New details emerge about Zoo Miami ride to debut in '17

First glimpse of Mission Everglades ride vehicle

By Jeff Tavss - Executive Producer
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SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. - Things are about to get wild at Zoo Miami.

With the zoo's new Mission Everglades exhibit scheduled to open at the end of 2016, visitors will be able to immerse themselves in a state-of-the-art attraction that will bring them up close with some of the animals found in South Florida's national park.

However, what will really set the exhibit apart from everything else is the park's first-ever ride attraction which is set to debut in early 2017.

In a presentation to Miami-Dade County, the zoo said the the flume ride through the exhibit will be a "boat ride down a winding river; see animals close-up, experience nature, and get a few unexpected surprises along the way."

At an attractions convention in Orlando last month, the ride vehicles for the new Zoo Miami attraction were unveiled by WhiteWater, the company that is creating the ride.

In an interview posted on YouTube, the popular theme park podcast "In the Loop" spoke to Jeff Davis, a lead designer at WhiteWater.

The newly-designed 8-passenger boat looks like a mini-airboat, but will be used more for transportation than a thrill ride as visitors meander through the different scenes on what will look like a natural river.

Zoo Miami's Mission Everglades, which began construction in May 2014, will also include a new entry to the park.  More than 50 species of animals will be exhibited in the expanded area, from a relaxing water feature with wading birds to a thrilling encounter with Florida alligators over a rickety bridge.

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