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Sep 23, 2009
Busch Gardens Williamsburg said:
Guests join the Busch Gardens® zoological team behind the scenes and learn about the Company’s animal rescue program and worldwide conservation efforts.. Then spend some time behind the scenes and get a first-hand look at the enrichment activities and unique relationships we have formed with the amazing animals in our care. A few of our popular animal ambassadors include Mtoro the African serval, Pindari the wallaroo, Ellie the sloth and Titan the alligator.

Price: $27
Link: Here

Anyone been on it? Thoughts?
For what it is worth, I enjoyed this "experience," but not as much as the animal interactions at BGT and Sea World (or Discovery Cover, of course). (We went last year; not sure if/how much it has changed.) The variety of animals for our experience was good, and apparently they rotate them, so we could get different species next time. We were able to touch them, and we learned a lot about the animals and the work the park does with them. I found it interesting.

Overall, I think the park is going the right direction with the animal stuff. In my opinion (if anyone cares), one of the great things about all of the Sea World parks is all of the work they do with animals. The an8imals always seem happier than their counterparts at the zoo, and it is great to be able to interact with them in a way that is safe for them. I always learn a lot talking to the animal behaviorists and keepers, as well.

I have wished for a long time that BGW would do more with their animals. I'd love to see more animal interactions and behind the scenes tours. I really like the newish wildlife area behind Lorikeet Glen, too, but again, I wish it were bigger.

Anyway, sorry to ramble...
Thanks for your thoughts on it! I get the feeling it isn't something many people on the forum have done.
Gosh, I missed this thread. DH and I did this the first year they added the Insider tours -- we did this one, the Roller Coaster (back when it was all coasters in one tour), and the wolf one. I really thought I posted here about them at some point -- but gonna search the forums so I don't repeat myself, and of course my info is several years old now.

In short, though, Animals Up Close is really good if you like animals OR if you want a quieter "down time" type of experience, or if you are curious about some of the overnight housing for the animals.

ETA: Ok, found it -- here's what I wrote in a thread about all the Tours:

The Animals Up Close tour occurs back in the wild animal housing area. You get to walk through and see the bird cages, the sloth's cage, etc. You also spend a lot of time in this small outdoor presentation area back there, and they bring some animals out one at a time, with various levels of interaction, from getting to let one of the parrots perch on you for a picture to some supervised petting of the more docile animals. We had some of the parrots as I mentioned, the wallaroo, the sloth was cranky so they didn't get him/her out, etc. The animals are the smaller, more docile ones that they also take to school programs and the like.

My information is a bit dated now, though, as I did these tours the first year they were introduced, in 2009. Maybe some others can chime in with other observations and details.

I think they definitely give you a great behind-the-scenes look and if the topic of a particular tour interests you I don't think you would regret doing one, provided you have plenty of time to take in all the regular attractions you want to see as well.

The Wolf tour is less "up close," for obvious reasons; you stay in the area where the wolf/predators show is given, get information about the wolves' training and care routines, and then get the chance to give a wolf one cue/command.
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I wrote a review of the ultimate tour elsewhere, it was really fun but you have to be into animals if your not a kid. Also, sloths.
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