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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo is ranked in the top 10 zoos in the nation. Combine that with an IMAX theater and you have a destination.


The zoo is located just off Interstate 80 in Omaha on South 10th Street. You can’t miss seeing the dome or the baseball stadium just across the street. The zoo is open year round from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The zoo participates in reciprocity with other zoo memberships for a discounted admission price. The regular gate admission is between $7.00 and $12.00 per person.


While you can do the zoo in one day, which is what we did, we do recommend more than one day, especially during the summer. We visited in November and some of the outdoor exhibits were closed, making us able to tour in one day. Many of the exhibits are inside like the Rainforest, Desert Dome, and Aquarium. Some exhibits are indoor and outdoor such as the giant cats, giraffes, and gorillas. The zoo is also hilly and in the summer, a train runs from one portion of the zoo to another.


On site dining is available at multiple locations. We ate just outside the aquarium building. There are souvenir meals available with commemorative cups. You can also find gift shops. Check your ticket for any discounts or ask about educator or AAA discounts that may be available.


If you want to take advantage of the IMAX theater, you can combine the price of the show with your admission or add a ticket on later. Show times are posted just outside the theater or on the zoo web-site. Typically multiple films are showing each day, just at varied times.


Some of our favorites included the Rainforest which is multi leveled, just like the rainforest. The husband’s favorite was the Prevost’s Squirrel. See if you can find it!



The bears were another favorite. An outside exhibit shows black bears, brown bears, and polar bears. What majestic animals.


The gorillas are amazing. I was disappointed that I didn’t get a better picture, but here is a gorilla foot. Is it time for a pedicure? The camera I was using at the time didn’t have the “glass” function, so most of the photos just have the reflection of the glass. This is also an indoor/outdoor exhibit. We could have just sat and watched these marvelous creatures for hours.



The last stop we made on our tour was the Desert Dome. You start on the top level, which represents the desert and hosts many desert animals. When you see the water fall, keep an eye on the water as it flows throughout the dome. As you wind down to the next level, nocturnal animals are featured. And, just when you think you are done, there’s another level at the bottom. A swamp! A swamp at night! The muskrats were cool to watch given the special light that allows you to see them even in the dark.

Many local hotels offer zoo and stay combination discounts. Check the Omaha Convention and Visitor’s Bureau web-site for special or to request a booklet. The zoo web-site may also have hotel specials.
There’s lots to see and do at the zoo. Enjoy your visit!

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