From the outside, Professor Wonder?s WonderWorks Pigeon Forge laboratory appears to have flipped completely on its head. When visitors enter the upside-down edifice, they must first pass through the psychedelic spinning lights of the Inversion Tunnel, which turns the building right-side-up so that families can embark on a day of entertaining educational activities.
More than 100 interactive exhibits spark excitement around natural phenomena. The facility houses a replica of an astronaut's space suit that visitors can climb inside, a gallery of mind-bending illusions, and a caf? where human beings transform food into energy through the process of digestion. There's even a display that allows guests to experience the aftershocks of the San Francisco earthquake of 1989, as well as one where they can lie down on a bed of 3,500 sharp nails without receiving so much as a scratch. Additional activities include the Indoor Ropes Challenge Course, which exercises bodies and minds as challengers navigate four stories of swinging beams and suspension bridges, and the The Wonders of Magic, a variety show starring illusionist and Merlin Award winner Terry Evanswood.
Jon Dee has been entertaining audiences with the mystical arts since the age of 14, when he owned his own magic shop and performed tricks at the tables of local restaurants. In his humorous and family-friendly show, Jon displays the power of the human mind as transfixed volunteers cluck like chickens or compete in an '80s-style dance competition. A veteran youth pastor, Jon hypnotizes volunteers in a relaxed, safe setting and also bookends shows with a positive message on the power of the mind. Like races to the moon, shows are scheduled at the Gatlinburg Space Needle anywhere from two to six times a week and also include light-hearted sprinklings of magic, ventriloquism, and comedy.
Wahoo Ziplines centers on stretch of six ziplines that runs for a total of more than two miles in length. The canopy tour is two hours in length and offers scenic views of the mountains and surrounding terrain from up to 250 feet in the air. Guides help visitors of all ages don the harness before launching them from hilltop to hilltop at speeds up to 40 miles per hour.
For more than 60 years, the Cherokee Historical Association, a nonprofit cultural organization, has immersed visitors in live recreations of the history and daily life of the Cherokee people. Nestle into the 2,000-seat outdoor amphitheater for a presentation of Unto These Hills, an outdoor drama that's said to have been performed for more than six million visitors and 60 billion insects since its debut in 1950. The adventure begins with the Europeans’ arrival in the New World and navigates audiences through the tapestry of time, ending with the Cherokees’ tragic journey on the Trail of Tears.
Cirque de Chine assembles acrobatic troupes from China's finest showmen to enthrall all ages with two hours of derring-do. Integrating aerial arts, illusion, and data learned from studying flying squirrels, shows parade a dynamic blend of spectacle onstage, from jar jugglers and dragon dancers to circus artists who dive through hoops 10 feet high. Further thrills include the five flying motorcyclists defying gravity in a 26-foot steel sphere. Admission is valid for any spot at the 1,746-seat Smoky Mountain Palace, assigned upon reserving by phone or sending a robotic butler to the theater.