SAN DIEGO ZOO
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
SAN DIEGO ZOO 2023 FACT SHEET
WHAT: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is an international nonprofit conservation organization that operates two world-class parks, the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and empowers people to connect with plants and animals, develop an appreciation for nature, and contribute to the safeguarding of wildlife everywhere by becoming Wildlife Allies. With a focus on global health and the interconnectedness of human, wildlife and habitat health, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance aims to drive greater conservation outcomes, including improving biodiversity and developing strong ecosystems. San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance collaborates, in partnership with hundreds of individuals and organizations in field projects worldwide, to innovate and implement full-spectrum conservation strategies. This synergy between work at home and in the field inspires and catalyzes conservation action on behalf of wildlife in unparalleled ways, and helps create a world where all life thrives.
The San Diego Zoo is a 100-acre wildlife park that is home to over 14,000 rare and endangered animals, representing more than 700 species and subspecies. Located just north of downtown San Diego in Balboa Park, the Zoo is also an accredited botanical garden, caring for more than 700,000 individual plants, including a prominent curated assemblage of close to 13,000 specimens, representing 3,100 species. Guests are invited to take part in exciting educational experiences and create lasting memories, while supporting San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s conservation efforts worldwide.
LOCATION: 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
NEWEST HABITAT: The expansive new 3.2-acre Denny Sanford Wildlife Explorers Basecamp is designed to appeal to all ages, and foster empathy for wildlife by exploring nature. Wildlife Explorers Basecamp, built on the site of the historic Children’s Zoo, features fresh and innovative elements, including eight buildings and habitats dispersed throughout four different habitat zones: Rainforest, Wild Woods, Marsh Meadows and Desert Dunes. The area blends innovation and immersive technology with opportunities to check out extraordinary species—ranging from leafcutter ants and orb weaver spiders to prairie dogs and sloths. There are interactive play opportunities and a one-of-a-kind floating, 7-foot-high stone globe, which rotates on a thin layer of water.
In 2022, Denny Sanford Wildlife Explorers Basecamp was named the Orchid winner for Interactive Design in the 46th annual Orchid & Onion Awards, hosted by the San Diego Architectural Foundation.
Animals In Action gives guests an opportunity to meet many of the San Diego Zoo's wildlife ambassadors. Wildlife care specialists share their amazing inside stories as guests watch animals climb, jump and balance, just as they do in their native habitats. Some animals are unique to this experience, and can only be viewed by attending Animals In Action. Guests also journey to exclusive areas that are not open to the public to meet other wildlife ambassadors and learn more about them. This fun and interactive experience shows guests how the San Diego Zoo cares for wildlife, and what San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is doing to help protect and save species here and around the world.
During the Early Morning Cheetah Experience, guests will have an opportunity to meet the Zoo’s world-famous wildlife care specialists, and one of the ambassador cheetahs as they run and play. In this 90-minute cart tour, guests view African wildlife habitats around the Zoo, learn about the care and conservation of wildlife, and visit off-view areas that are not open to the public. The Early Morning Cheetah Experience tour is subject to availability.
On the 90-minute Crazy About Cats tour, guests are escorted onto Zoo grounds before the park opens to the public, and travel by cart and by foot to see some of the Zoo's most iconic and fascinating wild cat species. Guests are taken to off-view areas with a tour guide for a private viewing and/or visits with some of the Zoo’s famous felines, and other animal friends. They visit exclusive locations and learn about cats of all sizes, how our wildlife care specialists help them thrive and what everyone can do to help cat species worldwide. The Crazy About Cats tour is subject to availability.
The Inside Look tour is an entertaining and educational 90-minute adventure offering guided views and interesting information about how the San Diego Zoo cares for wildlife. It is filled with experiences and stories that guests can’t get anywhere else. Guests can see the Zoo the way everyone wishes they could! The Inside Look tour is subject to availability.
During the 60-minute Discovery Cart tour, guests are introduced to the incredible animals and plants living at the San Diego Zoo. As guests sit back in the comfort of an expedition cart, a knowledgeable guide will share stories about the wildlife in the Zoo’s care, and how San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s conservation work is making an impact worldwide. Discovery Cart tours are subject to availability. Guests may inquire about Spanish-language-only tours.
The Exclusive VIP Experience is the ultimate way to experience the San Diego Zoo. The Zoo’s team of professionals will customize each guest’s visit to suit their individual needs and interests. Looking for a journey to some of the most exclusive areas of the most famous zoo in the world? The Exclusive VIP Experience is guests’ key to habitat areas, wildlife interactions and the very best in personalized service. Guests can spend up to seven hours exploring the Zoo with a personal tour guide, and receive a sit-down lunch at a Zoo restaurant. The Exclusive VIP Experience tour is subject to availability, and requires advance reservations (minimum 72 hours). *Wildlife experiences are subject to change based on the animals’ health and safety needs. Admission is separate and required.
SPECIAL ACTIVITIES*: Nighttime Zoo
May 26–Sept. 4, 2023 (except June 17th)
Nighttime Zoo offers visitors a different perspective of the Zoo. The summertime experience includes later hours and special live performances from a variety of entertainers, but our wildlife continues to steal the show.
Rendezvous In The Zoo (R*I*T*Z)
June 17, 2023, 6:30-11:30 p.m. This black-tie fundraiser benefits San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s conservation efforts at the San Diego Zoo, at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and around the globe. The event features dining and dancing under the stars, as well as an auction, wildlife encounters and live entertainment.
San Diego Zoo Food, Wine & Brew Celebration
Date to be Announced, 2023
This annual fundraiser for San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance features gourmet cuisine, wines and beers from San Diego's finest eateries, brewers and vintners; plus, live entertainment and up-close wildlife encounters.
Oct. 1–31, 2023
Throughout the entire month of October, youths 11 years old and younger receive free admission. Kids Free month gives youths an opportunity to visit the Zoo, and learn about the Earth’s wildlife—and the conservation efforts underway to save them.
Weekends in October 2023
This seasonal celebration is included with Zoo admission, as part of Kids Free month. The colorful and glowing extravaganza gives guests the chance to enjoy fun seasonal activities and Halloween-themed entertainment.
Jungle Bells Proudly Supported by California Coast Credit Union
Dec. 8–31, 2023 (except Dec. 24)
Familiar holiday traditions take on a wild twist at the Zoo’s Jungle Bells celebration. The Zoo will be aglow with holiday cheer and decorations, with music filling the air, joyful roaming entertainers, and special food items and sweets available. Guests won’t want to miss the nightly magic of Aurora, a twice-per-night spectacular that blends 3D projection mapping, music and lights. *Subject to change. Certain dates not included and times may vary. Please visit sandiegozoo.org for full details.
NOTABLE DINING: The Zoo’s newest eatery, Busy Bee Café, features an array of chef-inspired menu items including the Busy Bee signature honey bun, hand-dipped honey corn dogs, double trouble burgers, pizza and wings, plus Family Meal portions of pizza and hot dogs.
Albert’s Restaurant, located in the Lost Forest at the heart of the Zoo, provides full-service dining featuring chef-curated plates, a patio with a private waterfall and a full bar. Albert’s is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekends, and stays open later during extended hours at the Zoo.
Front Street Sweet Shack, the Zoo’s dessert destination, offers funnel cake, gourmet milkshakes and ice cream sundaes, among a variety of other sweet treats. It is located on Front Street across from the Reptile House.
HOURS*: Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours seasonally. *Hours subject to change.
ADMISSION*: 1-Day Pass Any Day (includes one visit to the San Diego Zoo, Guided Bus Tour, Kangaroo Express Bus, Skyfari Aerial Tram and all regularly scheduled experiences)
1-Day Pass Value Days (includes one visit to the San Diego Zoo, Guided Bus Tour, Kangaroo Express Bus, Skyfari Aerial Tram and all regularly scheduled experiences)
1-Day Pass Plus Any Day (includes all the features of the 1-Day Pass, plus one 4D Theater Experience)
1-Day Pass Plus Value Days (includes all the features of the 1-Day Pass, plus one 4D Theater Experience) *Prices and ticket packages are subject to change and availability. 1-Day Pass Value Days tickets valid on any Value Day (see calendar) within one year from date of purchase. For pricing and more information, please visit our tickets webpage.
MEMBERSHIP: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s large membership base is vital in helping the nonprofit organization make a difference for wildlife around the globe and help build a world where all life can thrive. San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance offers a variety of individual and household membership options and benefits based on a person’s level of choice, and ensures that everyone can become Wildlife Allies.
EVENTS: The San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park offer beautiful outdoor and indoor spaces with sweeping vistas, and lush, wooded areas that provide exceptional settings for any event—from birthday parties and high school proms to weddings and anniversaries. By scheduling an event—large or small—at one of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s two conservation parks, guests are not only selecting a unique and memorable venue; at the same time, they are contributing directly to support conservation efforts protecting wildlife around the world. For more information, visit https://events.sandiegozoo.org.
PARKING: Parking is free.
BOILERPLATE: About San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a nonprofit international conservation leader, committed to inspiring a passion for nature and working toward a world where all life thrives. The Alliance empowers people from around the globe to support their mission to conserve wildlife through innovation and partnerships. San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance supports cutting-edge conservation and brings the stories of their work back to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park—giving millions of guests, in person and virtually, the opportunity to experience conservation in action. The work of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance extends from San Diego to eco-regional conservation “hubs” across the globe, where their expertise and assets—including the renowned Wildlife Biodiversity Bank—are able to effectively align with hundreds of regional partners to improve outcomes for wildlife in more coordinated efforts. By leveraging these skills in wildlife care and conservation science, and through collaboration with hundreds of partners, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance has reintroduced more than 44 endangered species to native habitats. Each year, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s work reaches over 1 billion people in 150 countries via news media, social media, their websites, educational resources and San Diego Zoo Wildlife Explorers television programming, which is in children’s hospitals in 13 countries. Success is made possible by the support of members, donors and guests to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park, who are Wildlife Allies committed to ensuring all life thrives.
- Video depicting wildlife and the facilities of the San Diego Zoo
- Photos of the wildlife at the San Diego Zoo (animals and plants)