Fort Worth Zoo

Fort Worth Zoo Coordinators, Police Prepared to Navigate Busy Spring Break Traffic

Last year, the zoo saw more than 24,000 guests on its half-price admission day during Spring Break

NBC Universal, Inc.

Another spring break season is underway at the Fort Worth Zoo, which is preparing for a busy Wednesday with half-priced admissions.

Avery Elander, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Fort Worth Zoo, said the 10 days of spring break make up about 10% of their annual total attendance. Half-price admissions are a weekly occurrence on Wednesdays, though it’s typically one of the busier days of the year during spring break.

“We saw about a little over 24,000 people here last year on half-price Wednesday,” Elander said. “I think coming off a few years with COVID, we certainly were not seeing those kinds of numbers, but that is a half-price Wednesday on spring break for us.”

Elander said operations are fully staffed this week to prepare for the large crowds.

“We have people fully staffed in our ticket booths, in our guest relations office. All of our restaurant and merchandise locations are open, so we can accommodate these larger crowds,” she said.

While the zoo is ready, they are encouraging visitors to plan ahead as well.

“Know that you might have to sit and wait once you exit the highway or come down on Forest Park. Be patient with us. Just know that it’s going to take people a little time to move people into the parking lots,” Elander said.

Ken Senecal of Haltom City took his family to the zoo on Tuesday to avoid the crowds on Wednesday.

“This is fairly crowded, but tomorrow is going to be a madhouse,” Senecal said. “The animals will actually enjoy watching the people get around.”

Upwards of 30 Fort Worth police officers will be managing traffic outside the zoo on Wednesday, mostly concentrating on the University Drive and Forest Park areas.

Sgt. Ed Bach is with the Fort Worth Police Department’s Special Events Emergency Response unit. His team helps monitor large events that take place in the city, including the Fort Worth Zoo during spring break.

A command center equipped with cameras and interactive maps has been set up by the zoo.

“We monitor everything that’s going on. We’re listening to the radio channels for the different groups of officers that are working,” Sgt. Bach said. “We make sure everyone is all getting a view of what’s going on in the entire area.”

Bach said their focus is not just on the visitors coming into the zoo, but those who live in the area, as well.

“We want to make sure we’re not negatively impacting the neighborhoods, that they feel like they can still get emergency services into their neighborhoods in the event that somebody is having a fire at their house, medical problem,” he said.

Visitors are asked to avoid navigating through and parking in neighboring residential streets. Zoo coordinators encourage visitors to consider ride-sharing, carpooling or using the Trinity Metro Safari Express.

The zoo will offer Safari Xpress riders a $3 discount on zoo admission, with the discount coupon available only on Safari Xpress shuttles.

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