The Wonderworks building looks strange, because as you can tell, it is upside down! I like the added touch of the express delivery box up there...makes me laugh. Smart thinking on the part of the designers. It's the little things sometimes, right? It's also the BIG things, and this destination has the best of both.
The concept of the building is fun. Science lab experiments gone wrong sent the building in a flurry flight that landed it upside down smack dab in the middle of Orlando (or whichever location you are visiting). You can walk inside and see all of the experiments, right side up!
We were all a little confused when we first saw the elevator. Since the building was upside down, would we hit the top floor if we selected the 'basement' button? Yep...that's exactly what we needed to do...but we didn't. We started from the 1st floor (walking up from the basement) because we didn't want to miss anything.
The 1st floor had some weather phenoms to explore We sat in an earthquake room first, tested electricity with our hands in a glove, and then donned some safety glasses to head into the 'Hurricane Shack.' All of these areas emulated real storm features.
Why on Earth we would voluntarily experience hurricane-force winds when we already live in south Florida and try to get away from them is beyond me, but that's exactly what we did. I guess it was because we knew in the controlled environment that we would be safe.
There were a lot of interactive things to do along the walls too. I liked the Theme Song Challenge. Going back to the decade of my youth, I slayed first note on so many of these...clearly a sign that I watched too much TV as a kid. Saturday mornings were my favorite! Not like today where you can find cartoons any time of the day or night, when I was a child, you had to wait for the weekend. It was a treat to sit and watch cartoons, and The Flintstones was my absolute favorite (in fact, it's the only cartoon from my childhood that I now own on DVD). :)
Little man, who has been selected for the 'big leagues' this summer and is playing with high school players (omg, omg, omg, he's gone from being one of the best players on the team, to coming up to armpits only and not being able to block or shoot around those animals, hahaha, I mean rather large players...though it is a great learning experience for him, since he is only 11...and yes, I know I got way off track, just spouting a little and also talking in a really long run-on sentence, but it's only because I'm so proud of him). He loves basketball and gravitated towards this area more than once during our visit. This is the section that has three basketball hoops and a timer. He probably could have stayed in that little part of the room for most of the day, but I managed to prod him along. On the way out of it, they have the shoe size and height of a traditional NBA player. We stopped to take a pic. That face... that's the new going-into-middle school thing. Kids look at you but don't smile for a photo...unless they're taking selfies in a group, then the laugh and guffaw and goof around like 2-year-olds, which is a blog post all of its own. ;)
The shadow room was fun. You could stand in front of the white wall and have someone hit a button on the outside. Whatever shape you made would stick when you moved. I'll admit we stayed here a bit longer than most people probably do. We had a blast being absolute goofballs.
Honestly, it's hard to get a good picture to depict it, but you get the general idea. :)
A musical area of the 2nd floor was fun to explore. There was this piano you see above; it's groovy, right? And there was a HUGE floor piano to play on too. I noticed the adults could not resist going across the floor piano. Even the grandparents (ahem) were getting in on the action.
An astronaut trainin section with a simulator, photo opps and this ball where 2 people could sit and be spun around was super unique and very cool.
Optical illusions and things that made you think were all over the walls inside of Wonderworks too. This photo was one of many, and it had a bunch of tiny pictures making up a larger one of a pretty dog.
The top floor had a bunch of life-sized video games you could play. You could collect tickets to exchange for prizes. There were laser tag games and a snack bar there too (the basement...the true basement, not the 'basement' on the elevator that would take you to this top floor) had a place to eat too, as well as a gift shop.
This floor also had a ropes course too. One thing to note, if you want to get on these ropes, is you cannot wear flip flops, or any type of open shoe, which so many of us do while we are visiting a warm place like Orlando. So, if you want to experience this section, be sure to wear closed toe shoes. Fortunately, my son had on his tennies, so he got to climb. I did not, but I did follow along underneath him while he walked. He's done this before in Daytona (at Daytona Lagoon), so he was familiar with the process. He said it was just as fun this time.
He did this a few times over the course of the night, in fact. Tip: in the middle of the day there are huge lines for this, but later in the evening the lines dissipate and you can get right on.
There was an XD Theater here too that was awesome. It was a short movie experience that made you feel like you were in the movie itself.. Air blew out at you, and it felt like an amusement park ride. I'm sure if you took our heartbeat rates they were going pretty fast during the event. It was great.
Again, just like with the climbing area, the movie had a big line throughout the day, but if you waited until evening, you could get in fairly fast.
Everywhere you looked there were fun paintings, optical illusions, etc. This photo was merely on a landing of the stairs. It's awesome, right?
Some areas were messier than others and had to be closed periodically for clean-up. Our third time passing this one, we finally got to go in and play. You could make bubbles as big as you could reach and if you folded them over, they were humongous human-consuming caterpillar bubbles.
There was learning to be done (the best kind of learning is hands-on and entertaining).
And there were things to do that just seemed crazy, but you couldn't resist them even if you tried (see my Wordless Wednesday post here). :)
At the end of the day, you could purchase tickets to the Comedy Dinner Show (you may want to buy these ahead of time, as they do sometimes sell out) held in the basement. Here they brought salad, unlimited pizza (half pepperoni/half cheese) and drinks, and dessert to your table while you watched a magician/comedian on the stage. The show was interactive, with the star bringing people up on stage. Some of the jokes were a little risque, but fortunately, were over my son's head (and hopefully the other kids in the audience as well). If you're going to buy dinner anyway, but aren't ready to leave, why not just stay in the building to eat?
There were two different show times. We went to the late show, which turned out really great because when we were done, we scanned our original Wonder Works entry tickets (you need them if you're going back in, so don't throw them away) and went back inside to play. The great thing is, because it was so late (Wonder Works stays open until midnight) there were not a lot of people there, and we could get in and on everything lightening fast. We stayed for a little bit, doing the things we hadn't gotten a chance to do before because we didn't want to wait in lines. It was a cool way to end the night.
Our hotel was just up the road, so a quick drive had us brushing our teeth and getting ready for snoozeland. It had been an awesome day, and now we know what it in that upside down building called WonderWorks. There are several destinations across the USA, including Orlando, Branson, Myrtle Beach and more.