I grew up with the Ripley’s Believe it or Not show, I love trivia and completely absurd yet real facts and people. The museum is one of my type of places to visit. Funny enough, the history of the incredible Robert Ripley and the museums is as interesting as the oddities they hold and televise.
Fun Facts About Ripley
The founder of Ripley’s Believe It or Not was born in 1890 born in Santa Rosa, California.
Cartoonist and adventurer Robert Ripley started it all in 1918 when he began drawing his daily feature.
He made his first trip around the world in 1922, delineating a travel journal in installments.
1923 On April 7 he returns to the U.S. and hires researcher and linguist Norbert Pearlroth. He was the featured researcher for 52 years.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! started as a newspaper panel series and evolved into a radio show, and television show which feature odd facts from around the world.
In 1929 William Randolph Hearst was responsible for Believe It or Not! making its syndicated debut in seventeen papers worldwide.
The radio show didn’t start until 1930.
After a trip to Asia in 1932, Ripley opened his first museum, the Odditorium, in Chicago.
By the end of the decade there were Odditoriums in San Diego, Dallas, Cleveland, San Francisco, and New York City.
In 1948, the year of the 20th anniversary of the Believe it or Not! cartoon series, the Believe it or Not! radio show drew to a close and was replaced with a Believe it or Not! television series.
At age 58, on May 27 1949 he died of a heart attack.
Ripley’s ideas and legacy live on in Ripley Entertainment, a company bearing his name and owned since 1985 by the Jim Pattison Group
It was said that he received more mail than the President of the United States.
Visiting Ripley’s Believe it or Not Orlando – Is It Suitable for Kids?
The great thing about Ripley’s museums that they have exhibits for all ages.
The rooms are filled with info that will not only fill your mind with trivia but also history and culture.
Interactive exhibits were also a huge draw. Even though most of them required reading for older kids, my three year old was able to partner up on some cool ones with his big bro.
Of course seeing the most largest, smallest, widest, loudest and anything that is extreme is definitely their speciality.
Tallest Man in the World – measure your height
Biggest Chair – fit your butt on it
Largest Tire – stand inside
Great White’s Jaw – Imagine seeing that open up in front of you
And you have to love the random, but most curious, facts displayed everywhere
It is also the only museum that is open until midnight!
Recommendation – My kids had a fun time, but some of the exhibits are scary and after a few my three year old became more and more terrified. Towards the end, there was a spinning room in darkness and he simply freaked out completely. Needless to say, he wasn’t too into it.
However, my oldest son was able to understand that these are simply oddities and even though he had moments of fright as well, he was old enough to deal with it and overall enjoyed himself.
I would say the museum is more for kids that are five and older.