The accessibility chart below provides an overview of services and facilities that are available for Central Park Zoo guests with disabilities. Please consult the current map, available on your mobile device or posters at park entry, for additional park information and schedules.
MASK POLICY & ACCOMMODATIONS
CONSISTENT WITH NY CITY/STATE AND CDC GUIDANCE, masks are required for all indoor areas for guests over the age of 2, regardless of vaccination status. Guests over the age of 2 who are not fully vaccinated are also required to wear a mask at all outdoor areas where social distancing cannot be maintained. Face coverings remain optional for vaccinated guests in outdoor areas.
WCS recognizes that some guests may have a disability that may limit their ability to wear a mask.
Face shield: For those guests with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a cloth or disposable mask, a face shield can be an appropriate alternative face covering in areas where masks are required during their visit.
Frequent breaks outdoors: For those guests with a medical condition who are unable to continuously wear their face covering for the duration of their visit but who are able to wear a mask for short periods of time, we encourage frequent outdoor breaks in between short, indoor experiences. The park has many outdoor areas to practice appropriate social distancing where guests may remove their masks.
All-outdoors experience: For those guests who are unable to wear a mask or face shield during their visit, we ask you to visit only the outdoor areas of the park. And as recommended by the CDC, those guests should maintain physical distance of 6 feet or more from unrelated guests.
This webpage identifies the accommodations we are broadly able to provide. For additional questions, or assistance with visit planning, please contact Guest Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-220-5103. Due to high volume of correspondence, we recommend reaching out at least 7 days prior to a planned visit
VACCINATION POLICY & ACCOMMODATIONS
As of Dec. 14, proof of vaccination will be required for all guests 5+ to enter indoor exhibits. In compliance with NYC regulations, the “Key to NYC”, all guests age 5 and older must show proof of vaccination (at least 1 shot) in order to enter indoor exhibits*. Children under the age of 5 are permitted into indoor exhibits wearing a mask and accompanied by a vaccinated adult chaperone. As of Dec. 27, all guests age 12 and older must show proof of being fully vaccinated.
WCS recognizes that some guests may be unable to show proof of vaccination due to a disability. Current accommodations include:
Visit for all outdoors experiences. Guests age 5 and older that are unable to show proof of vaccination can visit the zoo for all the outdoors experiences. Indoor locations used for quick and limited purposes require masks but do not require proof of vaccination, including: restrooms and café takeout.
Visit with us virtually:If you are not able to join us at the park right now, we have a number of ways to experience WCS zoo and aquarium stories, and enjoy our animals virtually:Watch our docuseries on Animal Planet;Catch sea lions, penguins, sea otters and more on our Live Cams; Follow us on social media for new stories and animal announcements.
*Elevator access available to Tropic Zone mezzanine.
A limited number of free wheelchairs are available on a first come, first served basis. Ask any Admissions or Security staff for assistance.
Security & First Aid
In case of emergency, or when in need of first aid, please notify Security at (212) 439-6557.
Only working Service Animals, in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), are allowed at the park. Under the ADA, “a service animal is a dog that has been individually trained to work or perform tasks for assisting a person with a disability.” Service dogs are working animals, not pets. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. Pets, comfort animals, emotional support or therapy animals are not permitted at the Zoo.
Upon arrival at the park, please check in with Admissions so a supervisor can review some logistical items with you and issue a Service Dog Admission pass*. Guest/handler for the service dog is solely responsible for the care and control of their animal. Thank you for your cooperation to ensure a safe and successful visit for yourself, your service dog, the animals cared for at the zoo, and other park guests.
*As stipulated by the ADA, Zoo staff may request that a service dog experiencing difficulty or demonstrating problematic behaviors, such as barking or lunging, be removed from the Zoo immediately. We ask that you promptly comply with any such request for the safety and welfare of all.
The Central Park Zoo partnered with KultureCity to improve the park’s ability to assist and accommodate guests with sensory processing needs. The objective is to provide an inclusive and seamless experience for every guest, regardless of age and ability, including those with sensory processing disorders (SPDs). The zoo has installed signage identifying quiet zones and headphone zones to help visitors as they explore the grounds.
Sensory bags containing fidget tools, noise-canceling headphones and other resources, are available for checkout (at no cost by leaving an ID) from the Admissions Building across from the Main Zoo entrance.
The zoo is very compact, so most areas do have a level of noise/activity. Some areas that typically have less activity and are suggested spaces to sit and regroup after becoming overstimulated are: Main Zoo – southwest corner garden at the Sea Lion Pool. There are a number of other benches in the outer pathways that can also be good for breaks.
We have identified areas that are noisy and where guests tend to linger as “Headphone Zones.” These areas include: Main Zoo at Central Garden (sea lions); inside Tropic Zone (birds and lemur calls); inside Penguin building (bird calls); 4D Theater.
Another aspect of the KultureCity partnership involved training Zoo staff members to increase understanding of SPDs, informing them about the efforts the aquarium is making to better serve the community and to discuss strategies each department can implement to support this initiative.