You may have received an email a few months back with a plea for help to save the Lazy 5 Ranch. Local government was threatening higher taxes to the farm, which would have caused Lazy 5 to shut it’s gates. Well the petitions were a success – they raised over 33,000 signatures and the local goverment has decided to leave their current classification as is until the next audit review. Woohoo – we LOVE Lazy 5!
The Lazy 5 Ranch is a privately-owned exotic animal drive through park that offers a 3.5 mile safari located in Mooresville, North Carolina. So worth the drive! You can experience the Lazy 5 in two ways: driving in your own vehicle or riding on their horse-drawn wagons. I have done it both ways and I think there are pros/cons to both. Our first trip to the ranch was absolutely hysterical. We chose the drive-through option in our brand-spanking-new Sequoia. Not the best decision in hindsight, but it sure was funny. Randy was convinced that the llamas were ramming our car intentionally with their horns, so we received our first official scratch at Lazy 5. Now we have over a million:-) So the animals work in packs. They are very strategic and their goal for each vehicle is to get your entire bucket of feed in one fell swoop! You will first be greeted by ostriches (I think they are ostriches?!). Two will immediately walk in front of your vehicle so you cannot move. And another 2-4 birds will have their entire heads and necks in your car and your feed buckets. This will make you laugh so hard because you are eye-to-eye with jurassic looking animals! This may last a good five minutes or so and you’ll just have to wait until they decide they are done with you – rolling up your windows may expedite the process a little! Be ware of the zebras – they are the best at stealing buckets and they seem pretty feisty. They scare me a little but I am drawn to their beautiful coats (remember my zebra pumps from Charleston -I’m a true zebra girl!). I think the drive-through option is good if you have really little children, two and under. This way, if they get scared (and they probably will), you can just roll up your windows and put on the dvd player if it gets really ugly (can you tell I’ve had to do that once or twice?!). So as you wind through the park, you will get a chance to view over 750 animals from six different continents – zebras, giraffes, llama, lots of pigs, rhinoceros, camel, deer, goats, you get the idea. I actually prefer the horse-drawn wagon over the car option, although one of my twins hated it. I think we were just too close to the front and maybe he was scared of the horse’s behind – whenever we trotted, which was every time we moved from one place to the next, Owen would scream his head off. I didn’t figure out that he was scared of the behind until the very end. Lame mom! I think he would do better now though. Anyway, the reason I like the wagon is because you get right up close to all of the animals. The driver will make sure that you get the best experience of the animals and you even get to feed the giraffes (from your mouth if you’re really brave!), something you cannot do from your own vehicle. The only downfall to the wagon is you’re stuck the entire duration of the trip, which will probably last a good hour and 15 minutes. So if you have a screamer, like Owen, it may get a little annoying. Although I was not phased at all because I can tune it out, but the other passengers weren’t so fond of Owen by the end! If you do the wagon, make sure you call ahead to make reservations. After you go through the park, you can hang out at the petting zoo, which all children love. They have lots of sanitizer. I would recommend loading up on your own stash for the ride itself, especially if you have thumb-suckers. Gotta keep those grubby hands clean for these guys!
The cost is pretty cheap: adults – $8.50 plus $5 for horse-drawn wagon, kids 2-11 $5.50 plus $3 and kids under 2 are free. Note, they do not accept credit cards so bring cash. Lazy 5 also offers birthday parties, which I think is a cool alternative, although a long drive. I would recommend this venue for 4-5-year-old birthdays. That seems to be a prime age for this park.
So glad Lazy 5 is here to stay! Have you been? What was your experience?