Disneyland Resort and Southern California LIVE! Guidebook

PassPorter's Disneyland LIVE! Guidebook
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San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

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No trip to San Diego is complete without a visit to the San Diego Zoo, about 95 miles southwest of Disneyland. Located on 100 acres in San Diego’s historic Balboa Park, the zoo is home to more than 3,700 animals and 700,000 plants, and most of its residents are rare or endangered.

Arguably the most popular animals at the zoo are the panda family (including mother, father, and son) on exhibit at the Giant Panda Research Station in the Panda Canyon section. Visit this exhibit early for more time to watch these animals eat, play, and interact with each other.

Eight more Animal Zones fill the park. Africa Rocks is currently undergoing a $68 million transformation of its African-themed habitat, set to open in 2017. The Asian Passage features an underwater viewing area for sun bears, plus three viewing areas for macaques. The Lost Forest showcases four acres of jungle animals, including visitor favorites hippopotamuses and otters (both of which have underwater viewing areas). This is also where you’ll find gorillas, as well as several monkey and chimp species in a habitat filled with lush greenery and waterfalls. The Outback represents Australia with kangaroos, koalas, and wallabies from “down under,” and all of the eucalyptus leaves that the koalas nibble on are grown right in San Diego. Northern Frontier features polar bears and Siberian reindeer in a two-acre exhibit including an underwater viewing area where you can get up-close and personal with the playful polar bears. Urban Jungle is all about giraffes! Discovery Outpost houses the Children’s Zoo, turtles, tortoises, and the reptile house. Elephant Odyssey explores the ancient past of Southern California with current wildlife species (lions, jaguars, elephants, rattlesnakes, condors) and fossil evidence (mammoths, sloths, tapirs, and saber-toothed cats).

The San Diego Zoo isn’t all about exhibits! Take a break and enjoy some of the informational and fun shows, where you can get to know the birds, sea life, or primates a little better. And kids of all ages love lingering around the Children’s Zoo, to pet an animal or get a close look at tiny insects.

For an overview of the zoo and its inhabitants, we recommend a Guided Bus Tour (included with admission), which offers a 35-minute tour of the park with a well-informed driver/guide. ASL-interpreted tours are available with advance notice. For all guest-interpreting requests, reservations should be made one week in advance of the day of the visit by calling 619-231-1515, ext. 4526.

The Skyfari Aerial Tram (included with admission) transports guests from the Children’s Zoo area near the entrance of the zoo to the polar bear exhibit area, saving you a long hike. The Skyfari also gives you a great overview of the zoo, Balboa Park, and the San Diego downtown area, and is especially beautiful during the twilight and evening hours.







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