Zoombezi Bay and Jungle Jack's Landing Update

$1 per ride works really well for the 3 rides at the zoo, but when you've got 10-15 rides to pay for after you're already shelled out $5 to park and $30 for admission, that is a rip off.
OhioStater's avatar
I can tell you that I have heard from many people that there is no way they are shelling out that money to go there.

What in the world are they thinking?

Let's see...we can go to the zoo, or for about the same price we can drive 90 minutes to Kings Island, or up north to Cedar Point.

That's what you get when you have a former Six Flags guy in charge.


I think that's true. I'm actually wondering if it used to be less than 42". My girls were only four when I rode it with them two years ago, and I'm not sure if they would have been 42 yet... it may have even been 40. (It strikes me as similar to KI's Beastie, which is 40.) Not a big deal, I was just curious.

Joel, the points system makes sense -- in the sense that the Sea Dragon should not cost the same as, say, the (boring) boat ride in the 'Pacific Islands'... but still... Hopefully they'll apply a similar discount to the punch cards (where if you buy in bulk you get a few extra punches/points,) since that does at least help with the cost. BTW is this online somewhere or do you have somewhere else that you're getting the info?

OhioStater, I'm glad to hear that you've heard more people talk about it --the buzz I've heard is minimal but the answer is not surprising. Hopefully the zoo will figure out that this isn't going to fly once they open to the public and we'll see changes. I know they do make adjustments; for example when the boat ride first opened it was two tokens but it didn't take long for them to 'adjust' it down to one. The train may have had an adjustment too, I don't remember. I do know we hardly rode the boat until they dropped the price, in favor of the one-token carousel, ha ha. I'm so cheap... it's just sad.


I was always under the assumption that the dry rides and waterpark would be one gate, all inclusive, and the zoo the other gate. Now that we know the rides will be an additional charge, I'm less than enthusiastic. The Dispatch insert states that the reloadable Ride Card was implemented because "...the Zoo hopes to cut down or eliminate lines and increase the amount of rides given each day." What? I have no idea what that means.

For that matter, I wonder who was responsible for that insert- it's so bad, please tell me the high school intern wrote it! For example, in the description of rides at Jungle Jack's it lists "Whirlygigs: This free spinning attraction rotates on a pond that makes each whirlygig move in it's own chaotic motion while the level rises." Ummm...what? (I'm thinking they might be referring to the Tilt a Whirl, as it wasn't mentioned elsewhere. Maybe there's a near-drowning effect!) The rest of the ride descriptions are just as laughable. They make sure to include all the absolute necessary information like how many cars are on the ride and how many people they hold. "Jack's Tea Party: ... There are 6 cups and saucers that can seat up to 24 people per ride." Now, them's some large-assed tea cups!

Ok, not trying to dis the zoo, (as CarrieR stated earlier, it's a fabulous place, first rate), but like all zoos everywhere, operates on a tight budget. If I paid someone good money for that schlocky publicity I'd be complaining and getting my money back!

"Sea Dragon: Central Ohio's favorite 51 year old wooden coaster returns." Well, I have to agree with this one- out of all the 51 year old wooden coasters we have here in Columbus, it's my favorite, too! Geez.

See, this kind of thing just makes me nuts.

Yeah, the insert was really bad in the ride and slide descriptions. It claims that Dolphin Dash is the only head first racing slide and that Cyclone "this extreme four-person raft cruises into the largest enclosed reducing -radius tunnel in the world." It looks the exact same size as every other tornado slide I've ever seen, so maybe its tied for the largest with all of them??
It sounds to me like the Zoo has got themselves an out-of-town consultant that does not understand that Ohio is a P-O-P state. I'm trying to think...I can't think of a multiple-ride operation anywhere in Ohio that doesn't offer P-O-P. The Ohio State Fair tried to switch from P-O-P to all tickets one year, and it created a ****storm of epic proportions, cost the fair manager his job, and was a decision that was partially reversed within 48 hours. Every other fair I have attended in this state has been P-O-P; even if the midway isn't included in the admission fee, an armband or handstamp is always available.

In the State of Ohio, if POP isn't offered, the rides don't run. Ohioans don't like ride tickets, and...even if the tickets are a better deal than the POP...they buy the POP, or they pass on the rides and take a trip to Cedar Point or Kings Island. Even Coney Island switched from ride tickets with optional POP last year to strict POP.

One way or another the Zoo will ultimately learn the lesson. Or they're going to have an awful lot of very empty rides.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Exactly. If the park were setup like Knoebels or Indiana Beach where parking is free and admission is free or very minimal pay-per-ride might work here. But the fact is after shelling out $35 all you get to do is look at the rides and that is not going to fly with the majority of guests. Hopefully a big enough majority that the zoo will be forced to change their pricing strategy.
Oddly enough, Knoebels is exactly the kind of operation I was thinking about when I was talking about the Ohio mindset. If you are familiar with Knoebels, then you know that their ride prices are cheap, but their POP wristbands are actually quite expensive. You have to do quite a lot of riding to break even on a wristband at Knoebels.

But if Knoebels were in Central Ohio, they would have a hard time selling ride tickets. Everybody would be buying the wristband *even though for most of them it would cost more money*. POP is the way of the world around here.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

OhioStater's avatar
I'll just reitterate; I know a lot of people (e.g., families with young kids) who were excited, who are now not...at all.

Way to go, Jungle Jack.

Yeah, I gotta ditto that. I was quite intrigued by the prospect of a conventional, major zoo incorporating a substantial ride park into the mix. But now -- meh. If I want to be ripped off, I'll go somewhere it's worth getting ripped off (or is that a contradiction?)

My author website: mgrantroberts.com

^Well... They haven't actually touched the zoo, so it's still good. The entry plaza should be done by then, too. As far as rides and slides go it's anybody's guess, although I haven't been by this week. The last time I looked it seemed like there was an awful lot to do, but one of the miracles of construction projects is how quickly they pull together at the end. Especially in the case of park construction, there's lots of ways to fake it up so at least it's "presentable" to the public. I'll be in Tampa over Mem. weekend so I won't see for myself until after the hoopla is over.

And true, Ohio may be a POP state, and you would expect it there, too. But I think another factor in the pricing structure may be that the sheer number of attractions for Jungle Jack's is low for now. You can believe that Zoombezi Bay will be extremely busy on certain days, and I believe they have the slide and pool capacity to handle it. But if those same people all try to line up to ride the few rides they're offering, it will be a nightmare beyond proportions for the zoo and it's staff. So in their minds, a way to control the ridership is to upcharge. For now. My guess is that once that part of the park expands with more rides and attractions it will be incorporated with the other gates into some sort of optional POP ticket.

The waterpark does appear to have a separate gate and it's on the other side of the rides, so perhaps visitors that just pay to park will have access to the amusement park without having to pay to cross into the zoo or waterpark. That makes sense.

We'll see.

Ugh. I think my kiddos will have to wait to ride-a-rama for our Kings Island trip at the end of summer.

I can justify $60 for the pass for the summer, but add an additional $15/visit per kid... yikes. For me (although bearing in mind that my situation is unusual,) that's $75 a visit, assuming they don't charge for the baby. No, scratch that... $90 because I have to accompany on several of the rides.

Even for a family of 4, that's $60 (after they've spent $120 to get in.) Good gracious.

I just hope they figure it out and adjust. I want this to do well; I'd love to have a park less than two hours away. But if I want to pay out the rear, I'll go to a park that at least has some larger rides.

BTW thanks Joel for the updates!

Carrie (official ZooBay whiner)

I wish the zoo would decide on it's price points for all of this stuff. My 2008 AAA book (p. 258) says that the prices are as follows:

Admission (includes Columbus Zoo & Aquarium)$29.99; $19.99(under 48 inches & ages 60+); free(ages 0-2).

Parking: $5.00

If your familiar with AAA's rating system, a blue diamond next to the attractions name means it's a "must see" attraction. Before this season there's also always been a little red "Save" symbol to tell you you'll receive the general 10% discount.

That save symbol is no longer there, but the blue diamond remains. Has anybody been there this season who knows if you still get the AAA discount?? I appologize if I just further confused this already confusing thread.

Now officially a Halloween Haunt Cornstalker for Fall '08! www.freewebs.com/chadmicah
Is the waterpark open already? There is a Zoombezi Bay/Wyandot Lake group on Facebook and some kids claim they have already been to the park. Could this be true?
^ there was supposed to be a preview weekend May 17 and 18th. Not sure how they could have done that though since there is still quite a bit to do in teh park

sent an e-mail to the Zoo about the pricing and received the following message back:

Unfortunately, it was decided by management to have the rides in Jungle
Jack's Landing as a pay-per-ride system. The dry rides are all a part of the
Zoo and not part of Zoombezi Bay, which is why they are not including in the
Zoombezi Bay season pass. All rides in the Zoo are a pay-per-ride system and
they decided to keep the system the same for the new rides. There are the
reloadable ride cards that are available for purchase and are $1.00 per
credit. We also will have wrist bands available for unlimited rides, the day
of purchase, for $15.00 each. Rides will vary from $1.00 to $2.00 depending
on the ride. If you have any other questions please contact us at (614)
Membership Lead
Columbus Zoo & Zoombezi Bay

If you are going to speak, make sure it is an improvement on the silence
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Danielle at the zoo said:
Unfortunately, it was decided by management to have the rides in JungleJack's Landing as a pay-per-ride system.

Just me or is this exactly how you don't start a reply to someone questioning your new pricing?

Shouldn't you sell people on the idea rather than call it unfortunate?

But what if she happens to disagree with it? Is she supposed to just play along and be dishonest?
Lord Gonchar's avatar
As an employee and representative of the Zoo - absolutely! It's her job.

It depends if she came to this site as an employee or a coaster enthusiast (although if the latter is true, it would have been a good idea to leave out the "at the zoo" part.)
Lord Gonchar's avatar
She didn't come to this site.

That was her business reply to an email sent to her at her job as reported/passed along by Giant WheelJay in the post above mine.

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