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    Best of Access Niagara – Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum

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    This is a continuation of my “Best of Access Niagara” series. This series looks back on popular posts, highly commented posts, my favourite places, etc.

    Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum (now call an Odditorium) has been in Niagara Falls for many, many years. When I first went, I really enjoyed it, but then it seemed to go a decade or more without almost any improvement. However, about a year and a half ago it closed for a full renovation, and reopened last May. What a difference! It is a tremendous attraction now. We visited last June after it had been open for a month or so, and were very impressed. Previously it had been much more like a museum, where you just stand and look/read. Now it is almost entirely interactive. There are things to stand beside, boxes to fit into, valves to turn, buttons to press, things to look through, and more.

    Probably the most important thing is that my kids loved it. Every so often when they go past the attraction they ask when we should go again. If you’ve been before but haven’t been for a while, or if you’ve never been at all, I highly recommend it.

    I won’t get into all of the details again, but you can read about our visit in the post I put up about our trip. It includes pictures.

    20160620 Trip to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium

     

    Visit other pages from the “Best of Access Niagara” series:

    Full PDF version of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Souvenir Guidebook

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    Back in June I posted about an old copy of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Souvenir Guidebook that I had. I only posted a couple of scans of the pages.

    I’ve gone ahead and scanned the entire guidebook. If you are interested in seeing it, you can view a PDF copy of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Souvenir Guidebook.

    Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Unveils Wax Figures of President-Elect Trump

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    Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Unveils Wax Figures of President-Elect Trump
    The first life-size wax Trump is now on display at Ripley’s Orlando Odditorium; others are headed for Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks
    Orlando, Fla. (November 11, 2016) They’re huuuuuge, they’re big league and they’ve been hand- crafted by the F/X team at Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

    They are the very first
    wax figures of Donald Trump. One is now on display at Ripley’s Orlando Odditorium on I-Drive. It is in the lobby and can be seen and photographed for free – but only for a limited time. Just as in real life, the wax Trump is polling at about 50% – loved by some Ripley’s visitors, loathed by others.
    Ripley’s created three wax figures of the President-elect. They will go on display at Louis Tussaud’s Palace of Wax in Grand Prairie, Texas, and Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks in San Antonio, Texas and Niagara Falls, Ontario. Ripley Entertainment owns and operates the three Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks.
    Ripley’s F/X team started creating the first Trump figure about four months ago.  Each is sculpted by hand by a team of artists, using photographs to create the likeness. Each figure takes about six weeks to complete.
    Win or lose, the Trump figures were destined for Louis Tussaud’s; after Tuesday’s election results they’ll now stand with other presidential wax figures.
    For images of Ripley’s wax Trump figures, visit this Dropbox.

    For more information on Louis Tussaud’s:

    Media contact:

    Frank Wolff
    About Ripley Entertainment
    Ripley’s Believe It or Not!  is part of the Ripley Entertainment Inc. (www.ripleys.com) family of worldwide attractions, the global leader in location-based entertainment.  More than 13 million people visit its 95-plus attractions in 10 countries each year.  In addition to its 32 Believe It or Not!Odditoriums, the Orlando, Florida-based company has publishing, licensing and broadcast divisions that oversee projects including the syndicated Believe It or Not! television show, best-selling books and the popular syndicated cartoon strip, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, that still runs daily in 42 countries. Ripley Entertainment is a Jim Pattison Company, the third-largest privately held company in Canada.

    Videos from our visit to the Ripley’s Niagara attractions

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    Here are a few videos I took on our evening when we visited the Ripley’s attractions in Niagara Falls. None of them are earth shattering, but they will give you an idea of some of what you will see.

    This first video shows one of the rooms in Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks. On one side of the room is a Michael Jackson exhibit (you can hear the music). On the other side is a tightrope walk that is about 6 inches off the ground. There is also a photo opportunity that looks like you are going over the Falls in a barrel. With regards to the tightrope walk, one of my sons and I both made it across but the others didn’t.

    This next video shows a very real looking Robert Wadlow figure in Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium that stands up, then after a while it sits down. I recorded him getting up and waited for a while, but then stopped the recording. Of course as soon as I did that, he ended up sitting down.

    This last video shows the vortex tunnel near the end of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium. As I put in the posting, it is very trippy. You’ll notice occasionally the video starts to drift clockwise, and then it goes upright again. That is because I couldn’t walk straight through the tunnel without feeling dizzy!

    20160620 Trip to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium – Image Gallery

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    Here is a collection of photos that I took at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium. I could have taken hundreds of photos, but then you wouldn’t need to go yourself! Here is a selection of photos from my visit. For more details, please read my 20160620 Trip to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium posting.

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    20160620 Trip to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium

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    One week ago my family headed out to check out the Ripley’s attractions in Niagara Falls. These include Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks, Ripley’s Moving Theater, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium. Our last stop was Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium.

    Note: To view images from our trip, visit the 20160620 Trip to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium – Image Gallery posting.

    This was the attraction that we were most anxious to visit as it had just re-opened after many months of renovations. I had been to the old Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum several times over the years. Although the attraction was always interesting, it just had kind of an old/dated feel to it. We were really looking forward to seeing the new Odditorium. We were not disappointed!

    20160620_190829.jpg The entire attraction has been completely redone, and it looks fantastic. It has been enlarged, the ceilings seem higher, and everything is much brighter.

    The odditorium has been divided into a variety of different rooms with similar themes. There are rooms that focus on strange animals, odd habits, art, and many other oddities. There are classic exhibits (shrunken heads, lint art, etc), and much more modern exhibits. It truly is filled with interactive displays, starting right in the lobby. My daughter loved the water pipe display. You can press buttons and turn knobs to make water flow, stop, change colour, and more. There was a place where you could try to fold yourself into a box, sit in Robert Wadlow’s giant chair, and stand next to the world’s shortest person.

    20160620_191757.jpg The Erik Sprague exhibit is a great example of the layout. Erik Sprague is also called the Lizardman and he has done some extreme body modification. The exhibit is brightly lit, has a life-sized figure of him, and shows a video of some of his performances. It’s amazing. My wife also liked some of the classic exhibits that show the African neck rings, stretched lips andears and foot binding.

    20160620_192714.jpg One of the exhibits that was new from just before the renovation was the Wigan Micro Sculptures. Willard Wigan creates micro sculptures that fit within the eye of a needle. This is where the name of the odditorium really comes into play… believe it or not! It really is unbelievable that this is even possible. However they have a variety of microscopes and sure enough, there are small little carvings that really do fit into the eye of the needle. Wow!!

    20160620_194947.jpg One of the best  additions to the attraction is new “play” area. I think my kids could have played there for hours. There is a mind-bending “vortex tunnel” that was totally dizzying. There are other interactive games to play such as plastic pin art, a photo silhouette wall, and more. The evening we were there wasn’t particularly busy, but there were at least a dozen or more people in this area and no one seemed to be in a rush to leave.

    20160620_194509.jpg I can’t recommend Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium enough! It was super fun and there was definitely something there for all members of my family. As has been mentioned in the other postings, the best deal is to get the 3 Attraction Flex Ticket. If you are interested in a single admission, at the time of this write-up on their website adult tickets are $17.99, senior tickets are $14.99 and child tickets are $10.99. Be sure to check out the Ripley’s web site for the latest information.

    Note: To view images from our trip, visit the 20160620 Trip to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium – Image Gallery posting.

    20160620 Trip to Ripley’s Moving Theater

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    One week ago my family headed out to check out the Ripley’s attractions in Niagara Falls. These include Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks, Ripley’s Moving Theater, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium. Our second stop was Ripley’s Moving Theater.

    Ripley's Moving Theater logo

    Note: To view a few images from our trip, visit the 20160620 Trip to Ripley’s Moving Theater – Image Gallery posting.

    20160620_183026(0).jpg Ripley’s Moving Theater is at the top of Clifton Hill at the corner of Victoria Ave. It used to be the location of the old Houdini Magical Hall of Fame. The attraction consists of rows of motion simulator seats that are meant to make it feel like you are in a roller coaster. There are lots of different technologies used for these sorts of simulators, but the major player in the business is SimEx-Iwerks. These used to be two separate companies, but merged several years ago.

    20160620_190526.jpg I have to admit that I am not really a fan of roller coasters, but don’t mind motion simulators. However, my experience with them is limited. I’ve mostly been on high-end/expensive simulators at Universal Studios Florida or Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Obviously it is unfair to compare Ripley’s Moving Theater to The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man!

    The ride itself uses some old technology. There appeared to be four rows of ten connected seats. Each row moves independently from the row ahead or behind it. The ride was kind of jerky, but that didn’t bother my kids. They quite enjoyed the ride, and thought the movements of the rows matched up well with the movies. However, they did think that the movies could be improved. The first movie was called Monkey Madness and the second movie was called Ultimate Roller Coaster. The Monkey Madness video was supposed to also have some effects. I believe there were supposed to be air and/or mist, but we didn’t experience any in our seats. I’m not sure about the other rows.

    Ripley’s Moving Theater has a target audience, but if you like that sort of simulator then I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. I doubt that many people will buy an individual admission for it. Most people will get the attraction as part of the 3 Attraction Flex Ticket. The difference in price between the 2 Attraction and 3 Attraction Flex Ticket is only $3, so that is by far the best deal. At the time of this write-up, individual admission to Ripley’s Moving Theater on their website for adults is $13.99, seniors $10.99 and children $7.99. Be sure to check out the Ripley’s web site for the latest information.

    Note: To view images from our visit, visit the 20160620 Trip to Ripley’s Moving Theater – Image Gallery posting

    20160620 Trip to Ripley’s Moving Theater – Image Gallery

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    Here is a collection of photos that I took at Ripley’s Moving Theater. As you can imagine, I didn’t take many pictures since I was watching the movie, but I took a few of the building, the lobby, and the exit. For more details, please read my 20160620 Trip to Ripley’s Moving Theater posting.

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    Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Souvenir Guidebook

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    A while ago I found this Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Souvenir Guidebook. The subtitle is “A password to the strange, the bizarre & the unbelievable”. I don’t think it is specifically for the Niagara Falls location, but in general it highlights a lot of the strange things that Ripley’s Odditoriums exhibit.

    I don’t know if they still offer these guidebooks.

    Ripley's Believe It or Not! Souvenir Guidebook 01

    Ripley's Believe It or Not! Souvenir Guidebook 02

    Ripley's Believe It or Not! Souvenir Guidebook 03

    Ripley's Believe It or Not! Souvenir Guidebook 04

    Press release regarding Ripley’s Believe It or Not! reopening

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    I know that the renovated Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium has been open for almost a week now, but I still wanted to share the press release:

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    Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Niagara Falls is
    NOW OPEN after top-to-bottom renovation

    Experience the all new “Oddventure”

    Niagara Falls, Ont. (May 20, 2016) – After experiencing perhaps the world’s strangest “extreme makeover,” Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Niagara Falls Odditorium is now open once again.

    After an extensive, six-month renovation, a new Oddventure awaits visitors with dozens of new exhibits and interactives throughout the expanded 12,000 square foot Odditorium – 13 different themed galleries in all.Some of the must-see, unbelievable displays include:

    • Niagara Water Wall – a very hands-on H2O experience. Guests control the flow of water through a series of pipes by turning wheels and cranks; as they do, the water changes its flow, its color and even its shape!
    • A rickshaw painstakingly carved from jade
    • An actual segment from the Berlin wall
    • Kids Crawl – explore what lurks in several mysterious crates; guests must first figure out how to activate each exhibit
    • Tightrope over the falls – balance on a graphic of a tightrope on the ground while you watch yourself walk over Niagara Falls on a projection screen
    • Small vs. Tall – grab a partner and enter this quirky room that shrinks one person and turns the other into a giant
    • An animatronic Robert Wadlow, the tallest person ever at 8′ 11″

    “Ripley’s has been entertaining Niagara Falls visitors for more than 50 years,” said Tim Parker, Ripley’s Niagara Falls General Manager. “We’re now proud to offer our biggest and best experience yet, with an amazing collection of items and exhibits that will keep people laughing and learning at every turn.”

    Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Niagara Falls Odditorium is located at 4960 Clifton Hill, and is open Monday-Thursday from 10 am to 11 pm and Friday-Sunday from 9 am to midnight, 365 days a year.

    Media contact:

    Tim Parker
    General Manager, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Niagara Falls
    905-356-2238
    parker@ripleys.com

    About Ripley Entertainment
    Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Niagara Falls is part of the Ripley Entertainment Inc. (www.ripleys.com) family of worldwide attractions, the global leader in location-based entertainment.  More than 13 million people visit its 95-plus attractions in 10 countries each year.  In addition to its 32 Believe It or Not!Odditoriums, the Orlando, Florida-based company has publishing, licensing and broadcast divisions that oversee projects including the syndicated Believe It or Not! television show, best-selling books and the popular syndicated cartoon strip, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, that still runs daily in 42 countries. Ripley Entertainment is a Jim Pattison Company, the third-largest privately held company in Canada.

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