Ripley's in San Antonio
On a fun (and tiring) vacation babysitting our three grand kids (2, 6, and 9 and full of never ending energy - a old babysitter's nightmare!), we stayed in San Antonio for three days. One of the days we decided to visit Ripley's and immediately the kids ask "what is Ripley's? and I couldn't come up with words to explain what it is that they would understand and be excited about going to see. So, the answer was it's a "new experience that I have to keep secret, but you'll love it" - they trusted me, ran to the Jeep and said "let's go to Ripley's!" That may be a first!
We bought the 3 way combo ticket that included: Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Odditorium; the larger-than-life Louis Tussaud’s WaxWorks; and Ripley's 4D Moving Theater. Try and describe that to a 2, 6 and 9 year old - "well, you'll see wax people like Michael Jackson," "strange things like shrunken heads or two headed goats," or "a movie with seats that move and spray you with water!"
All three kids found parts of our visit to Ripley's amazing, unbelievable, confusing, and scary with some tears, some laughs, and some wows. And we got responses like: "uck," "what's that," "holy cow," "I don't believe that....," "I have to go to the bathroom," "is that Batman real," "who's that," "that was a blast," "did he really have 3 legs," and lot's more interesting stuff. I think they liked the whole experience!
Louis Tussand's WaxWorks
We started with Louis Tussaud’s WaxWorks which is loaded with over 200 life like figures of everyone from Abraham Lincoln to John Wayne to Batman and Michael Jackson. Some are standalone figures, others are in a setting, and some are so lifelike you think that they are going to speak to you. You'll see historical figures, movie stars, famous singers, as well as cartoon characters. It was fun trying to guess the name of each figure, tell the kids something about them if they didn't know who it was, and measuring their reaction to the figures that they knew.
Ripley's 4D Moving Theater
Next up was the 4D moving theater and I was anticipating that the 2 year old would start screaming and crying and wanting her Mom - but she loved it and a couple times squeezed my hand a little tighter as the ride took a tumble or a bump or a surprising spray of mist hit her. We saw two 4D movies:
- Rats Race Extreme about some cute rats having a wild car race through someone's home - under the chairs, through the rafters, outside and back in, past a lady with a broom, under the couches, and more with fun twists and turns and crashes
- Winter Wipe Out starts with some snowman riding down the mountain on inner tubes, with you right behind them as they go through chutes and tunnels and tight twists and turns - but the real fun starts when the abonminal snowman passes you up and leads you through an exciting tube run bouncing off and crashing into lots of thing
The animation is good but what makes this movie fun is it's in 4D with lots of stuff flowing toward your face and your theater seat twists and turns and bumps and dips and occasionally gives you a squirt of water! The kids loved it (ok, so did I) and immediately wanted to do it again.
Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Odditorium
We walked a few steps down the street to Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Odditorium - and the kid's had a hard time believing it and I got a lot of "is that true?" and "did that really happen?" Of course I didn't really know the answer but that's part of what makes "Believe It Or Not" fun. You could spend hours exploring the Odditorium - it's 3 floors with over 18,000 square feet, 18 themed galleries, and 500 exhibits and artifacts, all of which have been collected since 1918 and are part of the Robert Ripley's eclectically bizarre collection.
You'll see human and animal oddities, exotic primitive items like shrunken heads, plenty of mind-boggling visual illusions, lots of interesting facts (are they true or not?), and some really weird and fascinating stuff. You need to see it and then ask yourself do you "believe it or not!"
A good time that all 5 of us enjoyed!! If you're in San Antonio, make sure you stop by Ripley's - it's downtown, and across from the Alamo. Have fun.