East Haven, Connecticut
May 17, 2005
Robert Leroy Ripley was born in Santa Rosa California in 1890, and after his father’s death in 1905, he soon quit school to help support his mother, brother, and sister. In 1909, he began drawing for the San Francisco Chronicle but moved to New York to work for the Globe in 1912. At age 24, he took his first trip to Europe and began writing journals of his trips that were later published in 1929 with his first "Believe It or Not" book, which was translated into 17 different languages and read by more than 80 million readers. In 1931, he published his second book, and by 1933, Ripley opened the very first "Believe It Or Not" Odditiorium in Chicago, Illinois. It is hard to believe that in 2005, we are still astonished by the findings Ripley made during his world travels nearly 100 years ago. With 26 different locations in eight different countries, I would say that Ripley’s findings will continue to captivate people for another 100 years.
The Orlando location is located on International Drive and open 365 days a year from 9am to 1am. The last ticket is sold at midnight, as it will take you an average of 1 to 2 hours to tour the exhibits. The ticket prices at the door are $18 for adults and $13 for children ages 4 to 12 (Florida tax included). If you plan ahead and do some research, you can find some discounted tickets on the Internet.
From the outside, it looks and sounds like the building is sinking into the ground, but once inside, you are introduced to the unbelievable, the inexplicable, and one-of-a-kind collectables. For instance, CNN News, Good Morning America, and Unsolved Mysteries have all reported that hundreds of people have claimed that they soon became pregnant after touching the African Fertility Statues . The two statues were bought from the Baule tribe for about $1,000 each and stand about 4 feet high. Think it is possible? Maybe a look at the Papuan Cannibal Trophy Skull from the headhunters of New Guinea will help change your mind. Still not convinced? Ripley’s also has some exhibits that leave you asking how and why? For instance, the Mona Lisa – toast art is comprised of 66 pieces of ordinary white toast making up a replica of Da Vinci’s classic, and there is the three-fourth-inch wooden plank with 5,110 coats of paint on it, now an astonishing 7 inches thick. One of my favorites is the 13-foot, authentically detailed model of a 1907 Silver Ghost Rolls Royce made of 1,016,711 matchsticks and 63 pints of glue. Can you believe that someone would spend 4,609 hours in 15 months to build a model complete with moving parts of wooden matchsticks? Believe it, because it is true and on display in Orlando, Florida.
From journal Orlando Tourist Destinations Other Than Disney