With 35,000 square feet of attractions, WonderWorks bills itself as “an amusement park for the mind.” The adventure begins with a fun story… According to the folks at WonderWorks, they were once a top-secret laboratory located in the Bermuda Triangle. One day, an experiment went awry and the entire lab was mysteriously carried to Panama City Beach where it landed upside down.
Here are some of our favorite activities at this eclectic attraction:
Named in honor of the famed inventor Nikola Tesla, this station allows you to “become a human lightening rod” by placing your hand into a steel armor glove and watching as 100,000 volts are sent to your fingertips. It doesn’t hurt, but does give you a sense of how electricity works.
How Cold Is It?
This interactive display harkens back to the early 1900s when the Titanic was the largest ship on the ocean. After sinking, passengers lucky enough to escape the famous ship had to survive in frigid cold waters. Visitors have a chance to time themselves as they dip their hand in 28-degree water to get an idea of what those passengers endured. Once you dip your hand in the ice-cold water, you’ll never think of the Titanic in the same way again.
The Bubble Lab allows you to create bubbles the size of a basketball, blow bubbles through a special sheet, or even create a bubble that is large enough to fit inside of. It also teaches about refractive light and how that light creates different colors.
Based on EEG technology, Mindball literally allows you to control a ball with your mind. You are hooked up to a bio-feedback device as you face an opponent across a game table. The idea is to move the ball with your mind before your opponent has the chance to. While this is a fun activity for the kids, you may find yourself coming back to try it out several times.
Sports lovers in your group will have a blast as they experience what it’s like to pitch to a major league baseball player, kick a goal past a professional soccer goalie, or throw a 50 yard touchdown pass. They can time themselves, test their depth perception, and learn how accurate they are.
Imagine the thrill of climbing into a replica of the one-man Mercury Space Capsule to get a sense of what it felt like to lay inside, surrounded by nothing by instruments, including 55 electrical switches, 30 fuses, and 35 mechanical levers.
Black Hawk Virtual Army Experience
You are likely to be impressed by this virtual reality experience in which you will feel as though you’re actually flying through the air, dodging obstacles, and carrying out an important military mission in a battle zone.
This multiplayer game allows you to use your feet to stomps aliens (and UFOs) in an effort to send them back to their home planet and save Earth. It’s a fun way to feel like a hero while challenging your friends to see who’s the most effective alien fighter.
You can easily spend an entire day moving from activity to activity, primarily because there are so many different experiences available at WonderWorks. Fortunately, an all day pass allows you to leave the site for lunch (or nap time) and return later in the day to see more.
-If you are visiting Panama City Beach during a peak time period (i.e. summer), don’t make the mistake of visiting on a rainy day. The crowds will be overwhelmingly. Instead, save this attraction for the heat of the day on a sunny day.
-Check available activities out online before your trip. Popular attractions can become (very) crowded so you will want to visit them first.
-Ask about which rides and/or experiences are VIP only. It will save you the time of standing in line if you’ve purchased a general admission ticket. Some visitors have complained about the lack of signage regarding which attractions are available only with a VIP ticket.