The San Diego Zoo provides special parking, rest rooms, and access to shows, tour buses, and exhibits for guests with disabilities. There are ASL “signed” bus tours available for the hearing impaired; please call in advance to arrange for an interpreter (619) 231-1515, ext. 4526. Please note there are steep grades in parts of the Zoo, and assistance is recommended for those with limited mobility. A free shuttle bus operates inside the Zoo for those with limited mobility. For information about service animal access, please call (619) 231-1515, ext. 4526, Monday through Friday.
All disabled guests must pay admission fees to the Zoo.
The Zoo provides special assistance to its exhibits and attractions for those with limited mobility. Our bus tour offers space to store folding wheelchairs. Before boarding, it is recommended that you notify the bus attendant to reserve seats in the wheelchair area of the bus for other members of your party. Those guests in a non-folding wheelchair may leave it at the loading facility to be picked up at the end of the bus tour.
Guests with limited mobility may also enjoy spectacular views of the Zoo and surrounding Balboa Park from our Skyfari attraction. Those guests in folding wheelchairs may have their wheelchairs transported ahead by a gondola to be available upon their arrival at the opposite terminal. Those who have non-folding or electric wheelchairs may leave their wheelchair at the terminal and take a round trip.
Should guests need a ride to avoid steep grade areas, a shuttle service is available by asking a Zoo employee to call for one. In addition, for safety purposes it is not recommended for guests in wheelchairs to use the moving walkways. Again, shuttle assistance can transport disabled guests to their desired location.
We welcome Guests with disabilities that choose to bring their trained service animal into the Zoo. A copy of our guidelines for service animals may be obtained in the Security office. A kennel is available for those who choose to leave their service animal during their stay on Zoo grounds. (Pets and service dogs in-training are not allowed inside the Zoo.)
All services and attractions are listed in the guide map if you have additional questions. If you need more information or assistance during your visit, please ask any available employee. He or she can contact someone to help you. If you have additional questions about visiting the Zoo that have not been answered, please contact us.
The Zoological Society of San Diego is dedicated to providing all of its guests with equal enjoyment of the wonderful experience offered by its Parks – The World Famous San Diego Zoo and The San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park.
The safety of our visitors is extremely important to us. The Parks are primarily pedestrian environments. By “pedestrian,” we mean any individual who moves within walking areas with or without the use of walking-assistive devices such as crutches, leg braces, wheelchairs, etc. Park attendance is often at high capacity resulting in busy pedestrian pathways. Our goal is to maintain a safe pedestrian traffic flow for all visitors while allowing for use of mobility assistive devices that do not fundamentally alter the nature of the experience the Parks provide.
In order to maintain a safe pedestrian environment and the desired pace and flow of visitor traffic, the Parks do not allow guests to bring or use most wheeled vehicles within the grounds. Bicycles, tricycles, scooters, skateboards, roller skates and similar modes of transportation are not allowed within the grounds. The Parks allow strollers as well as the following mobility assistive devices for use by guests with disabilities: wheelchairs, electric scooters, and Segways®. All Segways entering the Parks must be operated in “Turtle” mode so as not to disrupt the desired pace of the visitor traffic at the Parks and disturb other guests.
The Parks provide accommodations to people who need mobility assistance while on our grounds. Several means of transportation throughout the Parks are available to all guests and shuttle service is available for guests with limited mobility and guests who use wheelchairs. Shuttle service can be arranged by asking any employee to call for service. The Parks also offer for rent a limited number of wheelchairs and electric scooters. In addition, the Parks provide free admission for a personal attendant/caregiver to accompany a guest who requires such help in order to access the public programs, activities, and facilities of the Parks. Further, on 7-day advance notice, guests who use manual wheelchairs can request the assistance of a staff member, free-of-charge, for up to 4 hours, for the sole purpose of pushing the wheelchair while on Park property. Please keep in mind that while all Park personnel may provide minor assistance, they are not trained to and are not allowed to lift a guest out of his/her mobility device or provide assistance with medication or help of a personal nature.
The Zoological Society of San Diego reserves the right to modify this policy at any time as it deems appropriate.
If you have any questions about this Mobility Assistive Device Policy or other access questions prior to your visit, please call our Access Coordinator at 619-231-1515 ext. 4526. If you need assistance during your visit, please ask any uniformed employee.