With spring break approaching, the Fort Worth Zoo is a popular attraction for families to enjoy the outdoors across 64 acres. In 2009, the zoo hit an estimated record of 25,804 guests. Due to large numbers of guests over the years, the zoo prepares by offering more amenities.
“We continue every year to add to the amenities to make it as great of an experience as we can,” said Alexis Wilson, the communications director of the Fort Worth Zoo. “We have doubled the amount of ticket booths and have opened new restaurants with healthier options and kid friendly meals.”
The zoo adopts Fort Worth Independent School District’s and Dallas Independent School District’s spring break holiday as its official spring break. Although many districts are out of school during the same time, local universities in the past have been in session.
“Considering that it’s spring break, more and more people will want to attend the zoo, only increasing the traffic,” Texas Christian University senior Morgan Halboth said. “If I have class, it will take me twice as long. On the plus side, I realize traffic is inevitable, so I’ve learned to go with the flow.”
The university shares the same spring break this year with FWISD, but it still causes concern for some students.
“In previous years, I had to give myself an extra 30 minutes to get to class,” TCU student Charlie Wade said. “This year, class will be out, but I am going to avoid University Drive if possible that week and take a different route. I can’t stand sitting in traffic.”
The zoo’s staff coordinates with the city's parks and community services department and the Fort Worth’s Police Department. Parking is maximized by using every spot available, including parking on the grass.
“We have 12 officers during the week, and their main purpose is traffic,” Wilson said. They have control over cycling lights. It helps that the Fort Worth police handles the traffic so that we can have regular staff on zoo property assisting guests.”
Guests are encouraged to watch for road signs and lane closures, especially during spring break.
“The zoo has always been a great resource for the community,” Wilson said. “We pull not just our 12 county area but also people all across the country and internationally.”