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“Impressive depth of animals; inaccurate map (not to scale).”
Review of Dallas Zoo

Dallas Zoo
Book In Advance
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$48.00*
and up
Dallas CityPASS
Ranked #15 of 231 things to do in Dallas
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The largest zoological experience in Texas, the 106-acre Dallas Zoo offers fun, educational and entertaining experiences for the whole family. The Zoo's mission is to inspire a passion for nature and conserve wildlife, and guests can see a number of endangered species and learn about a variety of conservation projects the Dallas Zoo supports. Opened in 2010, our award-winning Giants of the Savanna habitat is internationally known. The savanna features elephants, ostrich, zebras, impalas, giraffes, and guineafowl, often mingling together. The Dallas Zoo is home to a herd of five female elephants and 11 giraffes, which guests can feed by hand. Guests will see the fastest land mammal on Earth, the cheetah, as well as African lions who often spend their days sleeping just inches away from the viewing wall inside the Serengeti Grill restaurant. The Wilds of Africa area features rare animals such as gorillas, chimpanzees and okapi. Guests will enjoy getting eye-to-eye with African penguins as they swim effortlessly underwater. Highlights of the ZooNorth section include the Lacerte Family Children's Zoo, a top-rated reptile and amphibian complex featuring albino alligators, and the Koala Walkabout, featuring the only koalas in Texas, red kangaroo, wallabies, and a lorikeet feeding area for up-close adventures. For alternative transportation to the Dallas Zoo, consider the DART Red Line, which delivers guests to the Zoo's front entrance.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
stigs17
Level Contributor
126 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
“Impressive depth of animals; inaccurate map (not to scale).”
Reviewed January 31, 2013

Went on a Thursday morning in late August 2012, yet it was still rather busy with strollers.

+ Located right on the DART line, 5 minutes south of downtown Dallas. Good signage from the highway.

+ A jovial and rather humorous "Welcome to the Dallas Zoo" song warmly greets patrons. Score A+ for creativity here.

+ The zoo is broken into two main parts: Zoo North (entrance side; consists of mainly child exhibits, large cats, primates and birds) and the massive Zoo South (the more exotic yet exhausting Wilds of Africa and Giants of the Savannah).

+ Enjoyed seeing the Texas cats (only the ocelot was active).

+ Zoo North also features an impressive reptile building with monitors, poisonous frogs, snakes and a komodo dragon. Great way to beat the heat.

+ Lots of fun activities (parakeet feeding, hurricane booth, bird shows etc.)

+ Be sure to take the 20-minute monorail narrated safari tour ($3), which covers the outskirts of the Wilds of Africa and will save you considerable walking.

+ There is an impressive array of habitat here; Zoo North took over two hours to cover (without seeing any shows); Zoo South would realistically take 5-6 hours to fully walk and explore each exhibit. This zoo is massive.

+ The Mandrills (Zoo South, on the way to the monorail) have a large area and are fascinating to watch.

+ Gorgeous habitats with an abundance of green space and shade - imperative given the Texas heat.

+ It is evident the zoo has undergone a significant transformation and expansion.

+ at $12 for adults in 2012, this zoo is a fantastic value.

Cons:
- Colorful, yet inaccurate Zoo map. Main issue: it is not to scale, not even close. It gives the impression that Zoo North (entrance side) is roughly equivalent in size to Zoo South. Zoo South is around 3x the size/amount of walking of Zoo North.

(Been to well over a dozen zoos in the U.S. and this was easily the least accurate map.)

- Long walks. Relative to other zoos, there is a considerable amount of walking in between exhibits here (but the animals do benefit from larger enclosures). From the main entrance to the monorail is a good 10-minute walk under the highway. With the intense Dallas heat, you will need to hydrate often.

- A driven tour (tram would be ideal) for the vast Giants of the Savannah exhibits is desperately needed.

- Poorly-designed, customer-unfriendly viewing areas. Many of the primate and bird enclosures are roped back and have tight wire fencing and vegetation in front, rendering it impossible to get a clear view or take a sharp photo of the animals. The lone Sumatran tiger viewing area is well above the enclosure; his feeding and drinking stations were directly below the windows and against the wall, rendering it hard to see the tiger when active, while encouraging kids to smear against the windows and look down in a futile attempt to see the tiger.

- Poor signage. In several spots, a post pointed to a number of exhibits and their corresponding general direction, but one had to immediately venture another way to actually get there.

- Average advertising. The understated single-page flyer in Dallas-area hotels fails to highlight the vast beauty of this zoo.

Overall, the Dallas zoo has the potential to be one of the best zoos in the United States. In its present form, the overall patron experience suffers, though it is still a very strong offering.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank stigs17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sean G, Vice President Guest Experiences at Dallas Zoo, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Thank you very much for those nice and thorough comments. The Dallas Zoo is the largest accredited zoo in Texas and we are adding new experiences each year. This includes renovating old areas like our Large Mammal Building and Snout Route areas for 2013. These antiquated exhibits have been removed to make way for future development. In the meantime, new green spaces with picnic areas as well as our new Safari Express children's train ride have been added, and we have renovated the anteater and Galapagos tortoise habitats. We will also be adding a new Wild Encounters stage where guests can meet animal ambassadors and staff throughout the day to learn about wildlife up close and personal. We will also be unveiling a brand new Dallas Zoo map as well as new Wayfinders throughout the park this Spring to ensure guests can navigate their way through the park in the most efficient manner. We look forward to your next visit.
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Lewisville, Texas
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Penguin Days”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

The Dallas Zoo is wonderful. There is plenty to see and do there. During the winter months they do Penguin Days where you can get in for only $5 a person. I can't wait to go back and ride the safari this year.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Charlotte R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sean G, Vice President Guest Experiences at Dallas Zoo, responded to this review, January 25, 2013
Thank you for the great comments and five star review. We are continuing Penguin Days in 2013 for the months of January and February...Admission will be $5.00 We have more information about our seasonal pricing at DallasZoo.com or visit the iPhone App store and download the free Dallas Zoo app (available in both English and Spanish). We look forward to your next visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“monorail”
Reviewed January 22, 2013

a great view from above. be sure to take the monorail! a fun day for adults as well as kids. it's a very well kept zoo...

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank joanne l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sean G, Vice President Guest Experiences at Dallas Zoo, responded to this review, January 25, 2013
Thank you for the nice comments. We are working hard to make sure the Dallas Zoo is not only a great place for our animals, but also a clean, fun, family-friendly place for our guests to enjoy. Our Monorail Safari is a unique 20 minute ride through areas of the Zoo that are inaccessible by walking. It includes a scenic view of our River Habitat with animals and a cascading waterfall. We look forward to your next visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
61 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Excellent”
Reviewed January 22, 2013

A great Zoo. A lot bigger than I remembered. There are picnic tables that would allow you to each lunch.. makes it a little cheaper. There was a special booth in the snake house for hurricanes. You have to pay 2 dollars, but two people can get inside. The winds inside reach 74 miles an hour giving you a feel of a hurricane. It was a big hit with our group

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Devinjeanel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sean G, Vice President Guest Experiences at Dallas Zoo, responded to this review, January 25, 2013
Thank you for the nice comments. The Dallas Zoo has two distinct sections, ZooNorth and the Wilds of Africa. Both are very different and have changed significantly over the past 5 years. There are more changes in store for 2013. The hurricane simulator can be found near our bayou-themed albino alligator exhibit located in the reptile building. We look forward to your next visit.
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waxahachie, tx
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful family area”
Reviewed January 19, 2013

Clean and well staffed. We went on a Saturday, crowds were low; however, the viewing was still great.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank shawna m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sean G, Vice President Guest Experiences at Dallas Zoo, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
Thank you for the nice comments and five star review. Through the end of February 2013, Dallas Zoo admission is $5.00 In the next few months guests will notice quite a few changes, some of those changes include a renovated Galapagos tortoise habitat, a new stage in the Wilds of Africa where guests can get up close with our animal ambassadors, a large landscaped picnic area and a new zoo-themed children's train ride in our ZooNorth section of the park. We look forward to your next visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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