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“rude staff, horrible experience”

Roger Williams Park Zoo
Ranked #3 of 129 things to do in Providence
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Located amid 40 acres of beautiful woodlands, the Roger Williams Park Zoo provides visitors the opportunity to see animals from all over the globe – some more than a million years old. Naturalistic surroundings are home to more than 100 species of animals including a Komodo dragon, as well as zebras, red pandas, African elephants, Masai giraffes, snow leopards, bears, anteaters, flamingoes, sloths, alligators, and more! Kids from two to 102 have the opportunity to feed giraffes and harbor seals, as well as an array of farmyard animals. For something slightly out of the ordinary, visit our new Explore and Soar area offering an exhilarating zip ride, a train excursion through the woodlands, and camel rides. The Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is home to many endangered species. As a result, the Zoo participates in cooperative conservation and breeding programs to help ensure the future survival of many endangered species.
Useful Information: Stroller parking, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Lockers / storage, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed November 3, 2012

I have always heard great things about this pumpkin spectacular so have wanted to go for years but could never go because of work and college overtaking all my time. This year I finally had the opportunity to go and was more than excited. I called the Admissions office to make sure that the ticket prices were correct and that everything was still running after hurricane Sandy. The woman on the phone said that everything was running fine, tickets were $12, and that it closes at 11 that as long as I was there before 10 I could enter no problem. After rushing out of work and driving 45 minutes in horrible traffic I finally arrived at the gate at 9:50 ecstatic that I had made it in time. Confused on which gate to enter with no correct signage I kindly asked the man at the gate which direction I should go through. He rudely raised his voice and stuck his head into my passenger side window stating everything closed. I let him know what the time was and that we were told that we could still enter as long as it was before 10. The man screamed at us saying everything closed with the dirtiest look and turned his back on us with complete disrespect for possible guests of the zoo as if he were the king and we were to praise his existence. Very disappointed I drove off and called the Admissions office once again to ask why they had closed early and make her aware of the horrendous staff man she had at the gate, the incompetence of her answer was that "I don't know why it closed early, the person above me that you could speak with about the issue is the man you were describing at the gate" What?! Apparently his name was Ron she said was the head coordinator for everything and the only person above him was the owner of the zoo. This baffled me. A man so angry was the person I would speak with. The man who couldn't tell time apparently. Here I was to think that being such a well known place they were for the good of the community and if anything would keep the gate open 10 minutes later as a courtesy to traveling guests not close 10 minutes early. You think someone with such a management position would have some more respect for his guests. A little tip to the owner of the zoo- Ron is a joke. I work in a management position myself of a popular independent hotel and would normally refer hundreds a month to this event, not anymore. You can thank Ron for your loss.

8  Thank stephanie p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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765 - 769 of 949 reviews

Reviewed October 31, 2012

We went the 22nd weekend to see the pumpkin walk. Thank goodness we got there when we did because it wasn't too crowed. The pumpkins were amazingly done and had great detail. Such a great attraction to offer around Halloween time.

We ended the night here with a lighted swan paddle boat ride. Great time!

Thank 0Amy0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2012 via mobile

The zoo although small was a great day out. We spent over two hours seeing all the animals. Since it was Halloween weekend they had special treats for the children. Although they dust mention it when we arrived and it was ending when we finally got to that portion of the zoo. The elephants were the best part of the experience as they did a few tricks. Definitely worth the visit.

Thank LPG4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2012

My family and I came from western MA to Providence just to see the Jack-O-Lantern spectacular event. We arrived at 5:45 and were about the 20th people in line. When it got dark at 6:05 they let us in. We didn't have any problem maneuvering around to see the pumpkins. My 5 year old ended up on her father's shoulders the whole time as she didn't want to walk and my 13 year old & I were zipping through taking pictures of all of the wonderful artwork on the pumpkins. It was quite a sight, but get there early.

Thank Bgirl02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

Promised our girls we'd take them to this yearly Zoo fundraiser for the first time. The gates were said to open at 6. We drove from the Cape, about an hour and a half. When we got there at 6 the lines were already through the parking lot. No problem, right? Wrong. At 6:30 they announced that sales of tickets were being suspended due to 'excessive volume'. Apparently bus tours and groups of 25 or more were able to purchase their tickets in advance, and if you lived in RI, you could purchase single/family advance tickets that day at the gates. Thousands of tickets were sold to these folks and they were given first admittance to the Zoo. By 7 we still had not moved and decided we were not going to make our kids wait. As we walked back to the car, the line snaked out to the main drag, over a mile and a half away from the entrance. My sister-in-law arrived at 7, stood in line, and got in the gates at 8:30, only to be herded like cattle along the trail with her daughter, in a stroller, unable to see any of the pumpkins because of the volume of people walking with them. I understand that this is a Fundraiser and it's for a good cause, but there needs to be some sort of plan devised so that maybe only a certain amount of tickets are sold, so that the event is pleasurable to all. This was basically a 'suck anyone dry for their money' kinda thing, with no regard to how good the final experience was. Don't waste your money. It's crowded, over priced, unorganized and poorly executed. Unless you show up at 10, (the gates close at 11), you're not going to see anything anyway. Thank GOD the girls were easily placated with ice cream. What a let down.

5  Thank Yogadragon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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