[Updated January 2017]
Even from a distance, you can see that the exterior of the WonderWorks Myrtle Beach building is so cool. It appears completely uprooted and turned upside down. And as you get closer to it, you hear the soundtrack that groans and creaks as if the whole thing might fall on you. When you enter, the lobby holds the theme. I love the grandfather clock that appears tossed from its spot.
As you enter WonderWorks Myrtle Beach
As you enter the attraction there is a rotating cylinder you walk through. It’s important to note that there’s a walkway that is stationary. There’s no possibility that you’ll fall or somehow get caught up in it, but the combination of the pattern on the spinning cylinder and a black light immediately made my younger daughter and I dizzy and nauseous. Mr. MyrtleBeachforFamilies and the older daughter went through without incident. I, on the other hand, poked head back around the corner and asked the manager if there was a way around it. Lo and behold, right in front of me was a door that said something like, “Tunnel Bypass Door”. Evidently we’re not the only ones with that immediate neurological reaction. 🙂
As you enter, the first exhibit you encounter is a wind room where 100 mph winds teach you about what it would feel like if you were outside during a hurricane. You’re given eye protection and endure a few intense seconds.
Just outside the hurricane room, there are three ginormous monitors and a joystick that allows you to manipulate Google Maps. We found WonderWorks on it and our house. This one is geared towards kids who are a little older. It requires sense of direction, fine motor control, and patience.
On the other side of the Google Map display was a Titanic exhibit. Put your hand in the frigid water and see how long you can keep it there. There’s a timer on it that will only begin when a sufficient amount of your hand is submerged. I put a finger it and counted to about four before I was in agony. A little girl who went before us lasted about 80 seconds. I’m concerned she either has nerve damage or acquired some as a result. That water was insanely cold!
This is where it gets crazy
Around the next turn were the anti-gravity cycles. Riders use their own power to pedal the bikes fast enough to generate the energy needed to make the bikes do a 360. It looked like fun. I’m not a thrill ride gal, so I sent Mr. MyrtleBeachforFamilies and our younger daughter to check it out. The wee one wasn’t tall enough. I think she may have secretly been relieved. While none of us ultimately tried them out, I can tell you that only about 50% of participants made it all the way around. And when they came off the bikes, they were quoted as saying their legs felt like “Jello”. Good times.
Just behind us was “Pulley Power”. A child sits on a metal seat and pulls the ropes to rise. There were three choices ranging from easy to hard. The difference between the three is pretty dramatic. Even I was unable to pull my younger daughter up on the pulley on the “hard” station.
In that same area is a cool shark green screen game. The kids see a game screen in front of them, moving to score points. On a monitor outside the exhibit, onlookers see the children embedded in the game. Very cool!
Games, games, games
On that same floor were a few fun games. The first was a bull horn strength test. You push the bull’s horns together with all your might and you’re scored. A friend I was with kicked my butt. I called her Wonder Woman. Next was a carnival-style shooting hoops type of game. You had to see how many times you could toss a basketball into a hoop in a set amount of time. Last, there was touch air hockey. There was no actual puck, just a shadow of one. To manipulate it, you ran you hand over it, creating a shadow. We could barely pry the kids away from this one!
Just across from the touch air hockey was the Pitch Power exhibit. In it kids (and adults) could throw their best pitches and be judged on speed and accuracy. There’s a video at the end of the stall of a batter and catcher. The pitcher (you) can choose to whom you’re pitching and there a few cute mascot options. This exhibit was really fun, though the line moves *really* slowly. It also seems like this is the type of thing that every member of the family wants to try. Still, it was very cool.
Next we headed up a nifty staircase. There were several throughout WonderWorks. I tried to get a few pictures, but you had to stand at just the right angle to fully see it.
Upstairs at WonderWorks Myrtle Beach
Upstairs we hit the floor piano first. Ever see the movie “Big” where Tom Hanks plays on the piano at FAO Schwarz? It’s cooler. You can change the sound from “piano” to “animals roars”. Next to it is one of those pin deals, but really big. You stand on one side, push the pins in the shape of your hand, face, booty, whatever you want, then go around the other side and see the impression it left. My younger daughter was obsessed with it! It was only the sense of obligation to let others have a turn that got her to explore other areas.
Just a few steps away was a set of fun mirrors making you look tall, distorted, and hilarious. To the right was a room where dance music played. As you move, your shadow is projected and morphed into groovy shapes and colors up on a big screen. My two girls spent at least twenty minutes in there. My friends’ sons spent about 30 seconds.
On that same floor, there were some very entertaining, but simple interactive displays. My kids loved the coin toss and dice roll exhibits. You press a button and the coin flips. Over, and over, and over again. The whole premise is to show that the odds are 50/50. I’m not sure anyone was keeping track, but they had fun. They also loved the exhibit where you had to crack the code to open the safe using three, four, and five numbers.
Along the wall were several computerized enhanced Tic Tac Toe games. You have to answer a question to gain your spot, which made it a little challenging.
Our next stop en route to the third floor was “the claw”. You know those things you pump $1 at a time into and your child controls a claw, with zero grip, into a bin of stuffed animals sausaged so tightly in there only a pair of pliers could remove them? I’m not a fan, in case you couldn’t tell, but kids love them. Well here they’ll have a chance to take as long as they’d like to use a claw, with actual grasping power, to lift various things. No, ultimately there is no prize, but it was still fun. There are only two and they got a bit backed up. But this seemed like another example of the whole family taking a turn.
To the final frontier
Also in this area, and up on the third, space-themed, floor there are several simulators. They looked cool, but we kept walking. On that third floor there was a space weight exhibit and a neat spacesuit set up where children can climb up and look through the face mask. It’s a perfect photo op.
I’ve done a separate post about the ropes course. You won’t want to miss it! Here’s a link.
Tickets, age range, and the bar
One noteworthy mention is what we discovered after departing our new favorite children’s attraction in Myrtle Beach. You exit through the cafe and for the record, the food looked yummy. As we got outside, we saw it. The bar. I’m thinking it’s where a good amount of dads and grandparents spend some time while the rest of their family has an insane amount of fun inside. Had Mr. MyrtleBeachforFamilies known about it, I might have been in trouble.
WonderWorks Myrtle Beach has various admission prices, depending on whether or not you want to do the ropes course, laser tag, or both. They also have discount coupons on their site. General admission starts at $27.99 for adults and $17.99 for children. It’s an expensive day, no doubt. I strongly believe this may be a candidate for an annual pass, if it existed. Our day would have been $75.78. Yikes. But I still say it’s worth it. I can’t stress enough what a great time we had. Everything is truly hands-on and interesting. I think I must have said, “oh wow!” 50 times. Yet note that this attraction is best for children six and older. Children under six will have a few things to do, but I suspect they would get frustrated and bored quickly.
We were there for about three hours and could have spent another, even without experiencing the laser tag and ropes course. I suspect with those two add-ons you’d have a full day.
You can see my full photo album of WonderWorks pictures here, on my Facebook page. To learn more about WonderWorks Myrtle Beach, check out their website here. They have information about the exhibits, pricing for groups, birthday parties, etc.
Want to read more? Check out the latest on the Myrtle Beach for Families blog.