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“New Year's Eve at Ripley's Aquarium”

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies
Ranked #2 of 109 things to do in Gatlinburg
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, TN, is literally teeming with life - over 10,000 exotic sea creatures in 350 individual species. There are more fish in this aquarium than there are people living in the entire town of Gatlinburg!
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Stairs / elevator, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Lockers / storage, Stroller parking
East Tennessee
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“New Year's Eve at Ripley's Aquarium”
Reviewed January 1, 2009

We wanted to do something to celebrate New Year's Eve and we picked this event. It was great! The cost was $125 per couple which included hats and noise makers, heavy hors d'oeuvres, a keepsake photo, and a champagne toast at midnight. There was a band in one area and a DJ in another area. Along with all that, you had the whole aquarium to browse through. They did not scrimp on the food. Everything from roast beef to shrimp to chicken fingers and then plentiful desserts. And it was always being refilled. It wasn't like there was a certain amount and once that was gone that's all there was. The band was really good, there were 7 band members. We went out on the balcony at midnight to see the city's fireworks and they even had heaters out there for us. It is open to children also (I think they had their own room with their own party for part of the evening) and they were never a bother to the other adults. There was plenty of staff available who kept the dishes cleared and the food coming. Several cash bars in different areas where we paid $5 for a mixed drink. Not bad. We plan to go again next year!

7 Thank carspeel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10,761 reviews from our community

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Nashville, Tn
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“This Is the Best Aquarium I Have Ever Seen!!!”
Reviewed December 23, 2008

This aquarium is the top of the line. The staff was very friendly, and helpful through out our visit. When you first arrive you will have to park in a CITY PARKING GARAGE..... From what I was told the city wouldnt sell enough land for aquarium to have a parking lot. The employees have to pay as well.The friendly staff at the ticket booth will get your tickets for you. They have combo passes which actually save you alot of money.

They also offer a guide book which gives you alot of neat information.When you go in there is an entrance tank is cool. Then you go through different exhibits like Tropical RainForest,Ocean Realm,Coral Reef,Shark Lagoon..... Just to name a few. They offer a family photo which is very nice. My family and I return every year faithly for new exhibits.

1 Thank collinsw35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Worth Every Penny”
Reviewed December 22, 2008

Me and my boyfriend just came back from Pigeon Forge and had a wonderful time. The first thing we did after we checked into our hotel was to go to the Ripley's Aquarium. This place is fantastic. I have never been so close to so many fish and sharks in my life!!!

This place is full of photo opps so make sure you have your camera ready. They have crabs and sting ray that they let you touch too!!! This place is wonderful. It was a great start to a wonderful trip. DO NOT SKIP THIS ATTRACTION!!!

1 Thank reallyblessed26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newton, NJ
Level Contributor
144 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 172 helpful votes
“Best Aquarium in the Mountains”
Reviewed December 11, 2008

Gatlinburg is a small resort town nestled at the edge of the Smoky Mountains. It was referenced in Ronnie Milsap's country hit "Smoky Mountain Rain". The town has a very touristy feel to it and after reading some of the reviews on this site, I was concerned that many of the attractions may be tourist traps. The aquarium, however, turned out to be one of the highlights of my Smoky Mountain vacation. You would not think of an aquarium as being a top attraction in the mountains.

The admission is not real cheap, but considering the size and cost of maintaining such a place, I considered it to be worthwhile. They have a huge variety of marine life in well designed and attractive exhibits. One of the best is an underground tunnel that you walk through as sharks and swordfish swim only a few feet above your head. Plan on spending 3-4 hours just to see everything and don't forget your camera. My daughter was fascinated with the many varieties of fish and other sea creatures.

You can walk through a tropical rainforest, see sting rays up close and view a coral reef. A discovery center provided hands on exhibits for children. The variety of marine life is truly amazing. I skipped the other Ripley museums, but thought this would be more worth while and was not disappointed. A parking garage is next door which makes it that much more convenient. Easily one of the best attractions in Gatlinburg.

1 Thank NJ-Tennessean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“You've Got To Go!!!”
Reviewed December 1, 2008

While honeymooning in TN, we decided to check out the aquarium. A few months earlier we stopped at the aquarium in Atlanta, which I think is one of the biggest in the world. Let me tell you, this aquarium in Gatlinburg was much more enjoyable. It wasn't very crowded, so we could easily see all of the animals and fish. And I absolutely loved the babies in incubators exhibit where you could see the tiniest jellyfish and seahorses. It's so hard to explain to people how small they were, and they didn't really show up on my camera. But we had a great time there and it was definately worth the money!!

1 Thank Gabby78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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