"Black Panther" fans really want to visit Wakanda. The African kingdom featured in the film is fictional of course, but that won’t stop fans from trying.
Hotels.com says searches for Wakanda Park in Menomonie, Wisc., have increased 55% year-over-year in the past two months. The name could refer either to Wakanda Park Mounds, on the U.S. Register of Historic Places for its ancient Dakota or Sioux mortuary mounds, or the Wakanda Water Park, a small but mighty Wisconsin attraction.
The hotel booking site has also uncovered search demand for other Wakanda-sounding locations around the world. Searches for Wauconda, Ill. are up 40%. Illinois' Makanda also saw a spike, to the tune of 25%.
Wakaya, Fiji, saw a 235% increase in searches (from 3 to 7? Just guessing), while Wakkanai, Japan, saw a 55% uptick.
"The film has touched the hearts and minds of millions of film fans around the world," said Scott Ludwig, director of North American marketing and strategy at Hotels.com. "We regularly see that pop culture inspires travel choices and in a surprising way, this is no exception."