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 (550 acres or 2.2 square kilometres) or 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
- Busch Gardens Tampa Bay 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
- 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
- Wild Adventures in Valdosta, Georgia
- Wildlands Adventure Zoo Emmen in Emmen, Netherlands
- Wildlife World 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
- 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
- Features a Monorail attraction, Carousel, Motion Simulator experience, and rideable miniature railway.
- Features a Carousel, Boat Ride (like an Old Mill ride but entirely outside), North American Wilderness Train, Camel Ride, Pony Ride, 2 Kids' Playground Areas, and it is combined with Zoombezi Bay and Jungle Jack's Landing
- 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
- Features a Jungle Carousel, Safari Train, Family Roller Coaster, and Safari Sky Ride
- Features a log flume, a carousel, a small roller coaster, and miscellaneous rides for small children.
- Features a Safari Sky Ride, Jungle Carousel, Safari Train, Kids' Playground Area, and Zip Line
- Features a Jungle Carousel, Doughnut Ride, Plane Ride, Safari Jeep Ride, Sky Ride, Outback Train, Family Roller Coaster, and Kids' Playground Area
- Features a Carousel, Log Ride (like a Log flume but with no lift hills or splash drops), Safari Train, and Kids' Playground Area
- Features a "Sky Safari" attraction, Motion Simulator experience, and Double Decker Bus Tour
- Features a Safari Vehicular Tour, Hot Air Balloon Experience, Carousel, And Zip Line Adventure.
- Features a Vehicular Tour, Jungle Carousel, Pony Ride, Horse Carriage Ride, and Water Park