I think Seaworld would agree.
I was going to mention Seaworld, since those parks seem to have found a great way to mix educational animal exhibits with mechanical rides.
When I go to a traditional zoo, I go for the animals. That said, I'm definitely not averse to mechanical rides as long as they don't eclipse the primary purpose of the zoo, which is to care for animals and use them to educate people. The Denzer Zoo has a small train and an Endangered Species carousel (I believe those things are a product of Carouselworks?) and I don't feel they did anything to detract from what the zoo was all about. Both were upcharge attractions so I get the impression that money made from both ultimately go to the upkeep of the zoo, which doesn't bother me at all. When it comes to zoos, I like to see them make as much money as possible.
Let's not forget the two biggest zoos that have rides...Disney's Animal Kingdom and Busch Gardens Africa!
(the carousel, by the way, is the one that came from Olentangy Park. It was removed from Wyandot Lake back when Six Flags was still operating the place, so that's not the carousel that got auctioned off)
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
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