Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield plans to reopen on Saturday, May 23.
It’s been closed for more than two months because of the coronavirus.
When it does open, new social distancing and sanitation practices will be in effect.
Here’s more from WOW:
Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium today announced plans to reopen to the public beginning Saturday, May 23 after being closed over two months.
The world-class conservation attraction is implementing a number of new standard operating procedures based on best practices from aquarium industry leaders and public health officials in compliance with city guidelines.
Limits on daily attendance and new timed-entry reservations for guests and members will allow for social distancing and
enhanced surface cleaning efforts throughout the facility to ensure the health and safety of every guest, team
member and animal in its care.
“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. “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.”
The temporary nine-week closure marked the first time the conservation attraction, which has been named,
“America’s Best Aquarium” and “Best New Attraction” by USA TODAY, had closed since its September 2017
Along with attendance limits and timed-entry reservations, the aquarium is implementing a
series of health and safety initiatives including online-only ticket sales, touchless transactions, and enhanced
The new health and safety measures are informed by local, state and national guidelines.
In addition, The Florida Aquarium in Tampa, one of the country’s leading aquariums, provided support.
The Florida Aquarium developed a comprehensive COVID-19 reopening plan and brought in the Infectious Disease Prevention team from Tampa General Hospital, a world-class academic medical center and infectious disease physicians from University of South Florida Health.
On May 10th, The Florida Aquarium was one of the first aquariums in North America to reopen its doors to the public.
The Florida Aquarium’s President and CEO Roger Germann, a longtime friend and admirer of Johnny Morris, and Andy Wood, Chief Operating Officer, recently toured Wonders of Wildlife and saw first-hand many of the specific guidelines and standards they are enacting to safeguard the public, staff and animals.
“We greatly appreciate Johnny Morris and his mission to connect more people with nature, I’m honored to help
Johnny, Bryan, and the Wonders of Wildlife team help ensure they are taking all necessary steps to reopen
safely and responsibly,” said Roger Germann, President and CEO of The Florida Aquarium, and a 20-year
industry leader. “Wonders of Wildlife is a world-class aquarium, and the City of Springfield and our country is
incredibly lucky to have such an incredible resource for conservation education as part of its community.
Having walked through Wonders of Wildlife this morning, I know all guests who visit will feel safe, have fun and
be blown away by this awe-inspiring experience.”
Specific new procedures at Wonders of Wildlife include:
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
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 1
with extra sanitation precautions including equipment sterilization
Temporarily closing confined spaces such as pop up bubbles and the swinging bridge
A complete list of all health and safety measures can be found at www.wondersofwildlife.org.
“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,” said noted
conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. “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.”
AN OCEAN OF THANKS FOR LOCAL HEROES
As thanks for their hard work and sacrifices to keep our community safe, Wonders of Wildlife will be
announcing special offers for healthcare workers, first responders, active military and veterans to experience
Wonders of Wildlife. Details will be announced as plans are finalized.
TIMED-ENTRY RESERVATIONS: Online-only ticket sales
To ensure adequate social distancing and create the best possible experience, all guests and members
must reserve online timed-entry tickets prior to visiting Wonders of Wildlife. Visitors should go to
www.wondersofwildlife.org where they can select the date and time of their visit. Once reserved, they will
receive an email with their digital ticket that will allow touchless scanning at entry.
BEST VALUE: Annual Memberships offering unlimited visits
Guests can now take advantage of incredible savings by becoming a Wonders of Wildlife annual member. With
the purchase of an annual membership, guests receive unlimited visits to the Wildlife Galleries and Aquarium
Adventure, plus special discounts on select events and programs including summer camps. Members can visit
during operating hours but need to reserve a free timed-entry ticket in advance at www.wondersofwildlife.org.
Try before you buy
Annual memberships provide the best value, offering families and individuals a full year of unlimited
visits plus other special privileges. Guests can “try before you buy” with general admission tickets that
can be upgraded to a full membership the day of your visit.
Excellent family value
Families can spend hours exploring Wonders of Wildlife with a typical visit lasting at least three
hours or more. Compared with the price of a movie, a round of miniature golf or other area attractions,
it offers an excellent value for families.
Invest in education and entertainment
Wonders of Wildlife is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of outdoor stewards with a fun,
interactive and engaging experience that appeals to visitors of all ages. In addition to encountering
more than 800 species representing wildlife from around the world, guests will learn about the vital role
everyone plays in protecting habitat and wildlife.
All annual memberships active as of March 18 have been automatically extended by the number of days the
Aquarium was closed.
For more information visit www.wondersofwildlife.org or call 1-888-222-6060.