Been to a few different aquariums in my lifetime and I wasn t really impressed with this one. It covered all the basics but I prefer the Newport, KY aquarium. High priced for what I feel like was a mediocre experience.
We first went to Ripley's Aquarium as a couple when vacationing in Gatlinburg for our anniversary and LOVED it! Now we have two small daughters and our 3 year old has already been there 3 times. She always asks to go back (and we live 7+ hours away from the Smokies!) Our youngest daughter, 10 months now, actually stayed awake this time and couldn't get enough of all the beautiful displays of schooling fish and jellies.
The Discovery Center is a must for kids or the kid-like. And I absolutely cannot rave enough about the Penguin Playhouse (new this year). Oh. My. Goodness. The genius of Ripley's Aquarium!! Crawl-through tunnels for the kids, with African penguins swimming all around, trying to nudge my daughters through the glass--soooo cute! St. Louis Zoo has an awesome penguin exhibit, but this tops it. And since they're behind glass, no frigid temperatures for the viewer and you can get close without bothering them.
I could only find one area they could improve in--the bathroom and nursing room. There are a gazillion different aquatic-themed bathroom and nursery decor to decorate with. The nursing room would be a lot better with low light lamps (there are plugs!) and something besides stark white walls, perhaps soothing music piped in from the tunnel walk. Heck, even decorate the walls with tempting stuff from the gift store. ;) Something! lol.
We will definitely be back. It's a must-see every time we visit. I know my husband and I enjoy it even as much as our daughters.
Excellent aquarium, but it only took 30 minutes to walk through! I loved the tunnel with the moving sidewalks. There is a very exotic collection of sea life here, and the Penguin Playhouse was fun. Worth the price!
I was absolutely blown away by Ripley's Aquarium. The variety of fish and sea life is absolutely amazing -- sharks, sawfish, sting rays, barracuda, pompano, giant sea turtles, jellyfish, octupus, eels, and even flounder!!
In my opinion the price of admission is well worth it. I'm sure the cost of maintaining artificial sea water in Gatlinburg, Tennessee is astronomical. The exhibits are well designed and educational. This was a highlight of my trip to Gatlinburg.
This is a wonderful aquarium. My husband and I got married in May 2007 and we went down to TN for our honeymoon. One of our most favorite spots was the aquarium. There were a lot of people, but if you just take your time to walk through and look at everything, you hardly notice all the other people. I would highly recommend anyone stopping there. It's just amazing!
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