In June of 2006 The Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure opened its doors to the Branson, MO area and visitors from all over the country. Since that time this unique, one of a kind attraction has drawn thousands of visitors from all over the world. Just some of the comments from our guest have included: beautiful, peaceful, tranquil, inspirational, awesome, entertaining, educational and amazing! This has been the sentiment from the very beginning. At the completion of the construction, builder Brian Spence added the final touch to the project as he released the first butterfly into the new aviary. Upon releasing the butterfly Spence said, “Releasing the butterfly into the aviary was a peaceful moment of closure for me. This is what it was all about.” Since that time people of all ages and from all parts of the country have been to The Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure to experience this once in a life time adventure.
Since the release of that first butterfly in May, 2006 over 1,000 live tropical butterflies were released into the facility’s botanical garden. Over 50-60 different species of butterflies from countries all over the world such as Costa Rica, Ecuador and Malaysia are showcased daily for viewing by our guests. This living showcase of beauty is continually changing. With the help of our staff entomologist, we import around 500+ butterflies in the Chrysalis stage per week. Those butterflies go into the “nursery” and hang there until they hatch. Once they have hatched they are released into the aviary to live out their lives. As visitors will learn upon their visit to The Butterfly Palace, the average lifespan of the butterfly is around 2-3 weeks. Due to the short lifespan we spend approximately $80,000 per year purchasing butterflies from these butterfly farms to keep The Butterfly Palace alive and ever-changing. However this is also very beneficial to the butterfly farms. These farms are a vital part of the rainforest. Very often in these small countries this IS their only way of life. And our purchase provides a much needed income for many of these farms. In addition to the economical advantage it also promotes rainforest preservation because thousands of hectares of land ( one hectare=2.47 acres) are needed in order to run a butterfly farm. It also promotes a sustainable rainforest economy because in the wild there is a 7% survival rate for a butterfly but in a butterfly farm they achieve a 70-90% survival rate. Farmers release a certain percentage of butterflies back to the wild to support species preservation.
Walking among live, tropical butterflies is of course only one step in the visitor’s experience at The Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure. It is our wish that the rainforest adventure is felt throughout the entire visit. After guests have experienced the 3-D film about the butterflies and then spent time exploring the tropical paradise of our aviary which not only includes the tropical butterflies but many beautiful plants and even a few birds! The journey then continues for kids of all ages by finding their way through the Emerald Mirror Maze and navigating The Banyan Tree Adventure, which simulates the roots of the Banyan tree of the rainforest. One of the most exciting places to visit is the Living Rainforest Science Center. Here guests will find interactive activities such as peek inside of a frog in the virtual frog dissection kiosk and look up close at reptile sheds and butterfly wings with the Interactive microscope display. Genuine rainforest inhabitants such as: vividly-colored poison dart frogs, salamanders, geckos and many other reptile and amphibians from the rainforest are all on display for a close-up view. Our knowledgeable staff is there to answer questions and give you information during your time here.