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  1. #1

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    San Diego Zoo and wildlife park

    We are going to the zoo and wildlife park for the first time and were wondring what the best plan of attack should be. Are they both full day affairs? Should we take tours since we only have 1 day at each? What is not to be missed? Has anyone ever stayed overnight? What hotels would you recommend in that area?

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    Re: San Diego Zoo and wildlife park

    While you could do both parks in 1 day, you would probably be best to do each park on a separate day, especially if both parks are doing limited hours (you didn't say approximately when you would be going). Just be prepared for a lot of walking, and both the zoo and animal park are built on the natural hillsides and canyons, so there will be a lot of up and down walking. Also, worth noting, the animal park can get pretty warm during the day, especially as it gets into summer. Everyone has their own favorite animals, so just check the zoo's website to better help plan your days at the park.
    Both parks are beautiful to enjoy, I hope you have a great trip, and take lots of photos. And don't forget the water and sunscreen.

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    Re: San Diego Zoo and wildlife park

    Yeah, I went to the zoo on an uncrowded, rainy day and still didn't get to see everything, let alone take time to watch the animals. And I say this as a non animal person lol

    My tip is to eat early... almost all of the restaurants close very early, so don't get stuck starving at the back of the park like we were lol
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    Re: San Diego Zoo and wildlife park

    The 2 parks aren't really near each other either, so 2 days are necessary. The zoo has an on/off bus that you can use for transportation and to see some of the far-out edges of the grounds. (Because really, you don't need to walk alllll the way out to see each and every variety of antelope, unless you really like antelope. The zoo bus is an extra cost, but the big tour at the Wild Animal Park is included in your entrance. You'll want to do that for sure, since it's your opportunity to see some of the bigger animals.

    You don't say when you are going, but both parks have later hours in the summer and extra stuff going on at night. Wear comfortable shoes because you'll be doing a lot of walking!
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    Re: San Diego Zoo and wildlife park

    I have never spent a lot of time at the zoo. We usually take the bus tour and leave...maybe do the buckets. I have only been twice. I didn't carte for ti at all, but if you like zoos it is huge and would probably be a day trip for most.

    I would have loved to stay longer at the animal park, but I was with a group. I liked it more than the zoo. We basically did the tour that takes you down with the animals for the day and then left right after.

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    Re: San Diego Zoo and wildlife park

    We LOVE the SD Zoo... so much that this year we have annual passes! Wild Animal Park is another story (sorry we have little kids) but as to the Zoo... here are my thoughts.

    Pandas... one of the few places you can see them, really worth it!

    Elephant Oddessy... brand new, HUGE enclosure for Elephants, use the bus it's at the top of the hill.

    Hippo Exhibit... now this is just cool, seeing a hippo UNDER the water.

    Reptile House... probably one of the best bar none.

    I also recommend the Zoo on a Weekend, because around noon you can feed the giraffes by hand!









    It's $5 for 3 biscuits, starts around noon!





    Wild Animal Park is another animal... keep in mind this park was initially the breeding grounds for the animals so it is less species, more "herd animals" and more spread out.

    Gorilla exhibit is great, also the tram, and the Lion Camp. Depending on your speed you can see most of WAP in half a day.
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    Re: San Diego Zoo and wildlife park

    SusieP -"The zoo bus is an extra cost, but the big tour at the Wild Animal Park is included in your entrance."

    When they replaced the WGASA Bush Line with the current tram tour it was an upcharge. Sounds like they got an earful from a lot more people other my wife and I and decided to include it in the general admission.

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    Re: San Diego Zoo and wildlife park

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post


    I also recommend the Zoo on a Weekend, because around noon you can feed the giraffes by hand!

    It's $5 for 3 biscuits, starts around noon!
    We got to feed the giraffes and the rhinos on our tour at the wild animal park. They just gave us a bucket of the "cookies" to feed them. They were coming right up to the jeep and putting their heads right in with us.

    The rhinos were fed apples, but the mother rhino was getting upset and trying to bash the mirrors off the truck so we had to go.

    The zoo is more like animals in cages to me...granted really nice cages. The wild animal park seemed more like their natural habitat and the animals had a lot more room to move around in.

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    Re: San Diego Zoo and wildlife park

    It's been long time since ,I been at "Wild Animal Park"!
    Do they have any thing NEW! there........?
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    Re: San Diego Zoo and wildlife park

    In the wild animal park is the bus tour good or should we pay extra for the Safari that i saw on the web site where you feed the giraffes?
    Thanks for the giraffe photos, Techskip, my girls would love to do that!!

    We're also trying to find a hotel... is there one anyone can recommend (or not recommend!)

    thanks

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    Re: San Diego Zoo and wildlife park

    Quote Originally Posted by twingirlsmom View Post
    In the wild animal park is the bus tour good or should we pay extra for the Safari that i saw on the web site where you feed the giraffes?
    Thanks for the giraffe photos, Techskip, my girls would love to do that!!

    We're also trying to find a hotel... is there one anyone can recommend (or not recommend!)

    thanks
    we did the photo safari. It was really nice. They gave us lunch also.

    This is a horrible picture of me. Those giraffes really wanted that biscuit.


    and the rhinos:




    They put 10 people in each truck. We all really enjoyed it.

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    Re: San Diego Zoo and wildlife park

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchman View Post
    SusieP -"The zoo bus is an extra cost, but the big tour at the Wild Animal Park is included in your entrance."

    When they replaced the WGASA Bush Line with the current tram tour it was an upcharge. Sounds like they got an earful from a lot more people other my wife and I and decided to include it in the general admission.
    They tried that??? Wow! I haven't been since the "old" tram, but I'm glad they decided to restore the pricing back to the way it was. Could you imagine if you went to Universal and had to pay extra for the backlot tour?
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    Re: San Diego Zoo and wildlife park

    What great pictures with the giraffes! thanks for sharing...it looks like such fun!

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    Re: San Diego Zoo and wildlife park

    If you are going to do both parks, without a doubt, you want to buy the annual membership. For couples and families, it's barely more than a single day's admission, and far cheaper than a both-parks two admission pass.
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    Re: San Diego Zoo and wildlife park

    Annual pass holder here...

    I wouldn't try to do both in the same day. They are about an hour's drive apart, and each is worthy of its own day, IMO.

    Also IMO, I wouldn't recommend eating at the zoo, unless it is entirely unavoidable. The food prices are insane and the food is horrible (with the exception of the treetop restaurant, which I hear is good, but even more overpriced. Don't get me wrong - I love both places, go all the time, but I always eat first and just bring snacks in with me. Both places do have picnic areas, BTW.

    Also, if you want to see the animals active at the zoo, I recommend getting there right at opening. Later in the day, many of them such as the big cats (a favorite of mine) are sleeping.
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