Friday, July 25, 2014

York's Wild Kingdom

We were provided with complimentary passes to York's Wild Kingdom to facilitate this review.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed are my own.

This past weekend we had the chance to visit York's Wild Kingdom, New England's only Zoo AND Amusement Park!  I cannot believe that I have lived just over an hour from this gem for my entire life and have never been there.  It was the absolute perfect day in every way.  I honestly don't think I can say enough good things about York's Wild Kingdom!  But I'll try.

From the moment we drove through the entrance we were impressed.  We turned at the sign and drove down a wooded road with large signs of animal silohettes and trivia!  How creative and fun!

We arrived around 10:30 AM and were able to park for free right on site and walk to the entrance, however it is good to know that there is offsite parking that is free with a free trolley ride to and from the park.  The ticket line at the entrance was quite long so I would try to get there early if you can... or just be prepared to wait a bit!  There are several different ticket options.  You can purchase an unlimited pass for both the zoo and amusement park or choose one or the other.  Go Karts, pony rides, and camel rides are extra.  It looked like you could also pay per ride with tokens but unlimited is definitely the best way to go in my opinion.

We started our day in the zoo portion of the park and were greeted immediately by ducks!  My four year old loves ducks so this was the best welcome ever!

There are food dispensers located all around the zoo, anywhere the animals can (and would love) to eat.  Make sure you bring your quarters!  I'm so thankful that my friend Nicole over at Southern New Hampshire Kids visited York's Wild Kingdom the week before we did and wrote a review with that important advice!  We came prepared and are so glad we did!  I think you can tell that the animals were pretty glad too!

The animals were incredibly friendly.  What a neat experience for all of us to be able to get up so close to them.  They seemed to be having as much as we were!

While in the zoo we also visited the Butterfly Kingdom.  What a beautiful treasure!  There were so many beautiful butterflies of all different shapes and sizes.  They fly all over the place inside this habitat.  It is so neat!  I love the fact that in the exit hallway there is a mirror in which you check to be sure there are no butterflies on your clothes or hair before you leave!

The Deer Feeding Area is another spot that you must not miss on a visit to York's Wild Kingdom.  There is a sign upon entering telling you not to go under the fence.  This doesn't stop the deer though!  Be ready for some cuddles and hungry noses sniffing your hands.  And again, make sure you have quarters (and your camera)!

Getting up close and personal with the animals at York's Wild Kingdom is a must, but don't worry!     There are hand washing stations located throughout the zoo!  There's no need to be shy about letting those animals eat right out of the palm of your hand!

We moved from the zoo to the amusement park at about 12:30 and honestly had not even seen all of the animals yet!  You could absolutely spend a whole day just at the zoo and I may have if it was not for a four year old begging for "rides!"

We decided to have a quick bite to eat before playing and riding.  There was a large covered picnic area for eating as well as an uncovered area with picnic tables.  You can either bring your own food or purchase at the park.  We purchased there and I was actually surprised that the prices of most items were very reasonable.  Our group ate a Crispy Chicken Sandwich, Cheese Pizza, Cheeseburger, Steak n Cheese Sub, French Fries, and Onion Rings and there were no complaints!  The area was clean and pleasant.  And I have to mention that the people visiting York's Wild Kingdom the day we did were so kind!  The wind kept blowing my trash off of my table and each time it happened, a different stranger would pick it up and offer to throw it in the barrel for me.  I think this is evidence that this wonderful place attracts a wonderful crowd!

This was my four year old's first amusement park experience.  I was nervous that she may not be old enough or brave enough for rides.  The rides at York's Wild Kingdom are absolutely perfect for kids in her age group!  There were only a couple of things that were really too big for her but for the most part there was a really nice variety of child friendly rides.  She started small with the boats and worked her way up to the roller coaster, stopping at every other age appropriate attraction along the way!

You may notice in the pictures that the crowd at York's Wild Kingdom wasn't too overwhelming.  Despite the fact that there were tons of people there on the day we went, it didn't even feel crowded.  We never waited more than 5 minutes to ride a ride, and in fact, didn't wait at all for most of them.  We didn't wait to order our food either.  I think the longest we waited for anything was the bathroom and that line was still only a couple of people deep.  The set up of the park is very open, and it feels clean and spacious.  It doesn't feel congested at all!  The longest line I saw was the one to purchase tickets at the entrance.

Needless to say, we loved our trip to York's Wild Kingdom and cannot wait to return soon!  If you're in the New England area and are looking for a fun family activity, I highly recommend a trip to York's Wild Kingdom!

We were provided with complimentary passes to York's Wild Kingdom to facilitate this review.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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