One-Tank Trip for February 2-19
(c) By Jim Fox
Believe it or not, Ripley’s is 100-years-old and is still true to its founder’s notion that “truth is stranger than fiction.”
The Ripley entertainment empire, highlighted by its “Odditoriums” including one in Niagara Falls, is now one of Vancouver’s entrepreneur Jim Pattison’s companies.
|Experience the strange and bizarre at the Ripley’s Niagara Falls Odditorium.|
Built from a small daily newspaper cartoon drawn by Robert Ripley started in 1918, there are now 30 facilities in 10 countries.
“Ripley was famous for his world travels and regaling his readers with tales of far-flung places,” said publicist Suzanne Smagala-Potts.
Called an avid artist, great athlete and flamboyant character, he travelled the world collecting artifacts and writing stories about his weird and unusual findings.
Seeking the odd, unusual and unexplained, Ripley ventured into radio, television, movies, books, licensing and Odditoriums – an empire of the weird, bizarre and unbelievable.
|A 1948 photo of Robert Ripley with his Believe It or Not comic strip.|
Step right up, be amazed
“I have travelled to 201 countries and the strangest thing I’ve seen is man,” Ripley said.
After several updates since opening in 1964, the Niagara Falls Odditorium has 400 exhibits and artifacts in 15 themed galleries.
It’s said that some “family favourites” include shrunken and decorated heads, stories of daredevils who have challenged Niagara Falls and the dozens of interactive displays to feel, touch and experience the strange and bizarre.
Some examples are humans, such as the world’s tallest man, animal oddities including those with two heads and the world’s rarest egg.
It explores “mind-boggling displays of rare and amusing oddities” along with incredible customs, unusual hobbies and the weirdest artifacts from around the world.
Located atop Clifton Hill, in the Niagara Falls wacky fun zone, Ripley’s is one of the most popular attractions.
|Ripley’s Moving Theatre puts you inside a 4-D movie with its “seriously realistic” experience.|
Along with the Odditorium, there’s also Ripley’s Moving Theatre, an art motion simulator ride that’s the original 4-D theatre in the falls.
This “seriously realistic” experience has digital effects and motion seats for a feeling of being part of the movie.
You can “bump, dip and shake your way through our Roadhoggers and Winter Wipeout adventures.”
They caution expectant mothers and people with certain medical conditions not to go on this ride.
Running now is becoming immersed underwater to visit a mysterious city in The Deep 4D.
Another Ripley attraction is Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks with more than 100 life-like wax figures to “mingle with the stars of yesterday and today.”
Visitors can touch and feel the works in 16 themed galleries and take a selfie with a favourite star.
For hours and admission prices, go to: ripleys.com/niagarafalls or call (905) 356-2238
There’s more . . .
In 1997, the company took a big step to diversify with the opening of the first Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada beside the CN Tower in Toronto opened in 2013 and there are others in Galinburg, Tenn. and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
|Observe marine life above in Shark Bay’s tunnel at Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto.|
“Travelling on moving glide paths, visitors enter the ocean realm and come face to face with thousands of fascinating fishes and menacing sea creatures,” Ripley’s says.
You can explore the waters of the world with 20,000 animals, 450 species and 100 interactive displays including touch exhibits, aquarist talks and daily dive shows.
There’s everything to see from barracudas, rays, jellyfish, octopi and moray eels to giant sharks. ripleyaquariums.com/canada
Elsewhere in Canada, there’s an Odditorium – called the strangest attraction in town – in Cavendish Beach, P.E.I.
With 250 exhibits and artifacts, it reopens for the season May 18. ripleys.com/cavendishbeach
Jim Fox can be reached at email@example.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca