Eccentric Has Always Entertained!
Come With Us to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and Can Can Wonderland
by Barry Zelickson
Get ready to embark on a thrilling adventure as we dive headfirst into the world of odd and eclectic fun! Fun Across America is on the move, and this month we’re taking you to two mind-blowing locations that will leave you with unforgettable memories and an insatiable desire to capture every quirky moment with your camera because, of course, you’ll need those perfect “selfie” picture moments!
Our first stop is Ripley’s Believe it or Not! – Orlando, which has a long history of providing direct experiences with engaging interactives and rare oddities. Next, we travel to a unique facility that took an old can manufacturing space and developed it into an eclectic art space with an artist-inspired mini-golf course and much more.
Keep reading to learn about our host Nate’s visit to these exciting locations and check out our YouTube channel for the exclusive footage of our visits to both of these (and other) fun spots at www.youtube.com/@funacrossamerica.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! – Orlando, FL
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and prepare to be mystified, intrigued and downright entertained as we uncover the mesmerizing secrets of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Orlando, Florida. This is no ordinary attraction, my friends. It’s a mind-bending journey into a realm of curiosities and peculiar wonders that will leave you questioning reality itself.
You’ve probably heard whispers of the legendary Ripley’s name, which traces its roots back to a daily newspaper cartoon that sprouted in 1918 and has grown into an empire of over 100 attractions across 10 countries! But hold onto your hats, because this is not just a history lesson – it’s a full-blown immersion into the uncharted territories of the extraordinary.
As we approached the entrance, anticipation buzzed in the air like a swarm of bees. We were greeted by General Manager Paul Hoffine, whose knowledge of the peculiar was infectious. He revealed that within these walls, 650 exhibits lay in wait across 14 astonishing galleries, and here’s the kicker – they’re 100% authentic but not necessarily real. That’s right, prepare to question everything you thought you knew as it is up to you whether to believe it or not!
Our charming host, Nate, had the privilege of navigating this treasure trove of the bizarre, and let me tell you, the interactive exhibits were next-level! It was as if Ripley’s had cast a spell, drawing us into their world of mind-bending challenges and hands-on edu-tainment. One particular exhibit caught Nate’s eye, and I can guarantee it will leave you spellbound as well. It was the chance to craft your very own shrunken head! Check out our YouTube channel for a glimpse of Nate’s creation…you won’t want to miss it!
But the marvels didn’t stop there. Ripley’s has mastered how to blend learning with entertainment, making it a haven for school groups and day care camps thirsty for a one-of-a-kind educational experience. Imagine being on a scavenger hunt through the labyrinthine halls, discovering the oddities and uncovering the mysteries that lurk within. It’s not just a mere field trip – it’s a thrilling quest for knowledge.
Whether you’re a wide-eyed newcomer or a seasoned Ripley’s aficionado, one thing’s for certain: this place guarantees a fun experience like no other. Prepare to be awestruck and to have your beliefs challenged. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is a must-see destination for every adventurer at heart.
Can Can Wonderland – St. Paul, MN
Now my fellow thrill-seekers, let’s embark on a journey to the whimsical realm of Can Can Wonderland in the city of St. Paul, Minnesota. This is no ordinary wonderland; it’s a playful escape that owner, Rob Clapp, states, “Has one foot in the past and the other in the future!” It’s a place where nostalgia dances hand in hand with innovation.
Can Can Wonderland has an interesting history, and was born out of a late-1800s cannery facility. This huge factory, once owned by American Can Company, produced cans for household names we still cherish today, like Campbell’s Soup and Del Monte. The huge space provided a perfect place for an arts-based amusement extravaganza!
Picture this: 18 local artists, engineers and fabricators, each with a very unique vision, all coming together to design a miniature golf course that will take your breath away. This is not your average putt-putt experience. Oh no! Each hole is a work of art, a testament to creativity and ingenuity that will transport you to the realms of the unknown. Watch Nate putt through the Natural Disaster hole with a 20ft tornado with earthquakes too or Grandma’s Living Room and of course a Minnesota must, Prince’s Purple Carpet tribute hole. Can Can Wonderland doesn’t just offer fun, it creates a vivid tapestry of imagination that wraps you in its warm embrace.
And it doesn’t stop with golf. This wonderland is bursting at the seams with a kaleidoscope of visuals and activities that will leave you dazzled and a sense of whimsy that will make you smile. Prepare yourself for a delightful culinary adventure at Can Can, where creativity takes center stage on their fun-inspired menu as well.
We treated ourselves to gourmet hot dogs and hamburgers bursting with unique flavors, and accompanied by tantalizing sides. And if that’s not enough to excite your taste buds, brace yourself for a nostalgic twist – boozy milkshakes made with your favorite childhood cereals, including colorful Lucky Charms and Fruit Loops. Indulging in these mouthwatering delights will not only brighten your night but also leave you feeling fully satisfied.
But the excitement doesn’t end there. As you leisurely stroll down their captivating boardwalk of amusements, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of vintage arcade and pinball games, ready to transport you back to cherished memories of your childhood. Every decade is covered, and all in good working order too. The plethora of eye-catching attractions ensures that every corner of Can Can Wonderland is teeming with fun and excitement, guaranteeing a memorable experience for everyone.
So, if you’re seeking a place to satisfy your cravings for delectable delights or looking for a thrilling one-of-a-kind escape into a world of art and playful nostalgia, Can Can Wonderland is the perfect destination for an extraordinary, fun-filled journey.
Thus, whether you’re captivated by the oddities and educational delights of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, or you find yourself enchanted by Can Can Wonderland’s art-filled space, one thing’s for sure – Fun Across America promises an unforgettable journey that will keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you with stories to share for generations to come. Buckle up, fellow explorers, for the time of your life awaits.
Barry Zelickson, is the co-creator of Fun Across America, a YouTube channel travelogue show. Zelickson has worked in the entertainment field for almost 30 years and has been awarded several IAAPA Brass Ring awards including one of the association’s highest honors, Family Entertainment Center of the World. His other projects include commercials, infomercials, feature films, documentaries, live events and entertainment centers.
Nate Reinhart, host and co-creator of Fun Across America, is a content creator for NalterDeeds and NalterCards on YouTube and content consultant for creators and businesses alike. After a shoutout from MrBeast, Nate has accumulated over 250,000 subscribers on his YouTube channels.