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Ooh Ooh Ooh, you should come too!
Member Name: jdevans67
Advantages: Relaxing, no queues, lots to do
Disadvantages: Can be expensive, especially if you don't take a picnic and decide to buy the photos!
We visited Chester Zoo at the weekend and had a lovely day. The park has changed over the years and is a lovely relaxing place to visit with the family. However, I do have to criticise the charging system for entry to the park. The price board shows two lots of prices, one is the standard charge and the other includes a donation which is around £2 extra per person. This is a great idea as the money is for the conservation programme, but, big but!, the cashier automatically charged us the full price including the donation without asking us if we wanted to pay it, this is a bit of a bullying tactic as most people would be too embarrassed to ask them to take it off. Days out for the family don't come cheap, especially when there are five of you. The donation added a considerable amount to our admission fee. It would be far nicer to have collection boxes where people could choose if they wanted to donate, and how much they wanted to give.
Most of the animal enclosures are lovely and the animals well looked after. My favourites, the elephants, monkeys, chimpanzees (hilarious) and the baby Cheetahs. We couldn't see the tigers because they have built them some sort of ledge which is totally hidden by trees so all you can see is the occasional striped leg or a glimpse of an ear!
The Orang-utan house is awful, the most depressing horrible place in the zoo, I felt sorry for the animals who all looked depressed and we couldn't wait to get out of there. It looks like a huge green concrete prison.
When we arrived at the zoo, we had our photograph taken by a photographer against a blank background. We went to find it on our way out but we had a job because there were hundreds of photos and we had not been given a ticket or anything which would have made it a lot easier to find. We eventually found it with the assistance of one of the staff but were then told that the pack would cost £17.99! The pack contained a number of photographs of us superimposed with different animals and also included on-line access to download as many photos as we wanted; it also included a fridge magnet. I couldn't help thinking that they would make far more money if they offered people the opportunity to buy one photo for a fiver, instead people were walking away with no pictures and the packs were probably thrown in the bin. What a waste!
Apart from that the day was lovely, the animals we saw were on form, the gardens are beautifully maintained, the staff were very pleasant and even though it rained (as usual) we had a lovely day. I would recommend it and am a bit ashamed that it is virtually on my doorstep but I don't go often enough.
Summary: A lovely family day out, doesn't matter if it rains
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