York’s Wild Kingdom – Best Zoo / Amusement Park in Maine!
York’s Wild Kingdom is a family-oriented zoo and amusement park centrally located in York Beach, Maine on 1 Animal Park Road. Surrounded by beautiful forest and natural wetlands, the zoo is situated on 25 acres that have been set aside for the preservation of ecology. The amusement park sits adjacent to the quaint shops and restaurants for which downtown York is famous. The Ferris wheel offers a uniquely memorable view of the ocean waves and sandy beaches. With 75 beautifully landscaped animal exhibits, 18 rides for all ages, five food and ice cream stands, and two gift shops, visitors of all ages will enjoy an entire day of fun.
York’s Wild Kingdom opens annually in late May around Memorial Day weekend and remains open through the summer until the latter part of September. Hours may vary depending on time of year – check online for the current schedule based on your date of visit.
Some highlights of the Zoo include the Butterfly Kingdom, Duck Feeding, Petting Zoo, Deer Encounter, and Animal Presentations. They also participate in breeding programs, environmental enrichment and conservation. You can see the full list of their animals HERE.
But WAIT! There’s MORE! There is also an amusement park! This park has rides for people of all ages. So no matter who you are with – everyone can participate fully. And in addition to the rides there is a miniature golf course, batting cages, midway games for just $1.00, a large arcade and so incredibly close to Short Sands Beach in York Maine.
We visited the park on what I would consider to be the perfect day. The weather was partly cloudy and temperature about 77 degrees. So not too hot and definitely not cold. This was the perfect day to walk around and enjoy everything this park had to offer.
Upon arriving at the park there were parking attendants guiding all drivers to an open spot. It was very orderly and clearly these attendants knew exactly what they were doing. We did not have to park offsite anywhere but there was a trolley which I assume traveled to offsite locations.
Check-in was very easy – we were provided with maps that were extremely easy to decipher. Even my 8 year old was able to determine exactly where we were at any point in time. There are so many different types of environments in this park it would be difficult to decide which was our favorite. My favorite was the big cats – but the larger the animals the happier I am as evidenced by our owning an English Mastiff and Newfoundland. The lioness reminded me so much of our English Mastiff – she just sunbathed on her back the entire time. My husband loved the deer – especially their beautiful antlers. Sephora enjoyed feeding the ducks so much I never thought we would move beyond that and Anthony was happiest being surrounded by tons of goats.
We ventured through the zoo portion first then moved on to the amusements. What child doesn’t love amusements! My kids are no different. They had a blast. You can even leave the park and come back in – through the rear portion of the amusements (by the ferris wheel) you can walk right towards the beach. We walked those blocks and ate at a brick oven pizza restaurant, looked at the ocean and came back for more fun.
If you have never been to Maine beaches you have got to make a point to do so. Every single Maine Beach is very different from any other. Maine has everything from rocky shorelines to sandbars, soft beaches and more. We sometimes travel up the coast of Maine just to stop and one beach after another. It is so spectacular – we can’t get enough of it – even in the middle of winter.
Ticket prices may be found HERE. You have options based on age, zoo only, or zoo and amusements, all day unlimited rides only etc… There are also additional costs for go carts, camel rides, pony rides, snake photos, pet feed (for the petting areas). We spent quite a bit on the pet food – my kids couldn’t get enough of it. We did not participate in the camel rides or pony rides but not due to cost (which is pretty minimal) – I have severe allergies to ponies and many other animals. The kids just cannot participate in those types of activities. Although God knows they want to – badly! And we never quite made it to the go carts. I thought for sure that would have been a major priority for the kids but they were exhausted by the time we made it that far – they had no pep left in them.
Another great feature of York Wild Kingdom? They have an entire picnic section where you are allowed to bring you own coolers and really settle in for the day. That is a great feature for group outings, family trips and more!
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