We went to Jungle Island with a couple who had been previously. We all used coupons to bring the price down to a little over a hundred dollars for the four of us, so it is an expensive place. However, I have not experienced any other zoo or animal place quite like Jungle Island, so I would return despite the price, preferably in winter.
Jungle Island is unique in that it offers a ton of animal encounters. Immediately upon entering, you can hold parrots and a baby gator (not at the same time) while a photographer takes photos. Even though the photos are pricey, it's still fun to hold the animals without purchasing the pictures. There are parrots everywhere throughout the place, all on perches near little food dispensers or in larger enclosures. The big cats were sleeping since it was a hot day, so we didn't get to see much of them, but we loved the penguins, which are about a foot away and close enough to touch (don't touch of course, but the nearness is great). The primates were all awesome; we witnessed a mini tea party with the orangutans and their keepers because of the heat. The giant tortoises were attempting to escape while we were there: they might need to fix their enclosure because one was stuck between the bars for a few minutes until he extricated himself.
We did not get to see any of the shows or play with the kangaroos, so I would like to return in the future for that. However, I will probably wait for a groupon or something, because the price of the experience was a little high considering you can pay less for larger zoos in South Florida that have far more animals. The gift shop was standard but we didn't see anything we liked. The photos were far too expensive, and they wouldn't allow people to take pictures of their own holding the animals, so that was a huge bummer. We were particularly incensed that a trio with a large and very poorly controlled dog were allowed to roam the park and upset the animals. They also repeatedly tried to break rules, so I wish that instead of having people around to stop us from photographing the animal encounters, they would have had people removing others who were truly nuisances.
Overall, I will return, but I recommend families be prepared for a high cost experience. It would be better to go on a cooler day as well, so that a longer experience is not made miserable with sweating and heat. We all greatly enjoyed the place for the most part, and would definitely return despite the price.
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