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Now Open

Roaring Back

We've missed you!
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Here’s Important Information for Your Upcoming Visit to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

The San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park are now open to guests, ending the first major closure in our 103-year history. Guests can once again experience wildlife with their families, stroll among diverse habitats, and take part in fun, educational activities that bring us closer to the natural world.

Welcome Back!

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Watch this video for a quick overview of what to expect when you arrive, and tips for a safe visit to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park.

White rhino calf running with mother.
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REOPENING PHASE

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During our initial reopening phase, there will be limited shows, shopping, dining, and transportation experiences available at both parks—and the Zoo and the Safari Park will host fewer guests, operating at less than 50 percent capacity. Although your next visit might feel a bit different from your past treks through the Zoo and Safari Park, you’ll discover there is still plenty to see and do!

Adult giraffe with calf
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OUR COMMITMENT TO SAFETY

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The safety and well-being of our guests, team members, and wildlife is our top priority. Both the Zoo and the Safari Park have introduced new measures designed to ensure a safe and healthy guest experience. These measures are based on guidance from health authorities, including the CDC, along with requirements of the state of California and San Diego County. Please follow all posted instructions while visiting the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Notwithstanding our efforts, an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present; we cannot guarantee you will not be exposed during your visit. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the CDC, older adults and guests of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. Guests should evaluate their risk in determining whether to visit.

By visiting the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.

Zoo covid signage.
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What to expect at the Zoo

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As you approach the Zoo's entrance, you will see signs like these in green. Watch for them throughout the Zoo to remind you of safe practices, and how to navigate the grounds. 

Visitors following signage at the Safari Park entrance.
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What to expect at the Safari Park

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While visiting the Safari Park, you will see signs like these in orange. Watch for them throughout your Safari Park visit to remind you of safe practices, and how to navigate the grounds. 

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WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU ARRIVE

We want to thank you in advance for your cooperation in practicing vital preventive measures to maintain a safe environment at our parks. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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The Zoo and Safari Park are both operating with limited attendance

We can currently accommodate less than half our usual number of guests. Guests can expect smaller crowds on weekdays, but may have to wait for admission on busier weekends. Entry to our parks will be on a first-come, first-served basis until we reach our daily reduced on-grounds attendance limit. Once the on-grounds attendance limit is reached, as guests exit the parks, the same number of waiting guests will be admitted. Visit our website for the best times to visit and estimated wait times. Please click here for Zoo and Safari Park.

Tickets

Purchase your Zoo or Safari Park tickets in advance, online

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Tickets for tours, Safaris, and other premium experiences should also be purchased before you arrive. 

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With a valid ticket or membership card, guests can go straight to the turnstile queue

(unless maximum attendance capacity has been reached.) 

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At the Zoo, guests will visit a Welcome Tent to answer a few brief health screening questions before they enter the turnstiles. At the Safari Park, guests will answer health screening questions upon arrival in the parking lot.

Face mask correct usage - make sure mask completely covers mouth and nose, as fits under your chin.

Per mandate from San Diego County and the California Department of Public Health, cloth facial coverings are required for all guests two years of age and older

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We require a properly worn facial covering to provide service to our guests while visiting our parks (exception is when dining). Please bring and wear a protective cloth facial covering—entirely covering the mouth and nose—for each member of your group. Click here for San Diego County and State of California face covering guidelines and requirements. Additional information can be found here for guests with a medical or other condition that prevents them from wearing a facial covering.

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Practice social distancing during your visit

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Maintain a six-foot distance between you and other guests, team members, or wildlife. We will have team members dispersed throughout the Zoo and Safari Park to remind guests of social distancing. Please follow their directions to help keep everyone safe.

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Restricted Exit and Re-entry

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During this initial reopening phase, members and guests are not permitted to exit and re-enter the Zoo or Safari Park on the same day

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Some experiences, programs, and animal viewing areas may be closed

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Don’t worry, you’ll discover there is still plenty to see and do!  

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Parking at the Zoo and Park

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Zoo parking will be limited. At the Safari Park, beginning Saturday, June 27, general parking is $15 per vehicle and $20 for RV parking. Preferred parking is temporarily unavailable. 

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Reopening FAQ

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OPENING INFORMATION

When will you reopen the Zoo and Safari Park?

Both parks are now open. Entrance is subject to temporary reduced daily attendance limits.

Do I need a reservation for a specific day to visit the Zoo or Safari Park?

No reservations are needed! To comply with social distancing guidelines outlined by San Diego County authorities, we will limit the number of members and guests who can be on grounds at once to less than half of our usual capacity. To manage this limited attendance, a marked queue at a single entry gate will direct arriving guests to our welcome/check-in area, where they will be admitted one by one, and counted. Team members and signage will remind visitors of the importance of social distancing while they’re waiting to enter. Once a park reaches its daily attendance limit, guests will be admitted inside on a “one-out, one-in” basis.

 

HOURS OF OPERATION

What are the operating hours of the Zoo and Safari Park?

Check here for current Zoo hours and current Safari Park hours. Entrance is subject to temporary daily on-grounds attendance capacity limits.

 

PARKING

Will parking be restricted?

During our initial reopening, Zoo parking will be limited. At the Safari Park, beginning Saturday, June 27, general parking is $15 per vehicle and $20 for RV parking. Preferred parking is temporarily unavailable.

 

TICKETS AND MEMBERSHIP

Can I purchase admission at the ticket windows when I arrive?

We highly recommend that guests purchase tickets in advance, online. Click here to purchase tickets for the Zoo or Safari Park. Limited staff will be available at the Zoo and Safari Park to assist guests, with exceptions. Entrance is subject to temporary daily on-grounds attendance capacity limits.

Can I renew my membership at the ticket window?

We recommend you renew online, or by calling 619-231-0251. Limited staff will be available to assist members with membership transactions.

How can I check my membership expiration date?

Please visit our website at zoomember.org/verify to confirm the current expiration date of your membership.

Am I eligible for a membership extension?

If you had a valid membership as of March 16, 2020, we will extend your membership the length of time that we’ve been closed, to ensure that you are able to visit the reopened Zoo and Safari Park. Your membership was extended automatically once we reopened, and there isn’t any action required on your part to complete this process.

Will my unused guest admission benefits be extended?

Anyone with a valid membership as of March 16, 2020, is eligible for an extension equal to the length of time that we’ve been closed, to ensure that you are able to visit the reopened Zoo and Safari Park. Any unused member entrance coupons will be extended as well. Your membership was extended automatically once we reopened to accommodate our time closed, and there isn’t any action required on your part to complete this process.

With my valid membership card or valid admission ticket in hand, can I go directly to the turnstile queue?

Yes! Members with valid membership cards and guests with valid admission tickets can proceed to the turnstile queue, subject to temporary daily attendance capacity limits. At the Zoo, all guests will visit a Welcome Tent to answer a few brief health screening questions before they enter the turnstiles. At the Safari Park, guests will answer health screening questions upon arrival in the parking lot.

I have an admission ticket from last year; is it still valid?

Tickets purchased online or through our call center are valid for one year from purchase. Please check your ticket for validity before arriving.

How can I use my discount for a ticket purchase?

Guests using valid discount coupons or military, senior, student, and AAA discounts can show their valid ID at any ticket window to purchase discount tickets. We are unable to apply retroactive discounts to previously issued tickets.

Can I purchase Zoo tours or Safari Park Safaris on grounds?

Until further notice, and in compliance with local social distancing guidelines, select private Zoo tours and Safari Park Safaris are available starting June 20, 2020 through advance reservations only. Please call 619-718-3000. A limited number of tours will be available on grounds for day of purchase, subject to availability.

Do you accept cash payments?

Yes! Currently, both parks accept cash, although this is subject to change, based on new regulations or changes in protocols.

 

STAYING SAFE

What is San Diego Zoo Global doing to protect team members, guests, and animals during the COVID-19 pandemic?

At San Diego Zoo Global, the safety of our guests, team members, and wildlife are, and always will be, our highest priority. Both the Zoo and Safari Park are introducing new measures designed to ensure a safe and healthy guest experience. These measures are based on guidance from health authorities, including the CDC, along with requirements of the state of California and San Diego County. As part of these requirements, guests will answer a few health questions before they enter the parks. We recognize the gravity of the ever-changing COVID-19 situation, and are working to do our part to protect the health and welfare of our community and the wildlife in our care.

Do I need to wear a cloth facial covering to visit?

Yes. Per mandate from San Diego County and the California Department of Public Health, ALL Zoo team members and guests ages two and older will be required to wear cloth facial coverings that cover the nose and mouth for the duration of their visits (except while dining). Please refer to the following link for more detail on San Diego County and State of California face covering guidelines and requirements: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/hhsa/programs/phs/community_epidemiology/dc/2019-nCoV/face-coverings.html.

What kind of cloth facial covering is acceptable?

The Zoo and Safari Park are family oriented facilities, and respectfully request that your cloth facial covering does not display offensive language or symbols.

Can I wear a face shield if I cannot wear a cloth facial covering?

Face shields alone are not acceptable. For medical or disability exceptions, please click here.

What if guests are non-compliant with the facial covering mandate?

For the safety of our visitors, team members, and wildlife, we require that all guests age two and older wear facial coverings at all times during your visit. Staff members will reinforce the requirement. If you do not wear a face covering, unless a health accommodation has been granted, you will be asked to leave our parks to protect everyone’s safety.

Will you take my temperature before I can enter the Zoo and Safari Park? 

Not at this time. Guests will be asked a series of health questions prior to their entry. For your safety, and that of our team members, other guests, and wildlife, please do not visit if you are unwell. Entrance is subject to temporary daily on-grounds attendance limits.

What is the social distancing requirement?

State and local guidelines mandate that all team members and guests must maintain the required minimum social distance of six feet between other guests, team members, and wildlife throughout their visit.

How will you ensure that guests maintain social distancing during my visit?

We have modified how guests will move throughout our parks, including posted signs, some one-way direction routes, and additional ground spacing markers to denote six feet of separation. We will have team members dispersed throughout the Zoo and Safari Park to remind guests of social distancing. Please follow their directions to help keep everyone safe, and comply all with signs and markers.

Will you have hand sanitizer available?

Yes! Both parks have extra hand sanitizer and handwashing stations placed at various locations throughout our grounds. We recommend you wash your hands frequently—with soap and warm water, for at least 20 seconds—during your visit, and avoid touching your face. 

What safety measures are in place to protect the animals?

Some wildlife viewing areas may be closed, and some may be open to a limited number of guests at any one time.

Will I be able to feed or touch ambassador animals?

Until further notice, for the safety of our wildlife, no feeding or touching opportunities are available.

Can I get closer to animals by purchasing a tour or Safari?

In our initial reopening phase, tours have been modified in compliance with local social distancing guidelines to not include touching or feeding opportunities. Our trained guides will offer you an amazing personal tour, traveling in your private cart to see and learn how we card for wildlife at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. 

Are wildlife care specialists allowed to get close to animals during this time?

All wildlife care specialists are trained in human/wildlife interaction. Daily wildlife training and enriched experiences, which you may observe during your visit, are essential for wildlife in our care and are conducted within the strictest of safety guidelines, including appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and cloth facial coverings for all wildlife care specialists.

What are you doing to protect the animals in your care from coronavirus?

Based on the scientific information available about COVID-19, some mammal species are likely to be susceptible to the disease. Susceptibility does not, however, provide information about what effects COVID-19 might have on these species—including symptoms of illness, or potential mildness or severity. We are still learning about COVID-19, and further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that any animal, including pet cats or dogs or livestock, can spread COVID-19 to people.

San Diego Zoo Global has always maintained high levels of biosecurity for wildlife in our care, especially for high-risk species such as non-human primates that are likely susceptible to diseases that affect humans. Already in practice are measures that include restricting access to the species and wearing of protective gear by wildlife care specialists.

In an excess of caution, San Diego Zoo Global is adding extra biosecurity measures in working with all mammals. These heightened biosecurity measures include: maintaining social distancing (six feet) between people and susceptible species wherever possible, the wearing of cloth facial coverings whenever wildlife care specialists are working in and around their enclosures, and the wearing of facial coverings during any medical procedures.

 

WHAT'S DIFFERENT AT THE ZOO AND SAFARI PARK?

Do I need to wear a cloth facial covering to visit?

Yes. Per mandate from San Diego County and the California Department of Public Health, ALL Zoo team members and guests ages two and older will be required to wear cloth facial coverings that cover the nose and mouth for the duration of their visits (except while dining). Please refer to the following link for more detail on San Diego County and State of California guidelines and requirements: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/hhsa/programs/phs/community_epidemiology/dc/2019-nCoV/face-coverings.html.

What are the operating hours of the Zoo and Safari Park?

Check here for current Zoo hours and current Safari Park hours. Entrance is subject to temporary daily on-grounds attendance limits.

Will parking be restricted?

During our initial reopening, Zoo parking will be limited. At the Safari Park, beginning Saturday, June 27, general parking is $15 per vehicle and $20 for RV parking. Preferred parking is temporarily unavailable.

Are there limits to the numbers of visitors allowed into the Zoo and Safari Park each day?

Yes. For the safety of our guests and team members, and to comply with mandated social distancing requirements, we must limit the number of guests to less than half of our normal daily on-grounds capacity. Entry to our parks will be on a first-come, first-served basis until we reach our daily reduced on-grounds attendance limit. Once the on-grounds attendance limit is reached, as guests exit the parks, the same number of waiting guests will be admitted.  

How will guests be admitted each day?

All guests must show valid tickets or valid membership cards, along with a picture ID, to be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis until the daily on-grounds attendance limit is reached. Then, as guests exit the parks, the same number of waiting guests will be admitted.   

Are special Donor entrances available?

Not at this time. Donor entrances are temporarily unavailable at the Zoo or Safari Park during the first phase of our reopening, to comply with safety screening measures in place. There will be only one entrance into the Zoo and into the Safari Park—the main entry—for all guests and members; and only one exit.

I don’t want to arrive at the gate only to be denied entrance. How can I know in advance if you have reached the maximum on-grounds attendance limit?

We will utilize digital signage boards along the roadway to each park, to inform guests if the Zoo and Safari Park have reached their maximum attendance limit. Additionally, you can check our website for the best times to visit and estimated wait times. Please click here for Zoo and Safari Park.

Can I call to find out if you have reached your reduced on-grounds attendance limit?

Because these numbers will constantly change, the only way to be sure is upon arrival. We anticipate that guests who visit during the week will find fewer people on grounds. Weekends will likely be more crowded, and wait times to enter may be longer.

Can I purchase tickets on grounds when I arrive?

To maximize safety, minimize contact, and maintain social distancing, guests are strongly advised to obtain tickets or membership prior to their visit. Purchases at our ticket windows will be limited. Tickets can be purchased upon arrival by using a mobile device.

Can I leave and return on the same day?

Until further notice, members and guests are not permitted to exit and re-enter on the same day.

Will parts of the Zoo and Safari Park remain closed?

Yes. Some pathways may be closed, and some plant and wildlife habitats may not be available. Signs on grounds will announce any closures.

Will the Skyfari, Guided Bus Tour and Kangaroo Bus be operating at the Zoo?

No, not during our initial reopening phase. Please refer to our website for updates and signs when you arrive.

Will the Africa Tram and Cheetah Run be operating at the Safari Park?

No, not during our initial reopening phase. Please refer to our website for updates and signs when you arrive.

Will stores be open?

Yes! All merchandise locations at the Zoo are open with guidelines for social distancing, and will be monitored for capacity based on county guidelines. Guests will queue in a line if a store has reached capacity, and will be offered entry once guests have left. At the Safari Park, most major merchandise locations are open, with guidelines for social distancing. Store hours may be limited.

Will restaurants be open?

Yes! At the Zoo, all major dining facilities, in addition to outside kiosks, are open for guest food and beverage needs. These openings will be based on attendance levels. All service is carry-out, and socially distanced outdoor seating is available. Albert's Restaurant is open for patio dining—currently reservation only (subject to change)—set up for social distancing and offering a limited menu. At the Safari Park, most dining locations are open and socially distanced outdoor seating may be available. Restaurant and food service menu options and hours may be limited.

Can I bring and use my refillable animal-theme beverage cup at the Zoo and Safari Park?

Yes. However, at this time, we will provide refills in disposable cups, which you can use to fill your reusable container.

Are water fountains available at the Zoo and Safari Park?

Yes, water fountains are available at locations in both parks. Although all water fountains are cleaned frequently, please take care in using them, as these are heavy-traffic and high-touch areas.

Can I rent strollers, wheelchairs, and ECVs?

Yes! Normal stroller, wheelchair, and ECV rentals will be available, in limited numbers. Guests are also welcome to bring their own stroller or wheelchair.

Will lockers be available at the Zoo and Safari Park?

Outdoor lockers will be available at the Safari Park. At the Zoo, self-service lockers are available at Front Street (please note this does not include luggage check). Guests may carry small backpacks and bags into our parks.

Do you accept cash payments?

Yes! Currently, both parks accept cash, although this is subject to change, based on new regulations or changes in protocols.

What experiences are not available at the Zoo and Safari Park?

Some experiences, shops, restaurants, and transportation options may be temporarily unavailable at both parks. 

  • At the Zoo, until further notice, all scheduled shows, Guided Bus Tour, Skyfari Aerial Tram, Kangaroo Bus, 4D Theater, and Balboa Park Miniature Train are temporarily suspended due to county health and safety precautions. Additionally, children’s play areas and statues may be cordoned off or closed.
  • At the Safari Park, until further notice, all scheduled shows, Africa Tram, Cheetah Run, and parking tram are temporarily suspended due to county health and safety precautions. Additionally, children’s play areas and statues may be cordoned off or closed.

What safety measures are in place to protect the animals?

Some wildlife viewing areas may be closed, and some may be open to a limited number of guests at any one time.

Will I be able to feed or touch ambassador animals?

Until further notice, for the safety of our wildlife, no feeding or touching opportunities are available.

Can I get closer to animals by purchasing a tour or Safari?

In our initial reopening phase, tours have been modified in compliance with local social distancing guidelines to not include touching or feeding opportunities. Our trained guides will offer you an amazing personal tour, traveling in your private cart to see and learn how we care for wildlife at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. 

Are wildlife care specialists allowed to get close to animals during this time?

All wildlife care specialists are trained in human/wildlife interaction. Daily wildlife training and enriched experiences, which you may observe during your visit, are essential for wildlife in our care and are conducted within the strictest of safety guidelines, including appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and cloth facial coverings for all wildlife care specialists.

Will holiday weekends be busier at the Zoo and the Safari Park?

Yes! We can currently accommodate less than half our usual number of guests. Guests can expect smaller crowds on weekdays, but may have to wait for admission on busier holiday weekends. Entry to our parks will be on a first-come, first-served basis until we reach our daily reduced on-grounds attendance limit. Once the on-grounds attendance limit is reached, as guests exit the parks, the same number of waiting guests will be admitted. Visit our website for the best times to visit, and estimated wait times. Please click here for Zoo and Safari Park.

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