Paradise Wildlife Park is a superb zoo and dinosaur park in Hertfordshire. We visited because we had the benefit of half-price entry. It is one of the smaller zoos we have visited with our annual zoo passes, but the wildlife park manages to have some notable animals on show. What the park lacks in space, it makes up for in the range of activities available. The Paradise Wildlife Park dinosaurs are an impressive addition to the real-life animals on show.
The site is split in two with the car park in the middle. To get from one side to the other, you have to cross the busy entrance road. The two sides are the dinosaur side and the zoo side. The entrance is on the dinosaur side.
Paradise Wildlife Park Dinosaurs
We know our stuff when it comes to dinosaur parks in the UK. Paradise Wildlife Park has some of the best dinosaur animatronics that we have seen. They have official Jurassic Park rights and they use them well. The range and movement of the dinosaurs on display were excellent. The jeep escaping from the T-rex was a highlight for the parents. Everything was a big “Wow” from the kids, from the spitting Dilophosaurus to spotting the baby Triceratops in the long grass.
Oddly, the website focuses a lot on the Dino daycare aspect, which looked good but is far from the best bit. There just wasn’t much to it. Also disappointing was the train, which you have to pay extra for. It takes you on a quick loop of the older, immobile dinosaur models. The kids loved it, and it would have been fine if it was included in the entry price, but not worth the extra.
Overall the dinosaur section of Paradise Wildlife Park was fabulous. However, it only took about an hour to walk around. Many dinosaur attractions spread their models out along a walk. At Paradise, they are squeezed into a small area, so you encounter one dinosaur after another in quick succession.
Paradise Wildlife Park Animals
The animals at Paradise Wildlife Park are housed in some incredible enclosures. As you enter the zoo side of the park, you are immediately hit by the beautiful, new Lion Pride Lands. When we first arrived, there were no lions in view. When they did appear, they were as majestic as their surroundings which included a replica interior of a baobab tree.
The other big cat enclosures were also excellent, although the views of the animals were not as good as Thrigby Hall in Great Yarmouth, where the views are second to none. The kids loved the cheetah the best of the big cats.
Other well-made enclosures to note were the penguins (great overhead view), the outback walk and the camels. The camels might not sound like much, but I don’t think you see them in zoos very often up close and they truely are cool animals. I enjoyed them anyway.
Over on the dinosaur side of the park, you will find a few more animals if you look closely. There is an awesome pack of wolves, a gorgeous red fox and a few reindeer. These are all worth seeking out. This area is also a lot more peaceful than the main zoo area.
There are feeding talks throughout the day in the zoo. We caught the penguins (always a highlight), the red pandas and the otters. I can also recommend the Bird show. The aviaries are a little out of the way but worth tracking down to watch them fly some elegant and interesting birds.
The animal part of the park is reasonably small, so Paradise zoo has made good use of raised platforms and walkways. This ensures a pleasant and unobtrusive view of the animals most of the time. It does feel claustrophobic at times, especially at busy times. For example, when talks are on or when you encounter a school group.
Playgrounds at Paradise
There are playgrounds scattered liberally around the zoo. In the dinosaur half, there is some themed play equipment, including a pirate area to explore. They also have some converted trains here which were loved by the kids. On the animal side, the first thing you will see is a giant slide, an immediate favourite with the children. Tucked away behind the crazy golf course (which costs extra) you will find another small playground with some fun things, including a converted fire engine.
Paradise Wildlife Park Prices
I was surprised that Paradise Wildlife Park was the most expensive zoo on my list of wildlife parks that we could get discounted entry to with our passes. It is pricey compared to many other zoos in the East of England. We also found that food and drink prices were high, and there were plenty of entertainment things to spend money on too. You can find a full list of entry prices here.
Annual Pass and Discount Scheme
Paradise Wildlife Park is part of the BIAZA zoos discount scheme in the east of England. This means if you have an annual pass for one of the zoos in the programme you get half-price entry to all the other zoos and aquariums in the scheme. We have a pass to Linton Zoo which saved us £40 on admission to Paradise Zoo. You can read reviews and pricing details of all the zoos in this post. The other zoos in the scheme are:
- Africa Alive!
- Amazona Zoo
- Banham Zoo
- Jimmy’s Farm
- Linton Zoo
- Paradise Wildlife Park
- Raptor Foundation
- Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure
- SEA LIFE Great Yarmouth
- Shepreth WIldlife Park
- Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens
- Woodside Wildlife Park