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“Beware! Don't go on the first Tuesday!!!”

Discovery Cube Orange County
Ranked #4 of 40 things to do in Santa Ana
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Imaginations twist and fly through more than 100 hands-on exhibits at Discovery Cube OC (previously Discovery Science Center). Take the Eco Challenge and become a green superhero, feel the power of a real rocket engine "launch" and explore the inner workings of a two-story tall dinosaur! Traveling exhibits and annual events such as Spooky Science and Science of Gingerbread throughout the year ensure that there is always something new to discover.
Reviewed July 3, 2012

For years I had thought about taking my kids here but had never gotten it together to make the 40 mile trek from home. One thing that appealed to me when planning this day out was that the admission price is not cheap ($15 a person and it probably only takes about 2 hours to see everything if you are slow) and so my hope was that there would not be too many unruly children running around with no supervision as there often are at less expensive and free children's' museums. Unfortunately, to my dismay, when we arrived, there were a ton of people in line, and subsequently we realized that it was "first Tuesdays Santa Ana residents get in free" day (if you've ever been to Santa Ana, you'll realize this can be a scary prospect). But since we had made the drive I went ahead and paid what it took to get in (pretty sure we were the only people there who paid to get in). It was tolerable inside about the first half hour but once the place began filling up, it became increasingly unbearable, stinky and loud. But my kids had been having a good time (when they weren't getting crushed) and again, we had driven so far, I tried to suck it up. But finally after about an hour and a half of getting trampled by dirty, unruly children and teens with no supervision, I decided to inquire at the front desk if it would perhaps be possible to get a voucher to come back another day or perhaps even be given a discounted offer or coupon so that we could come back on a less miserable day. The ticket girl made herself scarce and pretended to go speak to her supervisor and upon coming back then told me that there was nothing they could do- that in fact this is the high season and this day was no busier than any other day would be. I find this difficult to believe as what place isn't more busy when it's FREE? (And in fact later on when I asked a gift shop employee and the parking fee attendant, they both told me that it was crazy today and it's not normally that bad.) I explained that I was not asking for a refund and that they would not be taking a risk by offering me a future discount that I may or may not use and her solution was that maybe I should apply what I spent on our admission to getting a full family membership ($100). Wow. So you do absolutely nothing for me after we have a miserable time and then you expect me to shell out another 50 bucks? Sorry but no way.

So, sadly, we won't ever be going back, which is really a shame because the facility is quite nice.

FYI, teachers get in free, but annoyingly, when we purchased our tickets, my sis-in-law asked if they offered any kind of teacher discounts and was told no so she paid full price.

However, if you are a Santa Ana resident who can get in free and/or you are unfazed by dirty places overrun with unruly, possibly lice-bearing children and you don't mind poor customer service, you and your kids might just have a good time.

14  Thank monkeyherder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"science center"
in 26 reviews
"all ages"
in 28 reviews
"star wars"
in 7 reviews
"kids and adults"
in 7 reviews
"dinosaur area"
in 6 reviews
"wind tunnel"
in 5 reviews
"bed of nails"
in 5 reviews
"ice hockey"
in 3 reviews
"a lot of fun"
in 11 reviews
"interactive exhibits"
in 8 reviews
"space exhibit"
in 3 reviews
"food options"
in 3 reviews
"elementary school"
in 3 reviews
"parking pass"
in 3 reviews
"age range"
in 3 reviews
"annual pass"
in 6 reviews
"few hours"
in 13 reviews
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236 - 240 of 303 reviews

Reviewed June 21, 2012

Coming from Chicago originally, I guess I am spoiled with our Museum of Science and Industry. But my biggest gripe is that there are endless "field trip" school classes here and the kids are over all not respectful of others. They are loud, pushy, and generally boorish. We are a home school family and we let our family membership go after 4 years because no one ever corrected the misbehaving kids. Things are always broken there.

2  Thank Lucia826
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2012

for all ages! As an adult, I had lots of fun visiting this place with my family. The exhibits were fun, my nephew enjoyed the dinosaur one. I feel they 4-d show was not worth the extra cost to watch it, but over all the whole trip was fun. We spent more time there than we expected! It wasnt over crowded, we went on a Sunday.

Thank sdchrgrschick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2012

This science center is a completely hands on museum, good for kids of all ages. They have changing exhibits (such as Star Wars, Bugs, Dora, Healthy Bodies) and permanent exhibits such as an environmental exhibit, space exhibit, dinosaur exhibit, hockey exhibit. The only drawback is that at times they let too many people in and the place becomes overcrowded. However, they are planning on expanding the exhibit. In the meantime, do not visit on holidays.

Thank poggy2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 28, 2012

loved the museum! my whole of 3 generations loved it! fun !

Thank 2girlsandmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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