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

After 2:30 PM on any date, reservations are not required. For earlier entry, reservations are strongly recommended to guarantee entry on your desired date. You can make reservations here.

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

ZooTampa remains committed to providing a safe environment for our guests, employees and animals. We will continue to operate with enhanced safety and sanitation measures as outlined in our modified operations plan which include:
  • Reducing attendance to safe capacity
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitation throughout the Zoo
  • Conducting noninvasive temperature checks
  • Strongly encouraging mask use
  • Ensuring that our guests maintain social distance at all time
  • Requiring masks in all indoor locations as outline in the ZooTampa mask policy below

No, City of Tampa and Hillsborough County mask ordinances are still in place, which include wearing appropriate face coverings while indoors as outlined below in the ZooTampa mask policy.

ZooTampa is principally an outdoor fresh-air experience; therefore, when outside on zoo grounds, guests who maintain proper social distancing are not required to wear face masks. However, every guest entering the zoo is strongly encouraged to wear a mask, and ZooTampa will provide disposable masks free of charge to anyone who needs one.

Guests are required to wear masks at our limited indoor venues which include, retail shops, restrooms, restaurants (except while seated for dining), and Manatee Mangrove. Additionally, masks are required during Signature Encounters, Expedition Africa Safari Tram ride, certain animal experiences, and while in the tram queue line. In response to CDC guidelines, masks or face coverings must fit snugly against the face, cover the nose and mouth, and be secured under the chin. The only exception to mask use will be for children under the age of 3.

Acceptable face coverings:

  • Face coverings must be made from a cloth or other barrier material that prevents the discharge, release, and expulsion of respiratory droplets from a person’s nose or mouth.
  • If you are wearing a face shield, you must also wear a mask.

Unacceptable face coverings:

  • Face coverings with mesh material, or holes of any kind
  • Face coverings that do not securely and fully cover a guest’s nose and mouth
  • Face shields without masks

In accordance with the US Department of Justice, the American Disability Act (ADA) does not provide blanket exemption to people with disabilities from complying with legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operations. To ensure the health and safety of everyone, any guest who is not able to wear an acceptable face covering will be restricted to our outdoor areas which make up more than 90% of our Zoo.

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

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, 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.

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.

Yes — with CityPASS you’ll save more than 50% off Zoo admission plus 4 more Tampa Bay attractions. First, purchase CityPASS online for immediate, paperless delivery to your mobile device. Next, use the ZooTampa reservation system to book a reservation. While advance reservations are strongly recommended for all guests, they are not required. A limited number of walk-ups will be available each day. Reservations and walk-up availability are on a first come, first served basis. Bring your CityPASS and reservation confirmation to ZooTampa for admission.

Active duty military and veterans can get $4 off per ticket on up to 4 tickets. Bring a form of ID to verify your military status and purchase your tickets at the front gate ticket windows.

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. AZA discounted admission applies only to single day tickets; ZooTampa Memberships and Pay For A Day Passes are not eligible for this discount.

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:

  • Bring a free guest with you to the Zoo on every visit!
  • 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 Night and Christmas in the Wild.
  • Preferred parking (subject to availability)
  • Discounts on Zoo dining, shopping, animal encounters, summer camps, and other programs
  • Discounts and priority access to separate ticket events
  • Access to members-only events like Toddler Tuesday
  • $5 off admission for visiting friends and relatives
  • Free or discounted admission to over 150 zoos and aquariums in the U.S.

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.

Due to the current modified operations and capacity limits, SWAPtember with The Florida Aquarium and the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) will not take place this year. We realize this may be disappointing news, but please know this decision was not made lightly. We invite you to also support our partners The Florida Aquarium and MOSI as they continue to provide a safe place for families to be entertained, educated, and inspired.

Pay for a Day, Visit Rest of Year Free tickets are valid for unlimited admission through 12/31/2021 (with posted blockout dates) and include access to seasonal events like Creatures of the Night 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.

All Day: 11/26/2021 thru 11/28/2021, and 12/26/2021 thru 12/31/2021 After 4 PM: 10/16/2021, 10/23/2021, and 10/30/2021

Blockout dates only apply to repeat visitation. This means if you plan to purchase a Pay for A Day, Visit Rest of Year Free (“PFAD”) ticket, or have already purchased one online but haven’t used it yet, you may visit the Zoo on a blockout date as usual.  Just bring your email confirmation to the entrance.

If you purchased your PFAD ticket previously and have already used it, you may still visit on a blockout date, you will just need to pay a small fee per person, or you can choose to upgrade to an annual membership.  Some restrictions may apply to membership upgrades, based on when the ticket was originally purchased.  Stop by the Zoo’s ticket windows on the date of your visit for details on both options.

Yes! You can purchase a Pay for a Day, Visit 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

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.

ZooTampa also has stingray and lorikeet feeding experiences where the animals may touch you.

It depends. We offer a few animal experiences that have a feeding component. Check our Encounters page for more information and to book.

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 Expedition Africa safari 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.

View our Outside Food & Drinks Policy

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 using the chat bubble at the bottom left, or call us 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.

ZooTampa is committed to providing an environment that is safe and secure for guests, employees, volunteers and the animals in our care. ZooTampa prohibits any person from using or operating any drone or UAS on or above the Zoo campus, including parking facilities and back areas. Exceptions must receive written authorization by the Zoo's management team and must follow all rules and regulations of both the Zoo and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

This policy applies to all persons on the ZooTampa campus including guests, employees, and volunteers, as well as individuals who are operating a drone outside of the Zoo property limits but flying over its campus.

Persons in violation of ZooTampa's drone policy are identified as trespassers and will be referred to and dealt with accordingly by law enforcement officers, including but not limited to criminal charges and fines.

Still have questions?

Contact us — we're here to help.

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