Monday, 20 July 2015

West Midlands Safari Park - Review

As Jimmy has a fair bit of holiday left to take at work we decided to organise a family trip out. I had really fancied the idea of going to a safari park for ages but never got round to it, either Alton Towers or the pub seemed more appealing before Jake came along lol. We are both Jimmy animal lovers but Jimmy is one of those who can tell you what animal is on TV before David Attenborough gets a chance (which isnt annoying at all, ahem!). 

When we were looking online for which park to visit Jimmy saw that West Midlands Safari has a large dinosaur attraction so that was it, he was sold! He is a big geek fan of dinosaurs and he was obsessed with them as a kid.  

Now, when we arrange anything we decide on where to go, then I get bargain hunting. I discovered that you could use Clubcard vouchers to get discounted tickets. The ticket price includes the 4 mile safari, dinosaur and animal attractions and is £19.99 on the 'door'. There is also a theme park which is an additional £12 that you can either buy on the day or they have some offers on all inclusive tickets here. Using the Clubcard exchange scheme we swapped £11 worth of Clubcard points for 2 x adult tickets (under 3's go free). 

You can find out more about Clubcard exchange here. I think it's fab and have used it for tickets to the Tower of London before. There are loads of attractions included! 

We arrived at the safari park at about 11 o'clock and only had to wait about 5 minutes to get in. We also received a 'free return' ticket, which allows you to re-visit the park again for free within the same season. I had seen this offer online but assumed we wouldn't qualify for it because our tickets were so cheap in the first place! We bought some animal food that was £3 per pack. 

We parked up and stretched our legs and nipped to the loo before heading to the safari trail. There is a separate toilet block in the car park which was really handy. When we entered the safari trail we were met immediately by two huge white rhinos!

Here a just a few of the 100's of pictures I took while going around the safari.

The safari trail was absolutely amazing, although Jimmy said it was a bit like animal prostitution because the giraffes stand by the side of the road and stick their heads in the car. The trail seemed to go on for ages and although we loved it we were starting to get a bit hungry. I would suggest to have a pack of wipes and some anti-bac to hand because I got slobbered on a lot!

If you have come a long way it might be an idea to go around the enclosures in the park itself first then head to the safari later to stretch your legs a bit. Jimmy said he was sick of driving but then a camel stuck it's head in the car scaring the life out of me and that cheered him up a bit. We went during term time so it was fairly quiet and I can imagine it a bit like being stuck in traffic if it's really busy. There are shortcuts you can take though if you feel like it.

The park itself is a little tired but there are lots of animals to see and loads of talks to go to. The sea lion show is an absolute must, it was a lovely show. All the animals seem happy (according to Jimmy Attenborough!) The dinosaur attraction was good but definitely not my cup of tea. It was sweet to see loads of kids running around asking "are they real?" to their parents. 

I found the park really easy to navigate with our big pushchair but there were few places you couldn't take a pushchair in. The Lemur Wood and the parrot enclosures were pushchair free zones but thats because the animals are freely running around and who wants a bloody Lemur crawling all over their baby? 

The theme park element of the park seemed to be alright, there weren't any really big rides but if you have older kids that are too 'cool' for the animals then it would be worth the extra £12 to keep them entertained. The food was pretty average and it was £3.85 for a sandwich which I didn't think was too bad considering what you pay at other attractions. There are loads of lovely spots for picnics that look over the park and when we go again I'll be more organised and sort out some food to take with us.

I would definitely recommend West Midlands Safari Park to anyone, the ticket price is great value and we had a lovely time, we were there from about 11:00-16:30 and never felt like we were stuck for something to do. The facilities are good and the park is not too big that you feel knackered from walking around loads. I absolutely loved it and we will definitely be using our free return tickets to go later in the season.