Go Wild at the WAP!

A relatively short drive out of downtown San Diego finds you at one of my very favorite spots to bring family and friends.  Affectionally called the WAP by locals, the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park is located in North County San Diego (Escondido) and encompasses nearly 1700 acres!

Taking a nap at the Lion Camp exhibit

Taking a nap at the Lion Camp exhibit

Being further inland than the Zoo, the climate makes it perfect for African and Asian animals.  And with so much land available, the WAP is able to create a more natural area for the animals to live in.

The Journey into Africa tour included in their Best Value ticket gives you a great overall perspective of lower enclosures of the Park in just 30 minutes.  Animals of different species mix freely in large “exhibit” areas – much in the way I would imagine them to do in nature.

Can you spare some wrinkle cream?

Can you spare some wrinkle cream?

 

Part of the really cool element of the Wild Animal Park is their “premium features”.  Take a Photo Caravan tour through either the African or Asian enclosures, and you will truly be up close and personal with these animals.  You’ll even get a chance to feed giraffes or rhinos!  If you don’t plan on going on a true African Safari in the next say 30 or 40 years, this is absolutely a once-in-a-lifetime experience!  The WAP’s new Flightline experience looks totally cool as well.  I haven’t had the chance to experience it myself yet, but am looking forward to it.  And in a truly imaginative way of mixing technology and nature, the Park’s Rolling Safari tour has you touring around the outside of enclosures on a Segway!  Too bad our caveman ancestors didn’t have these babies…hunting would have been much easier!

On the Rolling Safari Segway Tour at the Wild Animal Park

On the Rolling Safari Segway Tour at the Wild Animal Park

Another experience at the WAP that I have been wanting to do for YEARS is their Roar & Snore sleepover program.  They’ve got nice, canvas tents set up on a hill overlooking the African enclosure where you get to camp overnight!  Campers are treated to the growls of lions and the calls of various animals all night.  (You thought your husband snored loudly!)  The experience includes behind-the-scenes tours of the Park, your meals, and special animal presentations – this ain’t your typical camping experience!  They’ve got Family nights, Adults Only nights and even nights just for Girl Scout troops.  These experiences are so popular that they book up fast, so I’d recommend booking plenty in advance if you’re interested.

This entry was posted in Attractions, Family Vacations, Insider Tips, Outdoor Adventures and tagged , , , , , by Benjamin Eastman. Bookmark the permalink.
Benjamin Eastman

About Benjamin Eastman

I lead a pretty active lifestyle and try to spend as much time outdoors as possible. On any given Saturday morning you'll find me on one of San Diego's beach volleyball courts and quite possibly on the water or a hiking trail at some other point during the weekend. As a single professional I definitely enjoy experiencing the nightlife throughout the county - but lean more towards the Gaslamp Quarter, North Park or Hillcrest when planning a night out. I love to eat, and try to keep my ear to the grapevine about new and exciting restaurant openings.  And while I'm certainly excited to try the latest, trendiest restaurant in town, I am also infamously known for late night trips to 24-hour taco shops. Basically, whether I'm in board shorts or a bow tie, I try to enjoy all the many opportunities available to me in San Diego!What would you do on your ideal San Diego day?I’d start with a leisurely, late morning brunch.  Spend some time on the beach.  Grab some rolled tacos at a taco stand and then grab a nap.  In the evening I’d hit the Gaslamp District for dinner and then end the night at a rooftop bar/lounge.If you were invisible, where would you go?If I got to pick a superpower, I don’t know that I would pick invisibility…but if I were to become Mr. Invisible, I guess I would go to all the live music, theater and symphony performances in town.What is your favorite San Diego outdoor activity?On a beautiful, San Diego day there is nothing better than playing beach volleyball.  The sun on your back, a gentle ocean breeze, and a whole lot of bump, set, spiking!  And of course the perfect day of beach volleyball isn't complete without a grill to barbeque some burgers or carne asada on.Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguine and red wine?Both actually!  That’s the beauty of the San Diego food scene.  I CAN have my cake and eat it too!  Depending on my mood (and my finances!) I am happy to chow down at a hole-in-the-wall neighborhood burger joint or a luxury steakhouse. I'm actually a founding member of a Burger lunch group that eats at a different burger restaurant each month.  We've been going for 6 months now and still have plenty of locations to visit before we exhaust all our options!

3 thoughts on “Go Wild at the WAP!

  1. I’ve experienced the Roar and Snore at the WAP and it was fabulous. After the daytime guests go home, we had the park all to ourselves. The after-dark behind-the-scenes tour was exciting & educational. Meeting animals up close around the campfire (with their handlers) was too much fun. Waking up right next to the giraffes and kangaroos was amazing. Taking an early morning walk was awesome. It was an unforgettable experience. I highly recommend it.

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