(June 21, 2019) A picture is worth a thousand words, so discover your best selfie or portrait at the new Selfie Fantasy, at 14 Worcester Street, in downtown Ocean City.
The former OC Screams building has been completely renovated to include dozens of selfie and photography stations for guests of all ages and camera experience to come and pose for a memorable shot.
“Somebody came up to my wife, that she works with … and he had visited one up in New York and he came to us and said, ‘Hey, I have an idea,’” owner Mark Warner said. “We talked about it, discussed it and decided to do it with him.”
Selfie Fantasy offers 30 stations of picture-taking backgrounds, including a throne room, sideways house and ocean scene, as well as doughnut- and teddy bear-filled walls.
The 6,600-square-foot facility even features a pool filled with 15,000 balls on the second floor.
Warner, who has a background in construction and previous flipped houses, knew he had a profitable business venture with a generation that is constantly on their phones and looking for fun, creative pictures they can take of themselves.
Together, he and his wife, Stacey, partnered with family friend, Jason Tillman, to make Selfie Fantasy a reality.
“[Millennials] are just taking pictures of everything and anything with any kind of backdrops,” Warner said. “We visited a few in New York and they were similar, but we’re a little bit different. A lot of those [selfie shops] in New York that we visited were kind of specialized toward one thing.
“For example, there was an ice cream factory which all their backdrops are focused around ice cream,” he continued. “Candytopia was all about candy … so we’re kind of a hodgepodge. We have everything from Ocean City to a Hollywood scene to an illusion room to a ball pit. We’re just all over the map, but it’s kind of fun that way.”
According to the business website, Selfiefantasy.com, Selfie Fantasy is an interactive venue where visitors can immerse themselves in photo studio backgrounds that are locally designed, hand-crafted, and custom produced by local artists creating an ideal selfie photo opportunity.
People can come in as individuals, a family or large groups.
Warner said he has seen groups as large as 15 people check out the store.
Arrows on the ground will guide guests to the various stations. Once a group has proceeded far enough, another group can enter. Once upstairs, groups can roam around freely.
“You take as many pictures as you want,” Warner said. “You stay here as long as you want. Once you pay your admission, you watch a short video on what not to do and things like that. Then you just come through and there’s no time limit.”
Guests will use their own cameras or phones to take pictures. The facility is not limited to selfies and employees can take photos of large groups and even guide them into poses for some stations.
“The sideways room is where we tell you how to pose and where to take the picture from,” Warner said. “You go to edit on your phone and you flip that image around till the floor is on the bottom of your phone … it looks like you’re doing a handstand on the table.”
The business opened the week before Memorial Day and those who have already tried it out have enjoyed it, Warner said.
“It wasn’t really our target audience but we want to open to get our feet wet before a holiday weekend,” he said. “Our biggest challenge is getting people in the door to look at it. Once they’re inside they say, ‘Oh … so this is what it is.’”
Admission is $13 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-8, though there are specials and coupons on Selfie Fantasy’s website and social media pages for $3 off.
“When they leave here, they’re smiling,” Warner said. “It’s a memory that you can take with you.”
Selfie Fantasy is open from noon to 10 p.m. daily. The last group will be accepted into the facility for the night at 10 p.m., but can still go around and take photos for up to an hour and a half afterwards.
For more information about Selfie Fantasy, visit Selfiefantasy.com, #SelfieFantasy on Instagram, Selfie Fantasy on Facebook or call 410-213-4477.