San Diego questions

Discussion in 'California & the West' started by fly girl, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. fly girl

    fly girl DIS Veteran

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    I've been to San Diego many times through work, but now I'm planning a 3 day trip with my family.

    The one place I have yet to discover is Coronado, and I think it'll be a great place for us. The iconic Hotel del Coronado is out of price range, so I chose the Glorietta. Heard wonderful things, anyone stay there before? Good choice?

    Second, of course we are doing the zoo. Haven't been since I was a teen *cough, cough* 3 decades ago. :rolleyes1
    I don't recall going to Safari Park though. Is it worth it? Should we take a tour, and if so which one?

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. Purrkins

    Purrkins Mouseketeer

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    I would say, if you are only here for a few days, pick one. If you are here for a longer amount of time, both can work. (3 decades ago Safari Park was called the Wild Animal Park). Both are very different experiences and both are excellent. I do Safari Park 3 or 4 times a year despite living next to the zoo (which I hit up a few times a week - it's a great place for my evening jog). The zoo is a very nice traditional zoo, while the Safari Park consists of multi-acre enclosures with diverse animals wandering about (and some more traditional enclosures). It is very cool. The zoo is about 12 minutes from Coronado but Safari Park is about 30-50 (traffic depending) from Coronado. So it really depends on how long you are here, and what else you have planned.
     
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  3. fly girl

    fly girl DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the info @Purrkins! And may I add how cool is that your evening jogs are at the zoo!! :love:
     
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  5. Ndusmama

    Ndusmama DIS Veteran

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    I personally prefer the safari park/wild animal park. It's more free range. It started and continues to be the breeding na dresearch center for the actual zoo. That being said it is a 45 minute drive minimum on a good day from downtown San Diego. The zoo is a half day at best park especially if you take the bus tour. It is in balboa park which has a TON of museums and some great hikes around it.

    How old are family members going with you? Might I suggest you look into the touring buses. The buses are like a lot of the major cities, you get off and on at whatever tourist spot you want to see. Stay as long or as little as you want. They go to Coronado, balboa, seaport village, and old town.
     
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  6. fly girl

    fly girl DIS Veteran

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    My husband and I are middle age, but in good physical shape. My daughter is 9.

    I was debating 2 days on Coronado at Glorietta with Day 1, beach day. Day 2, zoo.

    The third day (before we head up to DL) is open. If we do go to the safari park, I'd definitely have us stay night 3 in that area so we are not wasting time driving back and forth.

    We've been to Sea World and Legoland in Orlando, so I thought the safari park would be something we haven't experienced. However, if they are wildly different than Orlando, it may be worth checking out.

    I wish we had more time!! Well...I guess that means we will need another vacation. That would be awful. ;)
     
  7. Ndusmama

    Ndusmama DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a good plan. You might have zoo overload but switching hotels is definitely a way to go. The safari park is outside Escondido or you could drive to coast and stay in Carlsbad (where I would stay). When you leave safari park follow the signs to the 78 freeway. From Carlsbad DL is only an hour to an hour and a half depending on what to end day of the week you leave. If you do the zoo try to take your daughter to the natural history museum or the kids science museum in balboa park. They are a five minute walk from zoo entrance.
     
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  8. Traver Freeman

    Traver Freeman Mouseketeer

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    Depends on how much you guys love zoos I guess. Doing two days back-to-back Zoo and Safari Park seems like a lot of animals to me. We have an annual pass and go to both frequently, but I don't know if I'd do them both back to back?

    Be aware that parking at the Safari Park is $15, and free at the zoo. Also at the zoo you've got Balboa park and all those museums if you wanted to visit all within walking distance.

    To add to your Coronado trip, you may want to consider heading over to Seaport Village. If you take the ferry at Ferry Landing, it's a nice boat ride and costs $4.50 per person per way, or $9 round trip. You can drive, but you'll pay for parking. Seaport Village is just over in San Diego right on the water.
     
  9. cruisehopeful

    cruisehopeful Wishing I was taking a nap on a ship.

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    The nice thing about Hotel Coronado is that you can spend a lot of time there walking around, looking at the different things they have and eat there without ever staying overnight there. Be sure to check it out if you have time.
    I am a member of the Zoo/Safari Park and like the others, prefer the Safari Park. I think you will enjoy the zoo and the zoo at least has one good restaurant (Albert's). The food at the Safari Park is terrible. There is a pizza/beer stand that did have decent pizza, but anything else we've ever eaten there has been thrown out before we could finish it, no matter how hungry we were at the time.

    Tours are good. Do any Behind the Scenes at the Zoo, or a Caravan Safari at the Safari Park. Caravan tour takes you in a truck into the big enclosure and you get to feed a giraffe and sometimes a rhino. It is very educational. If you think your 9 year old will be bored with discussion on conservation, etc, you may want to save your money and do something else.
     
  10. Traver Freeman

    Traver Freeman Mouseketeer

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    I don't mind it. But we are just talking about "fast food" style meals. They don't have anything compared to Albert's like at the zoo, though I've never eaten there.

    I think the Safari Park food is heaps better than say McDonalds or some other fast food place. However, if you compare it to Disney food, then yes it will be lacking as Disney does all food well imo.
     
  11. Gigi@Disney

    Gigi@Disney Mouseketeer

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    You can't go wrong with either, we used to live in North County and so went to the Wild Animal Park right from its opening (with a family membership) but if you're staying on Coronado with a short time frame maybe concentrate on Balboa Park. Have you checked out the City Passes?
     

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