Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies to Host “Thrill the World” Thriller Dance Extravaganza

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (Oct. 5, 2009) – Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies will host “Thrill The World,” a worldwide attempt to break the Guinness World Record  for the largest simultaneous  dance with Michael Jackson’s Thriller  on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 8:30 p.m.  Thousands of people in cities around the world will learn the Thriller dance and perform it on October 24, 2009.  

 Gatlinburg has been added to join cities world-wide to take part in the record attempt.

Actress  Ola Ray , who was best known for  Michael Jackson’s girlfriend in Thriller, the most popular video of all times, will  lead the dancers in the  “Thrill The World” dance at the aquarium.   

Ola Ray

Ola Ray

Ray is scheduled to in the area, Oct. 24-25 at the Grand Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Pigeon Forge as  part of, Tennessee’s largest pop  culture and collectors show which features dozens of  celebrities.      

In 2008, 4,179 people at 72 events in 71 cities in 10 nations participated in “Thrill the World.”  Michael Jackson viewed the event in Los Angeles from a helicopter.  The largest thriller current record of 881 zombies danced in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008. Eleven other cities participated with over 100 dancers in each city including Seattle Washington, Austin, Texas, Los Angeles, California, Bolton, England, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, and more.   Gatlinburg was added for 2009 to be one of the participating cities in “Thrill The World.”

“We are really excited to host this international event at the Aquarium and would like everyone to come and participate in the Thriller dance so we can help break the world-record,” said Ryan DeSear, general manager of Ripley’s’ Aquarium of the Smokies.

Thriller Dance workshops will be taught at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies each Tuesday in October at 6 p.m., or you can learn the dance free online at  For more information or to request a free video of the Thriller dance call 325-9151 or email

 About Ripley’s Aquarium

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, the second most attended attraction in Tennessee, was Voted The Number One Aquarium in America by and Forbes Traveler has named it one of America’s best aquariums. More than 100,000 exotic sea creatures live in its 1.4 million gallons of water. The aquarium is known for its shark exhibit that features 12-foot sharks and one of the longest underwater tunnels in the world.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is part of the Ripley Entertainment Inc. family of worldwide entertainment facilities that includes another world class aquarium – Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach, S.C. More than 13 million people visit Ripley’s 70-plus attractions in 13 countries each year.  Ripley Entertainment Inc. is a division of the Jim Pattison Group, the third largest privately held company in Canada.

The aquarium is located at traffic light #5 on the Parkway in Gatlinburg and is open 365 days a year.


Dee Lundy

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