Disabled Access

Click on a topic or scroll down the page for further information.

Discounted Entry Rate

Disabled and Carer Day Tickets

Any guest requesting a disabled ticket will be asked to provide documentation for verification. This could be in the form of a blue badge (the photograph part of the badge must be visible for staff), a letter from a recognised authority, or a bank statement confirming the customer is in receipt of DLA. Please note that the latter two options must be supported by photo ID. Please note that if you plan to show your blue badge at the entrance, the blue badge will need to be taken back to the car afterwards to authenticate your parking in a disabled parking bay. Once verification has been received, the ticket will be processed in the normal manner.

If the customer requests the need for a carer, as long as the above criteria has been met, a carer ticket can be purchased alongside a disabled ticket. Only 1 carer ticket may be purchased per disabled ticket and the tickets must be purchase together in the same transaction.

Click here for admission rates for the disabled

Disabled and Carer Zoo Passes

Gold and Platinum Pass for Disabled and Carers

Any guest wishing to purchase a disabled gold or platinum pass will be asked to provide documentation for verification. This could be in the form of a blue badge (the photograph part of the badge must be visible for staff), a letter from a recognised authority, or a bank statement confirming the customer is in receipt of DLA. Please note that the latter two options must be supported by photo ID. Once verification has been received the pass will be processed.

A carer pass can be purchased alongside a disabled gold or platinum pass. This pass will be for one specific carer who will be named and photographed. This carer pass must be brought on each visit, or admission will be charged. The carer pass is only valid when used in conjunction with the disabled pass; the pass cannot be used for the carer to visit the park alone.

Click here for Gold & Platinum Pass prices

Wheelchair / Mobility Scooter Access

* All displays / keeper talks are accessible by wheelchair with space available at the front of tiered seating if required. Please ask a member of staff for assistance.

Manual wheelchair hire is available – Please phone 01206 331292 ext 227 to check availability and to reserve one if essential for your visit. They can be booked on a first come, first served basis in return for a refundable deposit of £20.00 and a small hire charge of £5.00 to contribute towards the upkeep and maintenance of the chairs.

* Due to the steep hills it is not possible to hire electric scooters. However, you are allowed to use your own electric scooter at your own risk. You will need to sign a disclaimer at the zoo entrance and be sure to follow the Easier Route.

* We recommend anyone with reduced mobility follow the suggested 'easier route' around the zoo (see the next section for details).

Suggested Easier Route

Because of the steep hills in the zoo, we recommend that anyone with a pushchair, wheelchair, electric scooter, or reduced mobility follows the 'Easier Route'.

Click here to view our Accessibility map which shows this suggested route.

This route has been developed to give you the simplest route possible around the zoo and avoids the steepest of the hills. This is a solid yellow line to follow around the zoo's pathways, which sometimes branches off to a dotted yellow line. The dotted yellow line indicates other enclosures or point of interest in that direction away from the main route. If you follow the dotted yellow line, please remember to return to the solid line when continuing your journey. 

When following this route, a few enclosures are inaccessible or difficult to view for wheelchair users so there is a greatly reduced rate for the registered disabled and for carers. The more mobile can use the route for orientation around the zoo, and leave the route to visit other enclosures. 

Please note that there are areas of the route that are on block paving. Some small bumps may be experienced, and individuals with certain medical conditions may need to be aware that there may be bumps and uneven, undulating ground. Please ask a staff member for assistance if required.

Accessible Toilet Facilities

Disabled Toilets

All 13 sets of toilets around Colchester Zoo and at our cafes have disabled toilet facilities.

changing roomChanging Places Facility 

A registered Changing Places changing facility is available for those with additional needs at the toilet facilities near the meerkat enclosure. 

The key features of a Changing Places facility are:

- It can be accessed using a radar key
- A height adjustable changing bench
- Ceiling track hoist (a sling is NOT provided and will need to be brought with you on your visit)
- Space for more than one carer

This facility is intended for radar key holders only. If you do not have a key but require use of this facility please ask a member of staff at Meerkat Hangout or Guest Services for assistance. 

For the full terms and conditions of using this facility please click here. 
For more information on Changing Places please visit www.changing-places.org

Visual Social Story

We have produced an online, downloadable visual social story (click here and it will open in a new window).  This has been designed with the intent of helping caregivers of individuals with autism and other specific needs make the most of a visit to Colchester Zoo. It can, however, be utilised by anyone.

Visits with Assistance Dogs

Any visits with Registered Assistance Dogs must be arranged at least 24 hours in advance.

Although we love dogs unfortunately we can only allow assistance dogs on site in the interest of the welfare of our animals and general safety. Dogs which are allowed are fully trained certified Registered Assistance Dogs: Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Disability Assistance Dogs, Medical Assistance Dogs and Seizure Alert Dogs. 

 Please observe our Code of Conduct for visits with Registered Assistance Dogs:

- On arrival you MUST report to the Ark Shop 
- ID and relevant Environmental Health Cards will be required at entrance
- All Registered Assistance Dogs must be up to date with all inoculations
- We regret that we are unable to allow puppies or training dogs on site. 
- Dogs must wear the relevant harness/jacket while on site 
- Dogs must be short lead at all times whilst under strict control
- Dogs must not be allowed to defecate anywhere in the zoo grounds, and any faeces should be cleared away by their owners and taken away with them
- We reserve the right to politely ask you to move away from areas in the zoo if we feel a welfare issue is being created for our animals or your dog
- Dogs are not permitted in enclosed areas or walkthrough exhibits as this will threaten the welfare of our animals as well as your dog. Areas to be avoided include:

* Walk-through enclosures with free-roaming animals including: Worlds Apart, Rainforest Walkthrough, Colenso Village, Sensation Station, Australian Rainbows, Butterfly Glade, Wallaby Walkabout, and Lost Madagascar. 
* Areas where animals are close to visitors including: the Elephant Feed, Giraffe Feed, and the Bird of Prey Displays.
* Enclosures where the animals dislike the presence of dogs including: Chimpanzee Lookout, Orangutan Forest, Lions, Leopards, and Wolves. 

Colchester Zoo does not allow dogs to be left in cars, even with ventilation and water, anyone found leaving dogs in their car will not be granted admission. We take this very seriously and take our lead from the RSPCA - http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs/health/dogsinhotcars

Audio Information around the Zoo

* There is audio information around the park for the visually impaired.

* The Entrance  Kiosks and Guest Services are fitted with an induction loop hearing system. Please advise a member of staff and switch your hearing aid to T.

* All commercial staff have a pad and pen with them to be able to assist with communicating with the deaf and the very hard of hearing. Please indicate to staff if you would like to use this option.

Additional Access Information

* Disabled parking areas are available for Blue Badge holders at the top end of the zoo's car parks. Blue Badges must be properly displayed on the dashboard of the vehicle with the side showing the wheelchair symbol facing forward.

* Double and Triple pushchairs: Please note that some users of some double and triple pushchairs may experience problems in accessing some of our standard single doorways.




Opening times: 

9.30am – 5.00pm or dusk if earlier*

*Last admission 4.00pm

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Animated gif of a butterfly