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March 22, 2018 Calgary Zoo

Giant pandas are coming- how can you visit?

You will be able to see giant pandas at the Calgary Zoo for the first time since 1988- in exactly 45 days. With all of this excitement building, it’s time to plan your experience.
What are the different ways that you can visit the calgary pandas?

The Calgary Zoo has renovated a building in Eurasia to house our new panda family. Called Panda Passage, this state of the art building will not only host four giant pandas, but it will also be home to our Bactrian camels, as well as our two male Komodo dragons. Panda Passage will have it’s grand open on May 7, 2018- just over a month away.

Er Shun (adult female), Jia Pan Pan and Jia Yue Yue (adorable twin cubs). Photo credit: Toronto Zoo

We expect the zoo to be busy- after all, the first panda stay in 30 years means guaranteed panda-monium! In order to provide the best experience to our zoo family, we have created different ways for you to visit the giant pandas, including time- ticketing, membership previews, and a member-only visiting hour. What does that mean for you as a visitor?

It means that you have several options:

  1. Are you a regular zoo customer? If yes, than you can look forward to visiting Panda Passage starting May 7th – the grand opening. Enter the zoo and enjoy your visit as you normally would, but make sure to save some time for the pandas! Opening weeks will be busy, so we recommend planning your day to make sure you won’t be waiting in line.
    • Add time-ticketing! Free of charge, book a special time during the day to visit the pandas. Coming soon, this service will be available when you attend the zoo- just select the hour when you would most like to visit Panda Passage. During this time frame you will have access to a fast track lane at the habitat – bypass big lines and visit the pandas right way.
  2. Are you an Engage or Inspire member? If yes, than you have several different ways to visit the pandas! Our zoo members will get to visit the panda family first. Starting May 7, visit the zoo as you normally would, or:
    • Enjoy member previews from April 27- May 5! Visit the zoo for an exclusive first look at the Panda Passage. Let us know what you think of the space.
    • Enjoy a special members-only hour! After May 7, every morning will have a special members-only preview hour from 9-10 a.m. Come to the zoo when it opens and enjoy the pandas without the crowds or the fuss.
    • Add time-ticketing! Free of charge, book a special time during the day to visit the pandas. Coming soon, this service will be available when you attend the zoo- just select the hour when you would most like to visit Panda Passage. During this time frame you will have access to a fast track lane at the habitat – bypass big lines and visit the pandas right way.
The pandas are coming! Members get to see them first.

The pandas are coming! Members get to see them first.

We’re expecting up to 25 per cent more visitors this summer, so our goal is to ensure that you have a great experience at the zoo. Besides introducing member visiting hours and time-ticketing to all of our guests, we also will feature continuous online discounts, and a wider range of prices. These discounts will include daily deals for online purchases ($5 off per transaction or per ticket), and lower prices for weekday admissions. We aim to provide a range of options for Calgary Zoo guests to enjoy, and to help decrease crowds during daily visits.

Pandas are coming, and we can’t wait for you to get to visit them. We so excited to welcome Er Shun and Da Mao, and Er Shun’s two cubs Jia Panpan (Canadian Hope) and Jia Yueyue (Canadian Joy) to our Calgary Zoo family.


See the pandas first! Engage and Inspire zoo members get a home-court advantage with fun sneak peeks and member previews from April 27- May 5 – which means panda visits before anyone else. 

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Comments (23)

  1. Alycia

    So if we are engage members to come early before everyone at the end of April do we need to register or get tickets?

    • Calgary Zoo

      No appointments necessary- just visit as you regularly would during your member previews!

      • Nancy

        I am one of many who have watched the journey of these four pandas from the arrival to Canada and prayed for the babies when they were born.I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Toronto zoo 5 times to see them but the panda cam sure made my day and lifted my spirits being able to check in on them , I hope the panda cam comes back so I can continue to watch the cubs grow and the parents live such a peaceful existence. I am hoping to make it to Calgary to see them but not until next year .

  2. Can you please kindly explain the option for Calgary Zoo Connect members to see the lovely pandas in the above post?
    I suspect the Calgary Zoo marketing team mean no disrespect to Connect members but at the moment the above post did somehow leave out Connect members by mistake.

    • Calgary Zoo

      Hi Kempton- the blog mentions only Engage and Inspire members for the previews as their membership level includes previews and other perks! Connect members have unlimited zoo admission for the year, but Engage and Inspire include more perks. Connect members are welcome to upgrade, or prep for a visit starting on May 7! You can find more details here: https://www.calgaryzoo.com/membership-benefits

  3. Karen Geddes

    Is the member preview, April 27 – May 5, just to see the Panda enclosure or will the pandas be available for viewing?

    • Calgary Zoo

      Hi Karen- the previews from April 27-May 5 are for visiting the pandas!!! Come join us and be one of the first to see the beautiful bears in person.

  4. Jackie

    My daughters and I are engage members. My mom is coming out to visit just before the exhibit opens on May 7. Am I allowed to bring her with us or does she have to be a member as well to see them between April 27-May 5?

    • Calgary Zoo

      Hi Jackie – members can use their official guest passes to bring a non-member with them to the previews. 🙂

  5. Bri

    How do you access time-ticketing? Online? If online, how early to your visit can you access it? Will it be available during the preview? Will the main entrance doors be open prior to the zoo opening to start lining up early? Thanks 🙂

    • Calgary Zoo

      Hi Bri,

      Time ticketing won’t be necessary during the member previews, but will be available in May at the gate, and online as well. The zoo gates will open at normal times.

  6. June

    Oh, Jia Yueyue’s name is pronounced Jia You You and and she is not called Way Way, which is what the curator said on CBC. Using her properly pronounced name shows respect.

    • Calgary Zoo

      Hi June,

      We have several Chinese staff members working here at the zoo who speak Mandarin and Cantonese. We have worked with them on the pronunciation of the name, and Jia YueYue is indeed pronounced like ‘you you’. There is great respect for the language and the name meaning here- sometimes mistakes can be made.

  7. Sharmaine

    For Engage Members, will the previews for Pandas be an all day event or just from 9-10 AM?

  8. Ethne Dickinson

    As a zoo member how do I book a time slot to see pandas. Looks like this option is available only when purchasing membership.

    Ethne

  9. Lisa

    I plan to buy my tickets at the gate so I can use my AMA discount. Will I be able to pick a time-ticket slot there?

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