Thursday, July 04, 2019

Our VIP Family Experience in Fota Wildlife Park ♥

*We were invited to Fota on a VIP Family Experience, however, as always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own.

On Monday we headed off to Fota Wildlife Park for a VIP Family Experience, having kindly being invited along to see what it was all about. Fota Wildlife Park is a place I've frequented since I was a baby and I've brought my own boys along many times too - it is, after all, just ten minutes down the road from us.




The only experiences I've ever had in Fota before were where you buy your tickets and walk around at your own pace, seeing what you like when you like - we usually end up spending most of our time in the playground as the boys love the three that Fota have, but this experience was a whole lot different and in my opinion, a whole lot better!

The VIP Family Experience starts at €165 for a family of two adults and four children and lasts for two hours. I think this is amazing value for what the experience has to offer and I love that Fota have included four children within this package as usually everything is a standard two adults/two children and this means that days out and experiences can become quite costly for larger families - but not at Fota! It's important to note thought that children have to be four and over to do the VIP Family Experience, so sadly Beau wasn't able to join us for this, but we'll take him in the future.

We were greeted at reception where we were asked to sign a T&Cs form (health and safety and all that) and then met our guide for the morning, Lesley, who would be taking us on our VIP Family Experience.

We were all given hi-vis jackets and the boys (Tyler and his best friend Luke) were delighted with themselves. Off we then went on our buggy, which Lesley used to drive us around the park and to the various animal houses.

The VIP Family Experience offers a complete behind the scenes and up close and personal tour of Fota and the animals it has living there. It's an amazing experience, especially for children (and adults!) who love animals as you really get to interact with the animals, learn their names, feed them, etc. - all things that a standard visit to Fota don't guarantee.

Lesley first brought us to the kitchen at Fota where all the animal feed is prepared and we then went to the giraffe house - Tyler and I's favourite park of the whole experience. To be that up close and personal with the giraffes was amazing. We were able to feed them - you can see Tyler up above with the bucket and learned their names and little about their personalities from Lesley. We were full of questions for her during our experience and she was able to answer everything.

We then went past the seal pool where we met Ariel and Elvis (who is in fact a girl!) and saw Lesley giving them a fish. I love seals so loved seeing them come right up to the fences for a treat.

On we went to the penguins, where we all got to feed them. The penguins were adorable and came right up to us - close enough to snatch the fish from our hands!

The boys had great fun feeding the penguins and thought they were hilarious!

We were then taken to the tropical house where we were taking behind the scenes to the breeding room. In the room where tanks with various animals and fish that Fota has included within it's breeding programme. Something that really stood out to me was the fish which are extinct in the wild, but which are thriving at Fota, quite sad that they're no longer in the wild but I'm glad that Fota has been able to breed them successfully.

The boys were able to pet a bearded dragon called Dude in the tropical house and they loved him.

We also got to feed the monkeys - the boys were laughing the whole time giving them peanuts. We were able to through fish in over the fence for the tigers, which were beautiful! We got the full ranger experience and it was so interesting to go behind the scenes and learn more about the animals in Fota, instead of just seeing them and walking on as we always do.

One of the highlights of our VIP Family Experience was getting to feed the rhinos. We were driven behind the public viewing point of the rhinos and were able to feed them, touch them and see them up close. I'll never forget it.

It's one of those things which really makes you think 'wow'. It's not every day that you can say you've fed and touched a rhino!

Tyler says about the VIP Family Experience at Fota Wildlife Park - "It was fun. The giraffes were my favourite part because I liked feeding them all because they were so cool. I liked feeding the penguins too because they were funny. Other boys and girls should go because it's really fun!".

There you have it now, straight from the 6 year old. I would highly recommend the VIP Family Experience to other families. It would be a great day out for anyone who is really into animals and who'd love to have the whole ranger experience. At the end you're given a pack with badges and certificates for the kids and this is a lovely keepsake for them to hang on to.

It's an experience that will stay with me for a long time. It was amazing and it was so lovely to see Tyler enjoying himself and loving getting to feed and get close to the animals.

To find out more or to book a VIP Family Experience at Fota Wildlife Park visit the Fota Wildlife Park website.

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