Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg TN.
Attractions in Gatlinburg

New Attractions at Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg TN for 2017

Drawing millions of visitors each year, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is the #2 most popular attraction in the state of Tennessee, second only to Dollywood. This incredible aquarium is home to over 10,000 sea creatures and features a number of unique exhibits that you won’t find anywhere else. To help you prepare for your next vacation, Aunt Bug’s Cabin Rentals has put together a guide to all of the new additions to Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg TN for 2017.

Splash with the Stingrays

If you’ve ever wanted to jump right in the water at Ripley’s Aquarium, here is your chance! When you sign up for the new Splash with the Stingrays experience, you’ll swim around Touch-A-Ray Bay with real live stingrays.

While swimming with stingrays might sound scary at first, it is completely safe. All of Ripley’s stingrays have had their barbs removed, so they can’t do any stinging! The stingrays at the aquarium are very friendly and are accustomed to being hand fed by participants.

Splash with the Stingrays is a special add-on experience that you can buy during your visit to the aquarium. This one-of-a-kind stingray encounter is open to guests who are over the age of 5 and at least 40” tall. Participants will go home with a souvenir T-shirt and a great story to tell. Ripley’s will provide towels for Splash with the Stingrays, but guests must bring their own swimsuits.

A shark swimming in an aquarium.Glass Bottom Boat Tours

Shark Lagoon is an iconic part of Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg TN. This fantastic section of the aquarium features over 8,500 creatures, including the ocean’s most feared predators: sharks. Ripley’s new Glass Bottom Boat Adventures allows guests to experience Shark Lagoon like never before.

Leaving every 20 minutes throughout the day, these glass bottom boat tours provide an up-close view of all the beautiful animals that live in the Lagoon. During your tour, a knowledgeable member of the Ripley’s staff will share fascinating information about all of the fish you’re seeing. Like Splash with the Stingrays, the Glass Bottom Boat Adventure is an extra experience that costs additional money.

The Return of Ripley’s Mermaid Shows

Throughout the summer, Ripley’s Aquarium hosts daily live mermaid shows. In these special shows, talented women wear realistic mermaid tails and dive into 20-foot tanks where they perform incredible aquatic acrobatics for everyone to enjoy. If you are visiting the aquarium with young children, they will really believe that they are seeing actual mermaids!

Guests at Ripley’s will also have the chance to take photos with the mermaids at designated meet and greets throughout the day. All of the shows and meet and greets are included with admission to the aquarium. For the most up to date show schedule, check out the Live Shows section of the Ripley’s Aquarium website.

Where to Stay

When you stay with Aunt Bug’s Cabin Rentals, you will be just a short drive from all of the fun at Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg TN. With everything from 1 bedroom cabins to 8 bedroom cabins, we are guaranteed to have the perfect accommodations for your vacation. To start planning your getaway, browse our selection of cabins in Gatlinburg!