Archive | Animal Attractions

Green Meadows Petting Farm: Relax with the Animals

Take a break from the theme parks and experience Central Florida’s farm roots at Green Meadows Petting Farm. While the majority of Orlando attraction planning consists of days spent at the major theme parks that made Orlando, FL popular, your “to see” list should include a zoo. Better still would be a petting zoo. Green Meadows is the perfect place to take young children and is great for the “older” child to get away from the excitement of the crowded parks and relax with the animals.

This Orlando attraction houses over 300 different farm animals available for everyone to touch and see. It is an “educational and fun experience” for all whether you are a Florida resident, a tourist, child, or adult. It is fun for everyone and provides a relaxing atmosphere. Farm animals can also become a comedy show after a while.

Fun Things to do at Green Meadows Petting Farm

Green Meadows Petting Farm provides two-hour guided tours while teaching guests about turkeys, chickens, pigs, donkeys, ducks, geese and so many more animals. Even if you believe you know all there is to know about farm animals, this Orlando attraction is sure to teach you something.

Encouragement is given to guests to touch the animals. The main goal of the petting farm is to educate children, as well as adults, about farm animals. The owners believe that touching the animals will help them better accomplish the goal of learning about them. Relaxing under the shade trees covering the farm, while interacting with the animals, is the best way to escape the crowds.

children at Green Meadows Petting Farm

horse ridesAlong with touching the animals every visitor to the farm has an opportunity to milk a cow, or try to at least. An educational experience if there ever was one. Many people do not realize what running a real farm actually entails. This atmosphere and hands on education helps people to respect farmers.

After the two-hour guided tour, visitors are able to take pony rides, hay rides or ride an express train. There is something for even the littlest visitor to be entertained for hours at this Orlando attraction. Adult children can relax off the beaten path while watching their children enjoy the animals; sometimes even laughing at their children’s initial reaction to some animals.

Field Trips & Birthdays

This Orlando attraction is open year-round. It is a fabulous place for schools to take a field trip to. Teachers can go online and download the packet they need with pricing and permission forms. Discounts for groups of ten or more people are available.

Celebrating a birthday at this Orlando attraction will make it extra special. Seeing your birthday kid enjoy the animals with their friends makes it memorable for you. Green Meadows Petting Farm hosts large events around Halloween, Easter, and Christmas also. Checking online, or calling the farm ahead of time, can provide needed details.

Green Meadows Petting Farm is a wonderful attraction to visit during October. Events include Pumpkin Picking (free) and a Trail of Jack-o-Lanterns with a Ooky-Spooky Haunted House. Even on Halloween weekend, your child can attend in costume and trick-or-treat. It’s a perfect time of the year for a hay ride on the farm!

Petting Farms are not just for children. This Orlando attraction creates fond memories for everyone that attends. From the youngest kid to the oldest adult, make memories to last a lifetime at Green Meadows Petting Farm. Farm animals can be an educating experience. Relax with the farm animals and separate from the crowds.

Wild Days at SeaWorld (and Fun Nights at Capone’s)

Starting this weekend Wild Days at SeaWorld returns for another year of presentations, interactions and games. The three-weekend event features areas SeaWorld is known for: nature, education and wildlife rescue. Much of what is offered during Wild Days at SeaWorld is included in your park ticket, however, there are additional expenses you might want to consider to make your day at SeaWorld even more memorable.

Wild Days at SeaWorld

First Weekend – January 16-17: Wild Weekend with Jack Hanna

Jack Hanna is an animal expert we all recognize and can learn a lot about animals from. He will speak about various animals, his travels and experiences at the Nautilus Theater on both days at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Arrive at least a half-hour prior to the show. Make sure to visit the 14 Explore Zones throughout the park. This is a fun way to involve children, because they can earn special trading cards while learning. The Explore Zones are available each weekend during this special event.

If meeting Jack Hanna and having a photo taken with him is something you’d like to do, why not sit down and have breakfast or dinner with him? During the first weekend of Wild Days at SeaWorld you have that opportunity. Jack Hanna will entertain guests with animal facts and stories as well as answer questions from guests at the upscale Shark’s Underwater Grill®. Breakfast tickets start at $49.00 each and dinner show tickets start at $59.00 each. The real perk in these meal tickets is that you also receive reserved seating at the show and get a complimentary family photo!


Second Weekend – January 23-24: Penguin Lovers’ Weekend

This weekend the primary focus is on the adorable penguins at SeaWorld. Animal ambassador Julie Scardina hosts the shows at the Nautilus Theater and will teach you a lot about these adorable birds. You will also learn a lot about her interesting career.

If meeting a penguin is of priority, go to the Glacial Collections gift shop. Penguins will be available throughout the day for people to see. If touching a penguin or learning more about how SeaWorld cares for their penguins is of special interest to you, add on a Penguins Up-Close Tour starting at $59.00. This 45-minute walking tour will take you behind the scenes of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins where you’ll hear from several animal experts, get to ask questions and even touch a penguin.

Penguin at SeaWorld

Third Weekend – January 30-31: Sea Rescue® Weekend

SeaWorld has rescued more than 27,000 animals and many of their stories are fascinating. Learn about their rescue, rehabilitation and return from the people that work in this area every day. Check the show schedule listing on the date that you will be at the Orlando theme park to see the available shows. If you view the weekly television show “Sea Rescue” you’ll definitely want to hear first-hand accounts of these marine animal rescues.

A great addition to this weekend would be the SeaWorld Behind the Scenes Tour starting at $29.00. The tour lasts around 75 minutes and takes you behind the scenes. You’ll discover how animal experts care for rescued manatees and sea turtles. Plus you just might get to touch a shark and interact with a penguin!


Special Offers at Wild Days at SeaWorld

During all three weekends, SeaWorld is offering a BOGO special on their feeding trays. At three different feeding stations, you can buy a food tray and get a tray for free! The coupon is located in the in-park event guide and can be redeemed at the Stingray Lagoon®, Pacific Point Reserve® and Shark Encounter®.

Another special offer during Wild Days at SeaWorld is for a 20% discount when purchasing a Cup That Cares or a Create a Cup that Cares. They can be found at the Expedition Cafe, South Pole Beverages, Glacial Collections and Sweet Sailin’ Candy Shop. The coupon is also in your in-park event guide.

Fun Nights at Capone’s

There might be some Wild Days at SeaWorld, but every night at Capone’s Dinner & Show is fun…and a little wild. After your day of looking at penguins wearing silly suits, watch the wise guys suit up for some fun and action during this one-of-a-kind Orlando dinner show.

If you like BOGO specials, purchase your dinner show tickets online and get them half off – or buy one, get one free, however, you want to look at it! If you are having dinner with Jack Hanna one night of the weekend, Big Al and the gang can wait to have you join them another night. Capone’s offers their BOGO special every night,* and they’re just down the road from SeaWorld.

*Not open Super Bowl Sunday, or valid for the New Year’s Eve Gala.

New Theme Park Restaurants at Animal Kingdom

New theme park restaurants are opening nearly every month, and the new eateries and shops at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are worth checking out. From chain restaurants to unique sweet shops, you’ll find familiarity as well as never-before-experienced menus.  One thing is for sure, an animal appetite is sure to be tamed!

New Theme Park Restaurants include Starbucks Coffee Shop

On the familiar side of new theme park restaurants in Animal Kingdom is the Seattle-based company of Starbucks. This new chain restaurant opened in April and is now represented in all four Walt Disney World theme parks and two additional locations in Downtown Disney. (Starbucks are also located within Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure and Universal CityWalk). The Animal Kingdom Starbucks is located outside of the entrance to “Africa” on the west side of the Orlando theme park. You’ll find it as you approach the iconic Tree of Life, just before the bridge.

Disney Starbucks MugsUnique Souvenirs

Starbucks offers a unique souvenir at this store. The Disney “You Are Here” mugs come decorated according to the park you are in. The Animal Kingdom mug shows the Tree of Life, Expedition Everest, a jeep (Kilimanjaro Safaris) and a giraffe. They make great souvenirs.

Zuri’s Sweet Shop Now Open

Zuri's Sweet Shop

Zuri’s Sweet Shop is a new theme park restaurant and shop at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

In the Harambe Market within Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a new dessert shop recently opened called Zuri’s Sweet Shop. At this new theme park restaurant you’ll find dozens of never-before-experienced treats. In fact, the menu is raising all kinds of “stink.” Let me explain…

Editor’s Note: After only a few weeks Disney has announced that the poo desserts will no longer be offered. After testing (and maybe the publicity?), they will no longer restock these items.

Along with candy apples, chocolate bars, African-spiced popcorn, animal-shaped lollipops and 80 other new items, Zuri’s is now selling animal poop! Inspired by dropping of the large game animals of Africa, the chefs at Zuri’s decided to have fun and create desserts you won’t turn up your nose at. Four types of poo are offered at $3.99 per serving (enough for two people). Choose from giraffe, rhino/hippo, elephant and cotton-top tamarin. You’ll have fun just picking out the dessert, because you have to match the “poo” with the species! Ingredients include:

  • giraffe: pellets of fudge/brownie
  • rhino/hippo: chocolate fudge, caramel-brownie, peanut butter and oats
  • elephant: oats and peanut butter
  • tamarin: pretzels, chocolate-peanut butter fudge

The theme park shop is an experience all in itself. All of the sights, sounds and flavors of Africa can be experienced here. Be sure to try the African Spice popcorn. With just a hint of cardamom, it is very addictive. You might need to purchase an extra bag for later.

Dessert shaped like giraffe poop

Allergy-Friendly Menus

In addition to the new restaurants, Disney has also started incorporating allergy-friendly menus within their theme parks. The menus have been tested for common food allergies and intolerances. So far, over a dozen locations have adopted the menu. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of the newest locations to offer one. If you or your child have a special dietary need, consult with a Cast Member. They can assist you or consult with a chef about your needs.

Tree of Life

If you’ve not experienced Disney’s Animal Kingdom recently, check it out. The Tree of Life’s roots have expanded and include new animal carvings. The 145-foot tall by 50 fee wide structure has more than 103,000 leaves and over 300 meticulously detailed animal carvings in its trunk and roots! Inside the tree is a theater where “It’s Tough to be a Bug!” is performed. There are dozens of places to grab a bite and a couple of very nice full-service restaurants.

Like all Disney theme parks, there is plenty to do and see. Now there is even more to taste. A full day is sure to leave you “pooped” and with a bag to take home as well!

Fun Things to Do in Orlando: Going on Adventurous Eco Tours

Shopping, dining, visiting theme parks like Universal Studios and going to museums aren’t the only fun things to do in Orlando, Florida. There are also a vast number of wildlife and nature experiences that families can enjoy. In these nature parks, one can go ride or try the zip line. There are also animals to see in these places.

Zip line is fun to do while on a Central Florida vacation.

If your family is fond of zip lines, the Florida Eco Safari is the place to be. Before you decide to go on a relaxing shopping trip for example, stop by here with your family and experience the thrill of riding a zip line that’s 68 feet from the ground. The Rattlesnake, dubbed as one of the many fun things to do in Orlando, is the first zip line in America that resembles a roller coaster. Kids and young teens, as well as adults who live for the thrill, will surely enjoy this zip line. There are also other things like the cypress domes, the marsh and the pine Flatwoods that you can see if you are at this location. These are places that are not frequented by people and therefore untouched parts of nature.

horse rides

You might want to take the kids to the Green Meadows Petting Farm for a day. At this petting farm, kids will find petting animals like pigs and more – truly, one of the many fun things to do in Orlando for the little ones. Your kids can see farm animals up close while at Green Meadows. A trip to this place with the kids can also be very educational. Kids and teens can get information on the common animals found in farms like these from their guides during a guided tour. Your kids would also love the pony ride experience that the farm management offers.

AirboatYou can also take your family on an airboat tour around the wetlands of Orlando, Florida if you would like to see the local wildlife. You will be able to see alligators and crocodiles in swamps around Orlando. Airboats may be noisy but this is where the headphones come in. You and your companion will be required to wear them so as to subdue the noise from the airboat during the tour. Young kids might have to skip tours like this as it can seem dangerous to some. Still, touring the wetlands can be on your list of the many fun things to do in Orlando for families with older children or adult-only groups.

There are lots of fun things to do in Orlando, Florida. Before you put the lid on your 3-day or week-long vacation in Orlando with some gratuitous Orlando shopping experience around its famous malls, you should try to treat the kids and yourself to some of the best scenic, lush nature parks to simply appreciate nature. This will be one trip that you won’t forget.

Orlando Attraction Planning for the Animal Enthusiast

With many attractions available in the Disney World areas, any Orlando attraction vacation planning should be done before arrival. Planning includes reviewing different attractions to discover what each Orlando theme park offers. Visiting Animal Kingdom theme park is a must. Though, designed for younger children, the older children enjoy it too, as well as any animal enthusiast. Riding through the Kilimanjaro Safari to see wild animals is thrilling.

Viewing the animals first thing in the morning is best. Visits during cooler weather will make it possible to spot animals. The animals, becoming hotter throughout the day, will start looking for shadier areas; making them less visible.

Animal Kingdom Tree of Life Photo

Since viewing is easier in the mornings, it only makes since for each day at Disney World would begin here also. If you want to have Goofy, Pluto and Minnie greet you for the day; they will meet you in the Tree of Life area. Just walk through the turnstiles to the tree, and every morning, 15 minutes before the parks scheduled opening time, this will happen. Afterwards, Mickey will be seen getting on the truck allowing everyone there to follow him into the Orlando attraction.

A must-see show, which is located inside the Animal Kingdom theme park, is Finding Nemo – The Musical. Creating a musical event for the parks from a non-musical movie made this addition another first for Disneyland. This Orlando attraction immensely engages audience members; taking them back to a movie that is performed by the singing characters guests know and love. Through the use of dancers, acrobats, puppets and animated backdrops, giant Nemo, Dory and Marlin share the story about their trip to Sydney and back in order to save Nemos’ dad.

Another musical, based on an original Disney animation, is Festival of the Lion King, based on The Lion King. This show is a favorite, must-see, among all ages. An air-conditioned, octagonal theatre sets the scene that allows you to become immersed in the show. The enthusiastic performers, adorned in beautiful pageant style costumes, are able to take you into their world, forgetting all your troubles; at least for the 28 minutes the show lasts. The classic story is performed with acrobatic production while each song, made famous from the movie, and the costumes become more colorful as the scenes change. The less waiting timed shows are early morning and in the evening. Scheduling your Disney World trip can have you waiting less time in lines.

Start your magical vacation in the beautiful Orlando attraction, Animal Kingdom. Remember, Capone’s Dinner & Show is just minutes away from this Orlando theme park. So after your visit with the animals, join Al and the gang for dinner. It’s fun for the entire family!