Ripley’s Believe It or Not! brings the World’s most expensive dress to Orlando!

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Exactly one year ago Ripley’s Believe It or Not! set a new Guinness World Record for the most expensive dress sold at auction. The iconic dress Marilyn Monroe wore when she famously sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to John F. Kennedy on May 19, 1962, for his 45th birthday gala at Madison Square Garden was acquired from Julien’s Auctions for a staggering $4.8 million. When you add in auction fees the dress cost over $5 million, making it the most expensive dress in the world and now you can see the amazing dress on display for a limited engagement at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! on International Drive in Orlando, Florida.

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Some 55 years have passed since Monroe set out to “wake people up” with her shocking idea to create a dress that would give the impression that she was totally nude and just wearing diamonds as she walked out. Some 6,000 rhinestones were hand sewn onto the silk souffle gauze fabric and the gown was so tight fitting that Monroe was said to have been sewn into it before she performed for those infamous 30 seconds for President Kennedy.

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The dress, which was designed exclusively for Monroe by legendary Hollywood designer Jean Louis and sketched by the soon to be famous Bob Mackie, originally cost $12,000 in 1962 and then sold in 1999 for over $1.26 million. In total, Monroe wore the dress for approximately two minutes and now, more than half a century later, it is worth more than 400 times the original cost and nearly twice as much as the auction house estimated it would initially go for.

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Besides the stunning design, it was the fact that Monroe wore absolutely nothing underneath the gown that left a lasting memory. The birthday celebration also marked one of Monroe’s final public appearances before her death in August 1962, less than three months later.

Other items from Kennedy’s birthday gala are also on display including the winning bid paddle from the auction as well as other Marilyn Monroe memorabilia.

If you haven’t visited Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Orlando yet, we highly recommend a visit. The venue has over 600 exhibits and artifacts housed inside the  10,000 square feet “Odditorium”. It is the only place in Orlando where you’ll find shrunken heads, an authentic vampire killing kit, a shooting gallery, and a wild spinning vortex tunnel. It is open everyday of the year and admission is just $16.99 for adults and $11.99 for those youngsters aged 3 to 11.

You’ll find hundreds of fascinating, outrageous and interactive exhibits that will entertain the entire family as you explore an unbelievable variety of artifacts and displays in 16 unique galleries that pay tribute to the odd and strange. The really nice feature is that the tour is self guided so you can really take your time to explore and enjoy Orlando’s most bizarre attraction.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! website can be found at http://www.ripleys.com/orlando/

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

 

 

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