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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:21 pm 
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Location: Charleston, WV
Arrived at Wonderworks around 12:30 Wed afternoon. A few people hanging around the outside walkway but no line. Inside at the registers there were maybe two other families in front of us and by the time we had tickets two more behind us. No sign of any crowd.

Through a turnstile behind the counter and through a closed door. Still no sign of crowding. From this room you go across a catwalk through a turning tube with multi colored flashing lights. Have seen these at amusement parks. Walk across fast. Stare straight ahead. Concentrate. Ignore the turning tube.

I started across holding 3 year old Caleb's hand. Halfway across it had me. It felt like catwalk was flipping over. I knew it wasn't but I was grabbing at railing and holding on for dear life. Ruann made it though and was having big laugh watching me slowly work my way through a few feet at a time.
Sadly....This was the highlight of our visit to Wonderworks.

In the next room we had caught up with the crowd. Standing room only. Place was packed. This section had geography theme. Big Google Earth display with keyboard work stations.
Saw a small building that had something about winds and storms. Can't remember right off what else was there because there were so many people you couldn't see over them to see what was going on.
Did find a station empty and thought here we go.....Out of order.....Getting a bad feeling about this.

There is little if any monitoring or supervision at the hands on stations. If Little Johnny wants to sit at Google Earth station for an hour spying on his girlfriend's house or search for nude beaches in Brazil.....There's nobody to tell him times up.
We decided to move on to next section thinking we'd get in front of the crowd and then come back to this room later. There was no getting ahead of the crowd. It was through the entire building.

Next room was physics. Large work station just inside the door. Two tandem bike contraptions on pendulums. Faster you peddle the higher it swings. Think the sign said 250# limit per "bike". Really limits who gets to play on this one...
For some reason they only had one in operation with a long line waiting a turn. Some other stations in the room. A baseball pitching set up to measure your throwing speed. Several Little League players competing against each other on this one.
A station with ropes and pulleys. We did try that one because it was so lame nobody else was on it.

On to the next room. Caution. Next one is up stairs. A lot of stairs. You see short flight of stairs next to an elevator. Short flight of stairs. No problem. Why waste time waiting for elevator?
Wrong. Up to the landing and then another flight. Another landing and then another flight of stairs.
If you have bad knees, hips or heart...Take the elevator. They really need to put a sign at bottom but I don't think the people behind this place really care.

Next room is a wide mix of stations from sights, sounds, odds.....A wall of displays involving the flips of coins and dice and figuring the odds.
One of those giant keyboards in the floor. A few people tried to play it but mostly people just walked across it trying to get around the crowd.
Several concave/convex mirror displays and some camera/video monitors showing images of yourself in variety of shapes.

Some computer type games. Adults were as bad as the kids. Stood behind a guy playing a trivia game. He didn't know any of the answers. I knew all of them and wanted to give the game a try. When he finished, instead of getting up he clicked a new category and continued to tie up that work station.

Over in the corner we finally found a handful of stations geared for little kids. Most were packed and crowded but found a bubble display where they could make gigantic soap bubbles. One station made a huge flat sheet of soapy film you could blow and watch.
Little Johnny and Cousin Joey showed up and would run their hand through the film before kids had a chance to blow on it. Where the h$%# were their parents? Probably playing trivia games......

The noise is very irritating and nerve racking. The keyboard, animal sounds, dice and coins flipping plus other beeps and other buzzing at other stations. On to next room. Another hike up couple flights of stairs.

Air and space exploration. Guess this one doesn't interest anybody because there was little crowd here. Stan did a couple of flight simulators. Landed the space shuttle twice. That upset a couple of adults (not really) because the adults kept crashing.
Didn't do very good with the fighter jet. Never got off the ground and running around in the grass it looked more like he was driving a tank than anything.
Robotic claw was very similar to the 50 cent claw machines in the arcade. Odds of picking something were about the same.

Ruann and Hayley had ventured on to the last room and said it was a waste. Not sure if it was included with our basic ticket or not but they have a rope. ladder, catwalk zip line deal on the top level.

We left planning on eating and coming back later but never did. When we exited the building they had entrance roped off with line of people waiting to enter ticket room.
I have no doubt the whole monitoring of the line and hiding the crowds inside is all planned out. You only see 50 other people in line or at register you don't feel it's too crowded. Once through the door and through the revolving tube. It's too late to back out.

The ticket good for all day is fishy too. Number crunchers probably have it figured into their spreadsheets how many leave and don't return meaning they can sell even more tickets.

Peak summertime season. Skip this place.
Small kids. Not enough for them to do to make it worth the cost. If anything. 6 and under should be free.


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 Post subject: Re: Wonderworks
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:52 pm 
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Alan wrote:
Several concave/convex mirror displays and some camera/video monitors showing images of yourself in variety of shapes.



Any chance one of them would make me look thinner :ac17[1]: !!!!!
Thanks for the review Alan, we have been considering going to this place with the grandkids. We may have to reconsider!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Wonderworks
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:02 pm 
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Location: Charleston, WV
Ichiban wrote:
Alan wrote:
Several concave/convex mirror displays and some camera/video monitors showing images of yourself in variety of shapes.



Any chance one of them would make me look thinner :ac17[1]: !!!!!
Thanks for the review Alan, we have been considering going to this place with the grandkids. We may have to reconsider!!!


Actually had you in mind when warning about the stairs.........


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:54 am 
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Location: Myrtle Beach
Alan, thanks so much for this review. (I added the words Upsidedown and review to your subject.) I know we talked about this place when we saw you at the 2nd Ave. Pier, but seeing it in writing with all the details really brings it to life. We had planned to do this when the grandson was here, but time, naps, and meals got in the way. Now I'm glad we didn't make it.

It sounds like the staff was not prepared for the summer crowds, or there aren't enough "police" around. Somebody needs to be limiting time on the more popular activities. Disappointed kids and grandkids leave the parents/grands wondering why they spent so much money on stuff they couldn't do, and that naturally leads to bad reviews. Also agree the steps should have a warning.

Thanks again for taking the time to write this review.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:10 am 
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We had a very similar experience in August of 2011, but we did the tight rope walk at the end and this is what the girls remember (9&10 at the time). This made the experience worth it for us, had we not tried the rope we might have left feeling like it was a complete waste.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:28 am 
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Rick mentioned this place in his trip review...see Day 6....but the crowds were too large, and he no doubt made the right decision to pass it by.

In all fairness, a local told me it is well worth the money IF (big if) you go off-season when you don't have to fight the crowds. Apparently there is plenty to do, but if your kids can't get anywhere near the exhibits/activities they want to see, you've spent a lot of money and you end up with unhappy kids.

Hopefully for this season, WonderWorks will add employees to oversee the most popular activities and set some time limits. One of the biggest gripes I've heard is kids whose parents don't mind them monopolizing the most popular activities.

(Glad the tightropes made it worthwhile!)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:24 am 
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With the summer season in full swing, have things improved regarding their crowds and lines?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:29 am 
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kevin80 wrote:
With the summer season in full swing, have things improved regarding their crowds and lines?


My advice would be to go on travel day (Saturday). Either arrive early and do this first thing when you get to MB, or leave late and go before heading home. We went to WW for the first time this year and I thought that Saturday may be the best time to go and I was right. We always used to use this strategy with Margaritaville when it was new and we avoided the long waits. Crowds were not bad at WW and the kids got to enjoy every activity they wanted to. Almost every tourist in MB is either coming or going during this time and it is a great strategy to get to the popular places without the crowd.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:45 pm 
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Location: Greensboro, NC
We went today (Monday) just after lunch and it was crowded, but not terribly so. We didn't get to check out everything, and to be honest, our group of teens (13, 13, 16, & 17) were moving faster than I really wanted to go, so there were a few things that I didn't get a chance to see. The indoor ropes course was probably the highlight. We had to wait about 30 minutes, but we stayed up there for just as long, so worth the wait.

We have a science center in Greensboro and Discovery Place in Charlotte that we've been to before, so we kinda knew what to expect. Many of the displays or activities are just "meh" and the ones that are really worth doing will always draw a crowd.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:33 pm 
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We took our grandson (age 6) along with his father (our son Mike.) I agree that the rope course was the most fun. Kenan (grandson) was barely tall enough to go on the ropes, but he made the requirement and loved it!
Photos are here:
http://funbeaches.com/upside-down-house/

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