In the comments of a recent post, one of our awesome readers asked for an article about Innoventions. This spot is nice for hiding from nasty weather, and most of the exhibits are pretty interesting. Not to mention it doesn’t draw big crowds, making it a perfect spot for the heat of the day. So what’s worth seeing, and what gets a skip? Check out below for my opinions. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
The Great Piggy Bank Adventure: This one is a must see for me. We even stop by and play pretty often. At the start of this game you are assigned an actual piggy bank that you carry with you through your journey. He is the cutest, fattest little pig! I wish they were for sale! Once you have your piggy bank, you take him through a series of virtual games in your quest to become a financial smarty pants. If you’d like a sneak peek of The Great Piggy Bank Adventure you can visit online. Game Rating: 9 out of 10.
THINK: I’ve been through this exhibit several times, but I still just don’t… get it. There’s a large video wall, a movie that plays on a loop, and touch columns that walk you through an interactive tour. The focus of the exhibit is efficiency and sustainability through technology. Unfortunately, I find this one to be pretty boring and highly skippable. Game Rating: 3 out of 10.
Where’s the Fire?: This one is so much fun! Inside the two houses pictured to the left are several large projection screens. The idea is that you have to put out the fires as they appear on those screens. The guests in line are broken into teams and compete against each other to see which side can save the house. After you play, there are a few interactive exhibits and learning opportunities. The attraction does a great job teaching about fire safety while keeping it fun enough to play over and over! Game rating: 9.5 out of 10.
Video Playground: I know what you must be thinking. A video playground at Epcot? This must be a chance to test games before they are released or to try some new technology! Well.. not so much. I wish I had better news to report, but this is just a wall of PlayStations with current Disney games. There are many better ways to spend your time in Innoventions, but if you’re stuck during a rain storm and everything else has a line, this is a good way to kill some time. Game rating: 2 out of 10.
Vision House: If I’m being completely honest, I kinda hate the Vision House, but this is only because my husband has dragged me through it so many times. This exhibit showcases the latest innovations in home design, efficiency, and automation, with a focus on green living. There are all kinds of slick electronics and gadgets to lust after as the tour goes through the different rooms of the house. Even if that isn’t your thing, it’s pretty amazing to see all the advancements that are available. Game rating: 7 out of 10.
Sum Of All Thrills: This is one attraction in Innoventions that you’ll want to visit early in the day because it will get a line. Here you design and ride a virtual version of your very own roller coaster! Planning on going upside down? No problem, the robot arms are ready to take you on the ride of your life! Would you rather take it slow and not too rough? They can handle that, too. Since you design the ride, it can be exactly what you want, making this a ride that is fun for everyone. Be sure not to miss it! Game rating 10 out of 10.
Stormstruck: Being a homeowner in Florida pretty much turns me off this 3D movie attraction that details the damage your home can suffer in hurricane type storms. Of course, it also goes through construction choices that can make your home more resistant to harsh weather. The closer we get to hurricane season, the more likely I am to skip this one. Unless you’re interested in a movie brought to you by a group of insurance agencies, you can put this one on the skip list. Game rating: 4 out of 10.
Take a Nanooze Break: This is just what it sounds like, a break area to sit and relax. There are large and comfortable seating areas and some interesting displays. So what’s a Nanooze, you ask? It’s a term for the latest news in nanotechnology or the study of really tiny things. The surrounding displays have some neat information on that subject. While this is a nice place to relax, I don’t really consider it an exhibit. It can also be loud later in the day when kids are playing in nearby areas. Game rating: N/A
Test the Limits Lab: Have you ever been stuck in the park with kids that have limitless energy? If so, this should be your destination. Test the Limits Lab encourages you to try to break things! There are also loud noises and flashing lights – it’s absolute sensory overload! Perfect for kids (or husbands) that need to run off some steam. Game Rating: 7 out of 10.
Habit Heroes: This experience leads you through different simulations to teach you the value of exercise, hydration, and healthy eating. A large group goes into this game at the same time, and the quality of the experience can depend on the group. It’s a little hokey, and if you get stuck with folks who aren’t willing to play, it isn’t nearly as much fun. However, if you get a fun group it can be entertaining. Overall, I wouldn’t miss a ride for it, but it’s worth 20 minutes if you’re just bumming around Innoventions. Game Rating: 7.5 out of 10.
So what’s you’re favorite display inside Innoventions? Do you agree with my ratings, or do you have a different favorite? What old display do you miss from Innoventions (or CommuniCore!)? Please let us know in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading!
27 thoughts on “Innoventions Uncovered”
The last two times we have been we always had child aged 2 or younger so we have not done much. But we did the fire house one and had a blast. This trip our youngest is 4 so we are excited to try more!
Hey Celeste!! I think 4 is a great age to poke around in Innoventions. Hope you have a great trip – if you think about it pop back over and let us know how your little one liked it! 🙂
Wow – I’m an awesome reader now! 🙂 Thanks for doing this nice summary of Innoventions – I think that it is an often ignored area of Epcot that offers a lot to see and do.
Also, you can test/prevue ride designs for Sum of all Thrills at http://games.mathmovesu.com/SOAT-designtable/. You can also replay the ride you did at the park at http://mathmovesu.com/games/sum-all-thrills#replay – just enter the code from the thrill card you received at the ride.
Haha Bryan – you’re totally awesome! 😉 I really appreciate the idea and the great notes you added on Sum of all Thrills. Good stuff. I haven’t been on in a while and forgot about that!
I like Stormstruck fine. It’s not amazing, but I’d rate it higher than the Test the Limits Lab.
In case the description above does not do it justice, Stormstruck is an interactive 4D movie. Your group votes on some home design decisions, and then you see the effects of those decisions come to life in the storm simulation (basically a movie with wind) that follows. I actually learned some things, like that I’d prefer a garage with two separate bays if I ever build my dream home!
Hey David! Fair enough… I think I just hate it because I’ve spent my entire life in Florida. Watching a house get ripped apart by a storm in 3D doesn’t rank high on my list. But, of course, YMMV. I appreciate the different perspective! 🙂
My kids miss the area where they were able to make paper. We did that about 4 years ago and they both still have their piece of paper.
Hey Bobby… oh how I could go on about the things I miss in this area! Does anyone still have a plastic robot or velcro creation? The area has changed so much over the years. I totally miss some of the old areas. Thanks for the reminder on making paper – I’d forgotten that one!
I’ll wave my hand in favor of IBM/Think – if I had the time, I could spend two or three hours in there going through the displays. Fascinating stuff, not to mention that it will give future scientists and engineers some ideas for areas of study and future job possibilities.
And for Habit Heroes, the only two words I need are “Director Jin”.
I’m with you on the IBM exhibit. It feels very much like a World’s Fair exhibit. They exist to show you what the company is doing in the world, in a high-tech environment. I think it works better for adults than kids, but EPCOT always has been the “theme park for adults”
I’m not so big on Habit Heroes. It seems to reinforce the message that fat people are bad. Or maybe that it’s such a poor replacement for “Goofy About Health”
Dean Finder… BEST NAME EVER!!! 🙂 And a throw back to Goofy About Health? Wow – thanks for stopping by and commenting. Two votes means I really have to give IBM another chance. Thanks!
Hi Nicholas! Maybe I need to give it more of a chance. I just walk through and don’t “get” it. I’ll really spend some time in there and see if I change my mind at all. (What would you rank it?)
In February, we were on the sum of all thrills ride and the machine had a bit of an issue and seized up on the last ride segment trapping us inside it for almost 30 minutes. 10 of which was upside down while they were getting the maintenance crew. All in good fun and problems happen, but it got a little annoying after a bit, because the display inside went dark and it just kept announcing “please remain seated and watch your children, a cast member will be with you shortly” and then say it in Spanish. It was on an infinite loop with no pauses.
Hey David! Wow that is freaky. I sort of like getting stopped on rides but upside down with a constant recording? That doesn’t sound so fun. Thanks for sharing the story!
Do all of them need to be done in a group? I’m going to Disney alone in October, and I don’t fancy the idea of finding a group for each one. What about Sum Of All Thrills? Can I do it alone?
Hey Leandro – it’s a lot like the rest of WDW. Lots of things load in large crowds but you don’t need to “be” with other people to enjoy it. Does that make sense? I keep meaning to tell you that you can email me if you have any questions for your trip coming up. dizdaisylauren AT gmail DOT com.
Thanks for the info. It’s just that for some of the attractions you said things like “broken into teams”, “if you get stuck with folks who aren’t willing to play”, David Davies said that in Stormstruck you vote as a group… So I’m afraid that all attractions in Innoventions are geared towards groups of friends or family that go together and interact between each other. As a “single rider”, I think I’ll feel left out.
Specially concerning Sum Of All Thrills, I want to try it, but I really want to try “MY” rollercoaster. And if they make me go together with a random person (or worse, a group), it won’t happen. I know it will be fun either way, but still…
I’ve been doing lots of research, since I’m brazilian (so if you think Disney is expensive, imagine paying for it using a devalued currency) and I have to make the most out of this trip. So I appreciate your offer. If there’s something I’m having a hard time to understand, I’ll send you a couple of questions 😉
With Stormstruck, it’s a whole room of people that does the voting. Being solo would not be challenging there, and you’d need to have a very large group (or a sparsely attended show) to sway the vote. Plus, the vote does not matter much: even if the room makes the “bad” choice, you’ll get a demonstration of how the “good” choice would have been better.
You’d also be able to design and ride your own coaster at Sum of All Thrills. I’ve done it. Each simulator only holds two people.
If something sounds fun to you (whether it be in Innoventions or anywhere else), go ahead and try it solo. That’s the best part about touring alone: you can do whatever you want, and you don’t need to worry about others’ concerns.
Yep- what David said. 🙂
I understand where you are coming from, though. I go to WDW all the time alone because it’s just up the street. But business is taking me to Los Angeles later this year and I don’t know if I want to go to DL alone. I’m sure I will… I mean.. it’s DISNEYLAND! But I understand how you feel. Let me know if you need anything, Leandro. I always appreciate your comments!
Thanks for posting this article. We so often completely skip Innoventions in favor of the rides and other attractions, but maybe I can convince my husband and son to spend some time there by letting them read your descriptions.
Hey Trisha – let me know if he has any questions and I’ll be sure to get back to you. We’ll get him to try it! 😉
My kids absolutely LOVE the piggy bank game, and they wanted to do it over and over. I haven’t tried the Fire game, there’s always a 10 minute wait when we pass it, and I didn’t really know what was inside. But if it’s scored higher than the piggy bank game, we’ll have to do this next time! Also, we love the Habit Heroes game, and they give you a free rubber bracelet at the end (think ‘Live Strong’), which my children treated like gold 🙂
Hey Rosalie! You HAVE to try the fire game. I bet they have a new favorite. I didn’t want to mention the free bracelet because that is the kind of thing Disney just stops doing and they kids are disappointed. But the last time I did it they were still there. Thanks for commenting! 🙂
Does this mean that “Smarter Planet,” where you get to be the character in a video game, is gone?
Hi Bobbi! Yep- I covered everything that is currently there except the Chase Disney Character meet & greet. Sadly, IBM got rid of smarter planet and unveiled THINK early last year. Hope that helps and thank you for reading.
The THINK exhibit is a bit dry…but, when I took my 6 year old in there, we went to the video screens and played the puzzles. When he solved a puzzle, he was given a little button (pin) by the cast member there. He solved a different puzzle and got a different little button. We spent quite a while in there collecting all the different buttons they have. It proved quite entertaining.