- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Visit the San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is a zoo in Balboa Park, San Diego, California housing over 3,700 animals of more than 650 species and subspecies.
San Diego Zoo pioneered the concept of open-air, cageless exhibits that recreate natural animal habitats. It is one of the few zoos in the world that houses the giant panda.
It is a big place - 100 acres in size and caring for thousands of animals. It's visited by more than 5 million people per year.
The San Diego Zoo is organized into animal areas. Trails connect them, each with a theme.
There's more to do than just walk around looking at the animals. They include
- Guided bus tour, which takes about half an hour and is good to get an overview of the zoo layout. There are no stops.
- Informative and entertaining animal shows, hosted by zookeepers.
- Animal encounters.
- The zoo has two 4-D Shows based on the animated films “Ice Age” and “Rio”.
- The zoo is also a botanical garden with more than 6,500 plant species. In fact, some of its plants are more exotic than the animals.
- You must also see Scripps Aviary, Polar Bear Plunge, Panda Trek, Tiger River, Underwater view of the hippo pond, Elephant Odyssey and Australian Outback.
The Backstage Pass experience
You actually don’t get to sit for the entire 90 minutes, but trust me, you aren’t going to mind.
Guests are invited up in groups to pet and be photographed with many of the animals. You also take a short walk to some of the adjacent exhibits to feed and meet other animals.
The theater itself is small, and the San Diego Zoo limits the program to 40 guests at a time.
Although there isn’t a bad seat in the house, it’s worth arriving 20 or so minutes early at the Backstage Pass Gate in Urban Jungle to try to get seats in the front row.
You’ll want to bring your camera, but go ahead and leave your zoom lens at home because the animals are practically in your lap!