San Francisco’s “New” Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and Marvelous Mirror Maze now open after $5 Million Renovation

Additions offer Bay Area families and Fisherman’s Wharf visitors new opportunities for fun, family outings!

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – (July 1, 2010) – Ripley’s Believe It or Not! San Francisco Odditorium, a popular Fisherman’s Wharf attraction since 1967, has reopened after undergoing a mega-makeover that took several months and $5 million dollars to complete.

Additions include Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze & Candy and Toy Factory and hundreds of new exhibits

“If you have visited us in the past, as millions have since we first opened, you certainly won’t recognize us now,” said Ian Iljas, Ripley’s general manager. “Not only do we have a new, fresh and colorful look and new exhibits, but we also have expanded the space and now offer a mirror maze with hundreds of mirrors and a candy and toy factory that has an amazing choice of bulk candies and unique toys.”

With more than 70 new interactive and hands-on exhibits, it’s the most interactive Believe It or Not! Odditorium in the world!  It is home to more than 300 exhibits, 80% of which are new, in 18 themed galleries, with a new emphasis on the Bay Area.

Highlights include:

  • The car that the late Buck Helm was in when it was crushed during the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.  Helm spent 89 hours in the vehicle under tons of rubble. The car was donated to Ripley’s by the Helm family and it has never been on display in the Bay Area, having spent the last 20 years in Los Angeles.

  • The world’s smallest Golden Gate Bridge replica – made from a single toothpick.

  • The restraint chair from the former gas chamber on San Quentin’s death row.

  • Joe DiMaggio war memorabilia.

  • “Goliath,” the world’s largest sea lion, acquired from P.T. Barnum.

  • A model of the Space Shuttle Challenger made from 600,000 matchsticks.

  • Celebrity portraits made entirely of candy, including a lovely, licorice-laden Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson made from gum drops.
  • A wedding dress made from toilet paper.

  • A ball of human hair weighing 167 pounds.

Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze is where “mirror, mirror on the wall” goes to a whole new level, with more than 200 mirrors spread across nearly 2,000 square feet of seemingly dead end paths. Special lighting and sound effects make this a fun and unique family activity!

Ripley’s Candy & Toy Factory is a colorful, fun and tasty addition to the Believe It or Not! and the Marvelous Mirror Maze! A huge and splendiferous variety of candies of all kinds – from old fashioned root beer barrels to the most current confections are available as are unique and fun toys.

“Visitors will find a new emphasis on San Francisco in our attraction,” said Iljas. “It’s a great testament to Robert Ripley, who called San Francisco home for a time.”

Robert Ripley joined the San Francisco Bulletin as a cartoonist in 1909 and then moved to the San Francisco Chronicle where he worked until heading to New York City in 1912.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! San Francisco Odditorium is located at 175 Jefferson Street in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf.

The Odditorium opens daily at 9 a.m. and closes at 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; and Midnight on Friday and Saturday.

For ticket information and hours please visit

For high-resolution, downloadable images, please go to Ripley’s Newsroom.


Tim O’Brien                                                     Ian Iljas

VP Communications                                       Manager

Ripley Entertainment Inc.                               Ripley’s Believe It or Not! San Francisco

Office – 615-646-7465                                   Office – 415-202-9850

Cell – 615-496-5949                                       Cell – 415-515-5359

About Ripley Entertainment Inc.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! San Francisco is part of the Ripley Entertainment Inc. ( family of worldwide attractions, the global leader in location-based entertainment.  More than 13 million people visit its 80-plus attractions in 11 countries each year.  In addition to its 31 Believe It or Not! Odditoriums, the Orlando, Florida-based company has publishing, licensing and broadcast divisions that oversee projects including the syndicated Believe It or Not! television show, best-selling books and the popular syndicated cartoon strip, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, that still runs daily in 42 countries. Ripley Entertainment is a Jim Pattison Company, the third-largest privately held company in Canada.