SD zoo help!

Discussion in 'California & the West' started by seashell724, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. seashell724

    seashell724 DIS Veteran

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    i have read SO many differing thoughts on how to best do the zoo and I am totally confused.

    Our must sees are the pandas, gorillas, hippos, tigers, giraffe, koalas. Possibly the children's zoo too. If we can do more than is it is a bonus.

    I have also heard it is a great idea to do that the guided bus tour.

    Some say do the bus first then pandas. Others say the opposite.

    I will have 2 small children with me and just don't want to be confused when I get there.

    Thanks!
     
  2. cruisehopeful

    cruisehopeful Wishing I was taking a nap on a ship.

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    I would do pandas first, unless the line is very long. The narrated bus tour is a great way to get a lay of the land and figure out what you want to go back to on foot. They have a second bus option called the Kangaroo bus, that drops off and picks up in several different areas of the zoo. That is helpful when you have small children because the zoo has a lot of walking up and down into canyons.

    If you are there for a full day, you'll have plenty of time to see everything. I believe they have just opened up a bridge that goes across a large part of the zoo. That will save going up and down some hills. The tigers are often hiding. They seem to be most active in the mornings.
     
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  4. kymom99

    kymom99 DIS Veteran

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    We went 5 years ago and we did the bus first. Then we walked and only made it around to half of the exhibits before we were tired. At the back of the zoo we were able to get on the sky lift to get back up to the front. I couldn't even tell you now what animals we saw or didn't see but we enjoyed the day. My husband even rode the sky lift and he is terribly afraid of heights, that's how tired he was. He just looked at the floor the whole time, lol!
     
  5. Purrkins

    Purrkins Mouseketeer

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    Personally, if you have never been, I'd do the bus tour first and then walk to the animals you want to spend more time with. It's a lovely zoo.
     
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  6. seashell724

    seashell724 DIS Veteran

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    But would doing the tour first make the wait time to see the pandas super long?
     
  7. ktlm

    ktlm DIS Veteran

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    Find out when they are feeding the pandas and see them then. Otherwise, they will very likely be asleep. We were there in July. We went to the Pandas first thing. We basically saw a little glimpse of fur. As we were there, they announced what time they would be feeding them and that if you wanted to see them moving and awake, that would be the time to go. I think it was around 11:30 or 12, but I'm not sure on that- or whether it changes depending on the day and time of year. We went back just before feeding time, and we got to watch them walking around and got a really good look at them. Our friends that live in the area and go to the zoo occasionally were jealous because they said in all the times they have been, they have never seen them awake. You may have to go there once, to find out when to come back for feeding-- if they are not announcing it, I would ask.

    I love the koalas! They are definitely a must see! So cute!
     
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  8. scottmel

    scottmel <font color=darkorchid>Does my logic in my origina

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    We were there this past July. As a graduation gift for DD we did a private all day tour with a zookeeper. AMAZING. There is another tour they offer called Behind the Scenes - much cheaper - but only 2 hours. However if you do a tour, DO NOT do early morning with the pandas b/c you spend a lot of time watching pandas eat. you could pick the surprise tour, and you get to visit/ feed 2 animals, tour zoo on cart and then panda stop. If you could swing this that would solve a lot of problems
     
  9. SteveMP

    SteveMP DIS Veteran

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    Out of all your must "see", tiger is the hardest. We have had passes for years and never have to wait too long for the pandas. The bus tour is a nice way to see everything if you don't like to walk or if its too hot, etc. we only do the bus tour when we have the free tickets from our membership. But overall I would just relax and enjoy it, its nothing like trying to plan for WDW.
     
  10. seashell724

    seashell724 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! So the bus tour is not a must? Would you suggest doing pandas first?
     
  11. SteveMP

    SteveMP DIS Veteran

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    The bus is a great way to cover a lot of ground in the shortest amount of time, and sitting upper level gives a great view, allowing you to see animals you may not other wise see(conversely you may have a better view of certain animals by walking). So I would recommend to someone , especially who had never been there, but wouldn't consider it a "must". Some people enjoy/prefer the walk.

    As for pandas, we tend to walk past and see how long the line is, if not too long then we may enter the exhibit. Its along one of the main roads that we use to get to other sections as well.

    We do love the skyride and go on that most times, for the view and a quick way back to the front.
     
  12. Rapunzeland

    Rapunzeland Earning My Ears

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    I can't say what order is best but try not to go on a day thats too hot...lots of sad sleepy animals hiding in the shade and hard to see
     
  13. Camonkeygirl

    Camonkeygirl DIS Veteran

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    I work at the Zoo, and my answer on what to do first varies, based on a couple of factors, mainly what time of year you are going and what time you plan on getting to the park. The Pandas open at 9:45 in the morning. With your list of must sees, if you are there at opening, 9 am, I would try the tigers first, the river hippos are at the bottom of the walkway (and if your there on Tuesday, Thursday or weekend, you may get to see our baby hippo born Sept 2017). Continue past the hippos and monkeys, and make the right. Enter Panda Trek on the left to see red pandas, takins, and mang vipers, then enter the Panda exhibit ( keep in mind their common activities are eating, sleeping and pooping. Feedings are not done at the same time everyday, but typically lunch is between 1130 and 1230. Dinner is typically around 3-330, but not a guarantee as Bai Yun has been known to come back out and go right to sleep). From there depends on how well the Little’s are walking. You can either take the left out of Pandas, staying right at the intersection up hill to the giraffes and koalas, or go up the escalator (or elevator after March ‘18)to see the gorillas and load the bus. Out of the animals you listed, giraffes will be seen from the bus, and koalas are a maybe depending where your sitting and where the koalas are.

    We also just completed a new exhibit, Africa Rocks, with penguins, sharks, baboons, lemers and more that is also fun to check out.
     

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