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Field Trip FAQ

Field Trip FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Do I need to reserve my school/youth group field trip in advance?

Yes, reservations must be made at least 2 weeks in advance. If you are attempting to make a reservation within 2 weeks, you will be charged a $25 late fee and you must pay for parking. School groups without reservations pay regular admission and parking rates.

2. How do I set up a reservation?

Please complete and submit our field trip request form. The Safari Park is unable to accept registration requests through fax.

3. My student and chaperone numbers are an estimate; will I be able to change them?

You can adjust your numbers at anytime, including the day of your field trip. In advance, you can contact the Education Department via email or phone message with your adjusted numbers. When you arrive, you can adjust your numbers when you submit payment and collect your tickets.

4. How many people can we bring?

The minimum size of a school/youth group is 15 people. If you are bringing a special-needs class, the minimum group size is 8. We allow a maximum of 200 people per school, per day. Each individual over the 200-person limit is charged for a full-price ticket. Please check the tickets section of our website for current prices.

Your group must have a minimum of 1 adult for every 10 students, and a maximum of 1 adult per every 1 student. Teachers must purchase tickets, and are counted in the total number of adults.

5. What is the cost of a Safari Park field trip?

Entrance fees may change, depending on several variables. San Diego County school and San Diego County homeschool (with registered campus) students on a field trip are free of charge during traditional school days. Schools and registered homeschools located outside of San Diego County pay a discounted rate of $15 for each student on traditional school days. All schools pay $15 per student on weekends, holidays/promotional periods, and during the summer. Youth groups and clubs (including day care, camps, scouts, after-school programs, YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, and organizations that work with individuals with disabilities) pay a discounted rate of $23 per student. Please reference our calendars for free and fee dates:

For schools located inside of San Diego County, adults are free between the minimum ratio of 1 adult for 10 students and a maximum ratio of 1 adult for every 4 students. You may bring additional adults over the 1 to 4 ratio at a cost of $15 per adult. Schools located outside of San Diego County and homeschools with registered campuses pay a discounted rate of $15 for each adult up to a 1 to 1 ratio. All groups must have a minimum of 1 adult for every 10 students. Teachers must purchase tickets, and are counted in the total number of adults.

If the number of adults exceeds the number of students, each adult over and above the number of students will be charged the full admission price. Please check the tickets section of our website for current prices.

If you have any special-needs students, we allow 1 aide for each special-needs student in the group for free; they may fall outside of the 1:4 and 1:1 ratio. Please mention how many aides will be attending on your registration form.

For youth groups and clubs, adults within the 1 to 4 ratio of adults to students pay a discounted rate of $28. Adults above a 1 to 1 ratio pay the current admission fee. 

6. Can my group ride the Africa Tram? The Balloon Safari?

Your base admission ticket will cover your admission into the Park as well as the Africa Tram—and access to all exhibits, shows, and presentations.

The Balloon Safari is not included with school admission tickets, but can be purchased at the time of check-in. A special discounted ticket of $5 for a five-minute flight is available for school groups only. Tickets may be purchased on-site only and are not available for sale in advance.

7. How does parking work?

Parking is free for buses and chaperone vehicles when reservations are made at least two weeks in advance of the visit. When you arrive, you will tell the parking attendant the name of your school group.

8. Can we bring in our own food?

Yes! You are able to bring in your own food, and you may also bring in wagons, etc. to carry your lunches. We recommend eating in our picnic area at the Grove (map marker 15). Please note the only lunch storage area provided is in unlocked cabinets outside of the Park, in our log ring.

9. Can we purchase meals in advance?

Yes! School lunches can be ordered at 760-738-5057, after you receive your trip confirmation. Lunch orders must be placed more than 4 days before your visit.

10. What happens if it rains?

The Safari Park remains open regardless of the weather, with few exceptions. You are able to cancel or reschedule your self-guided field trip at any time for no charge due to weather or problems with transportation. 

11. Do college groups qualify?

Teacher-hosted groups qualify for our education pricing. College groups must be attending as part of a class, and must include at least one instructor/professor or coordinator.

12. Can we use our Membership passes for admission?

Yes! Anyone in your group may use their membership instead of purchasing a ticket through the Education Department. Memberships may also be used to ride the Africa Tram.