By Kiera Morgan:
I had the chance to talk with Dave Heater, manager of the Ripley's World of Adventure on the Newport Bayfront. In October of 2019 the company that owns Ripley's announced the decommissioning of the Undersea Gardens, a popular attraction on the Newport Bayfront for over 40-years. The closure aligned with the company’s commencement of a renovation to the Ripley’s, Believe it or Not! and Wax Works attractions, formerly known as Mariners Square and is now Ripley's Believe It Or Not World of Adventure.
Heater said the attraction has been under construction since October. They have redone the building inside and out and have painted the outside bright pink, blue, purple and yellow. They received a grant from the city of Newport's Mural committee and are working with local artist Casey McEneny, who is also a teacher at Newport High School and created the new mural at the Rogue Ales and Spirits Distillery in South Beach, to create a mural that will go across the walls of the exhibit.
Heater said there are a few outdoor exhibits that people can see when they drive by the fenced in facility. Some of these include a 14-foot tall metal structure of "The Hulk" he was manufactured in Indonesia by an artisan in his back yard. There is a large gorilla and two lions that are made of recycled tires. There is also a beautiful bench that has been handcrafted into an octopus out of a piece of fallen redwood.
Heater said the new World of Adventure attraction will have a single point of entry and will be more things for children to do as well including more interactive exhibits like a space room, Infinity Room, illusions, a colorful light show, smash dash, the wax hands and more. Plus an updated Louis Tussaud's wax works, which will be a completely different experience for visitors offering face-to-face lifelike wax figures of your favorite Superheros, shows and celebrities. They are also working on having some local music, sword swallowing, and fun outdoor activities.
Heater said they will also have the gift shop open and some snacks available. When asked if they would be providing the season passes he said they will be doing something for the locals, like they did with the season passes, but he doesn't know what that will be yet. Dave said they will be opening as soon as they are completely finished with the renovations and when it is safe to do so, with the coronavirus restrictions, which they hope will be sometime in the next 30-days. They will be providing updates on the opening on their facebook page and on their website at https://www.ripleys.com/newport/attractions/believe-it-or-not/