An Air-Conditioned Afternoon in the Odditorium

When Chris and I booked a long holiday weekend in Florida, the original plan was to spend two whole days at Universal Studios parks. Well, after we spent Sunday checking out the new Diagon Alley while also melting from the extreme heat, we were sort of done with the park. If I’m going to be outside when it’s in the mid-90s, I need to be by a pool or the ocean. They do have some great water rides at Universal, but with the crazy crowds that weekend, we didn’t want to wait in line for our opportunity to cool off. Plus, our flight home was scheduled for the evening and we didn’t want to sit in sweaty clothes on the plane (and I’m sure our seatmates appreciated the thought). So instead we decided to spend some air-conditioned time indoors before heading to the airport. Orlando offers a few options, but we thought the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium sounded pretty interesting.

Don’t adjust your screens or blame my photography skills – the building really is tilted to one side!

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The museum holds a mixture of art, interactive stations, puzzles, historic artifacts and things that are just…odd. You won’t see displays like these anywhere else! One of my favorite features is their huge collection of mixed media artwork. For example, this portrait of Beyoncé made entirely out of candy and a Mona Lisa composed from toast!

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There are tons of hands-on interactive areas that focus on science, math, and history, so this is a perfect spot for inquisitive minds of all ages (and for hand sanitizer – bring some). You’ll also find plenty of silly photo opportunities that we obviously took advantage of with no shame. Photography is not only allowed – it’s encouraged!

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Our tour ended with this trippy hallway that rotates a cylinder of neon lights around you as you walk (or stumble) through. The effect is surprisingly mind-bending and perhaps not a great idea if you just ate lunch or if you’re already a little tipsy. (We were not.) If you’re sensitive to motion-sickness, there’s an alternate hallway you can use to skip this crazy feature.

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The museum is located right in Orlando, and tickets are about $20 per adult (and $13 per child). You can save a few bucks if you buy tickets online. We spent a little over an hour in the museum, but you can easily spend a bit longer if you visit each station, watch all of the videos, and read all of the materials. I definitely recommend this as a rainy-day (or a super hot I-need-to-be-in-air-conditioned-place day) alternative activity! And they’re actually open every day of the year until Midnight, so it could even be squeezed into your post-Disney day schedule if you happen to have some energy left. Go see some odd stuff!

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