Florida Guide > Other Activities
If you travel around the south of the Walt Disney World area you may see signs still left up for Orchid World. Many years ago this was a place that was worth a visit especially as it was free to enter. I think this may have been what caused its undoing as a lack of funds left them unable to cope with an unexpected event. If you had seen it 10 years ago when it was fully functional then it was worth the trip and we often purchased an orchid for the villa. Now it is not worth wasting your time as you will see if you look at the photos below. We took a detour to go past when we went on a recent trip and were shocked to see how bad it has now become.
The shop part of the attraction is still working and they have a good range of orchids for sale but the garden area is now almost completely dead or dying. A lot of the vines are dying and just about hanging on to the walls and tress. The roof looks as though it is about to collapse with a number of holes where panels have been blow away. The Koi carp in the pond look like they have seen better days and hardly move around at all.
World of Orchids is actually still a working greenhouse that will ship its orchids and other plants nationwide. The shop still sells beautiful orchids and supplies and you can still get expert advice on how to grow them. The staff know what they are talking about but do lack the customer service skills that most people have come to expect from this area.
The original attraction was in the carefully controlled warm, humid air of the green house with over a 1, 000 orchids displayed in a natural jungle setting, complete with waterfalls, babbling streams, and parrots. There was also a 1, 000-foot-long boardwalk that went off into some nearby wetlands.
What happened was that in 2004 a major storm hit the area and World of Orchids suffered damage, losing part of their greenhouse roof. Unfortunately it was a special design that was no longer made so it would need to have the complete roof replaced. The owners, it seems, could not afford the repairs; maybe as a result of never charging for entry. As the months and years have passed the elements have taken their toll to leave us with the sad views you can see below.
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