1. Save up to 60% on San Diego attractions
The best reason to buy Go San Diego is the ticket discount. Keep in mind that how much you can save depends on the type of pass you choose and what you decide to do. According to my research, typical savings range from 20-60%, but this depends on the type of pass chosen.
Without this pass, it’s hard to get that much of a discount – especially for those who are keen on sightseeing or planning a vacation in San Diego.
2. All of San Diego’s major attractions are participating and you can visit them once a day
All of the attractions that I consider to be San Diego’s main attractions can be visited using Go San Diego (full list below), including the San Diego Zoo®, San Diego Zoo Safari®, LEGOLAND® California, Belmont Park, Old Town Trolley, plus the most kid-friendly museum in Balboa Park.
You may visit the included attractions once per day, subject to the restrictions listed in the guide that accompanies the pass. If reservations are not required, you can simply show your pass at the door to gain access. If you do need to make a reservation, you may be subject to reservation availability restrictions.
At the time of this writing, the only major attraction that requires reservations is Legoland California. This is also true for some tours.
3. There are two flexible pass options
Which one you choose depends on how you think you’ll be doing your sightseeing in San Diego to crunch the numbers. You’ll need to pay close attention to which theme parks, museums, tours, etc. are included in each pass option.
All Inclusive Passes
Who this is for: Avid sightseers and those who want maximum flexibility to decide their itinerary on a whim. This pass is popular with families who think they’ll visit the San Diego Zoo, the Balboa Park Museum (which has plenty of things you’ll want to jump around to without admission) and another theme park. Or, it’s popular with families visiting San Diego with kids who plan to visit all four major theme parks.
The all-inclusive option allows users to visit all of the 55+ participating San Diego attractions at a lower cost. The benefit of the all-inclusive pass is that you can decide at the last minute which attractions you want to visit, as the likelihood of those attractions being included in this pass is high. This comes in handy in places like Balboa Park and downtown San Diego where many attractions are close to each other.
You can also visit the included attractions once a day. So if you have a 3-day all-inclusive pass and visit the San Diego Zoo on a Monday, but you haven’t finished your visit to the park, you may be able to return on Tuesday or even Wednesday to see all the animals on your list.
However, due to the availability of reservations, repeat visits to attractions that require reservations may not be possible. You will need to read the guide that comes with your Go San Diego pass in detail to understand the restrictions.
The City of San Diego All Inclusive Pass is available in 1-, 2-, 3-, 5-, and 7-day increments, but needs to be used within consecutive calendar days.
The more you do in San Diego with this pass, the higher your savings will be.
Tip: Sometimes, a 1-day Go San Diego pass (especially with my promo code) can be less than a 1-day LEGOLAND California ticket. I see a lot of people using it for this option only. You will need to know how to use this pass at LEGOLAND, which I will detail below. Also, don’t forget that I have a 10% discount promotion on all-inclusive passes, which stacks on top of the sale price. Access this discount here.
Who this is for: Visitors who plan to visit primarily downtown San Diego and Balboa Park. They do not plan to visit Legoland California or SeaWorld San Diego, but instead plan to visit the San Diego Zoo or San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
With this pass, you can only visit one of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance parks. If you plan to visit both parks, you can use my exclusive San Diego Zoo & Safari Park discount (password: lajollamom) to purchase a discounted ticket to the other park.
The Explorer Pass allows you to purchase tickets for 3, 4, 5 or 7 attractions. After activation you will have 60 days to use it. Some of our major attractions are missing from the list, so you need to make sure you include everything you want to see. That said, this is a great option that can save you up to 60% off the price of admission.
If you live in San Diego and your family doesn’t have an annual membership to one of our theme parks or local museums, then this is a great way to save on local fun.
4. You can skip the theme park and still save
Don’t assume you need to visit a high-cost theme park in order to save money with Go San Diego. This sightseeing pass is perfect for all types of travelers, whether you’re here to explore the great outdoors or visit a museum. Quite a few water sports rentals and tours can be included as options.
5. Passes provide cost certainty
Many travelers purchase tickets and sightseeing passes in advance because they like to spread the costs associated with their vacation to avoid incurring multiple, larger expenses around their travel dates.
Over time, I have learned that many people purchase this pass in advance of their trip, especially all-inclusive passes, because they like the cost certainty of knowing that all the attractions they want to visit are included if the children want to enter a museum that is not budgeted for.