Reopening Fact Sheet

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Reopening Fact Sheet

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium plans a phased reopening. Phase 1 includes no indoor access but allows outdoor guest usage with clearly defined guidelines for the health and safety of Zoo guests and staff. There will be timed ticketing to keep guest attendance at a capacity that allows adherence to the 6-foot social distancing recommendations. Phase 1 capacity will be no more than 3000 guests at any given time and requires a time reservation to be made ahead of the visit at OmahaZoo.com/Hours-and-Admission.

Phase 1 Reopening Begins June 1, 2020  

All buildings are closed. No public access to indoor buildings including exhibits, restaurants, and the gift shop. No access to Bay Family Children’s Adventure Trails or Scott Alaskan Adventure Splash Park. 

  • Reservation for a time to enter the Zoo must be made online at OmahaZoo.com/Hours-and-Admission before visiting.
    • Reservations can be made up to 2 days in advance of visit.
    • Timeslots are available every half hour between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily.
    • There will be a Members Only hour from 8 to 9 a.m. on June 1 through June 7. 
  • Main Gate for entrance to the Zoo only.
  • North Gate for exiting the Zoo only. 
    • Please note the different entrance and exit gates for parking purposes.
  • Walk-through experience only. 
    • The walking path is approximately 1.8 miles from entrance to exit. 
  • One-way traffic only. 
    • Guests will not be able to backtrack on the one-way path.
  • No tram service available. 
  • Rides limited to Sue’s Carousel (with appropriate spacing and sanitizing).
  • Concessions and retail items available at outside venues only.
  • No ATM available.
  • Stroller, wagon, ECVs and wheelchair rental available (limited supply).
  • No Backstage Experience tours in person. Limited to virtual only.
  • Outside restroom access.
  • Face mask usage by guests is strongly encouraged. 

To limit contact and adhere to social distancing guidelines, guests must make a reservation for a time to enter the Zoo in advance on OmahaZoo.com/Hours-and-Admission.

  • IDs and online reservation receipts will be checked at the Zoo’s main entrance.
  • Memberships are non-transferable.
  • AZA reciprocal zoo admission program is suspended at this time.
  • Tickets are discounted at $20.95 for guests ages 12 and over, $13.95 for children ages 3 to 11, and $19.95 for seniors ages 65 and over.
  • Children under the age of 16-years-old must be accompanied by an adult.
  • To ensure proper social distancing, guests are encouraged to not meet others or stand in the Main Entrance Plaza until their reservation time to enter the Zoo. 
  • Guests are strongly encouraged to remain in their vehicles until their reservation time. 
  • When on Zoo property, guests are strongly encouraged to wear face masks.

In response to the coronavirus crisis and in adherence to city, state and federal guidelines, the following are the general principles guiding the plan for the phased reopening of Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium to Zoo members and the public. 

Social Distancing at the Zoo

  • Timed ticketing to appropriately space entrance into the Zoo and walking traffic on the pathway.
  • Staff in place at high-traffic areas to monitor capacities and social distancing of guests.
  • Educational and Animal Programs will be limited to discourage clustering of guests.
  • One-way traffic.
  • Marked spacing in queueing lines for 6-foot distancing.
  • Increased signage with specific building and distancing instructions.

Zoo Guests

  • Strongly encouraging the use of face masks on Zoo property.
  • Closure of high-traffic, interactive exhibits such as Bay Family Children’s Adventure Trails.
  • Suspension of Backstage Experience tour programs. Available virtually only.
  • Face-painting will not occur.
  • Drinking fountains and water refill stations will not be available.
  • 50+ Hand Sanitizing stations added.

Zoo Staff

  • Adherence to local, state and federal guidelines for health and safety.
  • Face masks, face shields and/or plexiglass in areas of close contact with guests.
  • Reduced or eliminated touch points with guests when possible.
  • Additional access to hand sanitizers and disinfectants in work areas.
  • Rotation or separation of Animal Care teams to limit the opportunity for cross infection should someone become sick.
  • Implementation of a checklist that identifies potential risk for COVID-19 exposure with quarantine recommendations based upon local health department guidelines and job requirements.

Food and Beverage

  • Reduced menu offerings to expedite lines.
  • Reduced concession window openings and marked spacing for social distancing.
  • Increased staffing for cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Souvenir Cup refill service will not be available.
  • Condiment stations will not be available. Only condiment packets will be used.
  • Hourly cleaning of vending machines.
  • Catering and menu offerings will be adjusted to reflect recommendations from local government authorities.

Rides and Amenities

  • Lozier Giant Screen Theater will be closed.
  • Rides will be available on Sue’s Carousel following current restrictions for social distancing and adjusting capacity as needed.
  • Additional staffing will be added to help with cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Ride wristband program will be suspended to limit rides to individual paid tickets only.
  • Animal feeding opportunities will not be available.

Click Here to Read the Accompanying Press Release

Posted by Diane Kohout at 1:43 PM