The Calgary Zoo is getting itself ready for the massive crowds that will likely form to see the zoo’s newest additions.
Four pandas are expected to arrive at the Calgary Zoo early this spring, with the newly built Panda Passage habitat set to open on May 7.
The two adult bears, Er Shun and Da Mao, and the two cubs, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, will be coming from the Toronto Zoo, where they were first sent to from China for a 10-year-long stay in Canada. Calgary will house the pandas until 2022.
The panda enclosure cost the zoo $30 million, and they spent an additional $100 million on facility upgrades to accommodate for the increased attendance that the pandas will bring.
It is estimated that the Calgary Zoo will see a visitor increase of 25% during the summer, and they have made some changes to their ticket pricing to reflect the increased business.
As of May 1, ticket prices will range from $19.95 to $34.95, depending on the season and day of week. The zoo says that this is to encourage attendance during the off-peak hours, alleviating some of the crowding that may occur on weekends.
“Our goal is to ensure people have a great experience,” said Lindsey Galloway, senior director of corporate services and customer experience at the Calgary Zoo, in a release.
“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.”
The current admission to the zoo costs $24.95 for adults, meaning that you could potentially save money thanks to the new system.
Special deals will be available throughout the week for certain days, along with incentives to buy tickets online rather than adding to the line at the admission gate.
Options for economically challenged Calgarians will also be available as they have been in the past, and if you plan on visiting the zoo a handful of times each year, the annual membership can significantly decrease the cost per visit – plus you’ll get to be one of the first to see the zoo’s newest additions.
If you’re especially interested in visiting the pandas, advance panda tickets can be purchased, meaning that you can pick a specific time of day to see the happy (and fluffy) family.
When: Opening May 7
Where: Calgary Zoo – 1300 Zoo Road Northeast, Calgary
Memberships: Sign up via Calgary Zoo
Tickets: $19.95 to $34.95