ZOO MIAMI LAUNCHES NEW TEMPORARY ENTRANCE AND WEBSITE
Temporary entrance opens tomorrow for construction of new front entrance and new Florida: Mission Everglades exhibit
MIAMI, FL (April 8, 2014) - As of tomorrow, Zoo Miami’s in-park and online visitors will see a different Zoo upon entry. In-park visitors will enter through a temporary entry located west of the current entrance during the demolition of the current entry and the construction of a new front entry and new exhibit, Florida: Mission Everglades. Online visitors will still access our website at the same address (www.zoomiami.org), but they will have an entirely new digital experience.
The temporary entry will include new ticket booths and a kiosk outside of the entry gates that will sell admission and Annual Passes to Zoo Miami. Inside the gates there will be modular structures for Zoo Administration, restrooms, and our Toucan Trader gift shop. Our safari cycle operation will also be in a new location inside the Wings of Asia Aviary Plaza. Upon entering Zoo Miami, guests will now have a choice of visiting the Wings of Asia Aviary or the Children’s Zoo first whereas our entrance before led visitors to the flamingo and tiger exhibits. Now the highly popular tiger exhibit will be one of the few dead ends of the Zoo and the flamingo exhibit will be closed until the new front entry opens.
The opening of the temporary front entry also marks the start of the demolition of the Zoo’s current front entry and ticket booths as we begin construction on a new state-of-the-art Zoo entrance. Features of the new area will include main ticket booth offices, gift shop and café space that opens up to an outdoor market and seating, a multi-purpose facility featuring a large event space, a “cloud-like” roof structure encircling a plaza with shade and the occasional rain shower through misting features, a tall “wildlife tower” rising above the plaza with colorful animal silhouettes and a new flamingo exhibit.
Once the 14 month front entry project is complete, Florida: Mission Everglades will open approximately six months after that. As visitors venture into this new exhibit they will come to understand our collective mission of trying to save the Everglades. Through one of a kind interaction and informative exhibits featuring significant Florida animals like black bears, panthers, north American river otters, alligators, and crocodiles, Zoo Miami will immerse visitors in an experience that is only outdone by a visit to the Everglades.
“We are very excited to begin construction of our new front entry and Florida: Mission Everglades as I know that it will be beautiful and well worth the wait. I ask that our guests bear with us while we undergo this transition into the bright future of our beloved Zoo,” said Eric Stephens, Zoo Miami Director.
In addition to a new way of getting inside the Zoo, Zoo Miami’s online visitors will see a comprehensively redesigned and redeveloped website at www.zoomiami.org that focuses on beautiful images of our wildlife to draw the user in. The goals of this redesign were to massively simplify, make an emotional connection, make e-commerce easy, make it mobile and make it integrated with social media.
The redevelopment of the website has achieved many of the Zoo’s goals. We have streamlined the volume of content and overall information architecture to deliver a more focused, better-organized, naturally comfortable and modern user experience. We believe we are delivering a strong, differentiated brand image rooted in trust, with great support for our mission of wildlife education and conservation. We know that our users are very mobile these days. Therefore, we needed to offer a website that had responsive web design for optimum usability on tablets and phones including iOS (iPhone, iPad) and Android, not just desktop computers or laptops. We have also made it totally integrated to the Zoo’s social media accounts including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
“I am very pleased with the restoration of our website. It has vastly improved our online image and believe that it will be a more enjoyable experience for our guests,” said Bill Moore, Zoological Society of Florida President & CEO.
Zoomiami.org is also fully integrated with the new Conservation & Research microsite. Our dedicated Conservation Department commits itself to our wildlife conservation mission and this microsite highlights the Zoo’s great work in that area.
Zoo Miami is located at 12400 SW 152 street; Miami, FL 33177. General zoo admission is: $15.95/adult, plus tax and $11.95/child (3-12) plus tax. Children under two, zoo members, and parking are free. Zoo Miami’s hours are 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; ticket booths close at 4 p.m. For more information please visit http://www.zoomiami.org.
The Zoological Society of Florida is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that supports Zoo Miami through education, conservation and outreach programs; marketing and public relations; volunteer services and financial support for the construction of new exhibits.