Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is one of those places you either love it or hate it, for me, I understand the need to tame the animals with chains for others who are less informed will be against it, especially when the animals are so close to humans. Pinnawala does have a number of issues but I must admit they have been getting better over the years. These animals will never be released into the wild, and the exorbitant cost Pinnawala elephant orphanage charges foreigners for entrance for me is a hard pill to swallow.
If you can overlook the treatment of the elephants at Pinnawala as this is more towards the tourist commercial market, I am sure it will be a fun day. However, If you want to see elephants in a more natural environment try the Elephant Transition Project next to Udawalawe National Park the cost is far less and seems to have a better balance of commercialism and tourists view from a greater distance, you do not get to interact with the elephants but you do get to observe from a distance. Elephants are not chained, roam freely in a limited area, mothers and babies are together, orphans are not caged but have their own area with human interaction, all come in for feeding in age order at which point the tourists can watch more closely.