W5 Reimagined – take a look around a new £5m world of wonder at one of Northern Ireland’s favourite family destinations

After 20 years as one of Northern Ireland’s favourite family destinations, W5 has been completely reimagined following a major £5million investment...and it’s set to open for Halloween Half Term break!

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 10:57 am

From top to bottom, the popular visitor attraction has been completely transformed.

Two reimagined exhibition floors will excite and inspire, with eight world-class new interactive zones packed with over 250+ hands-on exhibits and experiences covering everything from climate change and nature to film and TV production, optical illusions, built engineering, medical science and much, much more.

Daily science shows at a purpose-built Science Bar will be a place for interactive learning and engagement.

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Isaac Samuels pictured in The Studio zone in the Reimagined W5

Meanwhile, a new under 8s area developed by W5’s in-house creative team, will ignite the imaginations as visitors step into a living storybook world, where family favourites are brought to life through immersive roleplay.

A refreshed ground floor includes The Lost Planet – a space and dinosaur themed maze of climbing frames and slides that takes soft play to a new dimension – and an eye-catching new ‘Skull Cave’ exhibit features giant replica dinosaur and human skulls.

W5 will reopen to the public on Monday, October 25, just in time for the Halloween Half Term break.

When W5 (whowhatwherewhenwhy) first opened its doors in March 2001, Northern Ireland had never seen anything like it. From the outset, W5’s mission was ‘to fire the spirit of discovery’, intriguing and engaging visitors with hands-on and immersive learning in a fun and inclusive environment.

Carrie Wells with daughters, Amber and Ruby pictured in the Making Sense zone in the Reimagined W5

Fast forward to 2021 and W5 is ready to delight, inspire and entertain once more. With hundreds of hands-on interactive experiences, the new and improved W5 has something for everyone, from wee kids to big kids, tweens to teenagers, parents and grandparents, and everyone in-between. After all, fun has no age limit.

Victoria Denoon, head of experience at W5, said: “For over 20 years, W5 has captured hearts and minds and ignited imaginations of people across Northern Ireland and beyond.

“Like many attractions, we had to hit the pause button on our plans due to the pandemic, but we were able to continue with our transformational redevelopment works behind the scenes.

“We’re now putting the finishing touches to the new and improved W5, fine tuning and testing everything in preparation for our big reopening and we cannot wait to share the Reimagined W5 with the world and get back to delivering the best experience every time.

William, Poppy and Seth Drummond pictured in the Making Sense zone in the Reimagined W5

Catherine O’Mullan, chair of W5, continued: “This is a momentous moment for W5 and our staff.

“Our transformative re-development has delivered a truly world-class visitor attraction that Belfast can be proud of. Science has never had a more important role in our society.

“Inspiring the next generation of great minds is at the heart of our vision for W5, and our new, immersive experiences will help us to capture imaginations and ignite interest in science and discovery for many more years to come.”

The Reimagining of W5 has been supported by £3m awarded from the Inspiring Science Fund - a partnership between UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Welcome.

Abel and Arianna Laughlin pictured in the Build It zone in the Reimagined W5

An additional £2m investment came from the Odyssey Trust, and Tourism NI, which provided nearly £400,000 from its Immersive Technology Fund.

Discover more about W5’s eight new interactive zones and book your W5 experience online at www.w5online.co.uk

Bookings must be made in advance, online.

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Dylan Shanmuganathan pictured in The Vortex, part of the Making Sense zone in the Reimagined W5

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