Ripley’s Believe it or Not!
Mini VIP Day Out & Family Ticket Giveaway!
You can imagine the excitement in our house when I was invited with a guest to attend a Ripley’s Mini VIP Day in London.
I wanted to make the experience a real treat for my son Jake, so I arranged to travel by train to London in 1st class and stayed the night in a hotel so we would be close by ready for our adventure the next day.
Let the Magic begin!
Hamleys VIP tour
Our VIP day started with a tour of Hamleys toy store, this was no ordinary tour, Hamleys actually closed the store for two hours whilst a group of mummy and daddy bloggers and their mini vips were escorted around the store by Hamleys incredibly talented and attentive staff. We were taken through floor after floor filled with endless amounts of toy’s that every child could dream of!
It felt like we were in the movie ‘big’ where Tom Hanks played with the Toys rather than just looked at them on the shelves. Around every corner there was Hamleys staff on hand to actually encourage the children to play with the toys, the children were encouraged to behave absolutely the opposite to how you would normally expect your child to act in a toy store. As we had the store completely to ourselves there were no crowds of people so our mini vips could completely take over the store running, juggling, blowing bubbles and playing with remote control cars even driving it up the walls!
Jake loved the fact he had the whole of the Game section to himself at one point, every boys dream to be able to wander around a computer game store all alone.
For the younger children a puppet show was put on with the Gruffalo as the star of the show, watching the little ones all sat interacting with the hilarious show was priceless.After seeing Toys to suit all ages, the very best and biggest of plush Toys, The Royal family made completely from Lego, we were taken to an area full of collectable movie memorabilia from Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and batman.
To make our tour even more special the kids were let loose on the huge pick n mix area, filling their cups to their heart’s content, they even let us mums and dads lose too so there was no need to share our sweeties, Sugar rush at the ready!
Twelve o’clock came and it was time to say goodbye to our Magical morning at Hamleys, after having been closed to the public for two hours the crowds that had gathered at the doors were eager to get inside.The crowds had to wait a few minutes longer as the Hamleys staff including the Hamleys bear mascot and a beautiful princess, gathered up all the mini vips and actually got them to countdown the store opening. Jake loved this part, waving at the queues of people by the doors, he said he felt like a celebrity.
Planet Hollywood London
Next stop on our wondrous adventure was to the famous Planet Hollywood for a spot of Lunch, VIP style!
As we were ushered through endless amounts of movie memorabilia we spotted props from one of my favourite hit Tv shows ‘Two and a half men’ and Freddy Krueger’s glove!
We were taken to a special themed area named ‘The Bond room’ full of memorabilia from the Bond movies. Once we were all seated a lovely welcome was played on the screens in the room.
Jugs of soft drinks and menus were brought round with colouring sheets and crayons for our little VIP’s. Our lunch menu choices ranged from The Planet Hollywood Cheeseburger, chicken salad and my choice the Vegetarian burger. A special children’s menu was on offer for the Mini VIP’s.
My delicious vegetarian burger was made from a Bread crumbed potato patty with carrots, peas, sweet corn, seasonings and spices with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle
served on a fresh-baked bun.
Jake choose a 100% ground beef classic burger with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle on a fresh-baked bun both served was lashings of Planet Hollywood house fries. The portions were very generous, yet we still found room for what I can only describe as the best desert I have ever tasted, a traditional, creamy cheesecake with a digestive biscuit crust served with whipped cream, I ate every last crumb!
The staff at Planet Hollywood were extremely attentive and certainly treat us all like VIP’s
Ripley’s believe it or not
So far we had played to our hearts content during our mammoth play session at Hamleys, been caught in the worst rain storm I had ever witnessed, dried off and enjoyed a feast fit for a king at Planet Hollywood and now we were ready to set off on a voyage of discovery at Ripley’s believe it or not.
Ripley’s believe it or not celebrates the life, collections and eccentricity of Robert Ripley
‘A man who was terrified of using the telephone, fearing it would electrocute him. He even owned more than 100 cars though he never learned to drive. Overall, Ripley was a most unlikely celebrity’.
‘Robert Ripley’s life was dedicated to travel, which was an obsession. He reported on and experienced unbelievable things in exotic locales all over the world’
This was our 1st visit to Ripley’s and will certainly not be our last, I could not believe Ripley’s Believe it or Not has over 700 astonishing exhibits, galleries and interactive experiences spanning across a whopping 6 floors!
Our tour guide was so knowledgeable on everything bizarre , odd and strange. Jake was so interested to learn about everything, he followed the guide around like a boy on a school trip, listening intently and soaking up all his new-found facts like a sponge.
I was amazed by the sheer sights on show, from a two-headed calf, a picture of Brad Pitt made from cigarette ash and a picture of the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton made from the artist kissing the canvas wearing Lipstick!
I saw a four-metre long model of Tower Bridge made out of 253,00 matchsticks, a lock of hair belonging to Elvis Presley, the world’s tallest man, Peel 50 – one of the smallest road legal cars ever produced and the most sparkly car I have ever seen, a real full size Minni covered in swarovski crystals all the way from the USA and worth over a jaw dropping £500,000. I wouldn’t like to take insurance out on that car!
I was really excited and a little too vocal when I spotted the original ‘Toot Sweets’ machine featured in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang , one of my favourite childhood films.
Seeing the rare Amazonian shrunken heads and a piece of the actual Berlin walls were definitely a wow moment, although more for me than Jake.
Jake loved the picture that was painted in less than a minute, everything in the space section and The Gallery of Greats.
After we had filled our brains with facts and knowledge and our minds with images the good and the bad, we dared to venture into The Ripley’s Mirror Maze challenge, The whole point of the challenge is to ‘get lost’ and find your way out again. Made from a series of columns and arches surrounded by hundreds of mirrored reflections in every direction, this “infinity effect” maze gives the illusion of continuing hallways, when in fact you are at a dead-end! See hundreds of reflections of yourself in every direction, not good when you look like a drowned rat after we were all drenched through on our way to Ripley’s.
We also got to try The Black hole which is a rotating vortex tunnel twisting and turning , The walkway appears to move beneath you, I did feel a little disoriented in a weird yet good way !
The Impossible laser maze was my sons ultimate favourite experience, Jake set out on a Mission Impossible style challenge against the clock, jumping and crawling over and under beams, stopping at hand-scanning checkpoints where Points are awarded for speed, agility and success.
I could go on and on there were so many wonderful things to see and do.
I think you should just pay Ripley’s believe it or not a visit for yourselves
I will be returning as I could not possibly have seen everything in only one day and I really want my the rest of my family to see what we have seen and let it blow their mind too!
Jake and I would like to thank Ripley’s for arranging this magnificent Ripley’s VIP Day, making it one we will remember for years to come. A great big Thank you to Ripley’s, Hamleys and Planet Hollywood for making our day so special
Watch our day right here!
Visit Planet Hollywood London
Ripley’s have offered one lucky family the chance to visit for free!
Our Lucky winner has been announced, well done to Joanne Baldwin an email has been sent
We have lots more competitions live on our website see here