Review: Exploring Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Every Monday, Gray Line New York will be highlighting a “Partner of the Week” on our blog. We are going to provide a review for a new partner’s product and share our own insights and experiences. This week, our Partner of the Week is Ripley’s Believe it or Not!.

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Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Odditorium

Living in New Jersey, with an easy commute to New York City, has provided me with many opportunities to explore the countless sights and attractions of The City. However, I have never managed to make my way over to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!. After my visit on a Monday morning, I immediately regret never experiencing this surprisingly unique museum before.

When I arrived just before 10:30 a.m., I barely noticed the empty line to get inside because so many sights caught my eye in the lobby. Lights, dinosaurs, crazy objects and life-size human figures were just a few things that took my attention during the brief moment I was in the lobby. Before I knew it, I had given my name and immediately entered the museum. It was surprisingly quiet at first, and then I remembered it was a Monday morning. Throughout the whole museum, which I leisurely went at my own pace, I encountered not even a dozen other guests. However, I felt the amount of guests didn’t make a difference because of the quantity of exhibits and that no amount of people could get in my way even if it was a crowded weekend.

Nevertheless, because I did not have much prior knowledge about Ripley’s, other than to expect to see some unbelievable things, I am almost certain my eyes were wide and my jawed was dropped from beginning to end. The first sections consisted of displays of completely unique and bizarre people throughout history. From a bearded woman, to a man who could hold a dozen eggs in his world’s largest hand, I immediately understood where this place got its name, Believe it or Not!. With such amazement right from the start, I couldn’t wait to see what the rest of the exhibits had to show.

The rest of the museum had such a random mixture of images, displays, videos and hands-on experiences that you would have to see to fully understand its astonishment. Even though I do say that this is the most random museum I have experienced, in no means was it disorganized or not enjoyable. I walked on miniature wooden model boats from The Spanish Armanda, stuck my head in a cockroach display, walked into a black hole, and touched The Berlin Wall, just to mention a few of the highlights.

Although this may sound like the exhibits are childish or silly, I was surprised at the amount of history emerged in this museum. I learned about some of the most interesting facts and saw exclusive artifacts from American and World History. However, it was in no way boring, (and this is coming from someone who is not a huge fan of history). From George Washington’s hair, to a piece of the titanic to Thomas Edison’s electric chair; there were endless amounts of history’s most interesting pieces and facts. Throughout the entire experience, I wondered why all history couldn’t be this exciting.

The tour concluded with a gift-shop that included t-shirts, magnets, glasses, candy and other memorabilia from Ripley’s. You could even purchase a professional picture of yourself taken in front of a green screen that made it look like you were sitting on a beam outside, overlooking New York City. But this wasn’t the only picture you were allowed to walk away with. There were no restrictions against taking pictures and since I was able to walk through at my own pace, I was able to take great pictures to ensure this experience will be truly unforgettable.

It is accurate to say that it is nearly impossible to describe in words everything I saw and experienced at Ripley’s. But I am grateful for that because I now want to convince everyone I know to see exactly what Ripley’s is all about. If you have a couple hours, are in New York City and are looking for a unique experience, I strongly suggest paying Ripley’s Believe It or Not! a visit.

The museum intrigued my interest, sent shivers up my spine, made me laugh and also made my palms sweat a few times. You would have to visit for yourself to figure out exactly what the Ripley’s experience does for you and what all of its hidden secrets are that I chose not to include here.

To pre-purchase tickets for the Ripley’s Believe it or Not! and skip the line in the beginning, visit our website now: Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Tickets

Review by Megan Ryan, Gray Line New York

Photo Credit: Flickr / Tomas Fano