Arizona: Butterfly Wonderland is soon to become North America’s largest indoor butterfly pavilion. Located on the Salt-River Pima Indian Reservation near Scottsdale, Wonderland will encompass 5 acres within Odysea in the Desert, a 35-acre, $170 million entertainment complex.
At Butterfly Wonderland, visitors can explore a butterfly's life via educational and interactive exhibits. Afterwards, they can walk among thousands of butterflies inside a glass atrium filled with tropical plants and waterfalls.
“We plan to import the butterflies from various tropical rain forests throughout the world, but that is going to take place closer to the opening date,” said Amram Knishinsky, the site's developer. “We’re going to bring them from Costa Rica, Brazil, the Philippines and some areas of Africa. They come in cocoons and go through the process in our laboratories.”
Other features planned for Butterfly Wonderland are aquarium displays, a children’s play area, a shop and cafe, and a 3-D, stadium-seating butterfly theater.
Scottsdale's Convention & Visitors Bureau considers Wonderland a welcome addition to the area’s tourist offerings. City Councilman Ron McCullagh credits the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community's commitment and values.
“They are great neighbors and we embrace their efforts,” he said.
The Central Arizona Butterfly Association is excited about Butterfly Wonderland.
“It gives another opportunity for the public to learn about the wonders of butterflies,” said Adriane Grimaldi. “They are truly amazing — their life cycle, the process they go through. This type of facility gives people of all ages the chance to see butterflies up close all year long.”
The second phase of Odysea in the Desert will be Odysea Aquarium, a freshwater and saltwater aquarium attraction. The final two phases include a Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum and Arizona Experience, a combination of film and interactive applying to all the senses.