Tuesday, July 17, 2018
We had a great time today at the WNC. The park is very reasonably priced, with me and three kids totaling $35. The staff were all very knowledgeable and engaged. All the animals had access to water and shade. The otter show was really enjoyable, as was the deer feeding.
A few things to note for your trip:
1. Arrive as soon as the park opens, at 10 AM. Go directly to the large animal exhibits. You are much more likely to see them out and active earlier in the day; as the sun rises they are more likely to go into the shade and nap, which will make them harder to see. You can go back and do the indoor (air-conditioned!), exhibits when the sun is highest in the sky.
2. Pack a lunch. There is no concession stand on site. We brought a compact rolling cooler. There is a playground and picnic area at the back end/halfway point of the park, with restrooms and a fountain. I recommend stopping there to rest before moving on.
3. This may not be the best place for people with health issues. There is a significant amount of walking, and shortcuts through the park all have stairs. I did not see any motorized carts available. If you really want to come with someone who has a hard time walking, it would be best to call ahead and ask what they can do to accommodate you.
4. Have realistic expectations. It is a zoo, not a circus. If one or two animals are unavailable, it shouldn’t ruin your day. The whole place is filled with natural beauty, with song birds in the trees and the sounds of leaves in the wind and miniature waterfalls. You will still have lots to see even if a few animals aren’t available.