15 Dec 2008
Eco Tours in Florida, are they possible with all of the building and all of the theme parks? Until a few years ago I thought Florida was all about the theme parks, highways with high tolls and the beaches packed with tourists. A few years ago my father moved to the Orlando area so we began to visit and found a side of Florida that escapes the tour books!
A few miles south of Disney World in Kissimmee Florida there is a petting farm and nature walk center called Green Meadows Farm. Green Meadows Farm prides itself on high admission prices (IMO) but they do offer on-line coupons so print one out before you leave your home. One thing that upsets me about their coupon is that they will not accept me telling them about the coupon and the fact that I wanted to be environmentally friendly by not printing it, no coupon=no coupon discount. You might of figured out by now that Green Meadows Farm is not paying me for this review and I have paid full admission price every time I visited their business.
Since I have hundreds of photos of Green Meadow Farms there is no way that I can give you a feel for all that the farm offers in this one blog post, the images alone would make this page have a few minute load time. Once you pay your entry few you will have a few minute wait until your tour starts, don’t be tempted to walk off on your own as their tour is much better than a self guided tour. Trust me on this we tried it once and hands down their tour offers so much more.
Once your tour starts a guide will walk you around to several areas where you and your kids can enter animal areas to play with goats, chickens, ducks, ponies, turkeys and pigs. You will get to enjoy hand feeding the animals while they jump all over you begging for food. In the above picture (look up) our two kids were able to pet babby ducks and other babby birds. Once the staff had a warm feeling that our daughters were not going to kill them they let our daughters hold the birds for a few minutes. The tour also has a bunch of larger animals that you can pet from the safety of a fence.
The tour offers a nice mix of being in with the animals and petting them over a fence unlike a zoo where you only have a few animals to pet or feed. The Green Meadows tour offers a train ride and a hay ride that are both great ways to let you relax so you don’t walk you feet off.
Once the formal part of the tour is done you are able to stay as long as you like to revisit the animals or to walk around their large campus to take wildlife pictures. In these couple of pictures I found a rare white Squirrel that stood still so I could take about 25 or so pictures. The Green Meadows farm is full of wildlife but you will have to look up down and all around to find all of the hidden once in a life time pictures.
If you are planning a trip to the Disney area of Florida and you are looking for something to do other than the theme parks then I would suggest Green Meadows Farm! Be sure to tell them that making people print out their coupons is a horrible idea and that I said hello.