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About Ripley's Believe It Or Not = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Robert L. Ripley was a cartoonist, collector, explorer, reporter and adventurer who travelled to 201 countries in 35 years seeking the odd, the unusual and the unexplained. He was nicknamed 'The Modern Marco Polo' and in his endless search for unbelievable stories to draw his immensely popular newspaper cartoon feature, he acquired hundreds of exotic artifacts from around the world. In time, Ripley opened seven different 'Odditoriums', typically associated with World Fairs, to house his huge collection. Today the daily cartoon is seen in nearly 200 newspapers worldwide, in 42 countries and 17 languages. Ripley led an incredible life of adventure and excitement and forever will be remembered for coining one of the most recognized and used phrases in the English language 'Believe It or Not!' Today there are over 30 Ripley's Believe It or Not museums in 10 different countries, dozens of Ripley books, a huge internet web presence, and hundreds of television videos in the company's archive vaults. Ripley's Believe It or Not in London opened on August 20th 2008 and is the world's largest of Ripley's famed Odditoriums. Located in Piccadilly Circus, the attraction contains over 700 exhibits and artefacts from around the world including a life-size Ferrari made from over 12 miles of wool to a collection of authentic Ecuadorian shrunken heads. Ripley's Believe It or Not in London showcases the weird and wonderful in all its forms.
Tickets = = = = You can purchase tickets on the door and you can buy them online and save 15%. When you purchase online you can also pay a little extra for queue jump as well which is handy if you think the venue is going to be busy. Prices for various tickets are shown below. Please note that these are the prices on the door not online.
Adult - £26.95
Senior/Student - £24.95
Child (4-15) - £21.95
Family - £87.95
Under 4 - Free
All Prices include the Mirror maze and Laser Race.
Inside Ripley's Believe It Or Not = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Ripley's Believe It Or Not is spread over 6 floors and includes a range of different things to look at read about including Animals Oddities, Gallery of the Greats, Ripley's Dungeon, Olympic Torches, Cosmic Mysteries, Microscopic Miracles, Black hole Tunnel, Mirror Maze, Shrunken Heads, Transformer, Gift Shop and more. I have gone into a bit more detail about the different floors which includes the huge range of Believe It Or Not items and information.
The entrance to Ripley's is eye catching with the world's tallest man outside along with a policeman making a gurning face. There were lots of people having their photo taken with these figures. Just inside the entrance is a huge transformer in red which looks amazing. There was also an area where some of their performance artists stand and perform various different things. The performance artists include a contortionist, a former Cirque De Soleil acrobat, and the man of danger who lies on two beds of nails, and human blockheads who can hammer an 8 inch nail into their noses. When me and my boyfriend walked in there was a human blockhead who was just about to hammer a nail into his nose. This is bound to make a lot of people cringe, how-ever I didn't find it that bad as I actually have a friend who can do this and performs
Pictures of Ripley's Believe It Or Not!, West End, London
Lizard Man & Me
it regularly as he is a magician. After seeing the performer which lasted a few minutes we went to the till to pay for our tickets. There was surprisingly no queue to get into the venue and we paid for our tickets straight away. We came via Train so we have a 2 for 1 voucher which meant we only paid £30 to get into the venue. This included a guide book and also entry to the Mirror Maze and Laser Race. We were told to get the lift to level 5 which was the very top floor. Before we got into the lift we looked at some of the things that were near the lifts such as a real-life model of the Lizard Man and a statue made from toys. After this we got into the lift and went up to level 5. As the lift went up different coloured lights lit up in the lift and a recorded male voice told up to enjoy our visit here. This felt a little futuristic which I loved.
5th Floor - This floor includes Animal Oddities which is a range of different animals and bizarre pet. You will get to see a three-legged horse, multi legged sheep, and two headed cows and even a one eyed dog owned by Ripley himself. All of these animals were once real and were all born like it. The Upside down room is a little strange to look at with a table and chair mounted onto the ceiling and it makes you turn your head slightly in order to get a good look at it. On this floor was also various other things such as a Ferrari made from 12 miles of yarn. You can also see the world's smallest production car and sit in the biggest ever rocking chair. Next to each thing is some information about that item. There were also small televisions on this floor as well showing you videos of bizarre accidents that people have had. Hear you can clean more about Mr Ripley himself.
4th Floor - This floor includes the dungeon (not suitable for children) and you can actually skip this part. This shows various devices of torture for humans including the Fiendish Iron Maiden and Brank Masks. This area is a little dark and slightly creepy as you see full size models in the torture devices including someone in an electric chair. My boyfriend actually pulled a lever which made the person in the electric chair shake as if he was being electrocuted . . . I didn't like this at all and left the area very quickly. This floor also shows beauty items such as tight corsets that used to be worn in the olden days to make your waist a lot smaller. There is also the theatre where you can sit down and watch a movie about Ripley and the items that are on show. This seemed really interesting but I unfortunately didn't have my glasses on me so we skipped this part. This area has a small water filled area with some lovely statues and figures in. You can throw a penny into the water to make a wish. There is also a large area on this floor dedicated to all the Olympic torches. Some people especially tourists may find this area very interesting seeing as the Olympics was held in London last year.
3rd Floor - This includes Ripley's Remarkables which is all about different people whom had strange features or could do things with their bodies. All the figures are made from wax and show a man who can pop his eyeballs out, The Unicorn Man of China, The Gurner, Mule Faced Woman and more. This area was a little bizarre but at the same time very interesting. There is a walk through section called underwater mysteries which includes Albino and Leucistic Animals. These animals are rare and are very different to look at. This area also tells the story of a man who survived a shark attack after it attacked him. The Microscopic Miracles area was really interesting and to see the sculptures which have been carved inside the eyes of needles you need to use their magnifying glass. These are truly amazing and I spent a good 5 minutes looking into the big magnifying glass to see the different carvings which included the Royal Family. This floor also includes Shrunken Heads which is something that the Shuar Indians used to do. I won't go into detail as you can probably find out this information on Google of if you visit Ripley yourself. It's very interesting but at the same time not very pleasant to read. There is also a Black hole tunnel here which you must walk through. This gives the feel that the platform you walk across is moving but in fact the black tube around you which is decorated with lights to make it look like stars is moving around you. Your picture will automatically be taken in this bit as you walk through and you can have the chance to purchase it if you wish.
2nd Floor - This floor has the mirror maze on it, you don't have to do this and can skip this part if you wish. Our entrance fee included the Mirror Maze which me and my boyfriend couldn't wait to try (big kids). The maze was down at least 4 sets of stairs and it felt like we were down at least 3 floors in order to get to the maze. There are white footprints on the floor to guide you this area. When approaching the room you could see that it was quite dark and it had a few circus type mirrors in the room which made you appear short and fat or thinner that what you actually are. There was a man at a stand who let you into the mirror maze. He told us that we had to keep our hands in front of us at all times and to also wear the gloves that he was going to give us. One by one a few of us went through the black curtain into the maze. There were at least 6 of us in the maze during our time here. I think they ask you to wear gloves to avoid the mirrors getting fingerprints all over them as this would then make it obvious where the mirrors actually are. The maze is slightly dark but does have some dim lights so it's not completely dark in there. I have to admit that it took a while for any of us to find the exit as we all kept walking around in circles. In the end my boyfriend came up with an idea to get out the maze which was to just use your hands to follow the walls around the maze. This led us to the exit and everyone followed us. A few of us were beginning to think that it was a trick and that there was no exit.
1st Floor - On the floor plan it says that this floor has Beatlemania, Hubcap Gorilla, Transformer and more Animal Oddities. Although I didn't see any Beatle mania objects there were other various pictures of famous people that had been made out of different things. Think included Michael Jackson made out of sweets and other celebrities made out of cassette tape ribbon. There was no transformer here that we could see. There was the world's tallest man which my and my boyfriend stood by to have our picture taken and there was also the world's fattest man as well. There was a small café on this floor where you could purchase drinks and light snacks. You had the chance to step on a large scale to see how you measured up compared to the world's fattest man. You can also have a go at making your own gurning face in the large mirror (Little do people know that the people on the other side of the mirror can see you making faces).
These are just a few of the things to see in Ripley's but more is included and some of it is truly fascinating and it's definitely well worth taking your time to look at the different exhibits and read the information that goes along with them. Ripley's is suitable for wheelchair users as there is plenty of space around the venue and lifts also go to every floor as well. Although you can take children and pushchairs with you I'm not sure younger children would find it very interesting. There is a gift shop when exiting Ripley's which sells a range of souvenirs and lots of different sweets.
Laser Race = = = = = = = The Laser Race is located in the basement of Ripley's. The aim of this is to get out of the room as quick as you can avoiding the lasers that are all around the room. This does mean crawling on the floor and climbing over lasers. The queue for this was only short and you could watch other people in front of you in the room sliding under and climbing over various different lasers. I had to admit that it looked rather hard but me and my boyfriend wanted to do it for a laugh. They only allow 2 people in here at a time and your time is displayed on the TV as you come out of the room. There is a girl on the desk near the entrance and she tells you how to choose the level of difficulty and what to do. We chose medium level and once we were inside we have to hi five the yellow handprint that was in the room. At the exit was another button which we needed to hit on the way out which I presume re-sets the lasers for the next people. As soon as we got into the room all you can see is green lasers criss crossing across the room. There were also some moving lasers as well. We slid on our front to the first corner of the room and then had to climb over 2 lasers as they were too low to slide over. My boyfriend got caught on one of the moving lasers which sound a small alarm but you can continue as normal. The room is only small so we got around the room quite quickly after watching how various other people went round the room to avoid the lasers. This only took a few minutes to do but as it was free we though we may as well give it a go.
Overall Opinion = = = = = = = = = Me and my boyfriend visited here on a Friday afternoon and we were surprised at how quiet it was. As it was quiet we could read about every item in the venue and we could spend time having a good look at the different things there and taking pictures. I believe they do change the items around in here every few years or so, so it may be worth going back here again another time. I really enjoyed looking at the various different things and the bizarre things from around the world and what people can do with their bodies. Some of the things in here is truly fascinating and some of it you aren't sure whether to believe it or not. In terms of value I think its average price as I would expect this kind of price as the venue is in London and it's also quite big. I would visit here again for another look round as it was interesting and I would like to spend a little bit more time reading about everything and the things in the venue. I would definitely recommend others going here as it is truly fascinating and interesting.
Other Information = = = = = = = = = = Ripley's Believe It Or Not, London, The London Pavilion, 1 Piccadilly Circus, London, W1J 0DA Tel: 020 3238 0022 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.ripleyslondon.com Opening Hours: Mon - Sun 10:00am - 12:00am