Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for being part of our ZooTampa family. We recognize there is a lot of uncertainty during this unprecedented time. Below are answers to your most Frequently Asked Questions.

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General Operations, Tickets & Reservations

Reservations to visit ZooTampa are not required, but are strongly recommended in order to guarantee entry on your desired date. You can make reservations here.

Already have a reservation to visit, but want to make one for Dinos Alive! or Lorikeet Landing aviary on that date? Click here to book a reservation for Dinos Alive! or click here to book a reservation for Lorikeet Landing.

Already have reservations? Click here to view or cancel your upcoming reservations.

ZooTampa is principally an outdoor fresh-air experience; therefore, when outside, guests who maintain proper social distancing are not required to wear facemasks.  Even so, every guest entering the zoo is strongly encouraged to wear a mask, and ZooTampa will provide disposable masks free of charge for anyone who needs one. Guests will be informed of indoor venues where masks are required which currently include: retail shops, bathrooms, restaurants (except while seated for dining) and Manatee Mangrove. Additionally, masks are required during our Signature Encounters, Giraffe Meet & Greet, Expedition Africa Safari Tram Ride & while in the tram queue line.

Yes! Dinos Alive! has been extended through August 9th.

In order to follow current social distancing guidelines, reservations are required to experience Dinos Alive!

Click here to book reservations for Dinos Alive!

Annual memberships were extended for 3 months. No action will be required on your part.

Admission is required to participate in Signature Encounters. If you have scheduled a Signature Encounter please make a reservation for that date, and purchase your admission ticket if you don’t already have it.

We are automatically issuing refunds to those who had pre-existing reservations for a Signature Encounter scheduled to take place during our closure. No action is required on your part.

No problem! Click here to view or cancel your upcoming reservations. Existing reservations can't be changed, but you can cancel and then book a new reservation.

Animal Safety

We are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our animals and staff. ZooTampa’s veterinarians and animal care professionals follow a stringent infectious disease prevention program. We also have an intensive monitoring program designed to detect any illness in our animals as early as possible.

Our veterinarians and animal care team are keeping up-to-date with the latest information provided by the Centers for Disease Control, American Veterinary Medical Association and County Public Health offices to determine whether the risk to animal health changes and protocols need to be adjusted. Additionally, the team maintains constant contact with human and veterinary health professionals, as well as other zoos and aquariums, to develop our response and reporting plans.

Other FAQ

As a non-profit organization, depending on ticket sales, zoo visits and donations to operate, our temporary closure will have a significant impact on our overall operating budget. Your support is critical as we continue our mission to be a place where families can come, escape from daily lives, and connect with each other and wildlife. Visit our donate page to help.

We truly appreciate your patience and understanding and look forward to welcoming you back to ZooTampa soon!

FAQs about admission & discounts

Yes — a printed ticket is not necessary for admittance to ZooTampa. If you have access to the confirmation email with attached tickets on your phone, or if you have your ticket barcodes saved in a mobile wallet such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay, we can scan your tickets directly from your phone.

If you've purchased tickets online and can't find your confirmation email with your tickets you have a few options. First, please search your spam folder for "ZooTampa". If you locate the email in spam please mark the email as "Not Spam" so that you will receive all email communications in the future. If you don't find the email in your spam folder, simply visit the ticket window at ZooTampa and provide your order number (shown on the web page after completing your purchase) or if you don't have the order number you may also provide your name and photo ID. We will be able to look up your order at the ticket window with this information.

At this time we are not offering military discounts. Please check back later or keep up with us on social media to find out when our Armed Forces Salute program will be reinstated.

ZooTampa does not offer student discounts at this time.

ZooTampa does not offer discounts for AARP or AAA members at this time.

No — ZooTampa does not offer free birthday admission at this time.

Yes — ZooTampa at Lowry Park participates in AZA's Reciprocal Admissions Program with more than 150 other zoos and aquariums throughout North America. Click here for more information about AZA's Reciprocal Admissions Program and to see a list of participating zoos and aquariums.

FAQs about Memberships & Pay For A Day passes

Membership perks vary slightly depending on what type of membership you've purchased (Individual Plus, Dual Plus, or Family Plus), but all ZooTampa Members receive the following benefits:

  • Unlimited admissions for all members (no blockout days) for 12 full months from the date of purchase
  • Unlimited access to our 2020 seasonal event series including Creatures of the NightChristmas in the Wild, and Dinos Alive!
  • Preferred parking (subject to availability)
  • Discounts on Zoo dining, shopping, Signature Encounters, and other programs
  • Discounts on separate ticket events
  • Invitations to members-only events
  • $5 off admission for visiting friends and relatives
  • Free or discounted admission to over 150 zoos and aquariums in the U.S. and SWAPtember privileges

For more information, or to become a ZooTampa Member, please visit our Membership page.

Please note: Pay For A Day passes are not the same as Memberships, and do not have the same benefits.

Yes — ZooTampa at Lowry Park participates in AZA's Reciprocal Admissions Program with more than 150 other zoos and aquariums throughout North America. Click here for more information about AZA's Reciprocal Admissions Program and to see a list of participating zoos and aquariums.

ZooTampa members receive free or discounted admission into the zoos and aquariums listed at the link above when they show their valid Zoo membership card. Extra fees or benefits, such as parking, special events, etc. are not included.

NOTE: This list is updated quarterly and is subject to change without notice. Members are admitted according to the membership rules of the other zoo or aquarium, not those of ZooTampa (for example, if their definition of a "family membership" limits the number of children to 4, then that is the number allowed in using your ZooTampa membership card). Reciprocal zoos that have free admission to the general public may offer free parking or other benefits; call them to confirm. Also, many of the listed facilities define a family as 2 Adults and 2 Children. Therefore, additional children may have to pay admission.

Pay for a Day, Rest of Year Free tickets are valid for unlimited admission through 2020 (with posted blockout dates) and include access to seasonal events like Creatures of the Night, Dinos Alive!, and Christmas in the Wild, as long as the event does not occur on a posted blockout date. For premium benefits like preferred parking, reciprocal agreements for other zoo & aquarium admission, discounts on food & retail, fundraisers, and no blockout dates, consider purchasing a ZooTampa Membership.

2020

After 4 PM:

  • 10/10
  • 10/17
  • 10/24

All Day:

  • 3/14
  • 3/21
  • 11/27 through 11/29
  • 12/26-31

Yes - If you already have your Pay for a Day, Rest of Year Free ticket and wish to visit during a listed blockout date, please stop by the Zoo’s ticketing windows for alternate options:

  1. During blockout periods, pay for a day, come back all year ticket holders have access to significantly discounted single-day tickets.
  2. For a limited time from the date of purchase, Pay For A Day tickets can be upgraded to Zoo Memberships (with no blockout dates).

Yes! You can purchase a Pay for a Day, Rest of Year Free ticket for first-time use on a listed blockout date and have full access to the park on that day. Blockout dates apply to repeat visitation.

Bring a copy of your confirmation (or show on your mobile device) to expedite entry into the Zoo. At your convenience during your visit, you can stop by the Tours & Guest Services kiosk located inside the Zoo to obtain a printed physical pass. There's no need to stand in line at the ticket windows — simply walk right in!

FAQs about Zoo rules, rides, encounters, & other guest info

FREE! Parking at ZooTampa is free for all guests. Members receive preferred parking, subject to availability.

WHEELCHAIRS & ECVs

A limited quantity of manual wheelchairs and ECVs are available for rent inside ZooTampa on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to the popularity of these rentals, we are unable to guarantee availability or reserve equipment.

Rental fee plus a held photo ID as a deposit are required to rent a manual or electric wheelchair.

Personal wheelchairs or ECVs are welcome inside the Zoo.

STROLLERS

ZooTampa offers the rental of strollers on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to the popularity of our rentals, we are unable to guarantee availability or reserve equipment.

Rental fee plus a held photo ID as a deposit are required to rent a stroller.

Rental Fees (including tax)*

Strollers: $13.02

Manual Wheelchairs: $12

ECVs: $38

* Rental fees are subject to change without notice

It depends. At ZooTampa we give our animals free will to decide if they want to be touched, therefore we don't guarantee that you'll have the opportunity to touch an animal during an encounter. For African penguin encounters, southern white rhino encounters, and Aldabra tortoise encounters you may touch the animals only if the animal is comfortable at the time and Zoo staff permits it. For all other encounters touching is not permitted for the safety of our animals and guests.

Wallaroo Petting Zoo & Pony Barn offers opportunities for guests to interact with and pet llamas, goats, ponies, and other animals. ZooTampa also has stingray and lorikeet feeding experiences where you may touch the animals.

It depends. We have up-close signature encounters, as well as stingray and lorikeet feedings available.

Our animals are on specialized, monitored diets, so feeding any other animals at ZooTampa without the permission of Zoo staff is not permitted.

Yes — children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult in order to participate in any Up-Close Signature Encounter. More details for each encounter below:

African Penguin Backstage

Guests must be at least 5 years old for this encounter. Children 17 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult in order to participate in the experience.

Aldabra Tortoise Encounter

Children 2 and under are free. Children 3 and older require a ticket. Children 17 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult in order to participate in the experience.

Southern White Rhino Backstage

Guests must be at least 5 years old for this encounter. Children 17 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult in order to participate in the experience.

African Elephant Backstage

Guests must be at least 5 years old for this encounter. Children 17 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult in order to participate in the experience.

Indian Rhino Feeding

Guests must be at least 5 years old for this encounter. Children 17 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult in order to participate in the experience.

Koala Photo Encounter

Children 2 and under are free. Children 3 and older require a ticket. Children 17 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult in order to participate in the experience.

Giraffe Meet & Greet

Children 2 and under are free. Children 3 and older require a ticket. Children 17 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult.

No — all rides, including the Tram and Roaring Springs, are free.

Yes — please see our Rides page for full details on age and height restrictions for each ride at ZooTampa.

Only ADA service animals are permitted inside ZooTampa at Lowry Park. This includes trained service animals and service animals-in-training, but does not include pets or emotional support animals (ESAs).

Service animals are limited to dogs and miniature horses that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Service animals must remain harnessed or leashed at all times. If these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the guest’s disability prevents them from using these devices, then the service animal must be under the guest’s complete control at all times.

We pride ourselves on providing broad access by service animals throughout our park, but because sensitivities can vary with our animals, guests with service animals are encouraged to check with Guest Relations on the day of visit to determine if access to any specific Zoo area is restricted on that day. Service animals are restricted from entering the Koala photo encounter area.

Guests are responsible for the clean-up and for controlling their service animal’s behavior. Guests will be asked to remove service animals if these guidelines are not followed.

ZooTampa does not offer pet boarding facilities.

ZooTampa is open rain or shine, with rare exceptions for extreme weather. If you're unsure, please check our Visitor Info page or our ZooTampa Facebook page. If there are no special notices in either of those places regarding weather conditions then we're open for business.

No — we do not have plastic bags, plastic straws, or plastic cup lids. This is for the safety of our animals and the environment.

We offer a variety of food at our restaurants and concession stands, but understand that guests may need to bring outside food for special dietary needs. The following food items are permitted:

  • Bottled water, max 20oz bottle, sealed (limit one per guest)
  • Small snacks for young children
  • Baby food/baby formula
  • Soft-sided insulated bags, no larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep (limit one per child)
  • Pre-purchased empty ZooTampa souvenir cups
  • Any food required for medical purposes and medically-indicated nutritional supplements

The following food items are not permitted in ZooTampa:

  • Prepared or packaged food or meals
  • Alcohol
  • Glass or any open containers or water bottles filled with beverages
  • Hard-sided coolers of any size.
  • Soft-sided coolers larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep

For your convenience we have a picnic area near our main parking lot, where you may enjoy food or drinks that you've brought with you. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the picnic area.

Gluten-free menu options are also available at ZooTampa's restaurants upon request. Please ask a Food and Beverage team member for assistance.

Guest with special dietary needs, please contact Guest Relations prior to your visit at 813-935-8552 ext 0.

For your safety and the safety of all guests, animals, and staff, all bags, backpacks, and packages will be subject to inspection prior to entering the park.

The following items are NOT PERMITTED at ZooTampa:

  • Any type of gun, explosives, weapons, knives or other sharp objects
  • Straws or cups with disposable plastic lids
  • Glass or open containers
  • Hard-sided coolers of any size
  • Soft-sided coolers larger than 8.5” wide x 6” high x 6” deep
  • Suitcases
  • Bags with wheels
  • Food or drinks (except those listed as allowed in the above FAQ)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Marijuana or other illegal drugs
  • Clothing likely to create a danger or disturbance, such as clothing with offensive content or clothing which misrepresents your identity
  • Segways, hover boards, skateboards, roller skates, bikes, shoes with wheels, wagons, or two-wheeled, self-balancing electric vehicles (personal wheelchairs, strollers, and ECVs are permitted, and also are available for rent on a first-come, first-served basis)
  • Drones
  • Folding chairs
  • Hazardous items or materials
  • Pets (ADA service animals are permitted - please read the above FAQ for more info)
  • Any other items ZooTampa deems to be inappropriate or dangerous

Please leave any unnecessary articles secured within your vehicle to expedite your entry into the park.

We reserve the right to deny entry to anyone not observing Zoo Rules.

Smoking and vaping is only permitted in designated areas. Ask a Zoo staff member for assistance in locating one of these areas. Smoking or vaping marijuana is strictly prohibited.

Still have questions?

Contact us — we're here to help.

Contact ZooTampa