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  1. #1

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    Wild Animal Park tram

    I went to the Wild Animal Park for the first time knowing full well that the tram had been taken out, my last time there I was still in shock about it. But even knowing the tram is gone did nothing to blunt the wild anger I feel about it. It's not just the ride itself, although I had a lot of favorite parts, it's the atmosphere it created hearing it go by with the guide chatting on the microphone and seeing it overhead on bridges and stuff.

    There were parts that were totally memorable like being overhead the lions, passing the gorilla enclosure right next to the path, going overhead on bridges and feeling like you've gone out into the middle of nowhere and that it's just you and a few dozen other people. I have so many memories of that tram, and each trip was different.

    I somewhat understand why they took it out, it was malfunctioning and needed to be replaced. But why couldn't they have just built a new monorail set? Surely if they could do it in 1972, they could do it today. There are still many paths and bridges that sit empty, right next to the walking paths and it's as depressing as seeing the PeopleMover tracks.

    That tram was more than a site-seeing excursion in the park, it WAS the park! It would be like Seaworld removing the Shamu show or Universal Studios taking out their tour or Knott's bulldozing Ghost Town completely. I wouldn't dare say like Disney removing its railroad or castle, but that's what it is like to me. I thought I'd get over it but it's just too big of a loss to just sit back and say, the two $10 trams are just the same.

    The trouble is that park is owned by a nonprofit (not a conglomerate corporation) and trying to hurt the park by simply not going would only hurt the conservation cause and animals more than any greedy executives. I always make sure to find ways of spending LOTS of money there, even if I don't want to or can't find anything to buy, but they have gone too far this time. I'm still going to go of course, but I don't think the nostalgia or pain of seeing those empty paths and bridges is ever going to go away.

    That park is just not the same anymore, the feel is completely different like Knott's Berry Farm compared to the early 1990's. No trip was ever complete without a ride on the tram and now that's not even possible. I haven't been on the new tours but I'm sure they can't go over the narrow overhead bridges and extremely close pathways next to the crowds. Does anyone know if these new tours are any good?

    Wild Animal Park is one of those rare animal parks where the focus is actually still on the animals. I could sit and watch the birds at that park for hours, I truly hope they don't ruin that by installing endless thrill rides like Knott's, Universal and Seaworld have done over the past decade and a half.

  2. #2

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    Re: Wild Animal Park tram

    I hate to break it to you, but they are adding a zip-line to the park. It will be open next month. They are billing it as the longest zip-line in North America. It will be an extra charge AND in the contract/liability waiver you have to sign, there is a "no screaming" clause. In other words, they do not want you to scream as you go over the animals so you do not disturb them. Um...yeah...I will let you draw your own conclusions about that waiver and the zip-line (and by extension, the management).

    On a much better note, the new Journey into Africa tours are very good. The tour path takes you right up against the fence in some cases and you are very, very close to the animals. On the down side, the tour vehicle is bio-diesel, so do not sit in the first car or it will be too loud. Also to let you know ahead of time, the tours are much shorter, only about 25-30 minutes long. The guides are great though, and many of them are still there from the old monorail, so they know their animals!

    One thing that I highly recommend is to take a Segway tour. They now have a tour available that will take you on a Segway, along part of the old monorail track, around the Asian enclosures and see animals that you cannot see on the tram tour. The tour lasts approximately two hours, you get to ride a Segway, and see lots of cool Asian animals. The tour is about $75/person, you get a guide (or two/three depending on your tour group size). I have done that tour, and it is a great experience. I am definately going to do it again.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Wild Animal Park tram

    I agree that it was a sad sad day in WAP history when they took out the monorail. When I was in school, not one of the 50 field trips I took there didn't include a trip on the monorail.

    It seems like there are not so many private donations to the park anymore that they have to have attractions with an additional charge to cover the park's operational costs.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Wild Animal Park tram

    Count me among those outraged that they replaced the quite electric tram tour with a loud diesel belching monster. What was once a peaceful tour is now a loud and environmentally unfriendly affront. I do NOT like the new tour. You sit too low and have to look through fences much of the time. The old tour you sat high above the enclosures and looked down (very few fences).

    The Wild Animal park needs to address the problem with the tractors which pull their trams. They should switch to something quieter and cleaner for the sake of the animals and the guests.

    What was once my favorite zoo in the world is now off our list. We now visit the ever improving San Diego Zoo (same owner as Animal Park) instead.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Wild Animal Park tram

    count me in witht he complaints.

    problem for me was I didnt see all the animals that were shown on the tram trip (while our tram was going on the ground, one was in the hills showing visitors the mountain sheep)

    is there different paths/tours or will the park move the animals that are no able to be seen since the old tram is gone though?

  6. #6

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    Re: Wild Animal Park tram

    i live in san diego and we havent been there since they took out the tram. theparking at the zoo is included in our passes, WAP parking is not so we dont go. the zoo is a lot more kid fun too. slightly off topic but the new enclosure they are building at the zoo for the elephants looks wonderful!
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  7. #7

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    Re: Wild Animal Park tram

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyFan28 View Post
    count me in witht he complaints.

    problem for me was I didnt see all the animals that were shown on the tram trip (while our tram was going on the ground, one was in the hills showing visitors the mountain sheep)

    is there different paths/tours or will the park move the animals that are no able to be seen since the old tram is gone though?
    They are building a whole separate tour for the area of the old tour which is currently off view.

    When complete the Animal Park will have two tram tours. I hope they are able to address the problems mentioned above before the 2nd tour opens.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Wild Animal Park tram

    Quote Originally Posted by DL Steve View Post
    I hate to break it to you, but they are adding a zip-line to the park. It will be open next month. They are billing it as the longest zip-line in North America. It will be an extra charge AND in the contract/liability waiver you have to sign, there is a "no screaming" clause. In other words, they do not want you to scream as you go over the animals so you do not disturb them. Um...yeah...I will let you draw your own conclusions about that waiver and the zip-line (and by extension, the management).

    On a much better note, the new Journey into Africa tours are very good. The tour path takes you right up against the fence in some cases and you are very, very close to the animals. On the down side, the tour vehicle is bio-diesel, so do not sit in the first car or it will be too loud. Also to let you know ahead of time, the tours are much shorter, only about 25-30 minutes long. The guides are great though, and many of them are still there from the old monorail, so they know their animals!

    One thing that I highly recommend is to take a Segway tour. They now have a tour available that will take you on a Segway, along part of the old monorail track, around the Asian enclosures and see animals that you cannot see on the tram tour. The tour lasts approximately two hours, you get to ride a Segway, and see lots of cool Asian animals. The tour is about $75/person, you get a guide (or two/three depending on your tour group size). I have done that tour, and it is a great experience. I am definately going to do it again.
    Riding in four wheel tour vehicles sounds to me to be just as much fun as a monorail ..and touring on Segways far better!

    Now, if they could just get that tethered ballon flight tour going that they were considering a few years ago.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Wild Animal Park tram

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    They are building a whole separate tour for the are of the old tour which is currently off view.

    When complete the Animal Park will have two tram tours. I hope they are able to address the problems mentioned above before the 2nd tour opens.
    Terrific! Tram city here we come!
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  10. #10

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    Re: Wild Animal Park tram

    This just in: the new "Flightline" zip-lines should be opening this upcoming week at the Wild Animal Park. They are going to cost $70 per person!!! Also, all the animals in the enclosures are aparently afraid of the new zip-lines and do not like to venture underneath them. So you will be going over a bunch of empty land with few animals to see. However, according to my source, the entire month of May has already been completely booked with reservations for the new attraction.

    Oh, one other thing about this new "experience". IF the Gour (very ill-tempered Asian wild cattle) are actually near or underneath the zip-lines, they can throw things at you as you pass overhead! They can use their horns to launch mud, dirt, dung, or whatever else they can get ahold of, up to 35 feet in the air! To make it even better, their favorite mud hole is approximately 35 feet below the path of the zip-line! So you might get hit with some "souveniers" on your "no-screaming-allowed," $70-per-person experience.

    As before, draw your own conclusions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ride Warrior View Post

    Now, if they could just get that tethered ballon flight tour going that they were considering a few years ago.
    The balloon Air Safari has been operational for several years now and is a whole lot of fun...as long as you are not afraid of heights. You go up to 400 feet in the air, get a great view of the park, then come back down. You are almost entirely enclosed in the safety cage, but I would still hold on to your cameras.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Wild Animal Park tram

    The WAP has become upcharge city. Evedently someone has convinced the BOD of the society that this is the way to increase revenue. The excuse that the monoorail was old and they could find parts anymore had to be the lamest excuse I've heard in a while. I think that they wanted to reduce the maintenance staff (the trams fall under the jurisdiction of the vehicle shop, i.e truck mechanics. The monorail was a seperate enitity).
    My wife and I went out there when they opened the new tour, and were so dissapointed that we haven't been back since.

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