This small zoo may be one of the most underestimated destinations in all of Panama City Beach. No, it’s not as large as other zoos and doesn’t have some of the bells and whistles those zoos offer, but it does provide immersive experiences with the animals by getting you closer to them.
It’s no small thing that you are allowed to feed so many animals for a small fee. It’s one thing to simply look at a giraffe and an entirely different thing to have this magnificent creature eating directly out of your hand.
Zoos were originally created as a way to help humans better understand wildlife and to nurture an appreciation for how animals live. There’s something special about the way ZooWorld is laid out and its emphasis on education. The educational element helps visitors understand why zoos are so important in the 21st century.
The best reason to visit? This place is fun! If you have ever wanted to learn more about a llama or feed an ostrich, this is the zoo for you. Take your time strolling through and read everything you can about the animals. ZooWorld has gone out of its way to provide fascinating facts about its non-human inhabitants.
The atmosphere is incredibly laid back, as nice for a first date as for a day out with the kids or grandkids. The animals look healthy and happy (although it can be tough to “read” a gibbon’s expression).
The only downside is the number of animals. Unfortunately, ZooWorld does not have room for gorillas, zebras, or orangutans. If you’re looking for a zoo that represents every animal type, a larger zoo may be more to your liking.
While visiting, you will have the opportunity to walk through an aviary that includes rescued parrots and even play with lemurs (for an extra fee). In fact, we consider ZooWorld Panama City Beach a build-your-own-adventure kind of experience. For a fee, there are a number of add-ons available that will make this extra memorable.
These are our favorite experiences:
This event extra allows you to hang out with sloths for a while, to learn more about how they interact. These very social creatures are happy to be held and just as happy to entertain you.
Allapattah Swamp Alligator Feeding Experience
For a fee, you can watch as more than 80 hungry alligators gather round to be fed. It’s an intense sight and helps you appreciate the role alligators play in the ecosystem of the Deep South. Fortunately, you will have a bucket of food to offer the hungry reptiles. Watching 80 alligators thrash as they eat is an awesome thing to witness.
Giraffe Feeding Tower
Unless they’re hiding a deep, dark secret, giraffes really are as gentle as they seem. For another fee, you can climb a platform to stand eye-to-eye with a giraffe while feeding him lettuce leaves. You may want to bring wet wipes as a giraffe’s huge tongue can leave behind a remarkable amount of slobber.
Take one look at a lemur and you’ll understand why people are willing to pay to snuggle with one. Seriously, they are adorable.
If you have ever wanted to hold a baby dinosaur (and who wouldn’t?), this is your opportunity. No, an alligator is not a dinosaur, but close enough to send a thrill up your spine.
You can easily get through this small zoo in two or three hours, making it a great sunny afternoon activity. One of the things you are likely to notice while in the Zoo is how helpful the staff is and happy they seem to be at ZooWorld. That attitude is contagious.
-Although they are allowed into the activity, the Lemur Experience may not be suitable for all children. The lemurs in question were born at the zoo and handled from birth, but they are excitable creatures! These creatures can become quite hyper and scamper all over you. While adults typically find this enjoyable, some children don’t appreciate it.