So I was chatting with Garbles last week when he mentioned the new Chance coaster was opening at Wildlife Zoo. One thing led to another and I joined him on a journey to Phoenix. Now I know what some of you are already thinking, that we just went to ride the kiddie coaster, and while that did play a factor in our decision, the reality is we both like zoos, so it was the best of both worlds.
The new coaster and flat rides are positioned perfectly along the highway to catch the eye of those passing by. We elected to enter through what I assume is the original entrance (parking is free by the way) and immediately noticed an abundance of birds, Macaws in fact. I don't terribly mind them and rather enjoy photographing them. I guess you could call them the official zoo ambassadors.
So off we went to the back of the zoo down crushed stone paths to the newest area where we eventually found the family coaster awaiting and llamas roaming underneath awaiting our arrival. $6 will get you two laps, cash only.
The zoo itself is quite large and features an aquarium, stingray feeding (those guys act like they never get fed!), penguin feedings, and several rides including a log flume, sky ride, river boat ride, train, and of course the new star flyer, flying scooters, and zip line.
The park's ride manager showed us around and explained how the owner, Mickey, loves to incorporate animals as much as possible into the rides. The log flume flows through the aquarium, the sky ride gives you a bird's eye view, the train takes you through Africa as does their tram.
All in all it's a well rounded zoological park, and although the admission is more expensive than most I've visited ($39) it is privately owned and the care of the animals is expensive. Rides are pay per ride, cash only. While most zoos do have upcharges for their attractions, with the new additions bringing their count to 10, I would think a rides pass option would be in their future.
So if you are in the area, go check it out. I mean I suppose you could run in, get the credit, and run out, but why? You could easily spend 4+ hours there, we did.
Hey look, our own private island!
The unofficial official mascot of the zoo, the Macaw. The owner is a bird lover which probably explains why the birds are throughout the zoo, but hey, I'm not complaining!
Via Garbles: "Why do they stand on one leg, where does it go?"
It wouldn't be Arizona without some Mexican
Ah yes, our chariot awaits us.
The Llamas could care less that we are here.
I have to hand it to them, the incorporation of the animals into the ride area makes a seemingly bland ride(for seasoned coaster whores) pretty cool. But don't let this seemingly bland ride fool you, it will kick you around.
Satisfied and not ashamed it was time to check out the rest of the zoo. (Yes, I've put on a few and working hard to make those few disappear)
Who knew they had hunting season in Phoenix. I kid.
Hey, mind your own business.
That's what I thought.
Look, I'm sorry! Don't jump! It's not worth it!
Off we go to the Flying Birds!
Fly little birdie, fly, set yourself freeeee
So Jake and I sort of freaked out the ride ops. See me straight back in the red pointing towards the sky? Well, they'd never seen that happen before and genuinely thought something was wrong! So much like Mr. Bird here, they had their eye on us! Luckily we were with the Rides Manager who explained to them the art of snapping. Well, no snapping here, but fun as hell.
If you say so.
Totally feel ya man, we're pretty bummed about the presidential choices ourselves.
If you poke the monkey...
...the monkey makes loud noises and freaks you out.
Monkey then acts like nothing happened.
The Zoo also installed a zipline thingy. Jake and I were going to ride together, but our combined weight said otherwise.
So being the good friend I am, I sent Jake up alone. Jake isn't a fan of heights. This thing hauls some serious ass, we're told it gets up to 28mph.
Incase you need more aerial action, check out the sky ride.
Yes yes. Ahem. "Guess what day it is, woot woot" (This was written on Wednesday, coincidence? I think not)
"Mike, Mike Mike Mike Mike"
"*sniff* do you eat broccoli? *sniff* cause that smells good. *sniff* man that smells good."
"Was it something I did?"
The Giraffes are more than happy to show you their tongues.
The Africa section is really nice with plenty of room for the animals to roam, you know, like it should be.
They offer tram tours that take you through various exhibits.
"You can't see me!"
Finally we hit up the log flume.
Which was very well themed and very well maintained. Animals greeted you throughout the journey.
The aquarium is next to the flume which you are able to ride through. Neato.
These guys have it made.
For the log flume lift hill enthusiasts. So to the right and straight ahead is part of the aquarium. You can feed the stingrays or feed yourself at a local Phoenix chain called Dillions. You can choose to eat by the shark tank or with the one legged flamingos on the patio.
Like I mentioned earlier there is enough to do here that you could spend most of the day, so unless you are an awful credit whore, spend some time here, you will enjoy it.
And with that, we're down and out.
Last edited by chadster on Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:25 pm.
The little coaster actually looks pretty decent, as does the log flume.
chadster wrote: Now I know what some of you are already thinking, that we just went to ride the kiddie coaster, and while that did play a factor in our decision, the reality is we both like zoos, so it was the best of both worlds.
This looks like a cool place that I could easily spend most of the day in. I love zoos to begin with, so add in a few worthwhile rides on top of that? What's not to love! The coaster looks like it would be a blast as well, regardless of size. Thanks for sharing!
MIAfan88 wrote:I've been here multiple times over my life, but haven't in about 4 years when the Log Flume was added. It looks like an entire new area was added.
That is correct, it is an entire new expansion on the Southwest side of the property and is quite large - and they are still adding animals to it!
Chad captured everything pretty great! I was most shocked by how big the place was and how many exhibits they had. Tons of cats in different places, land animals, birds, plus like 3-4 aquariums. And the new rides were great choices. Agreed that POP should be an option here though that includes rides.
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