Customer Spotlight: Interview with Bill Thompson from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Williamsburg, VA
March 24th, 2017 by Mara Hasenstaub
What exactly is an Odditorium? Well there is only one way to find out – visit Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Williamsburg, Virginia! After checking out the Odditorium, be sure to catch a 4D movie and race your way through the LaseRace! In this Customer Spotlight, Bill Thompson, Ripley’s General Manager, dishes out some awesome insight on the success of Ripley’s Williamsburg as well as their LaseRace.
1) Can you tell us a little about Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Williamsburg and the attractions that you offer?
BT: Ripley’s Williamsburg is open year round and with over 350 exhibits in 11 galleries. Our Odditorium contains interactive exhibits, optical illusions, an impossible LaseRace, Atomic Rush candy shop, videos, and one of a kind genuine artifacts – many of which were collected by Robert Ripley himself during his travels around the world! Our 4D theater will immerse you in a truly unique movie experience; it is accompanied by leg ticklers, water misters, scent machines, and a host of other sensory encounters. Next door is our Catfish Cove mini golf with 18 holes of fun! Ripley’s Williamsburg truly is great family fun for all ages.
2) Your LaseRace has been installed since 2009! How have you kept players interested in it year after year?
BT: Yes, our LaseRace has been here since 2009. It has been such a big hit that we added it to our admission ticket for the Odditorium so everyone can play – this keeps players interested in the attraction.
3) You recently updated the LaseRace to include Beam Buster. Have you noticed that players enjoy one game over another or are the LaseRace and Beam Buster equally popular?
BT: We have noticed that our customers still prefer speeding through LaseRace rather than breaking through Beam Buster. Once new players figure out how different of a game Beam Buster is they immediately love it!
4) How did you get into the amusement/attractions industry?
BT: Before managing Ripley’s here in Williamsburg, I managed a Blockbuster video store for several years. Managing Ripley’s is hands down the best job I have ever had! I love the day to day challenges and the varying crowds of people we get to see throughout the seasons.
5) What is your favorite part about your job?
BT: My favorite part about this job is coming up with new ways to improve our Odditorium. Attending IAAPA each year helps with this task, though I’m hoping that Funovation will reveal something new soon!
6) Are there any new and exciting things coming up at Ripley’s that you’d like to share with us?
BT: We recently had a very successful sword swallowing event! We are about to announce our new 4D show, “Angry Birds”, and we just installed a new Vortex Tunnel. Additionally, we have a top secret project that we are about to unleash 😊
Thanks for working this interview into your schedule, Bill! You can find more information about Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Williamsburg online.
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