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Omaha zoo unveils changes for summer season

If you are headed to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium this summer, expect some major new changes and upgrades.
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 5:31 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - If you are headed to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium this summer, expect some major new changes and upgrades.

The first one starts before you even get inside: You can now buy your tickets from a kiosk.

“We’ve replaced ticketing windows with kiosks, we’ve replaced sales windows at concession stands with kiosks, and then we have some freestanding kiosks around the park for rides ticketing,” said Jeremy Eddie, the zoo’s senior vice president.

The kiosks will now become part of each trip you take to the zoo. The decision to do that was sparked by a problem plaguing businesses across the nation.

“It was really driven by the fact that we simply didn’t have enough staff members to man all of our sales windows as well as produce our food orders in the concession stands so we had to find a solution where we could put the order in the control of the customer and then use our staff to fulfill those orders,” said Eddie.

Once you get to the Desert Dome, you’ll notice the space has been completely revamped.

There’s a new café that’s expected to open next week and new space to eat.

“The Desert Dome is one of the iconic features of our zoo that really makes us very different from a lot of other zoos so the front door was really in need of a facelift so that’s what this did,” said Dennis Pate, CEO and president of the zoo.

Carousel Plaza is the last piece of the puzzle. The carousel has been moved to make more room for guests. It even has a new structure to house the carousel.

And the Alaskan Adventure splash pad has more room for stroller parking and shade.

Starting this weekend: For the first time in 12 years, no pathways will be blocked, and there will be no detours guests have to take to get around the construction.

“It’s great to have the zoo in one piece… for one season anyway,” Pate said.

And we will have to wait a bit to find out what new changes are on the horizon.

Those new kiosks you will now see at the zoo are not replacing any workers. The zoo says they still have about 150 positions they still need to be filled for the summer season.

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