Zoo Atlanta Reopening May 16 With Timed Ticketing, ‘One-Way Pathway Experience’

Other coronavirus-fighting measures include paperless transactions, social distancing.
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Zoo Atlanta will reopen to the public on Saturday, May 16, the attraction Thursday announced in a press release.

In an ongoing effort to “assist its community in preventing the spread of COVID-19,” Zoo Atlanta has implemented enhanced protocols and procedures.

“We are pleased to welcome our Members and guests back to the outdoor experiences and connections to wildlife that can only be found at Zoo Atlanta,” Raymond B. King, President and CEO of Zoo Atlanta, said in the release.

“As important as this is to us, it was essential that we not reopen the Zoo until we could do so confidently, with the safety of our visitors, team members and the animals in our care as the number one priority. Many weeks of planning have gone into our reopening, and everything we have done or will do is being done with this in mind.”

The updated protocol includes:

  • Timed ticketing: Zoo Atlanta has transitioned to a timed ticketing system to control capacity and limit the number of guests who are inside the Zoo at any given time. Tickets may only be purchased online, and all transactions within the Zoo will be paperless, with no cash transactions. Paper maps will transition to all-digital maps guests may view on mobile devices. Timed tickets will be available beginning Thursday, May 14.
  • Outdoor experience: Zoo Atlanta provides a largely outdoor experience in a park environment. During this first phase of the Zoo’s reopening, all buildings (restrooms excepted), indoor venues and indoor experiences are temporarily closed, as are amenities such as Splash Fountain, rides and play areas. Food and gifts will be sold from outdoor kiosks.
  • One-way experience to optimize social distancing: At all locations where feasible, Zoo Atlanta will promote a one-way experience that reinforces social distancing guidelines. Pathway guides will be on hand to assist guests and encourage social distancing.
  • Promoting wellness: All Zoo Atlanta team members will wear masks in public-facing areas of Zoo grounds. Visitors are strongly encouraged to, but are not required to, wear masks. Hand sanitizing stations are available throughout the Zoo for guest convenience. Zoo teams will also frequently clean and disinfect touchpoints, restroom touchpoints and restrooms using a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved disinfectant.
  • Encouraging recommended self-care: Visitors are encouraged to remain mindful of current CDC guidelines and public health recommendations by practicing appropriate self-care and social distancing while on Zoo grounds.

For more on the phased reopening and guest guidelines, visit the Zoo’s Know Before You Visit page.

Timed tickets may be purchased here and are first-come, first-served, as daily capacity will be limited, and Zoo Atlanta will open at 10 a.m. on May 16, and beginning Sunday, May 17, the hours of operation will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


[Editor’s note: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving as is its effect on Atlanta, and the City’s businesses and its residents. Click here for What Now Atlanta’s ongoing coverage of the crisis. For guidance and updates on the pandemic, please visit the C.D.C. website.]

  • Seems to be a very well thought out plan. Only area that makes me a bit surprised is not requiring all guests to wear face masks, at least for the time being, until we see if there is a second wave of this disease as our city re-opens.

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