May/June 2001 Trip -- Part 6: WonderWorks

Discussion in 'Universal Studios Trip Reports' started by WebmasterBarry, Jul 8, 2001.

  1. WebmasterBarry

    WebmasterBarry DIS Veteran

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    May 25, 2001

    The cast:
    Me (the 29-year old)

    Most people recognize WonderWorks as the upside-down building on International Drive. I think that is even one of the most photographed buildings in town. Not too many people know what’s inside, though. I had an idea from reading different things about it. I’ve always been curious about what was inside and now was the chance to see.

    I parked in the Pointe Orlando parking lot. I wanted to see if there was a nice restaurant in the shopping place. I walked around, but I didn’t see anything to my liking. I did see a Johnny Rockets, but the place was packed. I almost went into the huge FAO Schwartz, but I decided to go to WonderWorks instead.

    I went over to WonderWorks and I entered just in time. A group of 30 walked in right behind me. Whew! The entrance fee was $16.95. I had forgotten my coupon because I didn’t plan on visiting. Oh well, I will just have to pay the piper!

    The first exhibit was well done. It was a rotating cyndrical room. If you’ve seen the water vortex in Poseidon’s Fury at Islands of Adventure, that’s what the room was like, minus the water and the hallway was much narrower. As you stepped in, it appears that the room is moving! It wasn’t moving when I entered! Thankfully, there are handrails to guide you around.

    Inside the building are over 75 interactive exhibits that amaze, amuse, and even toss you around. One exhibit simulates an earthquake. You sit on padded chairs and tables as the room bounces around. Another is a hurricane simulator. You sit in a room that blows hurricane force winds. A VR simulator lets you fight other guests in a computer-generated environment. WonderWorks has an electric chair simulator. You sit in the chair and you can feel what it’s like to be electrocuted (minus the annoyance of death). You can hang glide over simulated environments. You can play music on a big piano (like the one in the movie Big). Smaller exhibits are optical illusions. The building also has a roller coaster simulator ride. A climbing wall was rather deserted. I suppose the sign saying, “Climb at your own risk” scared people off. An upper floor is a huge laser tag arena. You can also eat pizza and other junk food in the snack bar below.

    WonderWorks had a lot of exhibits that you can find at many science museums. Unlike science museums, WonderWorks doesn’t have scientific explanations on what causes these phenomenons. The attraction has the air of the cheesy tourist attraction.

    As I toured the building, I thought “tourist trap!” many times. I think the Orlando Science Center or even Disney Quest would be a better value for the money. At the Orlando Science Center, you learn as you have fun with the exhibits. I always feel like my head is ten pounds heavier from all the things I’ve learned there. Disney Quest has a better set of exhibits. The best thing about WonderWorks is that is open until midnight daily. Other attractions around International Drive close much earlier. Still, WonderWorks is not a bad place to spend an hour or two.

    I had planned to stay there for two hours, but I ended up finishing it in 45 minutes. WonderWorks does have a neat arcade, though. I found one of my favorite games there – Gunblade NY. I hadn’t played it in a long time.

    After WonderWorks, I went hunting for a place to eat. I saw a Sizzler’s across the street, but the line to pay the cashier was backed up to the door and the place was packed! I decided to hold off until I checked into my hotel.

    I braved I-4 again to go to my hotel. Parking at Pointe Orlando ended up being $2 for around 2 hours of parking.
     
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  3. No11's Mom

    No11's Mom DIS Veteran

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    We visited both Wonderworks and DisneyQuest last year. The night we visited WonderWorks, the place was nearly deserted and we had a great time. Maybe it was the heightened excitement of it being our first night in town, but we really enjoyed it. In fact, after we visited DisneyQuest a few nights later, our entire party, which included 2 11 year old boys, voted that on WonderWorks as being better than DisneyQuest. I know it was cheaper. There was one attraction where you went into a dark, soundproof booth with other people and put on headphones, which played a spooky story with sound effects. That was a good attraction.
     
  4. fboy9287

    fboy9287 DIS Veteran

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    How was the rollercoaster simulater??
     
  5. WebmasterBarry

    WebmasterBarry DIS Veteran

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    I didn't get to ride the rollercoaster simulator because you needed 2 people to do it. Besides, roller coaster simulators are never as good as the real thing.
     
  6. cotye

    cotye <font color=green>Resident Mariah Expert<br><font

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    Never been to Wonderworks. I remember seeing it the last time I was there. But my group opted to do the Ripley tour. Wonderworks sounds better in fact. LOL! :)
     

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