Drusillas Park - The Best Zoo in the South East! | Review


Last Saturday we were invited along to Drusillas Park, for the grand opening of their brand new attraction - The Rainforest Carousel. We had the most amazing day out as a family, and I just know the littles will want to go back to visit again and again!

Widely regarded as the best small zoo in the country, Drusillas Park is a family-run business located just off the A27 near Alfriston (approximately 6 miles from Eastbourne and 12 miles from Brighton). I have such fond memories of the park from my childhood, so it was lovely to take my own children along to see all of the new additions and attractions.

They still have the wonderful animals I remember, but they are just half of the fun now. There are also a number of other fantastic attractions, including Go Wild! and Go Bananas! the huge adventure play areas, Get Wet! the splash park, and the rides at Go Safari! and Hello Kitty's Secret Garden! The Zoo Route also features three walk-through exhibits - Lemurland, Lory Landing (where you can pay £1 for nectar to feed the lorikeets!) and the Bat Cave. 

On arrival we headed straight to the Go Safari! section of the park to get our first experience of the brand new Rainforest Carousel. The beautifully designed carousel is the first of its kind in the UK, and features over 30 different rainforest animals for you to sit on, including a jaguar, a sloth and even a turtle that has been specially adapted for wheelchair users. 

The Rainforest Carousel is a perfect addition to the park, and so much fun for all of the family. Indiana and Parker wanted to ride again and again, choosing a different animal each time. Even Lilah was able to ride (the recommend age is 12 months+), and she was absolutely mesmerised by the lights and colours. The littles also tricked me into the 'snake basket' and decided to see how fast they could spin me - probably one to avoid if you don't like too much spinning!

Once we were sure the littles had definitely had enough rides on the carousel, we decided to head back to the front of the park and follow the 'zoo route'. Drusillas have a great focus on education for little ones, so there are plenty of hands-on activities and interactive displays around the park. We made sure to pick up some animal spotters books as well as a Zoo Olympics book. The big two loved spotting all of the animals and then using the stamp stations to tick them off, and the Zoo Olympics brought me right back to my childhood! Indiana completed it all and was given a lovely certificate at the end, so it's definitely worth getting stuck in and enjoying the challenges.

Our favourite part of our whole day had to be our visit to Lory Landing. We were lucky to go in at a really quiet time, so the lorikeets seemed extra hungry and flew straight over to us. One even landed on Indiana's head which she thankfully found hilarious! It did get much busier shortly after though, and guests weren't given the nectar as it was just too busy. So definitely keep that in mind when you visit.

After seeing all of the animals and a pit-stop for lunch, we ended our visit back at Go Safari! to enjoy the rest of the rides. Our big two (aged 5 and 3) were the perfect age for the attractions, and could go on all of them either alone, or with a grown up. The train ride was slightly disappointing as it is incredibly short and the animatronics are very sad looking. But if the queue is short I would say give it a go as children seemed to enjoy it!

The only negative I have of Drusillas would have to be the price of entry. They have a colour code payment system so prices depend on the time of year - with school holidays and weekends of course being more expensive. Prices vary between £63.80 - £86 for a family of four, and everyone pays the same price from aged TWO! I really feel they need to introduce an adult and child pricing structure, as it just seems so unfair to pay the same price for a 2 year old and an 32 year old. You can save a bit of money by pre-booking online though, so definitely worth planning ahead.

There really is so much to see and do at Drusillas Park; from the animals to the adventure play and brand new Rainforest Carousel - it's such a perfect day out for families with children aged 12 and under! Ticket prices may be a little high, but if you pack a picnic and spend the whole day exploring, I promise you'll have a fantastic day out!

We received entry into the park in exchange for this review. All opinions are honest and my own.

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