In sixth grade my friend Susan and I wanted to get into the Guinness Book of World Records. We scoured the pages of this tattered copy of a book we had and looked for any record we thought me might be able to break. We found a record for two people being tied together at the ankles by a section of string for the longest time. That was a real record. I’m not making it up. And Susan and I thought we could break it. We used red yarn and a decent amount of it because we wanted to be able to use the bathroom without one of us having to actually see the other one on the toilet. (These were the things that were important to our sixth grade selves.) What I can no longer remember is how long the real record breakers stayed tied together. I can remember that we lasted about two days. But two days – you guys! For two days we literally were tied together by red yarn. We were the talk of our house. (It was summer so that made sticking side by side simpler.)
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About the Guiness World Records Museum
Ripley’s Guinness World Records was one of the spots I wanted to check out, probably based on my fond memories of that paperback book my family had growing up. Right on the main street, entrance was easy, just like all the the other Ripley’s attractions. One of the world’s tallest men – in statue form – greets you at the entrance. He sits down and stands up and it is ridiculous how tall he is.
You are given a bracelet at the front gate, and although it seems like a nuisance, it would be worth your time to sign up right at the beginning and register your bracelet. Inside there are a passel of opportunities to break world records yourself and if you sign up at the beginning your name and info is entered into all of the other games and challenges through out the museum, which makes it more rewarding as you compete against other previous guests at the museum. (The signing up takes a few minutes – but don’t worry. There’s a Ms. Pacman game for you to play while you’re waiting.)
At first you are simply guided along a museum with bizarre and interesting and kooky and odd and entertaining world records. There’s a lot of reading on the exhibits at first and the kids were just rushing past and I, typical parent, wanted to read a few of the posters and stories. Eventually, and pretty quickly, you are in a large room set up with all kinds of displays and games and exhibits and interactive opportunities. This is really the bulk of the museum and it’s a good place to land for a while and compete with one another. (This would make a pretty great rainy day option and if your kids are older, like mine, they’ll be quite entertained for a long time and you’ll feel like your money’s worth has been spent.)
The games were varied – memory challenges with name and face recognition (at which I stunk!), virtual chopping down trees, a game where your eyes lead the computer to draw a picture, typing challenges, a basketball game (of which I dominated, much to my surprise and pleasure), frisbee golf, drumming, hopscotch, soccer, an old western style shooting game, and more that I cannot even recall. It was fun to go up against the world record holders but even more fun to challenge your own son or daughter. The room was open enough that the kids were free to explore and visit each challenge themselves instead of us being forced to move as an amoeba. I could see the kids at each station and that allowed me to actually compete and play too. Otto toppled me quickly in frisbee golf – it’s a frustrating game to me. London beat us all in the face recognition challenge.
It was a great way to spend our afternoon and everyone felt like they were able to play together for a long time. There weren’t any cries of “no fair”. With five kids, that might have broken some kind of world record itself.
Plan your own trip to the Guiness World Records Museum
Open 365 days a year!
Sunday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. – midnight
Individual museum tickets are $13.99 for adults and $9.99 for kids. Bundled ticket prices are available. See website for details.
Read our other Gatlinburg Reviews:
- Review of Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
- Review of Mirror Maze in Gatlinburg, TN
- Review of Ripley’s 5D Moving Theatre
- Review of Dollywood
Would your family love to check out all the world records at the Guiness Book of World Records Museum?