Ripley’s Family of Attractions now 80 Strong – Spanning 11 Countries
Genuine shrunken heads, the world’s smallest production automobile, a bevy of fun interactive gizmos, amazing matchstick art and an eclectic selection of freak animals have invaded this beach-side resort as Ripley’s has opened its new Believe It or Not! Odditorium in Cavill Mall.
The 9, 000 square foot museum has taken advantage of the latest technology available to tell Ripley’s story as it has never been told before, throughout the 15 galleries of exhibits.
The familiar sounds of the Fab Four musical assemblage, a state of the art animatronics band, beckon passersby into the colorful lobby. The band features Robert Wadlow, the world’s tallest man on the double bass, Alypius the Egyptian Dwarf in a birdcage playing trumpet, and Italian Francisco Lentini, the three legged man on banjo. Contributing on vocals is the long-necked Padaung Woman from Burma who also plays the xylophone on her neck coils.
New exhibits at the Odditorium include a model of New Zealand’s Christ Church Cathedral, made from 500, 000 wooden matchsticks; da Vinci’s Last Supper made out of burnt toast; an autographed fedora of Michael Jackson; locks of Abraham Lincoln’s hair; and at 407 feet long and 10, 034 links, the world’s longest wooden chain. Floridian John Selvey worked on the chain for 825 consecutive days.
The collection also includes the country’s only Peel P-50, the world’s smallest production car; four genuine Jivaro Indian shrunken heads; and an exhibit of artifacts of the Russian Space Program, featuring Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s medals, diaries and patches. A stroll through a fog-filled, laser lit room reveals the image of an alien holding a genuine rock from Mars in its hands. A walk through the Attic Room reveals myriad opportunities to play interactive games, touch, feel and photograph strange and unusual exhibits and climb through a tunnel full of surprises!
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Surfers Paradise is the newest, most modern, and the most interactive exhibition of the strange and weird in the world. In all, there are nearly 600 items featured on the two floors of exhibits and activities.
The new high-tech museum replaces the original Surfers Paradise Believe It or Not!, which opened in 1988 and closed in late 2007 when the building in which it was located was torn down. The new attraction, located on the ground floor of the new 77-story tall Soul Building, being developed by Juniper Development Group, is only 100 feet from that previous location.
“We are excited about our return to Surfers Paradise and the opportunity to showcase the most magnificent Believe It or Not! Odditorium in the world, ” said Jim Pattison Jr., president of Ripley Entertainment Inc. “We’ve taken technology to a new level at Ripley’s with this museum. There are interactive elements everywhere you look – on the ceilings, on the floor, on the wall. They all help us tell our story in a fun, engaging way.”
With the opening of the Surfers Paradise attractions, there are now 31 Ripley’s Believe It or Not museums, in 11 countries in the world.
About Ripley Entertainment
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Surfers Paradise is part of the Ripley Entertainment Inc. family of worldwide attractions, the global leader in location-based entertainment. More than 13 million people visit its 80 attractions in 11 countries each year. In addition to its 31 Believe It or Not! museums, 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.