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After 9 long months of waiting, one of Gatlinburg’s most popular attractions is finally open again! Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium is back in action with a completely new design and a great collection of fresh exhibits. Still located in the same building in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg, the newly remodeled museum continues the mission of Robert Ripley: showcasing anything and everything that is weird and wonderful.
While part of the fun of visiting Ripley’s Believe It or Not in Gatlinburg is all of the surprises you’ll encounter along the way, we couldn’t resist giving you a sneak peek at some of the exciting additions made to the museum. Read on to learn what’s new at Ripley’s Odditorium.
Watch a Fun Commercial for Ripley’s
To promote the reopening of the attraction, Ripley’s Odditorium put together a great TV commercial that shows some of the new things to see and do at the museum. You can watch the video below:
Our new commercial is done! What do you all think of it? – Mark
Posted by Ripley's Believe It or Not! on Monday, August 13, 2018
The Outside of the Odditorium
Longtime visitors to Gatlinburg will notice that the exterior of the museum has completely changed! While the previous iteration of the Odditorium featured an earthquake theme, complete with cracks and apparent structural damage, the new museum boasts a design that fully embraces the Great Smoky Mountains.
The Odditorium now has an enormous tree growing right through the center of the building! In the branches, guests will see a number of friendly critters enjoying classic Appalachian activities, including a fox playing the banjo and a black bear drinking moonshine.
Outside of the attraction, visitors will find a Wishing Bell that was purchased by Robert Ripley during a trip to England in 1922. Ripley later displayed the bell at his island estate in Mamaroneck, NY. Visitors are encouraged to make a wish and ring the bell!
A New Layout for Ripley’s Odditorium
Ripley’s Believe It or Not in Gatlinburg now features a totally different layout. In the old Odditorium, guests would take the stairwell and work their way up through the various exhibits and galleries. Now, visitors take an elevator ride straight to the top of the museum and work their way back down to the lobby, which feels much more natural.
The redesigned Odditorium is significantly larger than the old attraction and is absolutely chock-full of bizarre artifacts from all around the world. According to the museum’s staff, it’s easy to spend a couple of hours exploring everything that Ripley’s has to offer.
Ripley’s Jungle Gallery
The very first gallery at the renovated Odditorium is Ripley’s Jungle. This section of the museum is inspired by Robert Riley’s travels to the Amazon rainforest and other far-flung lands. Featuring authentic nature sounds and bird noises, the gallery really does feel like a jungle! Highlights of Ripley’s Jungle include:
• A shrunken human torso that once belonged to Ernest Hemingway.
•A vending machine where you can buy edible bugs, such as Bacon & Cheese flavored crickets and candy made from ants.
• An interactive video screen that puts headdresses over your face and tracks your movement.
• A 200-year-old wooden statue called The Devil and the Damsel. Depending on how you look at the carving, it either depicts a smiling Lucifer or a forlorn woman.
• A fun station where you can digitally shrink your own head.
Buy Tickets for Ripley’s Believe It or Not in Gatlinburg
We would love to tell you even more about the Odditorium, but it is so much better if you can see it for yourself! To save $5 on your admission to Ripley’s Believe It or Not (and get free cancellation up to a certain date) click the green box below: