The private tour and interactions with the animals were amazing. I was in tears of happiness for two hours. You are a V.I.P. the entire trip. Celebrities often come here discretely with their kids for this same private tour (yes, in sun hats and big sunglasses to disguise them). The staff is very protective of the celebrities and their identities, and keeps them anonymous, which is how they continue to get their business.
During the VIP tour, Lemurs will leap on you while you feed them cheerios and bananas. I touched an Andean Condor with a huge wingspan. Fed carrots to a 900 pound tortoise. Held a giant albino boa constrictor. Held a baby alligator. Pet a Coati (like a raccoon with a long snout) as it sat on my lap and ate treat like a puppy. I got to hold and pet a baby capuchin monkey. Never again will you look at these animals the same way. You will leave even more dedicated to conserving them in the wild as you learn about each one.
During the arena show you get VIP seating. After the show, you get to meet one of the animals. Your personal guide also gives you background info on each animal that comes out for the show. The VIP tour also includes a meal and a souvenier.
Pay for the photographer. I kept thinking I could take photos myself with my iphone, but you have to keep still in may cases as not to alarm the animals. You can't reach for your camera while holding still. Pay the photographer to follow your trip, they use their zoom lens to capture amazing moments of you with the animals. You only pay for the photos you want at the end. I have photos I will treasure forever. My tour guide said a couple of families have come back and done the tour a second time just to get the photography. Do it right the first time and get the photographer.
The place is still lovely to visit as a plain old zoo experience, but the VIP tour was something so amazing that while you are there it is worth paying extra for. And the cost is not excessive considering what you get out of it - an experience you will never forget!
If you own or manage Jungle Island, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.