One thing that made our trip so great was getting hosted at three of the Ripley’s attractions the area. We were able to experience Ripley’s Aquarium, Guinness Book of World Records, and Ripley’s Believe it or not Odditorium. All three were great attractions in their own right and offer a good time to all ages. We can’t wait for a chance to return and have some time to try some of the other great Ripley’s attractions.
The aquarium is a can’t miss when you come into Gatlinburg. It has a prominent location on the parkway strip and has great parking in a deck right behind it. There is a special vibe as soon as you enter the building. There’s a great display immediately upon entry. After this we chose to have our pictures taken. More on this later… We continued past some more great aquatic life and worked our way down in the building. There is a 300 plus foot long moving footpath that took us through an amazing stretch of so many kinds of fish including some big sharks and a close up one of a kind view of a saw-fish
Down the center of the aquarium is a recently added child’s play center. This thing was an attraction by itself.
We touched some jellyfish, learning in the process that jellyfish do not have brains. You could see which ones had just enjoyed a nice meal of brine shrimp. We passed on the food court, which had some great options whether you’re looking for a snack or a meal and kept moving
There was an octopus in one of the tanks. He had some sizable tentacles. We learned that octopus can indeed change colors, and when they’re stressed, they will change to a white color. This is the reason flash photography is prohibited. We also enjoyed the tank of clown fish among so many other things. It really had us looking for Nemo.
The coolest part of the experience was the penguins exhibit. I climbed through the tunnel to get in close. They had some great names and personalities. The staff were working on some art with a penguin in another room. He waddled right out after them and showed affection. Packages are offered to interact and paint with these penguins.
The staff was very helpful at multiple stations and answered all of our questions. It was a great experience and the right spot for pretty much anyone for any occasion. We ended up getting our picture that was taken when we came in at the end. It turned out great and the green screen had us featured in the tunnel tank surrounded by sharks. We loved this place and would love to compare it against the other Ripley’s aquariums in the future.
Guinness Book of World Records is a really cool place. There are great interactive exhibits where you can try and compete against world records. There are multiple floors that you work your way through and it brings you out through an arcade. We had a stroller which made it difficult to access some things, but we were able to work our way through without too much difficulty. The stroller didn’t take anything off limits, but if we were to do it again we’d use a baby carrier instead.
I enjoyed seeing a lot of background information on many records, for instance, they showed how tall the world’s tallest man was at different ages which was an interesting way to give it perspective.
There were cool signs full of all sorts of feats and records including in restrooms.
Ripley’s Believe it or not Odditorium was a really cool spot. Shrunken heads, mutated animals, and many other things that stretched our imaginations. Lots of cool art exhibits of pieces made from re-purposed items. The mop lamb was one example and one we really enjoyed. We liked the animal oddities that were part of the one of a kind collection. There were a few optical illusions that we could walk through. This is definitely a great spot to check out how cool your dance moves are.
We crossed the bridge, which we recommend. You’ll know when you go. The rainbow wall was something that caught our attention for awhile. We enjoyed many things we’ll never have an opportunity to see anywhere else.
There were cool signs in here as well. We enjoyed learning the elevators maximum capacity was equivalent to 5 papa bears, 107 raccoons, 1,826 bottles of syrup, 5,980 scoops of ice cream, or 5 people. We loved this place and had a great time.
We really enjoyed the Ripley’s attractions we were able to see. We could have spent more time in each of them easily. Our favorite was the aquarium, but I would gladly check out all three given the time. Each place had so many things that I know there are so many things I know I’d see and learn on at all of these attractions. We’d love to come back for a return visit or see some of their other fun attractions in their destination cities. Thanks so much for having us!