FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Welcome to Wilstem! We can't wait for you to experience all Wilstem has to offer, nestled on 1,100 acres in the heart of Southern Indiana, located between Paoli and French Lick. Whether you enjoy meeting our animals or adventuring on our zipline or ATV tours, Wilstem has something for everyone!
The best Wilstem experiences start by planning out your trip! We highly recommend that you check out ALL we have to offer to create an once-in-a-lifetime, extraordinary experience! See below for a list of common questions!
Q: Is there an admission fee at the gate?
A: No. There is no fee to be on the property, but each animal encounter and activity is priced separately once you’re here.
Q: How much do the animal encounters cost?
A: The Elephant VIP Rise & Shine Encounter is $159/person; the Elephant Spa Encounter is $81/person, guests age 4-8 are $71/person. (Children ages 3 and under are free with a paid adult ticket but are not able to participate in the bathing portion of the encounter.); the Elephant Educational Encounter is $31/person (children 2 and under are free.)
The Giraffe Educational Encounter is $27/person; the Private Giraffe Educational Encounter is $299 for a group of 8 people or less.
Q: What are the hours of operation?
A: The reservation office is open 8-5 EDT, the Roos & Crew Barn is open 9-5, and all of the animal encounters and other activities have their own schedules and start times. Availability for each item can be found on the website by clicking “Learn More” and then “Check Availability.”
Q: What days are you open?
A: We are open 7 days a week, and year-round! (With the exception of holidays.) However, the elephants are only available through the first week of November and the outdoor activities (ATVs, zip lining, etc.) are subject to weather.
Q: Do we need to make a reservation?
A: Reservations are recommended for all animal encounters, as that is the only way to guarantee your spot once you arrive. However, if we still have spots available, guests are welcome to be added on as a walk-in. Reservations are required for ATVs, zip lining, and horseback riding.
Q: Can we come any time and just walk around to see the animals?
A: To see the animals, a paid ticket must be purchased. Anyone is welcome on the property during business hours, just keep in mind that there are scheduled times for all of the animals encounters and activities. The only exception is the Roos & Crew barn, which is open 9-5 EDT and does not require prior reservation.
Q: What will we be doing during the encounters?
A: The Elephant VIP Rise & Shine Encounter lasts just over an hour. You will get early, exclusive access to the Roos & Crew barn before it opens to the general public, help mix the elephants’ breakfast feed, and then are able to feed them. None of our other elephant encounters offer feeding, and since this encounter is limited to only 10 people, each guest will have more intimate, one-on-one time with the elephants than in any other encounter.
The Elephant Spa Encounter lasts a total of 2 hours. For the first hour each guest will participate in the bathing routine of the elephants: whether it be soaping, spraying, or scrubbing! The second hour is the Elephant Educational Encounter.
The Elephant Educational Encounter lasts 1 hour. Guests will be able to be up close to the elephants, pet them, ask questions, and take photos.
The Giraffe Educational Encounter lasts approximately 40 minutes and is very similar to the Elephant Educational Encounter: you can pet the giraffes, take photos, ask questions, and we also provide you with carrot sticks to feed them!
Q: Do I have time to do an elephant encounter and a giraffe encounter back-to-back?
A: Yes! The times are designed that way so that guests can participate in encounters without having a time gap in-between.
Q: Can I go into an encounter and just watch a loved one participate?
A: Only guests with paid tickets to an encounter are allowed in the facility at the time of the encounter. Even if you choose not to participate, you must have a paid ticket as well.
Q: What happens if it rains?
A: All of our animal encounters are indoors, so they go on rain or shine!
For ATVs, zip lining, and horseback riding: typically these tours will still go out with a light rain or if it has recently rained. However, if the guide on duty deems that the trail conditions are hazardous or unsafe, you will be given the option to reschedule or receive a refund.
Q: Do you have packaged pricing for multiple activities or animal encounters?
A: No, all activities and encounters are priced separately.
Q: Do you have a restaurant on the property?
A: No, we have a small selection of snacks and beverages in the gift shop. But we are within 10 minutes of Paoli and French Lick—both of which have several restaurant options.
ALL Animal Encounter Experiences Include:
ROOS AND CREW ENCOUNTER
Come meet Rocky, Katie, and Karl, just a few of the animals you will get to meet at our Roos and Crew Encounter. Interact with our animals in an intimate setting and learn all about their personalities. Complete with a variety of small animals, kangaroos, and our iguana it is sure to be a memorable experience!