Lonely Planet Writer

Black Panther fans looking for a trip to Wakanda find a waterpark in Wisconsin

Black Panther fans who are searching online to find ways to visit Wakanda are actually finding a waterpark in a small town in Wisconsin.

Boys at a waterpark in Menomonie, United States. Image by Amy Fichter/Getty Images

Hotels.com has announced that searches for Wakanda Park – a park and waterpark in Menomonie, Wisconsin – have grown by 55% year-on-year in the past two months. That could be due to the fact that the massively popular superhero film Black Panther is set in Wakanda, an isolated nation that possesses incredible technology. Unfortunately, Wakanda is a fictional country in Africa and not a park in a Midwestern town of 20,000.

The coast of Wakkanai in Japan. Image by Katsuaki Shoda / EyeEm / Getty Images

The booking site has reported that there are a number of spots around that world with names similar to Wakanda that are seeing similar boosts. The company found that Wauconda, Illinois – which is pronounced the same as Wakanda – was up more than 25% in searches, and Makanda, Illinois saw a 40% increase year-on-year. Outside the US, searches for Wakaya, Fiji were up more than 235% – though perhaps that’s just because it’s a private island that features a luxury resort. Wakkanai, the northernmost city in Japan on Hokkaido, saw a boost of 55% year-on-year.

“The film has touched the hearts and minds of millions of film fans around the world. We regularly see that pop culture inspires travel choices and in a surprising way, this is no exception. We love that travelers are seeking the Black Panther’s homeland, from Wisconsin to Japan. Wakanda forever”, said Scott Ludwig, from Hotels.com. But it’s not just Hotels.com that is reporting that people are looking for a trip to WakandaKiwi.com reports that hundreds of people in Britain have been searching the booking site for the fictional country.