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If you’re looking for a good time in East Tennessee, then you need to check out the 10 different Ripley’s attractions in Gatlinburg.
With something for everyone, these attractions are sure to please. Here is the ultimate guide to all of the different Ripley’s unique experiences in Gatlinburg so that you can make the most of your visit.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is one of the top Gatlinburg attractions and has been voted best aquarium in America by USA Today readers. This giant facility is home to over 10,000 exotic sea creatures from all over the world. With penguins, sharks, rays, a coral reef and much more, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a must-see for animal lovers of all ages.
Here is a breakdown of our favorite areas of this world-class aquarium:
Shark Lagoon – get up close and personal with sharks as you go through the underwater tunnel, along with other sea creatures. We love the giant sea turtle
Penguin Playhouse – these adorable little guys are always entertaining, and there is an area to view playful penguins swimming below your feet and a tunnel to crawl into a viewing area inside the penguin playhouse
Touch-a-Ray Bay – this is so cool to actually touch the stingrays… and if you want to purchase fish, you can feed them, too in stingray bay!
The kids also really enjoy the glass bottom boat and indoor play structure, and there are other interactive displays (like touching horseshoe crabs or a jellyfish!) so if you are in Gatlinburg and the weather doesn’t cooperate for outdoor adventures, try the aquarium. It’s great for the entire family. Be sure to stop by the cargo hold gift shop to find some really cool souvenirs, too.
Location: 88 River Rd, Gatlinburg
Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium
The Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium is one of the most unique Gatlinburg attractions. This museum features over 500 different exhibits and artifacts that are sure to amaze and amuse you as you go on your self-guided tour. From authentic shrunken heads to a real life vampire killing kit, there is something for everyone at Ripley’s Believe it or Not.
Here are a few of the interesting exhibits:
Car completely covered in crystals
Dragon made from recycled scrap metal
Space shuttle art made from jelly beans
Last Supper artwork made from lint
Lots of optical illusions
Insider’s Tip: Some of these oddities might be a little scary for young children, so we haven’t taken our kids here when they were small. Use your best judgment with your kiddos.
Location: 800 Parkway, Gatlinburg
Ripley’s Haunted Adventure
This is the number one haunted house in Gatlinburg, and for good reason. It’s 10,000 square feet of renovated mansion with live actors lurking around every corner, plus special effects and animatronics. The building used to be a casket company, and the owners mysteriously disappeared.
Insider’s Tip: You have to be at least 6 to enter, but this attraction really is too scary for young children because it’s mostly all in the dark with special effect and actors scaring you, so it’s not for the kiddos (unless you know your child is okay with these types of places). It’s also not very long, so if you’re going, consider getting it as part of the combo ticket instead of a one attraction ticket.
Location: 908 Parkway, Gatlinburg
Ripley’s 5D Moving Theater
Experience a movie like never before in Gatlinburg’s only 5D theater. With high-tech effects, this theater takes you on a wild ride through different movies. See 2 3D short films like Aladdin: the Ride and Red Beard’s Rapids.
Insider’s Tips: The seats move during the movie and there are also different effects like wind, water, and bubbles, so if you have any sensitivities, this might not be the attraction for you. Also, children must be at least 43″ tall to ride and expectant mothers shouldn’t ride because of the motion.
Location: 904 Parkway, Gatlinburg
Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze
This is one of our family’s favorite Ripley’s attractions, and it’s perfect for all ages. You’ll be challenged to find your way through the endless reflections of this mirror maze. As you wind your way through, you’ll come across different enhancements such as LED lighting, amazing colors and an infinity room.
Insider’s Tip: If you get turned around, they send out search parties every half hour to help guests who might be stuck.
Location: 623 Parkway, Gatlinburg
Ripley’s Mini Golf: Davy Crockett or Old MacDonald’s Farm
You can’t visit Gatlinburg without playing a round of mini golf, and Ripley’s Mini Golf courses are some of our favorites (right after Hillbilly Golf). Davy Crockett’s has two different 18 hole courses you can try, and Old MacDonald’s has four 18 hole courses, so you can golf several times without experiencing the same course!
Insider’s Tip: The courses are lit up at night, so it’s a perfect family activity after dark.
Locations: Davy Crockett: 188 Parkway, Gatlinburg; Old MacDonald: 1639 Parkway, Sevierville
Ripley’s Super Fun Zone
This is retro-themed fun for the whole family! In this one indoor attraction you can find a laser tag arena, 18 holes of mini golf, a classic arcade and a shooting gallery.
Insider’s Tip: This attraction is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon or a way to escape the summer heat.
Location: 542 Parkway, Gatlinburg
Ripley’s Super Fun Park
Looking to ride go-karts while you are in the area? Check out the Super Fun Park, where you can find three levels of track, blast each other with a Blaster Boat, play a game in the 10,000 foot arcade or let the kids play on the kid’s rides.
Insider’s Tip: Try the Blaster Boats on a super hot summer day and cool off but still enjoy the outdoors.
Location: 4061 Parkway, Pigeon Forge
Ripley’s Mountain Coaster
One of the newest Ripley’s attractions in Gatlinburg, the Mountain Coaster is a must-do when you visit. You’ll ride solo or with a friend as you speed down the mountain, around curves and through tunnels.
Insider’s Tip: This coaster is the type where you control your speed, so even if you’re not a roller coaster fan, you’ll enjoy a mountain coaster.
Location: 386 Parkway, Gatlinburg
Tips for Making the Most of Your Visit to Ripley’s Attractions in Gatlinburg
There are a few things you should know before you visit Ripley’s attractions in Gatlinburg.
First, they offer combo tickets which include admission to all of their attractions (aquarium, odditorium, mirror maze, 5D moving theater, mini golf, and more).
This combo ticket is a great deal if you plan on visiting more than one attraction, and if you don’t want all of the attractions you can choose 2, 3 or more for a discount.
If you are planning on visiting the aquarium at least twice in a year, opt for the annual pass. We just tried that this year and it’s been worth it.
To learn more about all the great Ripley’s attractions in Gatlinburg and to purchase tickets, visit here.
Ripley’s attractions in the Great Smoky Mountains are a great way to spend a day or afternoon with the family. With so many different options, there is something for everyone.
Our favorite attractions are the Aquarium of the Smokies and the Mini Golf because they are fun for all ages and offer a challenge for those who want it.
Be sure to check out our tips for making the most of your visit and purchase your tickets in advance to save time and money.