Lion Country Safari is a zoo with no cages. Instead, many of the 900 animals, including the largest zebra herd outside of Africa, roam its 320 acres freely. During drive-through safaris, cars tour seven sections of the preserve?which represent different areas such as western Zimbabwe and the Serengeti?to see llamas, asiatic water buffalo, chimpanzees, and white rhinoceros. Lions have a section all to themselves so that they don't prey on other animals or disturb them with giggles from the pride's late-night slumber parties.
In addition to the four-mile drive, Lion Country Safari's Safari World allows guests to explore rides and attractions as they visit with animals on foot. They can feed giraffes, practice animal-massage techniques at the petting zoo, or hop on the carousel next to Lake Shanalee's paddleboat rides. After kids splash through the interactive Safari Splash waterpark, which includes two brand-new water slides, they can hop onto the ferris wheel or ask exotic birds for advice on how to fly.
Cardboard cutouts clad with cartoon superheroes and banners featuring beloved Hollywood starlets bedeck the walls of the Movies at Wellington lobby, reminding patrons why film viewing has become such a time-tested American pastime. Buttered popcorn kernels glint through front counters like diamonds in a jewelry-store case, luring those who want a snack while watching the newest releases in digital projection or innovative RealD 3D display. Guests can also question ticket takers about birthday-party packages for 25 guests, which offer unlimited popcorn, soda refills, and a tour of the attic, in which the projectionist stores his hand puppets.
For more than 30 years, the horseback-riding instructors at Ibis Farm have helped students young and old take the reins with confidence and win ribbons at the show grounds nearby. Equestrians of all levels swing into the saddle during private and group lessons, learning the basics of horse care, hunt-seat riding, and the necessary amount of sugar cubes to convince a stallion to let you name it "Herman." Ibis also offers boarding services for those who already own horses and ponies, providing daily turnouts into the six onsite paddocks, feeding and watering, a fly-spray system, and fans.