For the last 2 weeks Ollie has been off work and with the family holiday concluded and still days left free we were thrilled to be invited to West Midlands Safari Park to see what they have on offer.
I must admit this is where my husband pointed out once more that “I have been saying for years we ought to go” … my answer … Well I have to be honest and say I haven’t got one.
Life over the previous 2 years has got in the way and with not prioritising family time like we should have done this fitted perfectly with our choice earlier this year to make the most of the time we have as a family.
So we started out on our 1 hour 50 minute drive to get there and if I am honest I had dreaded the drive but it wasn’t that bad! the Safari Park was very well signed posted from a fair distance away and arriving early meant we avoided any major queuing and with easy parking on site we were there in plenty of time for our 9.15am Safari Tour (seeing the park this way is an extra £5 per person)
However with the knowledgable guides and my questions about where everything was lead to an impromptu sneaky peak of where everything was, which was fantastic since I had never been before and was totally stumped on where everything was.
Once onboard our Safari tour we were driven through with the knowledgable Vicky who introduced us to so many different breeds of animals and so many of them even by name!
If you are going to want to feed some of the animal while you go round, make sure you buy your food on the way in, for some reason we left ours in our car! however our guide managed to find us a couple of handfuls so we could feed one of my most favourite animals … Giraffes
Although the Zebras were less accommodating!
What really blew my mind were the amazing white Bengal Tigers, the African lions and the Rhinos!
After the Safari we jumped off the tour bus and headed in to the main entrance to the park and we blown away with just how much there was to do above and beyond what we noticed before heading out on Safari!
What I did like was the fact that although there was lots to do its was all reasonably spaced and all within easy walking distance even if you have dodgy hips like me.
If you walk to the bottom of the Park there is the Tiny Tots Theme park with seven rides aimed at the younger child but we didn’t get as far down as this as Joshua fell in love with many of the rides in the bigger Adventure Theme Park instead with the Hurtling Hippos, Rhino Rollercoaster and the Ghost Train!
Even being a red-hot day in the School Summer Holidays both Ollie and I were shocked at just how little waiting around there was to get on rides.
We have been to lots of other places and have waiting in excess of an hour per rides so this was amazing!
However it is wise to note that all the Theme Park rides require a paid for wrist band before you are allowed to ride, however these were £13 per adult and £12 per child, but we found with only a few minutes to wait before each ride they were well used and totally worth it.
At lunch time we ate at the Explores Restaurant and with hot and cold options we were all covered as Ollie and I wanted something hot and Joshua wanted a packed lunch!
The kids safari packed lunch was priced at just over £5 and contained a drink, yogurt, sandwich and packet of crisps and even a toy animal which Joshua loved, having paid far more for a children’s meal before I thought these were great.
Ollie and I opted for the Lasagne and Chips at around £7.50 per person which we both enjoyed and it was a really generous size, so overall meal time was a hit with us. If you wanted to bring a picnic instead there were picnic benches dotted around and masses of grass space to put down your blanket so that’s always an option too!
Throughout the day there were numerous Sea Lion shows and we went along to an afternoon show.
Callum the Sea Lion was super cute and Joshua adored him, although since Jacob was in a pushchair and was sleeping Ollie and Joshua ended up at the top of the seating area while I ended up in the buggy park to the side as there is nowhere allocated if you have a pushchair you can’t take your baby out of it which was rather frustrating. I didn’t understand why some of the people seated on the front row couldn’t have sat further back allowing those of us with pushchairs and either very small babies or sleeping children to sit there instead. Since I was at the side I barely saw the show until Callum jumped from the top into the water.
If you have don’t have tiny babies in tow then my Husband said this show was a great watch and certainly worth taking the time out to go.
Throughout the day there is also the option to buy fish to feed to the Penguins and that was fantastic, the Penguins obviously know when its feed time and go nuts waiting for the fish to be thrown over.
Both Joshua and I loved feeding them a few fish and would certainly do it again. The one thing I did notice was there was no hand wash basin anywhere near so we did have to leave the area to find the toilets further down to wash our hands.
Last on our list to do was to visit was to visit Land of The Lost Dinosaurs what have amazing moving Dinosaurs! Joshua was unsure at first thinking they were real but after he was assured they were extinct he loved it!
Throughout our visit Ollie and I commented at just how much we loved this place, its queues were minimal, the staff where really friendly and the attractions on offer great.
I loved how the payments system worked too as in its one fee to enter the park as a whole (this included the safari in your own vehicle) if you don’t fancy driving yourself around but want the Safari tour bus there is another fee for this and everything at the park is then free except the rides. If you want the rides then you need to pay for wrist band.
So if you have much smaller children or people in your party that won’t go on the rides then your don’t have to pay that fee out making it a more customisable for your own visit.
The entry prices and fees in general are not extortionate and totally in line with other high-end attractions but to save yourself money I would suggest you purchase your tickets online as there is a big price difference to buying on entry or online.
The opening times during the summer months (9am – 9pm) means that you really can make the most of your entrance tickets and really get your moneys worth and have the most amazing day.
Due to other commitments we had to leave in the afternoon but next time we visit I have no doubt we will be there till closing!
Disclaimer: This visit was complimentary, however all thoughts and opinions were independently formed by members of The Oliver’s Madhouse.