How much time in SD Zoo?

Hi Everyone -

I’m planning to take my kids to Legoland in October. While there, we plan to spend 3 additional days seeing Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, the Safari Park, and maybe the Midway. I’m thinking we will get the City Pass for at least the non-Legoland days (since we are staying at the Legoland Hotel it appears it will be more economical to get our tickets through them.)

How long should we plan to spend at the Zoo and Safari park? Should we do one full day at each? Maybe 3/4 day and then do something else for the afternoon / evening? Due to the distance between them it doesn’t seem practical to do both in one day, but maybe I’m wrong.

Thanks in advance!

We loved both the zoo and the safari park - and I agree, it’s too much to do in a single day. We spent more time at the zoo, but because of the drive, we didn’t want to do much after the safari park - we took a stroll, had a quick swim and dinner.


They are both so wonderful and have so much (and the drive out to the zoo park is pretty far- relative to how close everything else in SD really is) that it would be extremely impractical to do both in one day.

The zoo park most definitely is a full day. The zoo can be a 3/4’s day but you will have to pick & choose what you do if you do less than 2 days. I could spend 2 days in each of them easily, but we usually only have 1 day for each so we pick & choose what to do.

1 Like

I’ll be sharing our family’s trip at some point. We did one full day at SD Zoo and thought it was about right. We saw most everything we cared to. Legoland is doable in 1 day, but 1.5 is probably best. USS Midway 3-4 hours unless you are a completionist and have to check out every single exhibit/airplane.

Definitely stay at the Legoland hotel. It is top-notch if your kids are into Legos


We have stayed at the Legoland Hotel a couple of times and our kids love it, so that is the easy part! I think we will likely do 1.25 days at Legoland.

Depending on some other factors* I may share the 0.25 day with something else (departure day and / or Safari park). But it sounds like the Safari Park is a full day thing too so now I’m not sure.

*One of which is that I have been invited to a work conference in Orlando that could encroach one or two days we were planning to be in San Diego … still debating myself on that point! :sweat_smile:

I would definitely plan on a full day for both the zoo and the safari park. The safari park is a ways from the city center, so just the drive alone means it’s going to take a whole day there. The zoo has lots of hills, and there’s so much to see, I think spending less than a day there will feel rushed. They are both so amazing! Definitely check out the bird show, it’s my favorite!


We did Legoland, Safari Park and Zoo years ago. Maybe 25.

I think the Safari Park may have recently opened. I don’t recall much there.

We did spend quite a bit of time at the Zoo tho we didn’t try to see everything. We had family living in San Diego - their 4 yo called the town Sandy Eggo and that’s what it’s been ever since. We visited favorite animals/areas at the zoo. One great thing were the misters along the walkways. Refreshing. And I lucked into a great photo - this was 35mm days. The mists made the walkway disappear so my grandson looked suspended in mid-air. Sure didn’t look like that in the view finder. He thought he was making a weird expression which went perfectly with the suspended look.

I do recall food choices being disappointingly limited. Same few things at every location. Hope that’s improved.

It’s like WDW, isn’t it? You schedule your favorites and hope you’ll be back because there’s lots to see.

1 Like

Both the Zoo and Safari Park are outstanding. You need to plan a full day at each - keeping in mind that unless it’s in the summer a full day ends roughly at sundown. In the summers there are things going on (typically “shows”) at night that have never really interested me. Sea World is also a full day. If they have fireworks, they’re worth staying for (not Disney, but still good). One note - if you go during the summer, the temperatures at the Safari Park frequently exceed 100 degrees.


Thankfully we are going in October! Even living in Arizona, we avoid the Phoenix zoo in the summer.

1 Like

Our trip was in June. I don’t recall Legoland being anything but awesome. Safari was hot and not very interesting having just opened so even more hot seeming. The Zoo was more interesting than Safari but less compelling than Legoland. :relaxed: Hoping your October trip is great!

1 Like