For twenty terrifying nights this fall, the normally tranquil confines of Watson Island will be visited by an ancient evil and the malevolent modern forces that awakened it. Designed by the frightmasters that brought you the award-winning Festival of Souls?which was voted the scariest haunted house in Florida by HauntWorld.com?Terror in the Jungle transforms Jungle Island into a massive, interactive haunted experience. Visitors enter a jungle beset by toxin-infused beasts, shambling zombies, and wrathful gods bent on punishing any mortal who dares wander the undergrowth. After navigating five acres of dense pathways, visitors arrive at the main event: the Ruins Pyramid Haunted House, a 10,000 square foot temple of unimaginable evil and bone-chilling scares.
Like a great scary movie, Terror in the Jungle comes with a back story that sets up the fright within. The story begins on 12/21/2012, a day purported to mark the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar. As the world woke to yet another day on Earth,
the prophesy manifested itself in an unexpected way. In the skies above Mexico, a cargo plane transporting hazardous materials from a government research lab faltered, crashing into the ruins of an ancient, forgotten city. The toxins on board seeped into the surrounding environment, mutating plants and people alike. Locals entreated the old gods for help, but found only retribution; insulted by mankind's disregard for life and nature, the
deities unleashed the Hunter, a demon bent on wiping out any human in its path.
It is now 2014. The Mexican government, desperate for answers about the crash and its aftermath, has uncovered rumors of ecological unrest deep within a remote jungle. Now, government officials and Hazmat containment specialists are gathered at the entrance to the jungle, preparing to clean up their catastrophic mess. Little do they know that these trees conceal overgrown beasts, risen undead, and a supernatural force more powerful than anything they've ever encountered.
Imagine standing eye level with a giraffe, holding out your arm for parrots to land on, or touching the head of an endangered rhino. At Zoo Miami, these experiences happen every day, fulfilling the institution's mission of encouraging the conservation of wildlife. More than 3,000 animals?from chimps to tigers to koalas?populate the African exhibit, Asian exhibit, and Australian exhibit. Many of the individual exhibitions don't use cages, but are instead bound by moats throughout more than three miles of walking trails. This setup allows guests to get closer to animals as they romp in their habitats. More than 1,200 plant species populate these habitats, which are re-creations of the animals' native environments.
Guests can use free WiFi to download a free mobile app for iPhones and Androids. The app then delivers functions such as location beacons so that family members keep track of one another, show times, and GPS-enabled maps that show the nearest dining venue or restroom. Transportation options within the zoo range from an air-conditioned monorail to tram tours, which provide insights such as which animals have recently had babies, what they named the babies, and each baby's first word. Developed specifically for kids, a children's zoo offers camel rides
and a playground.
Lion Country Safari is a zoo with no cages. Instead, many of the 900 animals, including the largest zebra herd outside of Africa, roam its 320 acres freely. During drive-through safaris, cars tour seven sections of the preserve?which represent different areas such as western Zimbabwe and the Serengeti?to see llamas, asiatic water buffalo, chimpanzees, and white rhinoceros. Lions have a section all to themselves so that they don't prey on other animals or disturb them with giggles from the pride's late-night slumber parties.
In addition to the four-mile drive, Lion Country Safari's Safari World allows guests to explore rides and attractions as they visit with animals on foot. They can feed giraffes, practice animal-massage techniques at the petting zoo, or hop on the carousel next to Lake Shanalee's paddleboat rides. After kids splash through the interactive Safari Splash waterpark, they can zoom down two brand-new water slides, hop onto the ferris wheel, or ask exotic birds for advice on how to fly.
The Little Farm has remained abuzz with the delighted giggles and awestruck squeals of 50,000 children each year since opening in 1978. Under the helm of Thomas and Valerie Jornlid, the couple who took ownership of the farm in 1990, The Little Farm has remained committed to fostering family-friendly escapes from the city with their meticulously managed gaggle of animals, all of which are hand-raised to meet the highest USDA health standards. None of the livestock—from pigs and ponies to rabbits and ducks—are hand-fed, which enables children to approach and pet the cute creatures without being chased for food or pestered for information about where they hide the pudding pops. Young guests can immerse themselves in farm life as they help the knowledgeable staff with daily tasks such as feeding the animals or milking the goats, or they can visit the onsite butterfly garden, which is dappled with educational plaques about different fluttering species. They can also enjoy the idyllic pleasure of a pony ride.
In the 1920s, one man accomplished a feat so seemingly impossible that scientists, engineers, and scholars are still mystified by it today. This man, Ed Leedskalnin, actually carved 1,100 tons of coral rock to create Coral Castle. Thanks to Ed's ultra-private, night-owl work habits, the methods he used to do so remain mysterious to this day.
Part museum, part sculpture garden, Coral Castle features a hand-carved 9-ton gate, a Polaris telescope, and a sundial with seasons?all carved from coral rock. Visitors can explore the site through guided tours, which delve into the history and science behind the structures, as well as a love story. Afterward, they can grab a bite at Coral Castle Caf?.
The highly ranked TripAdvisor attraction has been referred to as a modern megalith and compared to such ancient megaliths as the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge. Some even consider it one of the Wonders of the World, and it has been featured on everything from the History Channel to the Travel Channel. In 1981, the TV show In Search Of with Leonard Nimoy profiled Coral Castle.
Rocky the tiger, Chewy the camel, and a literal rescue of other animals such as alligators, chameleons, owls, and wolves are just a few of the critters that take up residence at the nonprofit Everglades Outpost Wildlife Refuge and Rescue. Though their pasts aren?t necessarily happy?all of the facility's animals are taken in due to neglect, improper care, or injury?the staff of loving volunteers ensures each story ends happily and each tail continues to wag as they revive and nurse native and exotic animals from all walks of life back to health. In addition to the refuge, which is open to the public, the Everglades Outpost Wildlife Refuge and Rescue also conducts educational events and outreach programs.