Earlier this year, Drusillas bid goodbye to Thomas the Tank Engine and welcomed in a new African-themed attraction, Go Safari! Their biggest ever attraction, Go Safari features three rides – the Safari Express train, Hippopotobus and the Flying Cheetahs.
Last month, we were invited to visit Drusillas to see what we thought of the new attraction and the rest of the Park.
What is Drusillas?
For those of you that may not be familiar with Drusillas Park, it is a small zoo in Alfriston, East Sussex, and home to over 100 different species of animals. What makes it a great day out is that it’s really geared towards children of all ages with lots of interactive activities throughout the zoo, plus two adventure parks (Go Wild! for children aged 6-11 and Go Bananas! for under 6s), Amazon Adventure indoor soft play, Get Wet! splash pad, Hello Kitty Secret Garden and the new Go Safari! attraction.
Our day out
My two really enjoyed looking at all the animals, and Jacob loved collecting stamps on the way round for his Animal Spotter book. As both boys are quite young (3 and 1), they were a bit young to really get into the Zoolympics challenges, but us adults gave them a go! Although they did seem to gravitate towards the farmyard, rather than the more exotic animals, they also loved the meerkat enclosure, where they could view the meerkats from a dome in the centre of the enclosure, and enjoyed seeing all the monkeys. As a parent of pre-school aged children, I sometimes find their attention can wander in a zoo, especially if the animals aren’t being active enough for them, but that wasn’t the case here as there were so many interactive activities around, and lots of buttons to push and flaps to lift – Lucas’ idea of heaven!
There are also a couple of walk-through enclosures where you can get up close and personal with Lemurs and Rainbow Lorikeets (which you can even feed). Jacob wasn’t so keen on this – he didn’t want the birds to touch him, so we unfortunately had to rush though these, but I can imagine slightly older children really enjoying this.
As this was the reason for our visit – we decided to split our zoo visit in half, and cut across to try the rides as soon as we saw them. Jacob was very excited about the Hippopotabus and the Flying Cheetahs, and as Lucas was also allowed to ride, all four of us could try out the rides together. Jacob enjoyed the Hippopotabus, but I think it was a bit fast for Lucas, and he wasn’t as happy, so for us the Flying Cheetahs was the clear favourite. The children wear seatbelts, so we could sit them next to each other in the front seats without needing to keep a hold on them, while we squeezed in the back (be warned it’s a bit of a tight squeeze for two adults). The front seats have steering wheels, which the boys absolutely loved, and a button that controlled how high the cheetah flew. We were lucky as it was a relatively quiet day, so the queues for the rides were quite small, but I could imagine they could get pretty long in the summer months so I’d advise you plan your day accordingly – the queues definitely got longer as the day went on.
After this we went to ride the Go Safari! Express, a train which takes you on a loop through the park, past the splash pad and a few other exhibits. Alongside the train are some new animatronics including a roaring lion and laughing hyenas, which the kids found really funny.
We opted to buy lunch, rather than bringing a picnic, so went to the Explorers Café, but there is a nice sized picnic area near the Go Safari train station should you decide to bring your own food, plus there are a few attractions around to keep the kids busy too, including an inflatable slide and panning for gold.
There was lots of choice at the Explorers Café, with a selection of both sandwiches and hot meals. Highchairs are available for the little ones, and there’s a buggy park near the entrance so you don’t have people tripping over your pushchair while you’re sitting down to eat. What was really great was the bottomless ice-cream, where you can basically make your own mini sundae with a choice of sauces and sprinkles, and of course you can keep coming back for more throughout the day as you keep your tub. This was a great treat for our two, and provided sufficient bribery to make sure they ate all of their lunch!
The Rest of the Park
After lunch, we went to Hello Kitty Secret Garden. We’d not been in here in previous visits and it was smaller than I’d expected, with three rides, but all were perfectly suited for the age of my two – probably a bit young for older children.
As it was a reasonably warm day, next we headed over to the Get Wet! splash pad. We’d come prepared with swimming costumes and towels, so the boys could get stuck in, but maybe weren’t prepared enough for ourselves! Jacob found the water a bit too cold, but he enjoyed controlling the jets and spraying water around the splash pad to get the rest of us wet, before trying out the adventure park, which can be accessed from staircases in the splash pad zone. Be aware that this leads you to Go Wild, which is aimed at slightly older children, so if you’ve got little ones you’ll probably have to follow to help them, as there are lots of cargo nets!
Overall, we had a fantastic day out at Drusillas. There was so much to see and do, with something for all the family. We’ll definitely be back again to fly on those Cheetahs!
If you’re planning a visit to Drusillas this summer, book your tickets here and save £2 per person on the gate price. https://www.drusillas.co.uk/buy-online-tickets
- To avoid queues on the rides, head there early in the day, then do the zoo in the afternoon when it’s quieter.
- Bring swimsuits and a change of clothes for the splash pad – not just for the kids! Parents – you’ll get wet too!
We were provided with one free family ticket for the purposes of this review. Our views are our own honest opinion, and reflect our personal experience on the day.