Although we are only about 4 hours away from Gatlinburg, TN we have visited many times and keep finding new reasons to go back. One thing that is so appealing to us is that there is so much to do in this one place and the neighboring city, Pigeon Forge. I am sure you have all heard of Ripley’s, the brand is known for its Believe It or Not! books and 8 attractions in the Gatlinburg area. We took a trip to the Smokies a couple of weeks ago, rented a cabin in the mountains for some rest and relaxation, plus tons of fun as we visited all 8 Ripley’s attractions over a 3 day period. It is so convenient to be able to purchase tickets one time to gain access to all of the attractions, just take your 1 ticket from attraction to attraction to gain entry, no need to carry cash or hassle with multiple tickets, plus with Ripley’s the more attractions you buy the more you save.
The Ripley’s Mirror Maze was great fun. Full of mirrors and LED lights this maze can be very challenging. Once you make it through you can go back in and try it over and over again to see if you can make it out quicker.
The 5D Moving Theater was a great stop to cool off and take a break after walking the strip all day. Strap on your seat belt and get ready for this seriously REAL-D 5D Moving Theater experience. The state of the art theater with digital effects and motions seats will have you feeling like you’re in the movie as you bump, dip, and shake your way through the Roadhoggers andWinter Wipeout adventures.
The Guinness World Records Museum was great for the kids to see. There are so many things that they had heard of, read about or seen on TV so getting to see them in person and stand next to them was a whole new experience. There are incredible displays, interactive games, trivia, themed galleries and video for everyone! Enjoy hundreds of unbelievable exhibits of Guinness World Records from amazing groups of sports, space, animals, food, human achievement and more. Featured memorabilia of famous record holders like Elvis, The Beatles, Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, and much more!
Optimus Prime Made from Scrap Metal
Phoebe & Ethan Sitting in a Giant Chair
Rubki’s Cube Pic of Jimi Hendrix
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium was huge and had so many great items on display. Transformers fans will love the life size statue of Optimus Prime made from Scrap metal, have your picture taken in a giant chair or check out the mural of Jimi Hendrix made from Rubik’s Cubes. This is the only place in Gatlinburg where you’ll find shrunken heads, an authentic vampire killing kit, one-of-a-kind artwork, tons of hands-on interactives, and a wicked spinning vortex tunnel!
Of course Ripley’s has to have something for those that love ghost stories and Haunted Houses, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure takes haunted houses to the next level. Live actors lurk behind every corner of this creepy renovated mansion, just waiting to “welcome” you to their home. The haunted house is a self guided tour of a mostly pitch block mansion, we highly recommend purchasing the glow sticks to make it through since no cell phones are allowed to be used as flashlights. One drawback for some may be that you have to hold on to the person in front of you as you navigate this dark maze. Several reviewers I read online were not happy about this, but it was not an issue for us.
If you are a fan of Mini-Golf or also known as Putt Putt, Ripley’s has you covered with Davy Crockett Mini-Golf in Gatlinburg and Old Macdonald’s Mini-Goolf in Pigeon Forge for a total of 36 holes of golf. We chose to visit both Mini-Golf courses later in the evening after the sun had started to go down to stay cool, both courses have misters throughout to keep you cool. We really enjoyed both courses which offered a great mix of challenging holes for both kids and adults.
The Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is by far the largest of the 8 attractions and we would recommend planning a good half day or longer to visit this attraction. There is so much to see and do. Navigate through a Rainforest type environment, walk through tunnels under the aquarium, visit the Penguin Playhouse, pet Stingrays in Stingray Bay and so much more. We are a homeschooling family so this was a great opportunity for the kids to see a lot of the animals and different environments that we have studied. See all of the pics below from our visit.
Penguins in the Penguin Playhouse
Phoebe & Ethan at the Penguin Playhouse
Ripleys Aquarium Gift Shop
We truly enjoyed our visit to the Smoky Mountains as always and it was a special treat to visit all 8 Ripley’s attractions. My Readers Save $3 Off Adult and $2 Off Child Admission to all of Ripley’s Attractions in Tennessee, just use online promo code: USFAMILYGUIDE. Tickets must be purchased online here to receive this offer.