This week I headed back over to International Drive in Orlando to visit another roadside attraction. I had visited a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! back in New Jersey on the Atlantic City Boardwalk years ago. All I remember is being more disturbed than anything just due to some of the very strange things Mr. Ripley supposedly found along his world travels.
Since this is located right on I-Drive it has to stick out somehow from all the other tourist attractions so the building was designed to look like it was sinking into the group. It’s a fun little optical illusion, similar to the upside down building at WonderWorks.
As soon as you walk inside there is a small lobby area where you can buy your admission tickets if you didn’t pre-purchase online. In this area you can find the penny press machine. Little disclaimer, I have heard that from time to time this machine moves inside the attraction and paid admission is needed. But for now the machine is right out front and no ticket needed to use it.
For some reason I always find that these style machines tend to roll short more often than not but this one wasn’t too bad.
The designs included in this set were of the Ripley’s Orlando Building, the Two-headed Calf, a Tiny Car, and a Shrunken Head. Even though I had the pennies already I figured since I was here may as well head inside and see what they have to offer.
When you first get inside you are shown the original Ripley desk. There is a spooky hologram they project of Robert Ripley sitting behind the desk giving some anecdotes of his travels. As I mentioned above there are some distributing things in this museum that deal with animal birth defects, to tribal rituals including pretty graphic piercings and other things I’m just going to skip over. Some people find it fascinating but wasn’t really my cup of tea. I skipped ahead to a large artifact room that had some more PG items on display.
Such as this cute Wall-E sculpture. I stood there for a few minutes hoping it would move or talk but it doesn’t. Just a nice piece of artwork.
After visited with Wall-E I found myself in the Medieval torture section, and I’m pretty sure you can guess the crazy contraptions they had on display in here. They aren’t too graphic, but just looking at some of these devices can set your imagination wild.
Since we have been living in Florida for about a year and still getting used to all the thunderstorms I thought the above sign was a fun fact.
Eventually I headed into an area with some fun little interactive exhibits like seeing how flexible you are.
Or try your hand at a giant Operation game but for some reason the infamous funny bone is missing.
There was also a room with a large piece of the Berlin Wall, and also a room with some wax figures of Ripley’s famous human attractions so you can take selfies with.
As a last test for some reason before you exit into the gift shop you get to walk down this hallway that spins around you. Of course you get dizzy and you have trouble walking straight through. There is a bypass but this is fun to watch people experience. Once you pass through this area you exit into the gift shop which is very small and hard to get through if there are even a few people in there.
This is a place that is just a little too weird for me, and I’m usually into that kind of stuff. I’m glad the penny press machine is outside so you don’t necessarily have to go through the museum if you are a little squeamish or just not interesting in this type of museum. I probably won’t be back any time soon unless someone from out-of-town really want to check it out. There is a lot of stuff inside and you could spend a few hours if you take your time but I would recommend checking out their website first to sample what’s there before you venture inside.