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 – [email protected]
A response should be received within four days; however, 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, captioner, or volunteer.
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. There are many tactile elements designed into the exhibits at the Zoo. There may also be some touch-and-feel opportunities with live animals, depending on the day, season, and current safety restrictions. Our volunteers do one-on-one interpretation at some stations throughout the Zoo, which may include opportunities to touch artifacts. With a two-week notice, we may be able to present 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.
All guests with disabilities must have a valid form of admission to the Zoo and tickets must be ordered in advance on our website. We do not offer a disability discount, but you may qualify for admission through our Free to Explore Program. A personal care attendant who is needed to assist a person with a disability will be admitted at no charge but will still need an online ticket. Members should add an additional Member ticket to your order; ticket purchasers should add a Free Child ticket to your order; and Free to Explore tickets should add an additional Adult to their order.
- Dolphin Presentations – Discovery Bay: Reserve an ADA ticket for a dolphin presentation on the website and then take the elevator to the 3rd Floor in Discovery Bay where there are designated spaces for accessible seating. If you need a folding chair, please ask a volunteer.
- Wings & Things – Target Learning Center: There are designated spaces at the back of the seating area for accessible seating. If you need a folding chair, please ask a staff for assistance.
- Wings Financial World of Birds Show – Weesner Family Amphitheater (outdoors, summer): There are spaces at the top and bottom of the amphitheater for wheelchairs. Accessible walkways to both locations are available.
- Conservation Carousel (seasonal): Accessible seating is incorporated into the carousel in the form of either bench seating or straps to secure a wheelchair in place.
Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sensory Sensitivities
Prepare for your visit with MNZoo4All – A Sensory Guide. Designed to support those with autism and sensory-processing disorders in mind, the app also helps make the Minnesota Zoo more accessible to all guests. Download for free from App Store for iOS Devices and Google Play for Android Devices. 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 (not be suitable for chewing or small children). Spring and summer are the busiest times at the Zoo. During the busy Spring school field trip season, information about how many school groups are expected on a specific date is available by calling 952-431-9200 during business hours or through the accommodations contacts as indicated above. 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.
Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Assistive listening devices are available for the Wings and Things presentations in the Target Learning Center indoor theater; please request a unit from the volunteer. 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. Please use caution when using electrostatic sensitive devices (for example, pacemaker or cochlear implant). Due to the use of recycled composite decking, guests on the Treetop Trail may experience naturally-occurring static electricity.
Accessible drinking fountains are located throughout the Zoo. Water bottle filling stations are located in Discovery Bay, near Call of the Wild food court, near the Minnesota Trail Lodge, and at various locations along the outdoor trails (seasonal). All outdoor fountains and bottle fillers are turned off during the cold weather months.
The path is composed of an accessible substrate which will become packed over time, but it can be challenging for some devices with wheels. All dinosaurs can be seen from the accessible path but there are some which require using an alternate, non-accessible, path to view up close. The substrate under the climbing features and nature play spots is an engineered wood fiber that will become packed over time and should become accessible. Some climbing features and nature play spots are not accessible.
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 Treetop Trail has four, ADA-compliant public access points: Treetop Trailhead, Moose Landing, Hanifl Nature Center, and Bison Landing. Elevator access is available at the Treetop Trailhead (via Discovery Bay) and Hanifl Nature Center.
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. A full-size changing table is located in the First Aid Office; please inquire at the Guest Services Desk located inside the main Lower South Entrance.
Food & Beverage
A large variety of food items are available for sale at the Zoo, including gluten-friendly options. Should you have specific questions, please contact us through the accommodations contacts as indicated above or if you are on site, ask to speak to one of the chefs in person. Guests are welcome to bring their own picnic lunch and eat at any of the picnic tables available throughout the Zoo property. The Minnesota Zoo does not offer disposable straws and lids at any food location due to animal health concerns. If a straw is needed, you may bring your own, but please dispose of it properly or take it home so it does not end up in an animal habitat.
Mobility Assistive Devices
The Zoo is accessible for guests using wheelchairs and other mobility assistive devices used for a disability. 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 some stand-up powered devices when needed for a disability. If you are using a stand-up powered device as a mobility assistive device, our Health & Security staff will evaluate whether you are able to manipulate the device in a safe manner and it must be operated only in low-speed mode. If you are using a non-traditional mobility assistive device or using a stroller as a wheelchair, please stop at the Guest Services desk for an accessibility 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.
Mobility Device Rentals Available on a First-Come Basis at Guest Services –– NO ADVANCE RESERVATIONS
- 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 (ECV): We have a limited supply of single rider carts available on a first-come basis. The rental fee is $30 and photo identification is held as a deposit. The ECV is a single person cart only. Operators must be 16 years of age or older. All operators between the ages of 16 and 18 must have a valid driver’s license and a signature of a legal parent/guardian over the age of 21. Young children are not allowed to operate the cart.
- Stroller rental: $8 for a single and $11 for a double.
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, restrooms without automatic flushing mechanisms, and locations of full-size changing tables. 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)
- Hanifl Nature Center
- Farm Granary (seasonal)
Restrooms with Manual Flushing Mechanisms
- Just outside Call of the Wild Food Court
Full-Size Changing Tables
- First Aid Office (ask at Guest Services Desk for access) – adult size, power adjustable
- Hanifl Nature Center Family Restroom – wall mounted, non-adjustable, 400 lb. weight limit, 62”long, 21” deep, 31” high
Only trained service animals as defined by the ADA are allowed at the Zoo, provided that the animals remained properly leashed and controlled. For the health and safety of the Zoo’s animals, companion, emotional support, and therapy animals are not allowed. Pets are not allowed. Due to safety and security reasons, unauthorized pets will be promptly removed from the premises. 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. 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. Due to the sensitivity of the llamas and guest safety, services animals are not allowed in the Llama Trek habitat. 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.
The elevated 1.25-mile-long Treetop Trail has four, ADA-compliant public access points: Treetop Trailhead, Moose Landing, Hanifl Nature Center, and Bison Landing. Elevator access is available at the Treetop Trailhead (via Discovery Bay) and Hanifl Nature Center. The trail surface has no inclines and is covered with a composite/synthetic decking material made from recycled milk jugs. Please use caution when using electrostatic sensitive devices (for example, pacemaker or cochlear implant). Due to the use of recycled composite decking, guests on the Treetop Trail may experience naturally-occurring static electricity. There is a spindled railing on both sides of the path, which is 42 inches tall by code. The topography beneath the trail varies and it is approximately 32 feet from the ground at the highest point. Mobility assistive devices used for a disability must not exceed 5 mph.
- 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
- Treetop Trail: 1.25 miles