#52 of 71 Gatlinburg Things To Do

World of Illusions

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World of Illusions - Calling All Mystery and Science Fiction Lovers!
Staff Score:
3 / 5
The Bottom Line:

If you're looking for a place to spend a rainy afternoon with the kids in the Smoky Mountains, the World of Illusions is a fun and quirky place to spend an hour. However, most visitors believe this attraction is over-priced and outdated.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

The World of Illusions is a popular spot to head with the family. The museum is actually the world’s largest exhibition of grand illusions. It’s easy to get to and is located in downtown Gatlinburg, right next to the Reagan Terrace Mall.

The World of Illusions aims to create an experience of mystery and fun for the entire family. Not to worry if you have little ones, nothing is scary and no one will jump out at you. It’s definitely a place for kids. Adults may find the exhibits slightly less exciting, but for young ones, this is a fun place to learn about science, magic, and a few fairy tales.

Some of the exciting exhibits at the World of Illusions:

  • The Egyptian Priest – This exhibit is an exciting one for both kids and adults. You’ll be able to watch an Egyptian priest get water from a rock.
  • The Chinese Magician – In this exhibit, you’ll wonder at the sight of a Chinese magician floating a glass ball through a solid wood table. You can touch it for yourself and see that there aren’t any holes and it is indeed solid wood.
  • The Grim Reaper – You’ll be warned before he appears, so don’t worry, it’s not too scary. One moment you’ll see a completely empty space, the next moment, the Grim Reaper will materialize right before your very eyes.
  • Beauty and the Beast – The kids will love this one that shows Beauty change the beast into a handsome prince, just like in the movie!
  • Frankenstein – Science fiction lovers will really enjoy watching Frankenstein come to life in this exciting exhibit. Hear the crack of the lightning bolts and prepare for the monster to open his eyes!
  • Dracula – This fun exhibit shows Dracula, the vampire, turn into a bat and fly away to escape the sunlight.
  • Elvis – Are you an Elvis lover? Well, his spirit lives on here at the World of Illusions and you can see him come back to life and sing your favorite songs.
  • Superman – Ever wondered if Superman really can see through walls? In this exhibit, he’ll demonstrate his incredible power of X-ray vision and prove to all the doubters just how incredible he really is.
  • Make Someone Disappear – This is one of the most fun and interactive exhibits at the World of Illusions. Kids can make their siblings disappear! Don’t worry, not for long. The exhibit is simply an illusion, but one that the family is sure to love.

The exhibits at the World of Illusions are packed into a somewhat small museum space, so be sure to slow down, take your time, and enjoy each exhibit before moving on. While you could easily walk through in under half an hour, the kids will love watching the different mysteries unfold and more time should be spent enjoying them.

Insider Tip:
You’re welcome to take pictures inside the museum, which makes the memories last longer and makes the exhibits even more fun. Posing in front of or inside of some of the exhibits makes the magic even more realistic, so be sure to try it out while you’re there and have a look at the weird and wonderful illusions through another lens.