We are committed to making the Minnesota Zoo a fun and inviting place for everyone.
If you have questions or need assistance during your visit, our wonderful Zoo staff and volunteers are available throughout the Zoo.
To request a specific disability accommodation, ASL interpretation, information in an alternative format, or any of the accommodations referenced below, please contact the Minnesota Zoo a minimum of two weeks prior to your planned visit. Accommodations may be requested by one of the following methods:
Accommodation Request Form
Phone – 952-431-9364 (voice) or 1-800-627-3529 (TTY)
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
A response should be received within four days. If you have not received a response within seven days of your planned visit, please call 952-431-9200. Please be advised that some accommodations are contingent upon the availability of an interpreter or captioner.
All guests with disabilities must have a valid form of admission to the Zoo. We do not offer a disability discount, but you may qualify for admission under our Zoo Access Program. A personal care attendant who is needed to assist a person with a disability will be admitted at no charge.
- Hawaiian Monk Seal Demonstrations: Take the elevator to the 3rd Floor in Discovery Bay and there are designated spaces for wheelchairs. If you need a folding chair, please ask a volunteer.
- Wings Financial World of Birds Show: In the Target Learning Center (fall/winter/spring), there are designated spaces at the back of the seating area for wheelchairs. If you need a folding chair, please ask a volunteer. In the Weesner Family Amphitheater (summer), there are spaces both at the top and bottom of the amphitheater for wheelchairs. Accessible walkways to both locations are available.
- Conservation Carousel: Accessible seating is incorporated into the carousel in the form of either bench seating or straps to secure a wheelchair in place.
- Music in the Zoo: Accessible seating is in the front of the amphitheater and seats must be selected at the time of ticket purchase.
Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sensory Sensitivities
The Zoo has a large campus which includes both indoor and outdoor exhibit areas. Many of the indoor spaces are large with high ceilings which cause them to be noisier. There are many locations where you will find quiet spaces outdoors, depending on the time of day and season. Disposable ear plugs and child-size earmuff hearing protectors are available at the Guest Services desk; earmuffs are available on a first-come basis and require photo identification be held as a deposit. The Guest Services desk has fidgets available (may not be suitable for very young children). Spring and summer are the busiest times at the Zoo. During the spring school field trip season, our website will indicate when large groups are scheduled; this information is always available by calling 952-431-9200 during business hours. On the Conservation Carousel, please let the attendant know if it would be helpful to have the music volume turned down. The Restrooms section of this page indicates the location of restrooms that have manual flushing mechanisms.
Blind or Low Vision
There is a 16×52 monocular available for check out at the Guest Services desk on a first-come basis; photo identification is held as a deposit. At each entrance to the Zoo and in several other locations along the trails, there are life-size bronze animal sculptures. In addition to the many tactile elements designed into the exhibits at the Zoo, there are also some touch-and-feel opportunities with live animals, depending on the day and season. Ask upon entry about the Close Encounters and Animal Demonstrations scheduled for the day. Our volunteers do one-on-one interpretation at many stations throughout the Zoo, which often include opportunities to touch artifacts. With a two-week notice, we are able to prepare a special schedule of these interpretation opportunities designed with an emphasis on sensory experiences; please request an accommodation as indicated above. Maps in an alternate format are not currently available. If you are visiting without the assistance of a person with sight, please request an accommodation as indicated above. The IMAX Theatre at the Minnesota Zoo has descriptive audio equipment available for check out at the box office.
Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Assistive listening devices are available for the Wings Financial World of Birds Shows when they take place in the Target Learning Center indoor theater; please request a unit from the volunteer. The video before the Hawaiian Monk Seal demonstration in Discovery Bay is captioned. A sign language interpreter, captioning, or material in an alternate format may be arranged with a two-week notice. To request any of these services, please request an accommodation as indicated above. The IMAX Theatre at the Minnesota Zoo has assistive listening and captioning equipment available for check out at the box office.
Accessible drinking fountains are located throughout the Zoo. A water bottle filling station is located in Discovery Bay.
The exhibits at the Zoo are accessible by either ramp or elevator, with slight changes in elevation along the trails. There are two long ramps that connect the lower level of the main building to the upper level, where the Tropics and Medtronic Minnesota Trails are located; there is not a public elevator to access this area. Inclines and ramps are shown on the accessibility map.
The Zoo has three entrances, all of which are accessible and have either automatic doors or gates that are positioned open when in use. The main Lower South Entrance is always open during business hours. The East Entrance and Upper South Entrance are open on a seasonal basis. There are drop-off areas close to the South Entrances and the East Entrance.
First Aid & Refrigeration for Medication
The First Aid office is located near the Guest Services desk at the main Lower South entrance. Refrigeration for medication is available at this location.
There are a large variety of food items available for sale at the Zoo, including options prepared without gluten. Lancer Hospitality operates a from-scratch kitchen so cannot guarantee against cross-contamination with possible allergens. Lancer strives to accommodate all of our guests’ dietary needs. Should you have questions, any of the chefs would be happy to speak with you. Guests are welcome to bring their own picnic lunch and eat at any of the tables available throughout the Zoo property.
Mobility Assistive Devices
The Zoo is accessible for guests using wheelchairs and other mobility assistive devices. Acceptable mobility assistive devices include: manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, walkers, steerable knee walkers, single-seat electric scooters with three or more wheels that cannot exceed 6 mph, and Segways. If you are using a Segway as a mobility assistive device, our Health & Safety staff will evaluate whether you are able to manipulate the device in a safe manner and it must be operated only in “turtle” mode. If you are using a stroller as a wheelchair, please stop at the Guest Services desk for a wheelchair tag. These tags make it easier for staff and volunteers to assist guests with mobility disabilities and ensure that guests will not have to explain their way through the facility. There is a double containment vestibule along the Tropics Trail which consists of a bamboo curtain and heavy wooden double doors. Assistance may be required to safely pass through. Inclines, ramps, and the vestibule are shown on the accessibility map.
Rentals Available on a First-Come Basis at Guest Services
- Wheelchairs: Both standard and extended size wheelchairs are available. Although there is no rental fee, photo identification is held as a deposit.
- Motorized Single Rider Carts: We have a limited supply of single rider carts. The rental fee is $10 per hour (maximum of $40) and photo identification is held as a deposit.
A total of 52 designated accessible parking spaces are available on a first-come basis and are distributed among four parking areas; two of those parking areas are open only on a seasonal basis. A valid disability parking placard or license plate is required. There are also drop-off areas close to the South Entrances and the East Entrance. Parking fees are collected from anyone using the parking areas, regardless of the space occupied.
711 or 1-800-627-3529
All restrooms throughout the Zoo are accessible; below is a list of the family restrooms and those without automatic flushing mechanisms. If an adult changing table is needed, the First Aid Office is equipped with a power table; please inquire at the Guest Services Desk located inside the main Lower South Entrance. Zoo employees and volunteers are neither trained nor permitted to lift a guest or help them inside a restroom. Should it be required, guests needing this assistance should plan to visit the Zoo with someone who is able to assist them.
Family Restrooms (all with automatic flushing mechanisms)
- Target® Learning Center (near entrance to the Medtronic Minnesota Trail)
- Central Plaza (seasonal)
- Farm Granary (seasonal)
Restrooms with Manual Flushing Mechanisms
- Just outside Call of the Wild Food Court
Trained service dogs are welcome at the Zoo, provided that the animals remain properly leashed and controlled. For the health and safety of the Zoo’s animals, companion, emotional support, and therapy animals are not allowed. If at any time your service animal’s behavior is out of control, you will be asked to remove the service animal from the premises. Service animals are allowed in the goat contact yard at the farm; however, for the safety of all parties, a staff member must be present and this may require a short wait time while the volunteer finds someone to assist. If at any time the sight, sound, or scent of a service animal upsets Zoo animals, causing them to become dangerous to themselves or others, the service animal will need to be removed from that area. Service animals may be restricted from specific public areas based on Zoo animal concerns. Guests with service animals will be advised of any such concerns on the day of their visit. The Zoo does not offer boarding facilities.
Sign Language Interpreters
Sign language interpreters may be arranged with a minimum two-week notice. Please request an accommodation as indicated above.
- South Entrance Drop Off to Admissions: 475 ft
- East Entrance Drop Off to Admissions (seasonal): 300 ft
- All Inside: .64 miles
- All Outside, including Farm: 1.46 miles
- Medtronic Minnesota Trail Loop: .1 miles
- RGC & Northern Trail Loop, not including Farm: .8 miles
- Tropics Trail Loop: .25 miles