Pigeon Forge, Tenn. – With summer vacation in full swing, parents and educators are singing the praises of WonderWorks – one of Pigeon Forge’s premier vacation destinations. By combining fun, completely interactive zones with science, art and physical challenges, WonderWorks is a comprehensive learning experience where visitors’ imaginations can run wild.
WonderWorks, is an amusement park for the mind or an easier way to describe it is as an indoor theme park that opened in 2006 and has nearly 60,000 square feet of fun for all ages. Housed in an upside down building (you have to see it to be believe it), WonderWorks appears to have been ripped from its foundation and set back down on its roof. Beneath its fascinating exterior, WonderWorks features a myriad of hands-on learning experiences, demonstrations and activities utilizing some of the most sophisticated graphic and audio presentation techniques available.
“Parents want to be involved in their child’s education,” said Andrea Wilson, Ph.D., the educational manager at WonderWorks. “Here at WonderWorks, the kids have a great time – and they make lasting memories with their family and friends – but it also influences their educational journey for the rest of their lives. They get more value here than they do from putt-putt or go-carts. Children leave this building with knowledge they didn’t have when they walked in.”
Inside WonderWorks, guests find 120 interactive adventures that are divided into separate themed zones. The “Challenge Zone” includes a rock climbing wall, physical and psychological endurance competitions and even a “bed of nails” to lie on. In the “Space Zone,” visitors are entertained with interactive, 3-D films about outer space plus a life-size re-creation of space suit they can try on for size, a Mercury Space Capsule, and simulators that allow guests to land the Discovery Space Shuttle as it glides in from outer space.
WonderWorks also houses a “Sound and Light Zone,” a “Natural Disaster Zone” (where guests can experience a 6.0 earthquake), and the “Control Center” where visitors ride the roller coaster they created in a coaster simulator.
The museum aligns with a variety of state educational standards for educators & students, and all lesson plans have multiple curriculum components. Students may participate in each exhibit on-site, but classroom discussion should follow each one individually. The lessons range from studying the Scientific Method and Newton’s Laws to learning about sound energy and natural disasters. Below are examples of the exhibits at WonderWorks and the lessons for each:
Many WonderWorks exhibits feature data collection cards for individuals or classes to use. In addition, there are coloring sheets for those students who may be interested. There is also a WonderWorks Test and Scavenger Hunt worksheet to quiz the students on what they learn at the museum.
Richard Van Huss, the director of federal programs for Elizabethton City Schools, said, “It is rare, in this day and time, to find a learning experience that is so entertaining for children.”
From an entertainment standpoint, WonderWorks is the #1 indoor attraction in Pigeon Forge. Every evening, WonderWorks comes to life with the “Hoot N’ Holler” Dinner Show – one of the most popular shows in the Great Smoky Mountains. For years, visitors have enjoyed a fantastic three-course dinner with their family while experiencing the 90-minute performance featuring “Scraps,” whose antics leave guests rolling in the aisles with laughter.
The new “Wonders of Magic” show at WonderWorks features nationally-recognized magician Terry Evanswood. In addition to Evanswood’s daily performances of “Wonders of Magic” at WonderWorks, a new museum called the “Hall of Magic” just opened inside WonderWorks showcasing some of magic’s most treasured artifacts from legendary magicians like Harry Houdini, Howard Thurston and Harry Blackstone. WonderWorks also features the WonderDog Café where guests can enjoy the world-famous WonderDog with its secret recipe chili sauce without ever leaving the attraction.
ValueVacation tickets to WonderWorks are available in a variety of packages that meet the needs of any size family. To learn more about WonderWorks, the Hoot N’Holler Dinner Show and the new Wonders of Magic show featuring Terry Evanswood, visit www.WonderWorksTN.com or call 865-868-1800.
WonderWorks operates from 9 a.m. to midnight every day. We also operate in Orlando, Fla. and will open soon in Panama City, Fla. and Myrtle Beach, S.C.