This year hasn’t allowed a lot of family fun outside the home. Luckily, we were able to find at least one activity that allows you to stay safely in your car and enjoy some wild animals. It’s Alabama Safari Park!
Alabama Safari Park
So what exactly is Alabama Safari Park? It is a drive-thru safari park that offers you the chance to get up close to wild animals. The animals are not caged and allowed to roam free in a wide open area. You get to see these animals interact with each other, roam around, walk up to your car, and more. But is it worth the cost? What do you need to know before you go? Should you drive your brand new car? Is it good for kids? I got the answers to your questions.
The cost of admission is an important factor when planning a family fun day. I was a bit taken back when I realized it would be just under $100 for our family of five. The cost is $21.95 for adults, $20.95 for seniors, and $16.95 for children (2-12). Now, we were able to save $3 on each ticket by visiting during the week. Either way, after our visit, I can say that it is definitely worth the cost.
Best Time to Go
I definitely recommend going during the week. It is less crowded, and you can save a bit on admission. You’ll get more time to travel at a leisurely pace, and really get your money’s worth. Also, we went right around 1pm. The animals were nice and active on our first drive around the park, but a lot of them settled in to escape the afternoon heat on the second go-round. So I’d recommend getting there around noon or earlier to get the active animals you came to see.
Feeding the Animals
Feed buckets are offered for an extra $4.95. They give you a decent amount of food in a bucket. You will also get extra empty buckets to split the food up. This allows multiple people to each get a bucket. It’s also good in case you accidentally drop your bucket outside the car, like Jacob did. Some animals will get greedy and try to snatch the bucket out of your hands. So it’s definitely better to have the food split up in different buckets. It should be noted also, the food has a distinct odor. It takes a little getting used to. On the other hand, if the thought of wild animals right at your window or even inside the car does not appeal to you, then a feed bucket is not the best option for you. You can just drive through with the windows up to enjoy your visit.
Give yourself plenty of time to drive through the three miles. The cost of admission is for the whole day so there is no need to rush. You will be driving around 5 mph and making multiple stops along the way. This is a place where you want to take your time, and just enjoy the animals. On that note, don’t get too frustrated if the person ahead of you keeps stopping to take pictures. You’ll get your turn, too. Or, there are spots where you can pass them if you just can’t wait. Take time for the walk-around area too. There is a petting zoo, giraffe feeding, and budgie aviary.
There will be dirt
So, remember before, when I asked if you should bring your new car? No. The answer is just no. Don’t do it. The animals don’t really care about your paint job. There will be animals bumping your vehicle. There will be horns the size of small children passing an inch or two from your windows. And there will be dust from the bottom of the feed bucket getting scattered all over your car by a llama. So like I said, just don’t do it. And on top of all that, the road is mostly dirt, so there will be so much road dirt on your car, even if the animals leave you completely alone. (Which they won’t.)
For the kids
Now you may be wondering, will this be a fun experience for kids? And the answer is, there will be wild animals freaking their parents out and sticking their heads in your car windows, if you let them. Of course it’s good for kids. But seriously, they had a blast. I would recommend not forcing them to feed the animals or anything, just let the kids choose their own pace. All three of ours had fun by the end. And little did they know, but they were actually learning! This was supposed to be like a last hurrah of summer, but there was actually a lot for them to learn about, too. They provide a guidebook when you enter the park, so there is lots to read, and kids can learn about identifying the different animals, unless you are our four-year-old. Then they’re all just cows.
Alabama Safari Park was completely worth it. The food smells interesting, our car is a mess, and we did get pretty hot in the walk-around area. But it was a blast. Everybody had fun, and we came home hot, tired, a little dirty, but much, much happier than we have been in awhile. It was great to have someplace to get out to, but still remain safe and conscientious of others safety as well. I would definitely recommend this place, especially if you follow our tips to maximize your visit. So go out have fun, and enjoy the animals!