Dalai Lama's Potala Palace, surrounded by thousands of Tibetans... no! An elaborate miniatures at Splendid China.
In the goofy 1968 film Battle Beneath the Earth, diabolical Chinese Communists tunnel to plant nukes under America's cities. If you believe the critics of Florida Splendid China, a theme park near Disneyworld, the '90s invasion techniques of Red China are far more insidious.
Florida Splendid China is a $100 million version of China in miniature, spread over 76 intricately landscaped acres. The park includes a half-mile long replica of the Great Wall, 60 scale replica Chinese temples and palaces, a big cat show, and scads of contortionists.
Lovable 7-year old acrobat Feng-Feng and a Snow Tiger "Now A-Purring"...
Since its opening in late 1993, Florida Splendid China has at times been besieged by human rights protesters, displaced Tibetan monks, and human chains objecting to missile tests (off mainland China). There are persistent accusations that the park is entirely (if indirectly) owned by the Chinese government, a propaganda tool lodged in the belly of the Mouse. Some opponents even say that it serves as a base for spies (stealing our "eatertainment" secrets, perhaps?) and is China's bid to "spruce up its image" and influence the schoolchildren of Florida.
All this is a far more interesting backdrop than you'd find at most "worlds in miniature. " The barely seen workings of a repressive regime should enhance any low-budget faux-China vacation . . .
The Long March
The first quarter of FSC is actually free - central Florida's own fabricated "Chinatown, " complete with street vendors, gift shops and restaurants. It's deserted during our visit (though revives in the evening). Map in hand, we enter near the Stone Forest, a natural wonder of China, surgically scaled and rendered here in fiberglass and Gunite. Large Buddha statues rear up in artificial grottos; the Leshan Grand Buddha is 35 feet high, impressive except when compared to the real one - over 250 feet high.
Miniature scenes are arrayed along serpentine walking paths, and it's a long sweaty trek to the back, a formidable mall-walk. It's no wonder Florida Splendid China appeals to the seniors/snow bird crowd. You can also wait and ride a tram festooned with tinkly bells. Softly lilting nose flute music plays from speakers hidden behind trees and bushes. The transcendental mood breaks only when the music CD starts skipping, and no one fixes it for 20 minutes.
Reptile expo and site......
If you register (free) you can check out the classifieds..... they have a feeder section! You can get mice for SUPER cheap. Don't bother with the expensive website ones that charge way too much for shipping!
Also, every month or two there's a reptile expo in Mississauga. It's worth the drive, mice are sold for great prices! You can stock up for a few months and only have to buy food twice a year!
Mice are usually only .30 to .75 each (pinkies to larges), even less if you buy a lot.
Hope this helps!