From top to bottom, W5 has been completely transformed. Two reimagined exhibition floors will excite and inspire, with 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. 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.
• 2 brand new exhibition floors
• 8 new interactive zones
• 250+ world-class exhibits
• New storybook themed under 8s area
• Dinosaur & space themed soft play
• Daily science shows & much more…
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.
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. Afterall, 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.
Catherine O’Mullan, Chair of W5 said: “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 Wellcome. An additional £2m investment came from the Odyssey Trust, and Tourism NI, which provided nearly £400,000 from its Immersive Technology Fund.