I've been in the butterfly house at the Chattanooga Aquarium and really enjoyed it, so after reading the brochure for Butterfly Palace, it seemed it would be an awesome place for a family to visit. I was so wrong. It was so pathetic and so expensive. We even had coupons and saved $15, paying $45 total for 4 and still feel we wasted our money. They didn't even want to honor their coupons until I insisted it was false advertising if they didn't.
The people working the registers were so slow, and you had to stand in line with people buying stuff from the huge pricey gift store (that takes up the bulk of the "palace") just to pay your admission. We visited on a Wednesday in the middle of October, 2008.
My daughter loves butterflies, and of all the great things we had planned for our vacation in Branson, she was looking forward to seeing this the most. She was really disappointed. The butterfly "Palace" turned out to be a small butterfly habitat with one area closed off for maintenance. There were some live butterflies, and a lot of dead ones laying around. Where were the "thousands?" We saw a few dozen, maybe a hundred at the most in the whole place. And there were only a few varieties- most were all the same of 4 or 5 species.
The environment was not very nice, either. A lot of the plants looked unhealthy, the feeders looked like they had not been cleaned lately, and we even smelled one that was fermented.
The environment where the butterflies are kept was very crowded, also, and this was on a rainy Wednesday in October! That is to say, it was crowded because it was so small, that a few families filled it up.
The "Insect Zoo" was a huge let-down as well. My son is really into insects and spiders and all creepy-crawlies. And he loves to learn about the rainforest, so according to the brochure he would love it and never want to leave. Well, they had a few aquariums with a few frogs, lizards, milipedes and roaches. There was no rainforest environment. Most of the aquariums appeared to have nothing alive in them. My son was totally bored.
The most "enjoyable" things about the place were the 3-D movie (only about 15 minutes, and the star of the show, a butterfly, gets eaten by a preying mantiss at the end), and the mirror maze. The kids had fun in the maze.
It's just a shame, because it really could have been great. If you ever get to Chattanooga, go to the aquarium and visit the butterfly house. You'll get more than your money's worth by the time you visit both buildings - so plan to spend plenty of time there!