I could end the review with the review title, but let me expand a bit.
The Drive-Thru section: The enclosures are very large (which is terrific for the animals), so at first, we didn’t see anything and thought “Is this going to be a total bust?” Our worries were unfounded, however, as we inevitably rounded a corner and were suddenly surrounded by bears, wolves, bison – you name it! And some of the animals (the bears and wolves in particular) got REALLY close to the car, to the point where (if we were incredibly stupid) we could have rolled down the windows, reached out, and petted them. You are required to keep your windows up in the bear and wolf sections, by the way. As it was, we were very happy to sit there in our car, take pictures/video, and squeal with delight. Some notes on driving through: 1. You can go through as many times as you want, for free! Didn’t get a good shot the first time around? Go again! We ended up going through once, heading over to the walking section, and then driving through one more time before we left. 2. The earlier you go, the less crowded it will be. When we drove through the first time (around 10 am), there were maybe only one or two other cars out there with us, so we could sit and watch the animals for as long as we wanted. When we went through the second time (around 1:30), it was more crowded. They were feeding the bears then, though, so that was pretty fun to watch. 3. If you plan on taking pictures, wash your car windows before you go in. 4. I HIGHLY recommend downloading the theme from “Jurassic Park” before you go. We played it on a loop as we drove through, and it was a) very atmospheric, and b) pretty funny!
The Walking section: While admittedly not quite as impressive as the drive-thru area, this is still a lot of fun. The raptor show was surprisingly fun, and we enjoyed allowing the raven to collect our dollar bill donations following the performance (totally voluntary, but really neat!). Also, there were four bear cubs fighting up in a tree, which was a delight to watch. The rest of the walking section has a layout similar to your standard zoo - nothing too awe-inspiring, but enjoyable nonetheless. It wasn’t too terribly crowded, and the grounds are clean and well-maintained – very family-friendly. It also looked like they were doing some building, so there might be an expansion in the works.
On the whole, Bearizona was a really fun experience, and we would definitely recommend it for adults and children alike.