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Zoo News

Zoo News

Dallas Zoo’s Dollar Day sets single-day attendance record
Jul 16, 2015

Texas’s largest zoo filled as guests flock to
Giants of the Jurassic exhibit

The Dallas Zoo set an all-time attendance record for a single day today (Thursday, July 16), with 41,422 guests visiting Texas’ largest and oldest zoo during the annual summer Dollar Day special.

The total exceeded last year’s record by 6,389, a whopping 18.2 percent above the previous record, set last summer.

“This was certainly a day we’ll remember,” said Gregg Hudson, Dallas Zoo’s president and CEO. “Last year’s record of 35,000 was incredible, but exceeding 40,000 for the first time in our 127-history is astounding. Our staff is wiped out, but we’re extremely proud to be able to give back to our community and offer this day at the zoo to guests who wouldn’t otherwise be able to visit.”

Dallas Police Department officers staffed Interstate 35 and all Zoo entrances due to heavy traffic. The zoo utilized all of its auxiliary lots, but parking still filled up by 11 a.m., leaving some guests to wait for turnover to get in. DART’s Red Line, which has a Dallas Zoo stop, saw heavy ridership, which alleviated some of the traffic woes.

“We very much appreciate our guests’ patience,” Hudson said. “Despite the numbers we saw today and the warm temperatures, the vast majority of visitors were friendly and polite, as befits one of the nation’s best cities.”

Guests made beelines for the Giants of the Jurassic, one of the nation’s largest animatronic dinosaur exhibits, as well as the award-winning Giants of the Savanna exhibit.

Last year, after heavy rain dampened the summer Dollar Day, a “do-over” in August drew 35,033 guests, which was previously the highest one-day total. For perspective, in 1995, the zoo didn’t have 40,000 total visitors for the entire month of July.

The Dallas Zoo is on pace for its sixth straight year of record attendance, the result of a run of major accolades since the zoo went to private management in 2009, including:

  • Voted one of the 10 Best zoos in the U.S. by USA Today and its readers
  • Giants of the Savanna named the third-best zoo exhibit in the national by USA Today this year
  • Named one of “10 Amazing Zoos in the World” by MSN Travel/Reader’s Digest
  • Named one of the “Best U.S. Zoos” by noted travel author Jon Wassner
  • Three consecutive Certificate of Excellence awards as one of the world’s best businesses by TripAdvisor, the largest travel reviewing and planning web site

“Our goal has always been to be one of the best zoos in the United States,” Hudson said. “The support of our community and the devotion of our staff, donors, volunteers and guests is helping us get there.”