Strolling past Spaceship Earth we were suddenly aware of a booming noise, good timing, our arrival coincided with some fountains leaping into action. A cool thing to watch, 300,000 gallons of water every minute cascade over the sides of the fountain. Apparently this happens every 15 minutes, we only got to see it once but a spectacle as water is propelled 150 feet in the air. We got more than a little wet, no matter, you soon dry out in the Florida sunshine.
Son was super keen to get to the Innoventions Plaza – home to two pavilions East and West, each focused on different scientific and technological things. Loads of interactive and quite imaginative displays, this was right up his street. It wasn’t at all busy, we easily got to do and see everything and because it is indoors it was a welcome break from the sun and crowds. On our last visit we spent next to no time in this area, Son was a lot younger but my memory was of it being a bit like a tradeshow and rather dull. They’ve changed it a lot and the focus is very much on fun interactive exhibits. Some were a bit more miss than hit, others were just fantastic.
We played “Where’s The Fire”, a game all about fire safety at home. Working as a team we had to find fire hazards in a mock-up house before fire destroyed it. This was against the clock and against other teams, all a bit frantic as everyone dashed from room to room identifying the hazards with plenty of shouting and laughter thrown in for good measure.
A tour of an energy efficient “home” was fairly interesting – Son would disagree on that one – but it did seem like we were in a commercial where they pushed a range of sponsor products.
Best of all and the piece de resistance was The Sum of All Thrills, Son’s highlight for sure. This involves designing your own rollercoaster and then riding it – such a great idea. We watched a video about maths, science and engineering and how they relate to rollercoaster design then had time at a terminal to design our ultimate thrill ride. Son and I worked together, Husband did his own thing as he wanted to max out on those thrills. It was quite educational and at the end we had to test our design on screen to ensure it was engineered correctly. After that we headed to the simulators, locked our belongings away and climbed on board.
We sat at the end of a robot arm ten feet off the ground with a big metal hood over our heads. It was just incredible, the graphics and effects were amazing, we all loved every second but it just didn’t last long enough.
Hard to top that, but next on our list was the Universe of Energy. The first time I did this ride I was blown away, this time not so much but Son adored it. It was his first time – maybe that’s the key.
The building is massive and contains Ellen’s Energy Adventure, a short movie followed by a ride through the dinosaurs. It takes about 40 minutes, we arrived just as a show was starting (they start every 20 minutes) so good timing and no hanging about. Jeopardy with Ellen de Generes was ok but I remembered the plot, again however Son thoroughly enjoyed it.
The logistics and set up of this ride are what really impress. After the movie you enter a huge room with 600 seats, they rotate and break up into 6 cars which then pass through a vast hall with huge animatronic dinosaurs. Dim lighting and dinosaur roars add to the ambiance.
We ended our day watching these guys – crazy chefs who made the most incredible music from pots, pans and the kitchen sink – great entertainment.