Georgia Aquarium Access for Disabilities offers a closer look at the accessibility of the aquarium. The aquarium strives to offer a great experience for all of its guests. It makes available provisions for different disabilities.
The Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the world. Among its unique exhibits is a large tank containing four whale sharks and four large manta rays along with many other smaller fish. This tank contains 6.3 million gallons of water. It has a tunnel through part of it as well as multiple viewing areas. The largest viewing area has a seating area for guests to take some time to observe the sea life. Sea Keepers often will stop by and offer some information about the Aquarium and the many animals that call it home.
Handicapped parking is offered on all the levels of the parking garage with over-sized parking spots available on the first floor. Let parking attendants know what your parking needs are and they will direct you.
There is a short walk via a coved walkway from the parking garage to the aquarium. It is paved and smooth. The walk takes between five to ten minutes depending on your walking speed. If you have someone with a limited walking ability, they may need a wheelchair. Golf carts are also offered by the Aquarium to transport guests that need it to and from the parking garage.
The walkway ends on a large cement patio. This is the entrance to the Aquarium. There is a large ticket area just through the doors and a security area here. The Aquarium also offers to take a picture of you and your family or friends before entering the Aquarium. After going through that, you will enter a large hallway with tanks on both sides. This is where you show your tickets.
On entering the main part of the Georgia Aquarium, you are in a large, flat area that contains the restaurant, shops, restrooms and large lobby. You will enter and exit each of the galleries or tank viewing areas from this large lobby. You will also see the entrance to the dolphin show and the 4D show. The 4D show is on the second floor, so you may want to take the elevator up.
The Information Booth is also in this area. Here you can rent a wheelchair, which is FREE with a picture ID.
The galleries are entitled River Scout, Tropical Diver, Georgia Explorer, Cold Water Quest and Ocean Voyager. Each of these areas exhibits animals in some unique ways. River Scout has the river flowing beside and above you. Georgia Explorer offers touch pools. In Cold Water Quest, the beluga whales like looking at you as much as you like looking at them.
Georgia Aquarium if wheelchair friendly. It has a very smooth, level floor with ramps and/or elevators offered to reach the different levels of the Aquarium. In every case I came across, there was direct access for a very good view for those in a wheelchair. Look for mats on the floor with a wheelchair sign on them that are offered for as a handicap spot. Many times it is near an staff member.
There is a touch pool at Cold Water Quest that has a special access for those in a wheelchair. It also offers those with visual impairments help in touching the animals. A staff member can be of assistance.
The shrimp touch pool also offers opportunities for those in a wheelchair.
Visual and Hearing Impairments
Those guests with visual impairments can find three dimensional representations of animal, tactile areas in the education stations, an audio exhibit about the beluga whales in the Cold Water Quest gallery and tactile wood carvings in the River Scout gallery to touch. Staff members can be of
assistance with this and in addition are prepared to give detailed description of the various exhibits.
If you are dealing with a hearing impairment, a script of the cell phone and iPod tours is offered at the Information Desk. All the videos in the Aquarium provide closed captioning.
For guests with Autism, Georgia Aquarium has a downloadable and printable photo book. This book explains and shows the Aquarium along with some procedure that may take place.
Guide or service dogs for those with disabilities and working dogs in training ARE permitted inside the Aquarium.
The Georgia Aquarium offers snorkeling and SCUBA diving in the large tank with the whale sharks for a cost. The Dive Immersion Team is certified by the Handicapped Scuba Association as Divemasters or instructors. The SCUBA guests must be certified in open water diving. Just let instructor know your abilities and any certain needs and equipment you need for the activity or for the changing area.
Guests with food concerns will find a variety of food items at Café Aquaria. There are the traditional hamburgers, pizza and fries but there is also eggplant parmigiano, soups, baked potatoes with various toppings, create your own salad and fruit cups. The restaurant offers some healthy solutions on the Kid’s menu that starts at $1. Some of the desserts are gluten or sugar free.
The Georgia Aquarium is located in Atlanta, Georgia. The building has flat, level floors with ramps and elevators to reach the upper levels. Guests with wheelchairs or strollers can go right up to the glass in most cases and have a great view.
For more information on access to other park areas, check our Park Access page.