required to complete a waiver for liability and potential use of likeness for promotional material. You can do this on the website and once you are in the system you don’t need to repeat the process until a new season begins.
Parking is currently free and if you arrive 30 minutes early you can often get a spot right by the front gate.
Near the entrance to the park is a small merchandise shop with a variety of goods to choose from. Aside from the usual fare of t-shirts and sweaters, items included hand made ocarinas, horn mugs, archery targets, etc. The most expensive piece I bought was the $35 horn mug. Not pictured is my full sized archery target I purchased for $5.
Next to the park is a Hyatt and several Airbnbs. Since Evermore is an evening park we opted for a comfortable airbnb we could relax in for the day, shopping at nearby stores for supplies.
On the day we went home we actually woke up to snow (mind boggling to my southern California existence) and near our airbnb was this beautiful venue that looked like a castle. (oddly enough not part of Evermore.) So needless to say I had to take a picture in front of it.
Evermore is the most unique themed experience I have been to by far. Its biggest strength are the folks who play the characters. They sold me on who they were, their motivations, everything. The love and dedication to the place is genuinely felt here. I’m not one who usually gets swoony over meeting celebrities but I quickly became fans of the characters there, including swooning over my dear Ser Rooster. The attention to detail in the construction and decor (which includes a lot of authentic antiques including a statue of Saint Apollonia, the patron saint of dentistry.) brings the immersion of the park to a whole other level.
There is definite room for growth, some of which can be seen in the current construction going on throughout the park. Popular characters do tend to get crowded and I can see them changing how quests, etc are handled in the future as the park (hopefully) continues to expand. But overall if you can get yourself out to Pleasant Grove, Utah I recommend checking this place out.
Thinking of going to Evermore? There are several resources that were great sources of knowledge for my trip planning.
World Talkers Podcast World Talkers recounts previous seasons stories, has several actor interviews, and offers useful how-tos for the park.
World Walker Weekly Another Evermore Podcast that goes in depth into plots, character theories, and more.
Evermore Fans This website provides resources such as videos of various events at the park and a character database.
Ginny Di’s Evermore Park is D&D in Real Life Ginny Di recounts her experience in Evermore
The Evermore Park Community An active community group for Evermore fans to gather.