WonderWorks Magic Show
9067 International Drive, Orlando 32819
Prices: Adults $37.95, children (4 to 12) and seniors (55+) $27.95, includes admission to WonderWorks; for show and food only, adults $21.95, children and seniors $14.95; prices do not include tax.
Times: Nightly at 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.
Directions: From I-4 Exit 74, drive east on Sand Lake Road, turn right on International Drive; the show takes place in WonderWorks, next door to the Pointe*Orlando shopping center.
As I watched this enthralling show, I was reminded of what a terrific disappearing act top-notch magic has done over the last few decades. Thanks to the demise of the great television variety shows of the fifties and sixties, there’s a good possibility that your kids (or maybe even you!) have never seen a really good magician perform up close. You can remedy that sorry circumstance by heading for WonderWorks, the interactive attraction in the upside down house (see Chapter 11: Another Roadside Attraction).
Every night, in a small 130-seat nightclub-like room at the back of Mazzarella’s Pizzeria, you can catch a one-hour show featuring some truly first-rate prestidigitation. The show changes from time to time (I have seen shows called Shazam, Night of Wonder, and The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show) but the basic formula remains pretty much the same, whether the accent is on Vegas-style razzle dazzle or broad comedy. Most shows progress from standard playing card and ball tricks to some truly amazing stunts. Often you will see some personal object borrowed from an audience member get smashed or burned beyond recognition only to reappear in perfect condition elsewhere. Some tricks involve elaborate contraptions in which the stars are locked and sometimes chopped, sliced, and diced (or so it would seem).
There is great emphasis placed on audience involvement, with pride of place given to the youngsters, whose sense of awe and wonder is evident in their fresh faces. Adults get their chance to shine as well in routines that are as light-hearted and humorous as they are mystifying. The result is a thoroughly entertaining interlude.
What makes this a dinner attraction is the all-you-can eat pizza and all-you-can drink beer, wine, and soda. The pizzas, which are quite good and don’t skimp on the cheese, are half plain and half pepperoni, and as one disappears another arrives to take its place. The doors open and food service begins about 30 minutes prior to show time and service continues throughout the show.
The “Magic Combo” package includes admission to both the show and the WonderWorks attraction and touring the attraction after seeing the show makes for an enjoyable and entertainment-packed evening. You can also opt just to eat and see the show, in which case the show becomes one of Orlando’s best entertainment bargains. Reservations are recommended, especially during busier periods, because seating is limited. The only nearby parking is in the lot of the next door Pointe*Orlando shopping mall. Unfortunately, WonderWorks does not validate parking tickets, so expect to pay about $3 or $4 for it, depending on how long you linger at the attraction.
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