Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium announced Wednesday plans to reopen the facility with heightened safety measures and an online only reservation system to tour the facility.
There will also be limits placed on daily attendance, and new standard operating procedures that have been created through discussions with other aquariums and health officials from around the nation.
“We’re excited to welcome visitors back to Wonders of Wildlife to share the wonder of the natural world and bring some much-needed happiness to our community and our nation,” Bryan Nadeau, Vice President of Conservation Attractions at the Johnny Morris Conservation Foundation, said in a statement. “We’re grateful to our passionate animal care team for continuing to provide excellent care for our 35,000 live animals throughout the closure. From our back-of-house facilities to our enclosures and habitats, Wonders of Wildlife already provides the highest standard of care to protect the health and well-being of our wildlife every day, and our entire team has been working tirelessly to ensure we are ready to apply that same standard of excellence to safely accommodate guests under new operating guidelines.”
Among the new guidelines:
• Limiting guest attendance at any one time through timed-entry ticketing
• Requiring six feet of distance between tables and limiting parties to 10 or fewer
• Adding clear “sneeze guard” shields at all guest service locations
Housekeeping and sanitization:
• Installing additional hand sanitization stations throughout the attraction for guests and team members
• Sanitizing all common areas and hard surfaces with deep-cleaning disinfectants nightly and throughout the day
• Providing all team members with personal protective equipment, including voluntary face coverings, and responsibly practicing strong personal hygiene
• Expanding operating hours to 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily to allow for social distancing
• Modifying interactive experiences and exhibits such as theaters, the Stingray Touch Pool, Sketch Aquarium, and Penguin Encounter to allow for proper social distancing; Shark Dive will open June 1st with extra sanitation precautions including equipment sterilization
• Temporarily closing confined spaces such as pop up bubbles and the swinging bridge
“Studies show that the bond between people and nature plays an important role in supporting public health. In today’s world, connecting people – especially kids – to nature is more important than ever,” Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris said in a statement. “We’re very grateful to our friend Roger Germann and his Florida Aquarium team for their countless hours of preparation to benefit our facility and community. With these new measures in place, we proudly invite everyone to come responsibly celebrate the power of the great outdoors, right here in the Ozarks.”
Wonders of Wildlife will also be making special offers for local healthcare workers and first responders, with details to be announced soon.