As much as there are simple pleasures to be found on a Myrtle Beach vacation, like looking for shells on the beach, or riding the carousel at Barefoot Landing, there are plenty of action-packed activities, too.
Yesterday, I described the area’s wholesome appeal for family fun. Today, I’ll share the highlights of our busier days spent at unique, interactive, and truly thrilling Myrtle Beach attractions.
Take a dinner theater hall, put a lagoon pool in the middle, and then construct a giant pirate ship at the end. Add in a fast-paced show with sword battles, high dives, acrobats, aerialists, singers, trained animals, and a spooky appearance by an animatronic Davy Jones, and you have Pirates Voyage.
Our 5-year-old daughter was too excited to eat the four-course “feast,” lest she miss a minute of the story about Pirate King Dread, his first mate Snipe, and the battle between the Sapphire and Crimson pirates over treasure. While her favorite scenes involved the lovely mermaids, our son enjoyed rooting for the Crimsons (and booing for the Sapphires) during the duck races and other competitions. I preferred the antics of Salty the Seal, and the original music by Dolly Parton, who owns the production.
To fully participate in MagiQuest, you first have to obtain a magic “casting” wand and choose an alias. Then you have to understand the lingo. Once you enter the enchanted kingdom, you and your fellow “magis” will choose your “quests” to earn spells and skills as you work toward becoming a master. Your “Ancient Book of Wisdom” will guide you through this labyrinthine space where nearly every tree, column, cauldron or crystal formation interacts with the chip in your wand, producing sound and special effects.
Our progress was monitored within our wands, and our daughter delighted in approaching every touch-screen kiosk she could find for frequent updates. For fans of Harry Potter and all things wizardry, this place is unbelievable fun. We saw our 12-year old son — who named himself “Orc” like the trolls in “The Hobbit” — for about two minutes before he tore off on his own adventure.
One of the main attractions of the Broadway at the Beach entertainment district, this two-level aquarium contains several exhibits, a touch tank, and several daily shows. Our favorite space was the Dangerous Reef, a winding aquarium tunnel you travel through on a 340-foot long glidepath, while sharks, snappers, squirrelfish, sting rays and sea turtles swim overhead.
Since we were there on a weekend, we caught the live mermaid show in Ray Bay. The highlight was meeting them afterwards in the shallow Friendship Flats pool area. They stayed in character, and chatted with our daughter about what mermaids eat (mainly seaweed)! For a complete mermaid makeover, make an appointment at the Fancy Fins Mermaid Boutique before you get there.
In addition to the aquarium, Ripley’s also operates a “Believe it or Not” museum, a Mirror Maze, a 5D Moving Theater, and a Haunted Adventure attraction in Myrtle Beach.
For the best view of Myrtle Beach, head to the Boardwalk to take a ride in the new Sky Wheel. You’ll ascend to the top of this 200-foot tall attraction in one of 42 climate-controlled gondolas. One of these – the VIP – costs extra, but has a glass-bottomed floor! Up to six people can be seated at one time, and there are no age or height restrictions. Each “flight” revolves three times around, lasting about 10 minutes.
(Photos: Myrtle Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and Traci Suppa)
–Traci L. Suppa
Traci L. Suppa drags her small-town family to see a quirky array of the world’s largest, longest, or tallest things, and blogs about it at Go BIG or Go Home.