Ripley's Believe It Or Not! review (Nov 2011)
This is out-of-date! I have been here again since I wrote this review
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This is another one to file under the "big waste of money" file. It cost 25 quid to get in! Although I thought it was a decent enough way to wile away a couple of hours, I wouldn't encourage people to part with 25 quid to enter it -- it's basically just a piddly little museum.
The idea behind Ripley's Believe It Or Not! museum is that all the exhibits are freaks, strange, and wierd things that shouldn't exist. Like a five-legged sheep, for example. Apparently this American Ripley guy toured the world collecting all the oddities he could find, so he could luzz them into his little freaky museum. But the problem with it is that most of the stuff is not wierd at all -- like Charles II's gloves, or Henry VIII's shoe. Nothing wierd about those. And they've got a bit of a meteorite too, which is just a normal bit of rock. And that's alongside the signed photographs of five astronauts. What's wierd about that?
One section of the museum is devoted to torture (in case you're bored and feel like doing yourself in). They've got an Iron Maiden and ball and chain etc, ad some poor geezer sitting in an electric chair waiting for you to press the button. If you want to see torture stuff go to the Clink or the Tower of London. Don't go to this place.
One of the most disappointing things about the museum is that a lot of the truly wierd stuff just consists of a photo. Take the elephant man, for example. He is certainly weird enough to be in the Ripley museum, but all you get is a picture and a little placard to tell you who he is. That's it. It gets better when they bring out the waxworks. They've got models of the world's ugliest woman, the world's hairest man, and some guy who can pop they eyes out of his head. They've got life-size models of the world's tallest man too, and the world's tiniest midget. They've also got a little zoo of freaky animals -- a sheep with five legs and chickens with a couple of extra drumsticks. None of them are real though, I don't think, they are just models.
Oh yeah, and I forgot one last thing... there is also a very exciting "Mirror Maze". This is basically the same as the one I did in the London Dungeon the other day, only its not quite as good because there's none of the scary stuff alongside it. They make you put on some plastic gloves beforehand so you don't smudge the mirrors, and then you just stroll around a darkened room trying to find the exit -- but all the walls are mirrors so it looks like the room extends for a million miles. It took me about two minutes.
So, to sum up... if the entry fee was 10 quid then I might have recommended it, but charging 25 quid for this is a joke! The only reason they can get away with charging that is because it's at Piccadilly Circus, and all the dopey tourists are awash with cash.
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