9067 International Drive, Orlando 32819
Admission: Adults $19.95, children (4 to 12) and seniors (55+) $14.95, plus tax; with magic show, adults $37.95, children and seniors $27.95
Hours: Daily 9:00 a.m. to midnight
Location: On International Drive, next to Pointe*Orlando
If you liked the subsiding building that houses Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, wait ’til you see WonderWorks. The fantasy here is that a mysterious neoclassical building has crashed out of the sky, upside down, right in the middle of Orlando’s glitziest tourist strip. Inside, the normal laws of physics are likewise turned upside down. The exterior of WonderWorks may be its best feature; it has become Orlando’s most-photographed building.
In fact, WonderWorks is packed with the kind of games and gimmicks (over 100) used by science museums to teach basic principles of physics, and it turns them into a highly enjoyable interactive amusement arcade. Here, on three noisy levels, you can experience an earthquake or a hurricane and get some idea of what it would be like to fly a fighter jet or land the Space Shuttle. Then test your reflexes, your pitching arm, the strength of your grip, and your visual acuity. Or maybe you’d just prefer to play around with soap bubbles as big as you are.
One of the most popular attractions, often spawning long lines, is a station where you can design your own roller coaster then climb into a simulator and find out what it would feel like to ride it. There’s plenty more to keep you amused and entertained for as long as you’d like to hang out. The “world’s largest” laser tag arena occupies the third level. Single games are $5 and replays $3; unlimited play from 9:00 p.m. to midnight, Monday through Thursday, is $15. Next door is Pointe*Orlando, an elaborate shopping, dining, and movie venue that is an attraction in its own right.
WonderWorks is also home to a nightly magic show that comes with all-you-can-eat pizza and all-you-can-guzzle beer, wine, or soda. Special combination packages include both the show and the attraction. Show times are 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. A great way to experience WonderWorks is to catch the magic show first and then while away the rest of the evening exploring the attraction. The magic show is reviewed in Chapter 10: Dinner Attractions.
Nearby: Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Titanic, Train Land, SeaWorld.
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