You have to have a bit of an imagination to understand the premise of WonderWorks, a popular and hard-to-miss attraction at Broadway at the Beach. But then again, you need a vivid imagination to enjoy the full experience of the three-story, 50,000 square foot venue, which combines science and nature with fun and thrills.
It’s called “edu-tainment”, as in part education, part entertainment, and here's the story: Imagine a previously top secret scientific laboratory based in, of all places, the Bermuda Triangle, getting scooped up by a Category 5 hurricane and dropping it in Myrtle Beach upside down on top of a crab shack. OK, so the latter part is believable since Myrtle Beach does seem to have a seafood restaurant on every street corner. But the amazing displays inside WonderWorks hold the biggest surprises.
With the top floor (actually the basement) holding a restaurant, gift shop and other unique exhibits to raise the interest of bypassers, the real wonders of WonderWorks are discovered as you make your way up (or is it down?) the steps to different levels and themes. Featuring more than 100 hands-on displays that are designed for all ages, WonderWorks is particularly engaging for children with inquisitive minds.
The science and nature sections feature several stations where families can interact while they play with the interactive displays. The Imagination Lab allows guests to test their mental skills and match wits with one another on hand-eye coordination games, memory tests and other mind-bending exercises. Kids can play with exhibits that spark their imaginations, like playing Mindball, making bubbles or stomping aliens.
The Physical Challenge Zone gives visitors the chance to gain first-hand knowledge about the laws of gravity and motion, the magic of light and sound, and other bizarre experiments. Test out the Xtreme 360 Bikes, which allows patrons to determine their speed and motion by pedaling, and test your skills in the sports arena with the virtual-reality exhibits. Lie down on a bed of nails and use pulleys to lift heavy loads. The Natural Disasters section gives guests a taste of some of the most extreme weather on the planet, such as hurricanes, lightning and winds. The Far Out Gallery is a museum of the weird and obscure.
Ascend to the top (or the bottom) floor for a more extreme experience. Strap in to the 6D Motion Ride, which takes riders on a virtual-reality journey of the imagination. There's a Space Center where guests can experience weightlessness and the effects of G-forces, and a Laser Tag Arena that literally takes the fun to the next level. The indoor ropes course is a more kid-friendly version of the most extreme activity at Soar + Explore, a sister attraction that operates out of the same facility.
Soar + Explore is a zipline and ropes course outfitter that gives patrons more thrills than the indoor displays at WonderWorks. The zipline gives the brave and daring a chance to strap into a harness and fly over Lake Broadway for more than 100 feet at 50 feet above the surface of the water. The three-story ropes obstacle course and 40-foot climbing wall allow visitors to enjoy adventure sports in an outdoor setting. The zipline, ropes course and laser tag are separate charges from the rest of the attractions, which are included in the general admission fee.
WonderWorks is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Tickets are $39.99 for adults and $36.99 for children, but guests of Long Bay Resort can take advantage of their Sun & Fun Rewards package for one free ticket. For more information or to purchase advanced tickets, visit www.wonderworksonline.com.