Six Flags Great Adventure will turn its Wild Safari Park in Ocean County into a themed attraction to be included with general admission starting next year.
The announcement comes 10 days after the operators of the park in Jackson announced they would close the safari park as a separate attraction for private vehicles on Sept. 30 after three decades.
The 350-acre animal preserve will now be called Safari Off Road Adventure through which guests will ride in open air vehicles resembling Army 2.5-ton trucks.
Before boarding the trucks, guests will go through a "rustic boarding station" featuring "artifacts" collected by the Wilds, a fictional, globe-trotting family of animal collectors, Six Flags said in a statement released today.
"Skilled, informed drivers will drive guests off-road and up close to the animals as they splash through ponds, climb hills, cross bridges and venture over rugged terrain," the statement said.
"Never before have guests been able to experience a journey so close to that of a true African safari here in the U.S.," park president John Fitzgerald said in the statement.
The ride will include a stop at "Camp Aventura," where guests can hand feed or pet some animals or, for an additional fee, fly over the animals on a zip line.
"This is a monumental change for the Wild Safari and our guests," Dr. Bill Rives, safari director and chief veterinarian, said in the statement, adding it will provide "more up-close animal experiences with fewer boundaries" for guests.
It is slated to open on Memorial Day weekend.
General Admission is $62.99 and will remain that amount in 2013, a park spokeswoman said.