Calgary Zoo zeros in on guests

Posted on March 08

With record crowds expected for the giant pandas, the Calgary Zoo is launching three new ticketing initiatives that will give people more choice in planning their visit. This includes a wider range of prices, continuous online discounts to avoid lineups at the gate, and the chance to pick what time you can see the pandas.

“We are expecting up to 25 per cent more visitors this summer – so our goal is to ensure people have a great experience,” says Lindsey Galloway, Senior Director, Corporate Services and Customer Experience, Calgary Zoo. “We will encourage our guests to visit on less busy days and we want them to avoid lineups. We want to make sure that each one of our visitors has a fantastic opportunity to create a special memory.”

Variable pricing and online discounts will provide a range of options to give Calgarians and tourists more choice and ensure affordability when visiting the zoo. Taking affect May 1, 2018, pricing will range from $19.95 in low season to $34.95 in high season. By increasing prices on the weekends and decreasing prices on week days, the zoo is expecting to shift a portion of its visitors to week days, which means a better experience for all guests.

In addition, the zoo is introducing Advance Panda Tickets. This will allow visitors to have the option to pick a specific time in the day to see the giant pandas. These tickets, along with the purchase of admission, will be available beginning in May. They can be bought in advance or picked up on the park and will help to decrease the wait time to see the giant pandas.

Every day of the week, special deals will be available for tickets bought online, such as, $5 off per transaction or per ticket. The zoo is anticipating to increase its advance ticket sales which will help people avoid long lines at the admission gate.

“It’s important to note, we will continue to have options for economically challenged Calgarians, through the City of Calgary’s Fee Assistance program,” says Galloway. “And our membership pricing remains the best deal, an average member visits five times each year; for an adult this works out to about $13 per visit.”

In 2012, an agreement was signed by the Canadian and Chinese governments to host two giant pandas for a 10-year stay in Canada. For the first five years, the pandas were at the Toronto Zoo and the remaining five years will be spent at the Calgary Zoo.

The panda family arriving from Toronto consists of adult bears, Er Shun and Da Mao, and Er Shun’s two cubs Jia Panpan (Canadian Hope) and Jia Yueyue (Canadian Joy) who were successfully born in October of 2015 at the Toronto Zoo through artificial insemination. The pandas’ new habitat, Panda Passage, opens to the public on May 7, 2018.