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  • [Other] San Diego Zoo "Safari Park"?

    Is it just me, or is anyone else out there fed up with park name changes this year? Aside from Disney California Adventure dropping the possessive earlier this summer, now the SD Wild Animal Park is changing the name so that it's more recognizable to zoo patrons? Huh???

    Not only do I think the name change seems silly, but the new name also comes with (imho) an ugly orange cartoonish logo... Also seems a little too much like the new California Adventure logo. I know I'm making a big deal out of this, but what's wrong with keeping things classic?
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  • #2
    Re: San Diego Zoo "Safari Park"?

    There was a pretty extensive writeup in another thread... this may get merged into it.

    I can understand the name change, and as annoying as it is the new name doesn't bother me. Locals know what "Wild Animal Park" is. Tourists generally don't, and as such they they assume it is just like SD Zoo and generally forgo the trip to WAP. WAP wasn't initially designed as a park, it was designed as a breeding center. Years later they opened it to the public, but it has never gotten the public foot-traffic of places like SD Zoo or LA Zoo etc. The Zoo Society is hoping the name change will bring in more people, which means more money for the animals in the long term.

    I know some people were upset about the expense of changing the name... I haven't been recently so I don't know if it was an "all at once" implementation. If they were smart they simply ordered the new merchandise as they ran out of stock... again I don't know.

    Many locals were upset that there was no community involvement in the decision. The Society decided to change the name without any imput from the community. Honestly... Disney doesn't ask Anaheim if they can change the name of a park... so again not something that bothers me.

    What does bother me is the commercialization of the park. The park used to have a monorail style tram that showed park visitors all the onsite animal enclosures. Now you pay extra to "Journey into Africa"... which makes no sense to me because you already paid admission to see the animals. This would be like paying standard park admission to get into Disneyland only to pay even more to ride each ride. Or going to Seaworld and paying park admission only to be charged a seperate admission to see the whale/dolphin show. The real kicker... you don't even see all the exhibits. If you want to see the "other" animal exhibits you have to do the Segway tour.

    I realize the money goes to helping animals but $8 for parking (SD Zoo parking by comparison is free) $100+ a person to spend the night, $79 for a zipline, $20 for a balloon ride... it just seems that the focus is on raising money not and not just enjoying the animals. As a large family we are priced out of a lot of activities we would otherwise do. I wouldn't mind spending $200+ as a group to spend the night but they want $100 a PERSON...

    We have AP's and we've been a few times. But if it was seperate from our SD Zoo AP we wouldn't bother. Wild Animal Park was just extra... we got the APs to take the kids to the SD Zoo.
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    • #3
      Re: San Diego Zoo "Safari Park"?

      Thanks for the input! A friend's family is visiting So Cal on with a City Pass, and my family will be vacationing in San Diego next year, so while doing vacation research... voila.

      I haven't been to the WAP in almost 15 years. I can only imagine that if I had an annual pass there, I'd be seriously second guessing my decision. All of those upcharges really just reinforce keeping visitors away. It just doesn't seem like a cost-effective decision, or one that would immediately benefit the animals. But, alas, it's a business thing like everything else. Such a shame...

      Oh, and thanks for the heads-up on the original thread. I had no idea it existed, and of course it's pretty buried.

      http://micechat.com/forums/other-the...me-change.html
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      • #4
        Re: San Diego Zoo "Safari Park"?

        Being from Escondido, where the WAP is, for me it isn't necessarily the park's name change that is disappointing to me. It's the gradual commercialization that Techskip mentioned. I used to go on school field trips every year to the WAP just about every year, enjoying all of the charm of the park. The monorail line, the animal exhibits, etc. I go to the park now, and most of the charm is gone. All of the upcharge attractions and the loss of the monorail have taken away from the charm of the park. The same can be said with Cedar Fair and Knott's.

        ETA: The name change is the straw that broke the camel's back.
        Last edited by caesarboxfan; 09-06-2010, 04:42 PM.
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        • #5
          Re: San Diego Zoo "Safari Park"?

          I was on the fence about a TR for SD Zoo (not a whole lot of shots to post). I decided to do it partially because of this thread. http://micechat.com/forums/other-the...y-im-late.html

          In the SD Zoo TR you can clearly see why I love the SD Zoo, and why I bought the family AP's for it. LA technically has a zoo, but I consider it an embarrassment and refuse to go even at the current discounted admission.

          WAP, or Safari Park, to me the name makes no difference. We've gone a handful of times but we see it as a "bonus" that it was part of our AP's, not a selling point. If not having it made our AP's cheaper we'd gladly give it up. It's nice to see the animals in a more natural environment but that comes at a cost. It is more difficult for small children to see a lot of the herd animals at the greater distances, and the once peaceful experience of a monorail has been replaced by a loud noisy tram. I would love to take my wife up in the balloon, but I can't justify the $20 ticket price just to go up in a balloon for a few minutes. I know in the past the Journey into Africa had a charge associated with it... I do not see it posted on the website. A "local" may be able to verify if they still charge or not. The Zipline looks fun... but again I'm not paying $80 just to ride a zipline... sorry...

          As to the rest of the park the layout is a bit disjointed. The Elephants can be viewed on two sides but either side is a "dead end" making for a confusing walk. The tigers are almost inaccessible... you have to veer off the main path and go left when you enter just to see this side of the park. The gorilla exhibit is very small, but it does a great job of getting you close to the animals. The Lion camp is amazing, as is the cheetah exhibit... the rest to me isn't worth the money getting in. SD Zoo has a LOT more to offer for roughly the same admission price.
          Last edited by techskip; 09-07-2010, 09:24 AM.
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