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"Hours of fun...…"
We had a fantastic day out at West Midlands Safari Park, on the first day of the Easter holidays.
We opted to go straight into the theme park because our boys wanted a run-around after the drive, and were surprised to have the whole place to ourselves. We were handed an Easter Eggstravanganza treasure hunt quiz which gave us some structure and we were off.
The penguins were good fun (nothing like Pingu, DS2 found to his surprise!) and we were rather amazed to find real alligators and some absolutely enormous boa constrictors in the Reptile House, as well as poison dart frogs and some impressive pythons. The enclosures are well thought-out and make the animals visible even to knee-high tots.
Before very long, though, we were at the theme park rides, which I'm afraid dissolved all interest in the poor animals for a while. My three (aged 2,4 and 6) absolutely adored every minute.
We had multi-ride wristbands, which are worth investing in - if we'd gone for single tickets, we'd have spent too much of the morning in deep discussion with the four-year-old about how he needed to research the rides and make his decisions about which ones to go on in advance. (aargh!) As it was, they just went round and around different rides having a whale of a time. There are clear height restrictions, but we found WMSP perfect for kids of our age-group (unlike some of the other theme parks I think). I went with the six-year-old and four-year-old on the log-flume and we had a fab time getting soaked. The rhino roller-coaster was a hit with the four-year-old, and my husband went solo on Venom, a stomach-lurching vertical drop.
You do have to walk to the far end to find the toddler park though. My 2-year-old adored flying aeroplanes, pandas (?!) and the magic carpet, as well as being a steam-train driver.
We found the staff extremely well-trained, patient, and good-humoured. Some even let us have another go for free when it was quiet - which made us feel very privileged! But children should be warned - they were very strict when we tried to claim our Easter Egg prize. We had missed out a couple of clues but could easily guess the magic answer, but we weren't allowed a chocolate egg until we'd done it all properly (fair enough!).
We finally detached ourselves, and ate our picnic (picnic table near the car park) before heading off for the safari park. We probably should have done this first, really, as it was really busy at midday, which meant you had about 20-30 cars in an enclosure, all waiting to feed the giraffes with special animal food you're encouraged to buy at the start, by holding handfuls of feed out of the car window. I'm not sure if the feeding-animals bit is such a good idea. There are rules about which animals you can and can't feed, but people can be really, really stupid. We saw one family hurling their sandwiches at some deer, another trying to feed camels (against the rules), and one boy-racer trying to hoot, then nudge an inquisitive buck out of the way…with his car (idiot).
However, the children loved doing it, and it is amazing to get so close to some magnificent animals. We were particularly taken by the white rhino, the cheetah, two young African elephant and the pride of white lion (munching companionably on a haunch of meat). The tigers kept themselves slightly out of view, which we didn't mind really, as it added to the sense of the animals having some autonomy.
We arrived back in the park for "one last go" on the rides and to see the Sea Lion display. This time, we discovered the pod of hippos from a viewing platform. The kids were really awed by their size and their intimidating open-wide jaws. We had a run around the African Village, where you can see meerkats, goats and lemurs, before heading back for another exciting trip on the wild water rapids.
It was a really happy day out, with something for everyone. We had been unceasingly entertained from 10am until 5.30pm, which is no mean feat. We will definitely be taking them up on the free return trip!Read moreLess
"Brilliant day out for the family…"
I have been here three times already! This is one of the best parks I have experienced in a long time, the safari is massive and there is so much to see and do. In addition to the safari the zoo itself is absolutely phenomenal and the kids we're entertained the whole time! Definitely returning!!Read moreLess
"Great place for all ages…"
We were delighted to revisit West Midland Safari Park and once again it did not disappoint.
Having arrived at 9.50am (opening at 10am) we were delighted to find only a few cars in front of us in the queue. We entered the park and were informed exactly what attractions were open and what was closed (being the winter season, the funfair and some of the restaurants was closed, which we were aware of).
We decided to venture into the animal safari first as in the past it was extremely busy and we liked the idea of being able to watch the animals without cars behind pressurising us to move on.
We made the right choice, the safari was practically deserted and we could stop and take pictures of the animals at out leisure. Both our children are animal crazy and really enjoyed being able to read the very informative signs at each area of the reserve.
They especially loved the white lions who were sitting proudly in the sunshine (which is always a bonus) and took some great pictures on their cameras.
The cheeky Zebra below even put his head through the car window, I’m not sure if he was hoping to find something nice, well other than the kids there was nothing!
The safari took about 1.5 hours and after parking in a deserted car park, we went and had a wander around the other attractions that were available.
The African Village which houses the Meerkats and Lemurs is a great favourite of ours, they are just so cute & full of cheeky fun and we were delighted to see the areas open and empty with staff around to assure us it was ok to enter and offer assistance with the gates etc. The hand gel at the entrance and exit is a fabulous idea as some of the animals in the village are loose and very friendly.
The toilets were very clean and well maintained, and the few eating/drinking places that were open looked very inviting. We grabbed a coffee and some drinks for the children which were very reasonably priced and again no queuing for anything.
The finale to our day was a Sea Lion show which was all included in the ticket price, the theatre filled up considerably, the only time we became aware that there was indeed any other guests in the park. The seating was great (just a little wet) with fantastic views of the stage and the show was superbly arranged and very enjoyable. The children loved seeing the naughty sea lion and listened intently to the lady who was giving the talk and instructions to the sea lion. Whilst waiting for the show to begin there was Disney music playing which was a lovely gesture and kept the children (and us) entertained & unashamedly singing along!Read moreLess
"Enjoyed the visit and will head back for free return…"
Always enjoy the experience. Plenty to see without the rides for young children, but will have a go on the rides next time.Read moreLess
"Great day out for the whole family…"
This is an amazing place to take the family there is something for everyone,you have the animal enclosures which are great and you get to see the animals up close and personal, and there is also the shows and rides, which cater for everyone.Read moreLess
1 person found this review helpful.
"Run down and very expensive…"
The park looks tiered and haggle red needs a complete revamp and value for money is poor very expensive for every part from entrance to rides and the gift shops the animals are not very active and seemed to b hiding and hard to spot def won't b going back shows that are avalible aren't really child fun for younger children not much for younger children to doRead moreLess
"Fantastic Family Day out, and Autism Friendly too!…"
We took our 6 year old son here over the Summer. We arrived early to avoid the inevitable traffic jam to enter the park. Entrance was smooth, efficient and the boxes of food you can purchase to feed the sheep and deer (focus on the deer, the sheep need to cut down!!) were expensive but a cause of great fun.
We drove round at around 5 miles an hour, it took around 1.5 hours in total and it was FANTASTIC, we had rhinos so close to our car i had a momentary panic (but fear not the rangers are everywhere and the big fellas seem placid and laid back. The Lions prowled in front of the cars and played up to the crown by yawning and gently pawing each other in fun, the giraffes was incredible, you have no concept of how big these creatures are till they slowly saunter majestically past your car. Camels did what camels do, thrust their heads in the car and left slime trails, much to the delight of all kids within a ten mile radius. The Animal Safari was a complete joy, but I recommend arriving early otherwise you will be stuck in a traffic jam and see very little. We then went to the play park section, as my son has autism both he and I got in for free which was a lovely surprise. Their are rides for most ages, the water flumes are hilarious but assume you will get wet Food options are limited and as expected expensive, but there is ample picnicking area. Its a lovely day out, and the icing on the cake is a free return trip within the year. Cant fault it, go, enjoy, and expect to come home with a car trashed with animal food, camel slobber, and happy kidsRead moreLess
"Go somewhere else!…"
I'm quite surprised by the positive reviews for this safari park - can only imagine that its gone downhill since the good reviews or that perhaps people haven't been to other (better) parks. We went yesterday - were told by the gate keeper that it was a "quiet" time so probably worth doing the drive around the safari area straight away. Just sat in queues of traffic for 2.5 hours seeing very few animals, and the ones that we did see (other than various types of antelope) are penned in and quite far away. 2 elephants, 2 rhinos, a couple of ostrich. OK there are some lions, tigers, cheetahs but you're so far away from them (and inside the car) that its not worth it (certainly not for 2.5 hours!). There are some which wonder onto the road and cars open their windows and let the animals (e.g. camels) put their heads in the car (which you're not supposed to do - and why there are massive queues whilst everyone does this - repeatedly) but I definitely wouldn't call it a safari! My 8 yr old daughter who loves animals just ended up reading in the back of the car.
The sealion show was dreadful but thought perhaps the rides would make up for it. You can buy wristbands for £11 per child (on top of the entrance fee) or buy loose tickets. We bought loose tickets (didn't really want to spend £33 more on wristbands for 3 children) and they were £6 for 3 tickets. They said some rides take 2 tickets which I thought would be the more "white knuckle" rides, but in fact its pretty much all of the rides - even the little hippo ride that my 4 year old wanted to go on was 2 tickets (so effectively £4). They're really poor value too - each ride did 3 or 4 circuits at most and finished - the pirate ship had 10 swings and finished. Its over in seconds. We didn't have to queue very long for anything but came away thinking it was completely over-rated.
Yes, there is a "free" return ticket included in the admission but it was so poor I don't think its worth the petrol of getting there.
Even using Tesco vouchers it wasn't worth it - if I'd paid full price I'd have been livid. The children thought it was OK but there are so many other places that are better and better value.Read moreLess
2 people found this review helpful.
"We went here again this week. My dcs have…"
We went here again this week. My dcs have Blue Peter Passes, so get free entry, so, only paying for myself, it's excellent value. Even before these passes, it's on a par with other places, and you do get a free return visit, which makes it good vfm. We've always been able to see loads of animals and the park give you advice on quieter times to drive round - the trail is wide enough for 2 cars throughout so in many visit over many years I've never been stuck in a traffic jam. We've never gone on the rides either - there's plenty to see and do without paying extra for rides. Had the bonus of seeing the Severn Vally Steam Train again this time. Can't comment on food as we always take own picnic. Sea Lion show and various 'talks' are great. Just lovely to be so close to such magnificent animals. I'd thoroughly recommend.Read moreLess
"The park offer advice about when the drive through section…"
The park offer advice about when the drive through section is busiest.
Amazing how many families think that it's OK to get the kids out of the car for a photo opportunity with the lions! Staff do a brilliant job of keeping alive all those who refuse to follow the instructions to "stay in the car and close all windows".
To get closer to the animals buy a pack of animal food on the way in to feed the animals but follow instructions - some bite!
Sea Lion show and walk through bat experience are NOT to be missed.
Food is unimaginative - chips with everything - better taking a picnic, but don't be tempted to share it with the animals.
Rides are not a patch on Alton Towers so don't expect too much.Read moreLess
1 person found this review helpful.
"this is a super day out! to avoid queues at…"
this is a super day out!
to avoid queues at the rides we went on a teacher training school day and it was so quiet that we could stay on again and again.
the animal drive through is fantastic and you will still be amazed at the size of the animals.
you are given a return ticket to use later on in the year.
the staff were polite and friendly.
10/10 from me.Read moreLess
"I thought this was good value at 10.50 each (9.50…"
I thought this was good value at 10.50 each (9.50 for over 3s). Even without the theme park (an extra 10.50 for an unlimited ride wristband), you can still see the leopards, the sea lion show, the nocturnal house, the hippo pool and the reptile house, so for 10.50 you basically get a good safari ride (VERY tame giraffes and deer) and small zoo experience.
The theme park is excellent for children (our son is 3) and has some thrill rides for older children too. If you just wanted to go on one or two rides only, you can buy individual tokens.
Its nicely landscaped with toilets every 150yards and lots of benches to sit down on (I was 7 months pregnant when we went so these things were important to me!). We took a picnic so can't comment on the food, but I thought it was even better than Longleat. Oh and barely any queues for the rides! One of our favourite days out.(Sept 09)Read moreLess
1 person found this review helpful.
"I found West Midlands safari park had all of the…"
I found West Midlands safari park had all of the ingrediants for a great day out, but somehow our trip wasn't.
It was one big traffic jam, with the bonus of seeing a couple of elephants strolling past! It was a very busy saturday, so maybe off peak it would be a lot better.
The rides were very good,though these cost extra. The the bat room was fantastic ( my daughter loved this, as the bats swoop over your head- I loved it too!)Read moreLess
"It is, IMHO, expensive (…"
It is, IMHO, expensive (Read moreLess
2 people found this review helpful.