The first and only time I visited Lion Country Safari was when I was 14 years old. My family didn't take any photos that I know of. It was part of a company picnic that my step-father was involved in. We mostly congregated at a picnic area designated for large groups. Everyone in attendance was free to get into the cars and go through the tour to see the wild animals.
From what I remember, I wasn't all that impressed. My expectation was to see hungry lions walk up to your car, and inquisitive ostriches peck at your windows, just like you saw in the brochures. It just never happened.
Below are some e-mails we received during the old days of OCThen.com concerned Lion Country Safari:
By: Tamara, 5 July 2002If you have any memories of Lion Country Safari, please click on "Post a Comment" below, and share with us what you remember.
I have too many brilliant memories of an expansive and "wild" area where you could see the animals at Lion Country Safari from the freeway (if you can call it that then - a couple of lanes either side with a huge dirt ditch in the middle - you could actually do a u-turn if you wanted to on it). We always looked for the giraffe's as their heads stood out quite easily.
By: Tim Holmes, 8 Feb 2002
Was a kid growing up in Huntington Beach, I used to really enjoy the drive through Lion Country Safari Park located down in Irvine. Seeing wild animals from the window of my mom's car was quite a thrill! Frazier the lion was always my favorite and it was really sad to see him pass away from old age in the early 1970's. I believe the Irvine Amphitheater is now located where Lion Country Safari once stood.