• First zip line roller coaster in U.S. to open in St. Cloud


    Florida EcoSafaris at Forever Florida is introducing an entirely new category of theme park to Orlando visitors, the EcoPark. Launching April 6, 2012, the new EcoPark Admission Ticket at the popular Central Florida ecotourism attraction will allow for a full day of adventures. The single admission will gain visitors access to six different adventures including the all new Zipline Safari, Cypress Canopy Cycle and four brand new adventures also opening on April 6, 2012. The EcoPark opening will mark the completion of a year-long, $1.5 million reinvention of the attraction located at the 4700 acre Forever Florida Wildlife Conservation Area.

    Most notable among the four new adventures is The Rattlesnake, the first zipline roller coaster in the USA. This cutting edge new experience represents the next generation of ziplining. Riders launch from a height of 65 feet, gliding along a rigid rail system that winds through the treetops of the Pine Flatwoods. The ride takes visitors screaming through the trees, swinging, swooping, jumping and dipping through 1000 feet of thrilling adventure.

    Also opening is Peregrine Plunge, the longest single straightaway zipline in Florida. Measuring in at an astonishing 1300 feet in length, this adventure has breathtaking thrills and views. Shooting out over the conservation lands, riders will feel just like a native Peregrine Falcon diving into the distance after its prey. With two sets of lines side by side, you’ll be competing against another rider as you race toward your landing point. The adventure allows a clear line of sight looking out ten miles over pristinely kept Florida conservation lands.

    Rounding out the four new adventures are Panther Pounce and the Swooping Crane, both sure to generate a full adrenaline rush. Panther Pounce is a 68 foot high challenge tower that beckons the brave at heart to step off into a safely controlled rapid descent to the ground below. The Swooping crane is an extreme swing where guests release from a height of 55 feet into a freefall before swooping back and forth between the trees and over the brush.

    The new EcoPark Admission Ticket also includes the all new Zipline Safari which opened in September of last year. As the biggest zipline adventure in Central Florida, the two and a half hour guided journey through the treetops of the conservation lands includes seven different ziplines, three sky bridges and ten connecting observation platforms. Rounding out the day is the relaxing Cypress Canopy Cycle which debuted in July of last year as another first of its kind ride in the USA. Adventurers gently pedal their way through the treetops while suspended twenty five feet over forested wetlands.

    “This is a truly first of its kind collection of adventures in the USA”, said Ken Wilshire, General Manager of Florida EcoSafaris at Forever Florida. “We’ve created what amounts to an ecotourism adventure theme park as our way to provide the thrilling experiences that Orlando vacationers are seeking. Where we’re different is that we use these adventures as a way to help visitors build lasting connections with the conservation lands, hopefully inspiring them to join in the effort to save Florida’s rapidly disappearing wild areas.” Florida EcoSafaris at Forever Florida donates 30 percent of all revenues to the non-profit Allen Broussard Conservancy. The funds help to permanently preserve and protect additional lands at the Forever Florida Wildlife Conservation Area, recognized as a biological hotspot hosting one of the highest concentrations of endangered and highly threatened species in the state.

    The new EcoPark Admission Ticket is $135 for adventurers ages 10 and up. Other adventures offered by Florida EcoSafaris at Forever Florida include the fully guided Horseback Safari and Coach Safari which are booked separately from the EcoPark Admission Ticket. Advance tickets are highly recommended and can be made by calling 407-957-9794. For more information, visit www.FloridaEcoSafaris.com.

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