Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

The last time I visited a Ripley’s Believe it or Not was over twenty years ago. So, when I realized that there was one in Orlando I was determined to take my kids to see it.

My love for trivia and completely absurd yet real facts and people was fed by the Ripley’s Believe it or Not show. That’s what makes this museum a my type of place to visit. Funny enough, the history of the Robert Ripley (the man that started it all) and the museums is as interesting as the oddities they hold and televise.

Fun Facts About Ripley

  • Robert Ripley was born in 1890 in Santa Rosa, California.
  • Robert Ripley was a cartoonist and adventurer.
  • DisclosureTMOM

  • He 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.
  • On April 7 1923 he returns to the U.S. and hires researcher and linguist Norbert Pearlroth. Who ended up being the featured researcher for 52 years.
  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not! started as a newspaper panel series featuring 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 started in 1930.
  • Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

    Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

  • After a trip to Asia in 1932, Ripley opened his first museum. It was called 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, Believe it or Not! radio ended and was replaced with the 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 is that they have exhibits for all ages, making it a perfect attraction for our vacation in Florida. The rooms are filled with objects and information will not only fill your mind with trivia but also history and culture, too.

The interactive exhibits are also a huge draw. But most of them required reading so my three year old had to partner up with his older brother.

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Showing the largest, smallest, widest, loudest and anything that is extreme is their specialty. In it you can see things like:

1. Tallest Man in the World – measure your height
2. Biggest Chair – fit your butt on it
2. Largest Tire – stand inside
3. Great White’s Jaw
4. Random but curious, facts displayed everywhere

It is also the only museum that is open until midnight!

Recommendation – My kids had a fun time, but check out the exhibits before your kids do, some are scary. My three year old became more and more terrified towards the end as we visited the spinning room in darkness and he simply freaked out completely. Sadly he didn’t enjoy it as much as the rest of us.

On the other hand my nine year old was old enough to understand that these were only odd things, he had moments of fright too but 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.