Let Your Imagination Run Wild…at WonderWorks!

Filed under: Entertainment,Hidden Orlando,Just For Fun,Leisure,Vacation Tips |

Sometimes it’s nice to let your imagination run riot for a few hours and so it was when I recently visited WonderWorks, at Pointe Orlando on International Drive. WonderWorks claims to be an amusement park for the mind and with over 100 interactive exhibits it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

There’s something at this venue for everyone. Kids aged 1 through to Seniors aged 101 will enjoy everything on offer and get to do some neat things. It all starts when you arrive and you know you are in for a weird and wacky time when you see the building.

The building’s dramatic exterior is 82 feet tall and literally towers over nearing structures. As if that wasn’t enough, the mere sight of an upside down building will catch your attention like no other before it. WonderWorks is a three story tall classically designed building that has simply landed, upside down, atop a 1930’s era brick warehouse.

Of course, I say simply landed upside down but there’s a whole lot more to it than that. Removed from the glare of the media and the encumbrances of governmental restrictions (shouldn’t we all be so lucky?); a group of scientists from around the world collaborated to find answers to the unexplainable. Their mission: to understand, predict and control these phenomena. In early 1998, during a top secret experiment, something went awry. When the scientists attempted to harness the power of a man made tornado, the giant, swirling vortex unleashed its power throughout the laboratories! The energy vortex lifted the research facility from its foundation and transported the laboratory hundreds of miles away to Orlando, where it landed upside down, but otherwise functionally intact.

As you walk through the entrance door you’ll notice the grand staircase, upside down. The reception counter is nearby and from there your journey begins. As you wander through the three story building you’ll come across some of the most imaginative displays and amazing exhibits found anywhere in the world.

You’ll enjoy some of the most sophisticated graphics and audio presentation techniques available. The first floor is where you’ll discover exhibits like Natural Disasters, where disasters are explained in basic scientific terms. You get chance to revisit 1989 and the San Francisco earthquake that collapsed a freeway and stopped the World Series in baseball. Check out Hurricane Hole and feel the effects of 71 mph winds.

The Anti-Gravity Chamber is a favorite as you try and work out which way the water is traveling…is it from floor to ceiling or ceiling to floor?

From there, make your way to the second floor and lie on the Bed of Nails. 3,500 sharp nails are in this bed and all it needs is 2 kilograms of pressure to puncture the skin… how brave are you? After that press your entire body into the WonderWall and see a 3-dimensional impression appear.

As you move along you’ll be entertained by the Big Piano as adults and children play music with their feet. Strike a Pose is different as you get to leave your shadow behind. You stand directly in front of a wall and block bright light from reaching it by striking a pose. While the rest of the wall quickly absorbs the light, the area you blocked remains dark…even after you walk away!

Mind Ball is a challenging bio feedback game for two based on EEG technology. Players wear a headband with electrodes and relax their minds in order to use their brain waves to move a ball across the table. The winner is the player who is most relaxed!

The Control Room continues the adventure and this is where you get to discover the freedom of flight in Fighter Jets, land the space shuttle and explore the latest in virtual reality as you design the roller coaster you’ve always wanted and then ride it! Be warned, you can get rather dizzy just watching WonderCoaster… it is unique and has the ability to turn 360 degrees in every direction.

Leaving the Control Room you get the chance to relax and enjoy the Far Out Art gallery. It’s always a lot of fun trying to work out what an artist has conjured up and here is no exception. I won’t say anymore but working out some of this stuff is just plain challenging!

Finally, you arrive at the third story… naturally enough it’s called “The Basement”… yep, don’t forget the place is turned upside down! The Basement is home to the XD Theater and its 4D Extreme Motion Ride, lazer tag and the one of a kind, Indoor Ropes Challenge Course. The motion ride is housed in a 12 seat theater that takes guests along an amazing adventure that transcends time, space and imagination by combining the 3D film with special effects and motion seats. This gives it the fourth dimension!

Lazer tag sees players vest up and compete against others inside the blacklight maze. It’s a fun game and combines innovative technology with fast paced entertainment. The other major attraction in “The basement” is the Indoor Ropes Challenge Course. Completed in May of this year it stands some 36 feet tall and guests get the chance to climb three stories of ropes and encounter more than 20 obstacles along a course that tests both stamina and endurance. Important to note that guests must wear closed toe shoes to participate…you have been warned.

So that’s a brief review of WonderWorks…make sure you plan for half a day here because you’ll need it to see everything… and there is just one more thing I need to tell you about… Orlando’s funniest dinner show is held here. Showtime happens nightly at 6.00pm and 8.00pm and The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show with Tony Brent is one of the hidden secrets in Orlando. It has been voted “Best Dinner Show” by both Wesh 2 and the Orlando Sentinel. The show is a mixture of amazing magic, impersonations and high energy improvisational comedy. Guests get to enjoy a table side dinner service of fresh hand tossed cheese and pepperoni pizza, salad, popcorn and unlimited beer, wine, soda and dessert! It’s a MUST DO when in Orlando!

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