An animal theme park, also known as a zoological theme park, is a combination of a theme park and a zoological park, mainly for entertainment, amusement, and commercial purposes. Many animal theme parks combine classic theme park elements, such as themed entertainment and amusement rides, with classic zoo elements such as live animals confined within enclosures for display. Many times, live animals are utilized and featured as part of amusement rides and attractions found at animal theme parks.
Two examples of animal theme parks are Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida (580 acres or 2.3 square kilometres) and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida (335 acres or 1.36 square kilometres). These commercial parks are similar to open-range zoos and safari parks according to size, but different in intention and appearance, containing more entertainment and amusement elements (stage shows, amusement rides, etc.).
The term "animal theme park" can also be used to describe certain marine mammal parks, oceanariums, and more elaborate dolphinariums, such as SeaWorld, which offers amusement rides and additional entertainment attractions, and are also where marine animals such as whales are kept, contained, put on display, and are sometimes trained to perform in shows.
In 2010 the practice of keeping animals as trained show performers in theme parks was heavily criticized when a trainer was killed by an orca whale at SeaWorld Orlando in Florida.
List of animal theme parks
Zoological theme parks
- Bellewaerde in Zonnebeke, Belgium
- Busch Gardens Tampa in Tampa Bay, Florida
- Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia
- Chessington World Of Adventures in Surrey, England
- Disney's Animal Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Florida
- Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire, England
- Gatorland in Orlando, Florida
- Happy Hollow Park & Zoo in San Jose, California
- Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania
- Kalahari Resorts in Sandusky, Ohio
- Le Pal in Saint-Pourçain-sur-Besbre, France
- Lion Country Safari in Loxahatchee, Florida
- Parc Safari in Hemmingford, Quebec
- Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California
- Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey
- Taman Safari in Bogor, Indonesia
- Tobu Zoo in Miyashiro, Saitama
- Wild Adventures in Valdosta, Georgia
- Wildlands Adventure Zoo Emmen in Emmen, Netherlands
- Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park, Arizona
- York's Wild Kingdom in York Beach, Maine
Marine theme parks (marine mammal parks and oceanariums)
- Aquatica in Orlando, Florida, Chula Vista, California and San Antonio, Texas
- Boudewijn Seapark in Sint-Michiels, Bruges, Belgium
- Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida
- Epcot in Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, Florida
- Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
- Ocean Park Hong Kong in Hong Kong, China
- Sea World in Gold Coast, Australia
- SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas
- SeaWorld San Diego in San Diego, California
- SeaWorld Orlando in Orlando, Florida
- Bali Safari and Marine Park in Bali, Indonesia
Zoos with amusement attractions
Most zoos have a Carousel and/or Safari Train but some zoos have more amusement attractions than that.
- Bronx Zoo in New York City, New York
- Features a Monorail attraction, Carousel, zip-line course, and obstacle course for children
- Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell, Ohio
- Franklin Park Zoo in Boston Massachusetts
- Granby Zoo in Granby, Quebec
- Features a Pony Ride, Camel Ride, Monorail, 3D Cinema, Carousel, Ferris Wheel, Roller Coaster, Pirate Ship, Bumper Cars, Indoor Kids' Playground Area, and Water Park
- Indianapolis Zoo in Indianapolis, Indiana
- Features a Jungle Carousel, Safari Train, Family Roller Coaster, and Safari Sky Ride
- Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida
- Features a log flume, a carousel, a small roller coaster, and miscellaneous rides for small children.
- Metro Richmond Zoo in Chesterfield County, Virginia
- Features a Safari Sky Ride, Jungle Carousel, Safari Train, Kids' Playground Area, and Zip Line
- Oakland Zoo in Oakland, California
- Features a Jungle Carousel, Doughnut Ride, Plane Ride, Safari Jeep Ride, Sky Ride, Outback Train, Family Roller Coaster, and Kids' Playground Area
- Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Features a Carousel, Log Ride (like a Log flume but with no lift hills or splash drops), Safari Train, and Kids' Playground Area
- San Diego Zoo in San Diego, California
- San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, California
- Singapore Zoo in Singapore
- Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C.
- Toledo Zoo in Toledo, Ohio
- Drusillas Zoo Park near to Alfriston, in East Sussex, UK.
- Features the Eden's Eye maze, The Flying Cheetahs ride, the Hippopotobus ride, a Hello Kitty car ride, a tea cup ride, a "reach for the sky" hopper ride, an adventure play area separated for different age groups, an indoor soft play centre, and the Safari Express train ride