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Dade City's WIld Things
Ranked #3 of 14 things to do in Dade City
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Dade City's WIld Things is a zoo and natural botanical gardens. Visit our Dade City Gift Shop, featuring a zoo animal theme, While waiting for Tram ride to experience a once in a lifetime guided tour of over 150 animal exhibits. Hours of Operation: Tues - Sat. Gift Shop & Ticket Sales: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Offers 'Jungle Safari ride @ 1:30 PM & 3:00 PM (gates open 30 minutes before each tour) Visit our website for more info.
Reviewed March 18, 2013

To start, the people who take care of tickets are rude and unprofessional. No friendlyness here at all. Wanted to see pictures, but were never offered, but we could not take our own. Animals seemed healthy, I am not a vet, but the cages were way too small and not any habitat. Nocturnal foxes were pacing in their little cage, obviously not happy. Many beautiful tigers, but in so small of areas......made my family and me sad. The young man who was our guide, talked like her knew what he was talking about, but did not. Called a bull calf a cow. and did not have the right information on miniature horses. Staff was young and not very friendly.... There has to be a better way and place for these animals. Very disaqppointed....

9  Thank RETIRED33541
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"baby tiger"
in 40 reviews
"animal encounters"
in 29 reviews
"walking tour"
in 33 reviews
"tiger encounter"
in 18 reviews
"gift shop"
in 29 reviews
"photo package"
in 15 reviews
"big cats"
in 13 reviews
"mixed reviews"
in 6 reviews
"well taken care"
in 13 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 13 reviews
"taking photos"
in 4 reviews
"bad reviews"
in 4 reviews
"beautiful animals"
in 10 reviews
"small zoo"
in 5 reviews
"lifelong dream"
in 4 reviews
"their website"
in 8 reviews
"answer any questions"
in 4 reviews

219 - 223 of 273 reviews

Reviewed March 16, 2013

I have very mixed reviews of this 'attraction' due to many different factors.
First off, let me just explain that touching/holding a tiger was on my BUCKET LIST, in the top 10 things I needed to do!
I was headed to Orlando for a family vacation, and decided to take the day away from everyone, rent my own car, and drive up to Dade City to scratch one of my dreams off my list.

It is a smelly house in a sleepy town. At first, I was very worried about where I was! I thought "omg... this cannot be the place" While it is just the office, it needs some work. I was relived to know we were taking a tram to the actual zoo area. When I entered the office to check in, who I am assuming is the owner, was behind the counter yelling at an employee. I found it very unprofessional, but obviously didn't say anything.

Zoo Area:
This is a much nicer area. Brick and iron gates and lots of space. Looks great upon arrival.
We were greated by a young girl who took us into the tiger area and explained what was going to happen

Tiger Encounter:
Two trainers came out, but they seemed incredibly awkward. Both in their 20's they looked and acted as if they had just been fighting, and said things out loud like "Can you just do it!?" "Yeah, I guess I will HAVE to..."
They made it seem like we were a burden.
The tiger came out and she was much to big to hold, so they held the bottle while the pictures were being taken, and touching was only allowed beneath the collar. This I can understand, for safety, but it would have been nice to know before we came what size the tiger would be and the pros/cons of such a big animal.
We played with some toys with her on the grass for about 5 minutes until she was getting bored.
The pool area was a little awkward as well. You simply swim behind the tiger, while pictures are being taken, and then angles make it look like you are closer and more involved then you really are.
When we got out of the pool they went to take the tiger to dry off, but didnt even tell us it was over or let us say 'goodbye'. We still thought for a moment the tiger would come back, but didnt.

- Its very expensive for what you actually get (depending on the size of the tiger)
- They do not even let you go see any other animals despite the fact you paid a TON to be there ($400 for 2 people for 30 minutes)
- The staff seemed annoyed, not very personal
- They did not explain the animals at all. I was constantly asking questions. If I had not been, I would have learned nothing, and it would have been a completely silent encounter.
- The encounter is not as advertised
- The office honestly smells like cat spray

- You get the chance to touch and be near a tiger! Even if its not what you are expecting, its still a wondrous and beautiful thing!
- There seem to be other animals you can get very close looks at
- When we went (Feb 2013) there were hardly any other souls in the zoo. It was nice to not be in the crowds

- If you book an encounter, ask what stage they will be at!! 1st stage is bottle feeding, to small to hold. 2nd stage is cuddling time!! 3rd stage is quite large, just touching the back and they are on a leash the whole time.

All in all, I am glad I did it, I just wish it had been a slightly different experience.

15  Thank KashleeAndTrevor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2013

If you enjoy seeing animals than this is the place to be! I would say that the tour is UNNECESSARILY very long. They could have sped up the 2 hour tour into 45 minutes. I believe that they have the tour so long so the tiger cubs get a bit of rest before their encounter. If that's the case they should start the tour later. The tour was so awkward because the guide would say a sentence, pause for 2 minutes, say another sentence and so forth. I just wanted to ask 'can you hurry up?'. People who just went for the tour and didnt pay for the tiger encounter dont get the full experience. I think it would be boring if it wasnt for the encounter. I wish the encounter was longer. I think it was maybe 5-10 minutes. I loved my pictures but I had to crop so many because the trainer was in all my picks. They cant find a way to not ruin peoples pictures?Also I dont think an encounter is worth it if they are not baby cubs because even at 4 months you cant hold them and that's what I wanted to do :(

2  Thank Si M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2013

dade city's wild things has an interesting park loaded with a variety of animals, several were rescued and well cared for now

1  Thank wiliam g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 5, 2013

It's been my life long dream to play/touch tigers and when I found out that this place did it, I was 100% on board especially since it was for my birthday. I live in Fort Lauderdale, so we drove 3 1/2 hours to go ahead with this experience. Boy, was I disappointed. First we did the Sunken Jungle tour, it was so heart breaking to see all these animals living in such small cages. Then for the Tiger encounter, first off.....it was a private encounter with 4 of my friends (5 total) and we paid for double time so it was basically almost $600 for the encounter. They brought the cub out and started to feed her with the bottle and we all quickly took pictures with the cub. After they gave us a toy to play with her but we weren't allowed to touch her so we were all just basically standing around watching her. There was 3 trainers in total there and NONE of them have people skills, they BARELY talked to us (only one girl was talking because I was asking her questions so it wont be so awkward). The three trainers were in their own little world and at one point they were the ones playing with the tiger while the 5 of us were just standing around....we did NOT just pay $600 to watch THEM play with a tiger. Then the photographer (they have one because you're not allowed to take pictures there) didnt even take out a lot of pictures. He too was caught up talking to the trainers while he was suppose to be taking pictures of us playing with the tiger. There was a lot of photo ops that he missed because he just wasnt paying attention. I only gave this place 2 stars because of the tiger, she was beautiful but I was so disappointed with the trainers and how they made us feel like we were bothering them by being there. I honestly won't ever be going back there, I wouldn't give my business back to them.

7  Thank FLAgal9033
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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