It has been two years since our last visit to the West Midlands when my eldest was only 2 and my youngest was still living in my tummy. I had been meaning to revisit now my girls are older (especially as the big one loves dinosaurs but more on that later).
We visited midweek during term time so arriving around 10:30am it was still fairly quiet and there was only a short queue before we got through admission with our pre-purchased tickets.
We decided to drive around the safari first whilst the youngest was still wide awake. Last time we visited the animals were quite shy but this time the giraffes were all lined up on the road looking for cars with people brave enough to feed them (which did not include us – yes I am a wimp 🙂 ). Both the girls loved that they walked right past the window, although I was happier that the rhinos stayed a few metres away and were not bothered by the cars.
Continuing around the safari through the gated areas we saw a huge variety of animals including deer, camels, lions, elephants and much more The signs made it very clear when we could and couldn’t feed the animals and when our windows should be wound up. There were wardens stationed at regular points in case of emergencies too.
The drive was steady and as there were few other cars around we could make our own pace. However, I hear that during school holidays this is often not the case and there is more queuing. Some of the more “dangerous” animals such as the lions, cheetahs and elephants were kept behind an extra fence. Unfortunately this meant that we were unable to see any cheetahs on our drive but these were the only animals that were hiding. The whole drive at our own pace took around an hour and a quarter but the fun didn’t stop there.
From the safari we parked up and walked to the Leisure Park area. It is worth noting that the picnic and toilet area that is normally near the carpark is presently inaccessible due to refurbishment. There are temporary toilets (including disabled and baby change) available but you do have to walk on the road to get to these.
The Leisure Park is extremely accessible throughout, the only place you cannot take the pushchair is the walk to see the goats. To save on costs we took a packed lunch and used one of the picnic tables to eat. However I would say there are not a huge amount of areas to eat your own food but a picnic blanket may be wise during busy periods. It is always worth noting that the pre-school area, Boj Giggly Park has more picnic tables many of which are in the shade.
I forgot how many different things there are to do here. We started with the Ice Age walk through experience (which my girls found a bit scary) but the size of the models is amazing. What I loved about this and the Land of Living Dinosaurs is that there are staff stationed throughout who came and talked to the girls about what they are seeing and helped them when they were feeling a bit nervous (and corrected silly mummy for mistaking a giant sloth for a bear).
My 4 year old says the Land of Living Dinosaurs was her favourite section (although she was a little scared of the scale of it all at first). The nerves soon melted away when she saw all of her favourite dinosaurs were there including her all time top dinosaur the Tyrannosaurus Rex where they spent several minutes roaring at each others.
We popped over to the Sea Lion Show which was probably the only part of the day we did not enjoy as much. Personally, I found there to be a bit too much feedback from the microphones and some of the jokes fell a little flat given most the people watching were pre-schoolers and children. Whilst the talk was informative and included some tricks I think it went over my girls heads, it possibly would be better for older kids though.
Surprisingly, one of the highlights of the day was the trip to the Boj Giggly Park. Based on the TV show this is a lovely area with lots of different things to do, perfectly sized for my 4 and 1 year old. We ended up staying there an hour just playing with the musical instruments, running through the tunnels and saying hello to the ducks, both pretend and real. The park was in great condition and in the main clean but be careful of the duck poo by the tables.
As my girls are a bit too young (and scared) for rides, we did not bother getting the wristbands for unlimited entries in the rides area. There looked like there was quite a wide selection but I think in any case we would have struggled to have fit it into the day.
Before we went home we also had time to squeeze in a visit to the meerkats, reptiles (including large snakes and crocodiles), animal handling where we said hello to a ferret and the creepy crawlies.
The girls both fell straight to sleep on their way home and my eldest wants to go back tomorrow she had such fun.
Whilst the price of West Midlands Safari Park initially seemed high, there is more than enough for a day’s visit and I personally think it is well worth the money especially as you get a free return visit. However booking in advance saves money and you can also redeem Tesco vouchers to pay towards your entry.
For more information and to book advance ticket go the West Midlands Safari Park website
Admission Price (on the gate):
Adult – £24
Child (3-15yrs) – £19
Concessions (Student or Senior) – £22
Under 3s – Free
Admission includes a Free Return Ticket*, entitling each paying person to a return visit to West Midland Safari Park within the same season.
Family Life Worcestershire has received no payment or incentive for this review.
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