Butterfly Wonderland offers a view of a world of small beauty

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Butterfly Wonderland offers a view of a world of small beauty

Hope Black, staff writer

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Butterfly Wonderland is a rainforest pavilion filled with 3,000 butterflies and plants from all over the world. Not only are there butterflies, but attached to the pavillion is an insect and reptile exhibit, along with a small aquarium. The entire place is family-friendly, and there are many activities.

Butterfly Wonderland is the largest butterfly pavillion in America, and it opened in May of 2013. Their butterflies come from places all over the world, like Costa Rica and the Philippines. There are about 30 species, and since butterflies only live for about two weeks, butterfly chrysalis are shipped every Friday from tropical areas.

Before entering the pavillion, visitors are sent to watch a three dimensional video about the life of a butterfly. Afterward, people are taken to a room called the Emergence Room.

wIn the room, people can watch butterflies and moths hatch from their cocoons.

“I only thought there was one type of butterfly. I think the coolest thing is that you get to let them land on you,” said Madi Docktor, a sophomore.

Attached to the butterfly garden is a reptile and aquatic exhibit. Inside the reptile exhibit, visitors are sent through a U-shaped path of creatures. In the aquatic exhibit, people are able to see stingrays and groupers swimming around in an open tank. There is also a vending machine filled with edible bugs to munch on.

However, inside the Butterfly Garden, the glass building is home to several plants, butterflies, koi fish, and chickens. There is also a side exhibit called the Honey Bee Extravaganza. The extravaganza is a glass beehive with an opening to another section of the garden that is closed off. The bees are welcome to come and go.

“I didn’t expect to see that many butterflies. Like, there were a lot of butterflies flying around. It was sad to see the dead butterflies though,” said Andrew Barab Shedd, a sophomore.

Along with the additional exhibits, comes a gift shop and a cafe. The gift shop has merchandise from local Arizona items to things like butterfly earrings. There are also multiple bug-themed items to choose from.

According to fhtimes.com, Dana Cooper, the curator, said “It is a living, sensory experience. The scottsdale setting is a dramatic choice, as it juxtaposes two distinct ecosystems, allowing visitors to step from the arid Arizona desert directly into a tropical rainforest environment.”

Next to Butterfly Wonderland is the Odysea Aquarium. Visitors are only allowed to go in the Aquarium if they have a ticket,  but the open court with food and other activities is open to all guests.

“The movie showing the life cycle was absolutely fantastic, and I learned a lot from that. The diversity of the different butterflies that would land on you and the colors was just amazing. It was humid and buggy, but a great experience,” said Robert Reisener, a physics teacher.

Tickets are available at butterflywonderland.com, and a child ticket is $15.95, and an adult ticket is $23.95.