I can't believe that I almost didn't go to this great park after reading an earlier negative review. Sure, this park seems old-fashioned (wooden signs, old paint), but that doesn't automatically make it a waste of money. I didn't spend my $45 hoping for perfect paint jobs on fiberglass statues-- I spent that money hoping for a fun, engaging experience that lasted the entire day. Which is exactly what I got. Despite my extensive experience with amusement parks, I actually encountered many amazing, unique things for the first time (more details about those further below). You just have to START RIDING stuff and start LOOKING at stuff. Amusement parks are for EXPLORING. If you take one look at a simple entrance, decide it doesn't look like Disney, and just give up right then, that's not the park's fault, lol. Plus, I have already visited almost every other park within driving distance. If I saved my money instead of going here, what ELSE am I going to spend it on? Movies? Um, no thank you, lol.
I might have been lucky to go the SECOND weekend it was open, instead of the first, when they might have been less prepared. Because almost everything seemed to be operational today. Including the big steel-structured wooden roller coaster "Cheetah".
All the employees (except one who just might have been tired) were very friendly. They even went out of their way to explain stuff, and in general be nice.
I didn't eat in the park (I hardly ever do), but the food places looked good. I *almost* got a pulled pork sandwich platter in the Wild West area, but I'd rather save my money for other experiences, but that's just me.
Sunday March 22, 2009, was a very SLOW day...the park was empty for most of the day. Only 20 people were in the park immediately after opening time at 10am. No lines at all throughout the day.
The park as a whole is very relaxed, green, and sprawling. Some parts resemble Silver Springs where they go into woods and swamp with animal exhibits. Other parts resemble a spread-out fair or carnival, or beach boardwalk where the lake is. The park might not LOOK like much, but the actual EXPERIENCES are very engaging, as I said. I'll give summaries of the rides, animals, and shows, with more details about my favorites.
There are a ton of rides, most of them very small, scattered all over the place, but there are several major ones as well. My favorites were as follows:
The RATTLER is a spinning, pendulum-style flat ride with the seats facing outward with nothing in front of you and your feet dangling, so that the force pushes your chest against the restraints, giving you the insecure feeling that you might fly out. And the view is priceless...nothing but blue sky and the greenery seems upside-down even though there is actually no inversion.
Ok, so the Rattler is actually the only ride that I liked 100%. The others were either of a type way too familiar to me, or it was a bit rough. The CHEETAH is a very pretty, photogenic wood-tracked, steel-supported roller coaster, that was really very enjoyable but a tiny too rough for me in some spots. There is a Vekoma suspended-looping roller coaster and a Boomerang coaster, both of which were some of the roughest I've ridden. I also rode their safari train ride, roller skater coaster, wild mouse, suspended non-looping coaster, Pharoah's Fury swinging ship, slide, ferris wheel, "kangaroo" type ride named "Fly Swatter", flying ride, "music-express" style ride called Swingin' Safari, a weirdly short freefall ride, and a little steel coaster called "Gold Rush". There actually was also a very tall skycoaster...very cheap too, at $15 for a single-person flight (skycoaster flights CAN get as high as $40, and that's a 4-year-old quote!). Other rides, which I did not go on, included a river rapids ride, carousel, bumper cars, pony ride, tilt-a-whirl, kite flyer, log flumes, and numerous spinning and kiddie rides.
ANIMALS AND SHOWS:
The shows, contrary to a previous review, were actually NEVER scheduled at the same time. In fact, these were the actual showtimes for all shows on March 22: 11:30, 12:30, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 3:30, 4:30, 5:00, 5:30.
IMAGINE was the only musical performance-based show, which took place inside a stylish, enclosed theater. It was a cute show with singing, dancing, costumes, and some live animals.
NORTH AMERICAN PREDATORS was a demonstration performance by beautiful timber wolves, Florida panthers, and black bears and their trainer. AMAZING CATS is a different show that took place on the same stage area, and featured Siberian and Bengal tigers. Today, the tigers were "in season" and were a bit frisky. And, two of the males kept on getting into fights, roaring and slapping each other, which was quite exciting to see.
CREATURE FEATURE was also a demonstration-style wildlife show featuring a cute little fennic fox, adorable kinkajou, snakes, and 3 different sizes of alligator. A highlight of the day for me was the opportunity to actually hold the one-year-old baby alligator after the show. I've held snakes before, but never an alligator!
There is a "show" called PIGEON RELEASE. Of course, it's more of an event. But it's not as silly as it sounds. These are homing pigeons, and it's more of a demonstration, and the keeper actually lets park guests hold the pigeons and throw them in the air to watch them take off.
This park is BIG on animal INTERACTIONS, which seem to really make a lasting impression on guests' experience, at least for me. Another example is their "Lory Landing", which is similar to the one at Busch Gardens, except these Lories actually will land on you even if you DON'T HAVE any nectar, even at the end of the day when they theoretically shouldn't be hungry anymore! These lories were climbing all over me, licking everywhere, especially my shiny watch. Speaking of which, the goats in their petting zoo did the same thing. This petting zoo also had an adorable baby black-and-white cow, as well as bunnies and a dozen tiny baby yellow fuzzy ducks that you could pick up. At one point the baby cow went over to the duck pen and tried to lick them, which sent them running away. That was priceless.
The safari TRAIN ride gives a view of more animals, and roller coasters as well. This is actually also the first time I've seen a WILDEBEEST in person. And speaking of firsts, it was also the first time I've seen a live SERVAL or a GENET (both BEAUTIFUL carnivores), bear-cat, or oryx. The cavies, bobcats, lions, tigers, elephants, monkeys, giraffes, antelopes, porcupine, reptiles, birds, etc, were also cool.
SO, all-in-all, I say this park is DEFINITELY worth at least one visit. I think one was enough for me personally (we'll see this coming Saturday though...I still have the "second-day-free" option till then). I give Wild Adventures 4 stars, because it DID keep me completely engaged and excited for the entire 8-hour day. However, for me, there wasn't any particular part of it that was "addicting"-- nothing that would make me come running back the next chance I get. Especially since I got to do EVERYTHING I wanted by 5:30pm, since crowds were so light. There IS a LOT do to, however-- it literally did take me until 5:30pm to do everything, and I am a fast-moving lone 24-year-old.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.