Is the Go Los Angeles Card worth it? Go Los Angeles Card review 2016

MagicMountainThe Go Los Angeles Card is an interesting way to save money while visiting the biggest attractions in the city, but it’s not ideal for everyone. It covers 37 different attractions that are spread over a great distance within Southern California, and the first thing you might notice is that it does NOT cover Disneyland. However, it does cover almost everything else, and visiting Disneyland on your own on another day is simple enough.

It’s easy to get confused when looking at the list of attractions on the Go Los Angeles Card website, especially if you’ve spent little or no time in the area before. So as someone who grew up in Los Angeles and knows all of these places (plus the distances between), I’m going to help you decide whether this pass is good value for you or not.

2016 prices for the Go Los Angeles Card

1-day

  • Adult (13+): $79.00
  • Child (3-12): $72.00

2-day

  • Adult (13+): $125.00
  • Child (3-12): $105.00

3-day

  • Adult (13+): $199.00
  • Child (3-12): $178.00

5-day

  • Adult (13+): $259.00
  • Child (3-12): $225.00

7-day

  • Adult (13+): $299.00
  • Child (3-12): $265.00

Discounts are often available

The prices above are full retail, but often you can get discounts on some of the cards. We’ll show the current discount below.

>>>Buy the Go Los Angeles Card at the lowest available price (discounts are frequent)

SPECIAL DISCOUNT: $20 off any Los Angeles All-Inclusive Pass purchase over $300

Top sights and attractions included in the Go Los Angeles Card

Universal Studios Hollywood – $105.00

A premium attraction available for those who purchase a 3, 5, or 7-day Go Los Angeles Card, the Universal Studios Hollywood attraction is a fantastic choice for those who would like to go behind the scenes. This attraction offers guests the chance to go on different tours exploring real life film sets. If you love Harry Potter, you’ll love visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Madame Tussauds Hollywood Tickets – $29.95

An usual attraction that features your favorite celebrities in wax form, Madame Tussauds Hollywood is a great visit for those who like something a little bit different. Located inside, this wax museum features 100 different singers and actors in several different rooms. This attraction is great for both adults and children and can easily take up a few hours of your day.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood Tickets – $62.00

A great attraction for those who love movies and shows, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood takes you behind the scenes of your favorite shows and movies. With tour guides at your disposable, you’ll venture your way through a 110 acre backlot where you may run into some active filming. You’ll also get the chance to visit the Prop Department, Picture Car Vault and the Archive.

Aquarium of the Pacific – $29.95

Located on Long Beach, the Aquarium of the Pacific lets you explore exhibits that showcase the wildlife of Southern California and Baja as well as the Northern Pacific and the Tropical Pacific. Great for both adults and children, this highly rated attraction lets you get face to face with birds, ocean predators and much more.

OUE Skyspace LA Ticket – $25.00

Known as the tallest open-air observation deck in Southern California, the OUE Skyspace LA gives you a great view of LA from 1,000 feet above the ground. Highly rated with great reviews, this attraction is one for the record books with 360 degree views of LA, the Gabriel Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. When visiting the Skyspace, make sure to also check out the interactive features available on the 54th floor. Here you’ll find a digital topography wall of Los Angeles that’s sure to impress.

Knott’s Berry Farm Ticket – $72.00

Known as America’s first theme park, Knott’s Berry Farm is fun for the whole family with rides, dining options, shopping options and none other than the famed boysenberry. The Knott’s Berry Farm Marketplace is also on-site and a great way to discover new boysenberry treats, great for both for you and gifts for others. As far as the rides are concerned, you’ll find plenty to choose from, including those suitable for little kids, those geared toward the whole family and some fun water rides that are perfect for those hot Southern California days.

Whale Watch By Newport Landing Tickets – $38.50

If you love sea life, you’ll love the Whale Watch By Newport Landing attraction. While enjoying the comfort of a 65 foot double deck ship you’ll get the exciting chance to view, up close and personal, both whales and dolphins, in an experience like no other. Want the chance to view a 90 foot blue whale or a pod of beautiful and playful dolphins? With over 30 years of experience, your chances of seeing one or the other are pretty high.

LEGOLAND California – $98.00

With more than 60 rides, attractions and shows throughout the park, LEGOLAND is a dream for many, both kids and adults alike. Currently, guests can also see a show of THE LEGO MOVIE in 4D. If you choose to, there is also the LEGOLAND Hotel that you can stay in and you don’t want to miss the LEGOLAND water park! Make sure to take note that LEGOLAND is only open daily during Spring Break, summer and certain holidays. The rest of the year, you’ll find the park closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

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There are over 30 different attractions to choose from with each offering something unique and fun. However, those listed above are some of most popular and highly rated attractions with card holders.

Is the Go Los Angeles Card a good deal? Here’s the short answer

UniversalIf you are visiting Los Angeles and intend to visit at least two theme parks as well as a studio tour and perhaps another big attraction or two, then you almost certainly will save money with a Go Los Angeles Card. If you can get a card at a discount, it’s obviously an even better deal. But, trying to see too many of these things on a short trip would probably be a mistake.

A day that you visit a major theme park is a full sightseeing day, so you shouldn’t assume that you’ll be able to see something else that day. The good news is that (unlike other passes and cards) you get a full two weeks to use the 1 to 7 days you purchase on the card. In other words, if you visit Universal Studios on a 3-day Card, you can spend all day Monday there, then relax at the beach on Tuesday, and start using the card again on Wednesday. This feature makes it far more useful than if it were only usable on consecutive days like most other cards insist.

The Go Los Angeles Card covers 37 attractions, but only these big ones matter

The way the Go Los Angeles Card is priced, you really need to plan to visit one major attraction such as a theme park, or two secondary attractions such as a studio tour, each day in order for it to be good value. A full 26 of the 37 included attractions cost less than $30 each for adults, so it’s really only on the 7-Day Card that it would make sense to visit those cheaper ones.

Los Angeles is so huge and spread-out that even visiting 3 things in one day is a challenge. So you can literally just forget about all the cheaper attractions that are included, because racing between them to try to get your money’s worth out of a card would ruin your trip.

Full-day attractions

Theme parks

  • Universal Studios Hollywood (Only on 3, 5, and 7-Day Cards): $105.00
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain: $76.99
  • LEGOLAND® California: $93.00
  • Knott’s Berry Farm: $72.00
  • Knott’s Soak City: $40.00 (water park next to Knott’s Berry Farm)

Each of the above theme parks should be a full day, except it’s easy to visit Knott’s and its next-door water park on the same day, although the water park is only open from late May through early September.

Also note that LEGOLAND is about 100 miles (160 km) south of Los Angeles, and it takes about 2 hours to get there by car, or longer if traffic is heavy.

Half-day attractions

Studio tours

  • Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour: $62.00
  • Sony Pictures Studio Tour: $40.00

General tours

  • Hollywood Movie Star Homes Tour: $48.00
  • Malibu Celebrity Homes Tour: $44.00
  • Hop-on Hop-off Yellow Route: $35.00

Other major attractions

  • Whale Watch by Newport Landing: $38.50
  • Madame Tussaud’s Hollywood: $29.95

So will a Go Los Angeles Card save you money?

KnottsAgain, the best way to look at it is to forget the cheaper attractions the card covers, and evaluate it just based on the attractions listed above. Also, keep in mind that you can use these cards on non-consecutive days, so you could skip days in between to just relax or see other sights, or even go to Disneyland.

It’s easy to do the math this way. The most popular version of the Go Los Angeles Card is the 3-day version, which is also the shortest one that includes Universal Studios. So you could go to Universal Studios on one day, and to Six Flags Magic Mountain on another day, and do a Hollywood tour and a movie studio tour on a third day. On an itinerary like this, you will definitely save money with the card, and even more money if you buy it with one of the frequent discounts that are offered.

How NOT to try to use a Go Los Angeles Card

Until you’ve actually visited Los Angeles, it’s impossible to imagine just how spread out it is. There is no other city like it on the planet. For this reason, it’s important to pace yourself properly. In New York City or London or Paris, it’s possible to visit 3 or even 4 attractions in one day because so many of them are only a few minutes apart on foot. But in Los Angeles, nothing is close.

So if you are a cheapskate like myself you might think you’ll get the most use out of a card by buying one for a limited number of days and trying to jam as many sights into those days as possible. But if you tried it, you’d almost certainly regret it.

Also keep in mind that all the theme parks offer unlimited rides and shows once you are inside, so if you leave after half a day, you are missing out on some fun. All of them are large enough that it would take several days in order to ride all the rides and see all the shows.

Build your own custom Go Los Angeles Card

An interesting feature with this card is that they allow you to actually choose your own group of the 37 attractions and pay only for those. You can even choose just a single attraction (except Universal Studios) and pay only for that. They guarantee that you’ll save money off the normal admission price, although they don’t publish their own prices for the custom cards.

Most people will probably get the best value out of the normal card, but it could be worth looking into the custom pricing plan to see if it’s an even better deal.

>>>Save 25% off Go Select Packages – Choose from pre-selected popular itineraries in 9 North American cities and use over 30 days!

Where to buy for instant delivery

If you think the Go Los Angeles Card is a good choice for you and your group, you can buy one from the link below. You can also choose instant delivery of a card that you can print out, or store on a smart phone in their app, so delivery is instant and free.

>>>Buy the Go Los Angeles Card at the lowest available price (discounts are frequent)

SPECIAL DISCOUNT: $20 off any Los Angeles All-Inclusive Pass purchase over $300

Similar Go Cards to consider

Photo credits: Universal Studios by benontherun.com on Flickr, Magic Mountain and Knott’s Berry Farm by Edward Beavers on Flickr



71 Responses to “Is the Go Los Angeles Card worth it? Go Los Angeles Card review 2016”

moochi says:

I don’t know why no one has commented on this yet but THIS IS AWESOME. You gave me a lot of good insight into buying the GO card or not. Thanks.

 
Minh D says:

We’ve just arrived at Los Angeles and considering the Go card, this analysis is so helpful, thank you very much

 
Nick B says:

We are visiting CA for 6 weeks and plan to spend the first 4-5 days in LA, perhaps Hollywood area. I think Warner and Universal would be enough for us and so we thought we would customise our Go card for these. Can I just confirm two things – whether getting 20 or 55% discount, do you pay any more for entry over the Go price when you reach the attractions? Lastly, would the Hop-On buses be a viable alternative to a car, as we plan only to get a car when we head north. Thanks and sorry for the daft questions

 

    Nick B,

    Yes, the Go Cards are good for the full admission to each included attraction. You might have to pay for parking at some places, but otherwise the card is good for entry with no other fees.

    And those hop-on, hop-off bus tours are very good for sightseeing, but they are poor for transportation. You might have to wait up to an hour for a bus to come along, and then it could take another hour to reach your next stop because they purposely go slow and stop frequently. So if you did use it as transport, you’d have less time to use the other attractions the card is good for.

    I grew up in Los Angeles and unfortunately it’s a place where having your own wheels make a HUGE difference in getting around. Renting a car is like having a key to the city, although you can expect traffic at times, just as the city is famous for. Good luck, and feel free to ask any other questions if you have them. -Roger

     
      Nick B says:

      Hi Roger – thanks again for a great article and a very helpful reply to my questions. As far as traffic goes, I was raised in London, so I can sympathise! One week to go and we are already so excited for our first trip to California. Best wishes.

       
Michele says:

I am from NY and we have public transportation. Does LA have subways to get to major attractions or do I need to rent a car?

 

    Michele,

    Los Angeles does have some public transportation, but the area is so spread out that it’s very inefficient for sightseeing. And most of the key attractions (Universal Studios etc) are far from the main transport routes. I hate to say it, but you’ll have a much better visit with a rental car. Have a great trip. -Roger

     
francesca says:

I have looked into this card and for me personally, I think it’s brilliant! 1000x yes, go with the card!

 
Ray C says:

Major point that is missed here is that card works until 5:30pm, once you are in by them, you in, So I bought the 3 day card, in the mornings we will hit a studio tour and a museum, then be in universal by 5:30 each day, one of those days we will go to six flags instead of universal, so we should hit both studio tours, 4-6 other museum like attractions, and spend each night in a theme park all for $190 each. This card is a great value if you can stick to the plan!

 
Michelle says:

Question — with the Los Angeles Go Card — It states that the 3, 5 & 7 day Go card come with Free Universal Hollywood tickets … what about the 4 day Go card? 3 days is not enough, but 5 is too many!? Also, does the Universal Hollywood ticket usage count towards your 3/4/5/7 day limit … or is it an added bonus on top of your Go Card purchased days? Also, we’ll have a 11 month old with us, do you think its worth it because a lot of the attractions are not really baby-friendly (tho we also have a 13 yr old and a 10 yr old).

 

    Michelle,

    They offered a 4-day Go Los Angeles Card not long ago, but I guess they got rid of it because it wasn’t as popular as the others. I also wish they still offered it, and maybe they will again.

    The Universal Hollywood ticket needs to be used on one of the valid days of your pass, unfortunately. And while your 11-month old certainly won’t get much out of the attractions, it should be helpful to know that all of the included attractions are extremely infant friendly, and obviously you don’t pay for anyone under 3. If the little one can put up with it I’m sure the older ones will appreciate that because it’s a pretty good deal in general. Have a great trip. -Roger

     
fred says:

Hi Roger,
Great insight,thanks.
We are coming from Toronto, about August 10th, via San Diego from New Orleans. Is Legoland down that way? Of course we are looking at attending Universal, but in your knowledgeable opinion, is it a better option to do the two Knott’s attractions as opposed to 6 flags?
thanks in advance.

 

    Fred,

    Yes, Legoland is only about 50 kilometers north of San Diego Airport so it’ll be easy to reach. Knott’s is about 160 kilometers north of San Diego, and there is a big chunk of that where there is almost never any traffic so it’s also pretty easy to reach. Six Flags Magic Mountain is about 240 kilometers north of San Diego and you literally have to drive through all of the most (traffic) crowded parts of Los Angeles to get there. So for that reason alone I’d go for the Knott’s attractions. And people say that Six Flags hasn’t been updated like the other parks have lately, so it’s fading a bit in popularity.

    Universal is easier to reach because it’s in the middle of Los Angeles rather than way north of Los Angeles, and it’s obviously a world-class attraction. If you can time that drive right I’m sure you’d love it. Best of luck with however it works out for you. -Roger

     
Lisa says:

Do you know if we purchase the 3, 5 or 7 day Go cards if we can use them for 2 of the days at Universal Studios or is it just one time?

 

    Lisa,

    According to the official website, you can visit Universal Studios Hollywood up to 3 times with your 3, 5, or 7-day pass. Have a great trip. -Roger

     
michelle says:

Hi, is the entrance into the 6 Flags Magic Mountain included in the Go Los Angeles Card? I am a bit confused by the VIP line privilege stuff. Thank you 🙂

 

    Michelle,

    Yes, the Go Los Angeles card does include entry to Six Flags Magic Mountain. It also includes “VIP Line Privileges” which means that you can skip the ticket-buying queue out front and go right to the entry queue. So it will save you time, but it’s not like a Fast Pass where you skip the queues for the rides once inside. Those cost a fortune.

    And for the record, I agree that the VIP thing is confusing on their website so I called them to point out that it’s not really explained properly anywhere. Have a great trip. -Roger

     
Grant H says:

HI,

If we were to get the GO cards can we still pre book the studio tours etc?

apologies for the dumb Q..
Grant

 

    Grant,

    It’s not a dumb question, but I don’t think you need to “pre-book” the studio tours. Pretty much all of the Go Los Angeles Card attractions are ongoing, so you just show up and go in. If you were referring to something else or something specific, please let me know. -Roger

     
Sam Sing says:

Hi,

We will be staying in Torrance on the week of March 14, 2016. Just would like to know how we should plan our days if we buy 4 days card to see Legoland, Universal Studio, Knott Berry Farm and some other activities available on card. We have 10, 14 and 16 years old kids.
Thanks, Sam

 

    Sam,

    Legoland, Universal Studios, and Knott’s Berry Farm are all fairly far apart and they are basically all-day activities so I’d dedicate a full day to each of them. On the 4th day you can hit several of the non-theme-park attractions that are mostly in or near Hollywood. If you plan well and start early you can hit at least 3 or 4 different things on that one day. You might want to put that Hollywood day in the middle, so you aren’t doing theme parks 3 straight days. As for which attractions to visit, that’s really a personal decision, but pretty much all of them are worthwhile for some people. Have a great trip. -Roger

     
Nicola says:

Hi there,

I’m looking into buying the 3 day pass as I will be going to Universal Studios. Do you know whether you are able to upgrade the Go Card entry ticket to the front of line ticket by paying the difference in price?
Thanks- Nicola

 

    Nicola,

    That’s an interesting question and I don’t know the answer. You are probably best off calling them to find out. The website says: Please feel free to call us at (866) 652‑3053 and we’ll be happy to help you!

    Best of luck. -Roger

     
    Lisa says:

    Hi Nicola,
    Were you ever able to find out the answer to your question? I was wondering the same thing! We are going in mid-April and I am thinking we will probably need a front of the line upgrade since Harry Potter is opening the week before!

     

      Lisa,

      I looked into it more and Universal Studios says that Season Pass holders and those already with individual tickets CAN upgrade to the Front of Line Pass at the front gate for the upgrade fee. So my best guess is that it IS possible to upgrade with the Go Los Angeles Card as well. However, they mention that they have limited availability on the FOL passes, and I’d guess that they’d sell out in advance in the weeks right after the new Harry Potter thing opened.

      I’d still call Universal to check, and please let us know if you find out. Thanks and good luck. -Roger

       
catherine says:

We only have time for 1 day pass. I think we will try to do Warner Bros studio tour and then hit Santa Monica for pier and bike rental. Do you know what time of day the pass starts and ends? thanks

 

    Catherine,

    The Go Los Angeles Card basically goes from midnight to midnight, so it’s really just whatever the opening hours are of each place.

    The Warner Brothers Studio Tour only takes about 3 hours (because it’s a studio tour and not a theme park like others on the list), so if you reserve and early time for your tour, hopefully around 10am, you’ll be out by 1pm for lunch. The Santa Monica Pier is only 22 miles (35 KM) away and at that time of day you should be able to make it in under an hour because it’s freeway pretty much the whole way. You’d have time to do another attraction or two on your way to the Pier, and still get there before sunset for a bike ride and all that.

    Let me know if you have any other questions. I grew up in Los Angeles and I enjoy helping people explore it. -Roger

     
Leo says:

Hi Roger! Thanks for all the help you provide reg the city and the pass. We are visiting LA in July from Argentina! and we plan to buy the 3 days pass. We were thinking to follow this schedule if you can give us any advice I would really appreciate. 1st day: Universal 2nd day: Warner Bros studio tour, madame tussauds and sony studio tour, 3rd day: Legoland on our way to San Diego. Do u think second day is possible? Thanks!!!

 

    Leo,

    As always, I’m happy to help if I can. I think your plan sounds great. Your Day 2 plan should be quite easy to do as long as you make reservations for both studio tours about 5 or 6 hours apart. That will give you enough time to reach Madame Tussaud’s and spend 90 to 120 minutes inside on your way to the other studio. Traffic is always an issue in Los Angeles, but those three Day 2 attractions aren’t so far apart that it would be a problem.

    So after you buy the Go LA Card, make a reservation for one studio tour as early as possible, hopefully 9am or 10am if you can. You’ll be done there 2 or 3 hours later and you should have time to reach Madame Tussaud’s and spend 2 hours there and still make it to the other studio at 3pm or 4pm for your reservation. If they can do later reservations, it might be better to do that so you’ll have time for a relaxed lunch as well. Have a great trip and let me know if you have other questions. -Roger

     
      Liana says:

      Hi Roger,
      We are travelling from Australia with our three children and are hoping to get advice on the best way to use our 3 day go card. We obviously want to maximise our time seeing only the relevant well worth attractions. We are interested in seeing Warner brother studio, Hollywood homes, Malibu homes, Madame Tussauds and universal studios. We are hiring a car whilst there so should we use our own transport visiting the Hollywood homes or do you think it’s better to do this as part of the tour? Where does the hop on hop off tour include? Is it best to book the studio tour and hollywood homes tour in advance or can we do this once we arrive in the US? Do they only run these tours on specific days we arrive on the 17th of March until the 20th of March.

       

        Liana,

        I’ll try to answer your questions in the order they came up…

        As long as you are doing the Go Los Angeles Card then I’d definitely do the Hollywood homes tour they offer rather than do it yourself. There are people selling maps of “celebrity homes” but they are famously out of date and mostly include obscure stars that you’ve never heard of. It’s pretty much impossible to really find celebrity homes on your own, and the stress of driving around looking makes it worse. Also, I’m not sure about the Malibu Homes tour in general. The thing is, Malibu is a long way from Hollywood (about an hour or more in traffic), and all of the homes look extremely plain from the road. You really have to view the homes from the beach to see anything special at all, and I doubt the tour allows that.

        The hop-on, hop-off tour includes the main highlights from Los Angeles’ “West Side” which is where the most desirable housing is located. Looking at the list of the places they go, it looks like a very entertaining route, and one that driving yourself would be a hassle.

        I’m not sure how far in advance you have to book those tours that require reservations. It looks like they go almost every day of the year, and March isn’t really the high season, so I’d think you can reserve once you arrive. But I can’t be sure of that so hopefully you can get confirmation somewhere else. Have a great trip. -Roger

         
Leo says:

Thanks for your reply Roger! Now we are considering using the 2 weeks availability so we can relax in between but a new question arised. Let´s say that we want to use our first day on TUESDAY THE 5TH OF JULY and we want to use our last day on TUESDAY 19th of july, do you think that is possible? It is 2 weeks but 15 days so Im not sure… THANKS!!!

 

    Leo,

    The official site says the days are good “within a two-week period” so I’m pretty sure if you started on a Tuesday then your last possible day would be two Mondays later. If they allow an extra day, you’d have to check with them. Have a great trip and I hope it all works out. -Roger

     
Joe a says:

I visited LA mid-February and used the Go LA pass. It was a great value. We purchased the 5 day pass and were able to utilize it for the major attractions. We spent 1 day in six flags, got tired of the thrill rides and took a ride to Santa Monica pier and used the pass there as well. The next day we went to Universal. We booked some studio tours and spent the next couple of days touring and jumping on the hollywood homes tour. We spent the day on Hollywood blvd and visited Madame Tussauds, the Hollywood museum. Be sure not to skip the walking tour on the blvd. It is extremely informational. We wouldnt change a thing. Universal studios is much smaller than the one in Florida so you should skip the front of the line passes as you can do the entire park beforemit gets dark. We got there at 10AM and we were done by 3pm. This is with the fast and furious ride breaking down. Harry potter was not yet opened but we already experienced it when visiting Universal Orlando so we wouldve skipped the attraction anyway. Defintely purchase the go passand save some $$$ for Disney. A 2 day non-park hopper ticket will set a family of 4 back $800.

 
Meike says:

Hi, off topic, but I’m just wondering if you have any insider info as to where to buy cheap authentic Disneyland ticket?

Also, to make the most of the visit to LA/Hollywood area, where should one take a stay on (hotel/AirBnB wise) to be more in middle of all of them in these Go Card attractions? Thanks beforehand!

 

    Meike,

    Disneyland is famous for keeping a very tight control on any discounted tickets. Local groups based in Southern California can get discounts when they buy, say, 20 or more tickets, but I’m not aware of any discounts available for small groups of tourists. It’s a shame because the park is so expensive and every other attraction seems to offer some sort of discount. But if you go, you won’t regret it. They do an amazing job there.

    As far as where to stay, Los Angeles is a bit tricky because you’ll need a car pretty much no matter where you stay if you want to see the most interesting things. Whether you drive 90 minutes in a day, or 110 minutes in a day to see everything, it won’t make much of a difference. So instead I advise people to stay in a central neighborhood that you’ll feel comfortable in and has good food and entertainment options. With that in mind, I’d recommend finding a place in or near the city of West Hollywood, which is between Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Hollywood itself is a bit shabby, and Beverly Hills is insanely expensive. Westwood is another good neighborhood in that same area.

    If all of those places seem too expensive for what you get, you might be best off staying in Studio City or Burbank, which are both just over the hill from Hollywood. Have a great trip. -Roger

     
Ginger says:

Hi, I’ve read through all the comments! Thank you Roger! this has been a most informative post! One question. How do you go about making a reservation for the WB studio tour? Does one have to call or are you able to do this through the website?

Thanks again! trip is in 2 weeks!!

 

    Ginger,

    Always happy to hear that this information helps. As far as the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, it appears that you need to call the phone number provided – (877) 492-8687 – to make that reservation. It’s a toll-free phone call if you are in the United States or Canada, which means that it’s free over Skype if you are anywhere else in the world. Have a great trip. -Roger

     
Min says:

Hell Roger,
Do you have any recommendation for a plan to best use of the card? I mean a doable plan for the three days card
Thanks
Min

 

    Min,

    I’ll be happy to try to help, but it’s tough to confidently recommend activities without knowing your tastes and such. I will try to give you a bit of advice though.

    If you are doing a 3-day Go Los Angeles Card you’ll definitely want to allow a full day at Universal Studios, which is already a US$105 value. It’s a large park with more activities than anyone can do in one day, so most people arrive in the morning and then leave around dinner time. There are a couple things you might also do in the evening if you left early enough and they are on your way, but I’d probably just target the park for the full day.

    Assuming you are traveling with kids, you might devote another full day to Knott’s Berry Farm or Magic Mountain, which are also both large and elaborate theme parks. You might do Universal on Day 1 and the other park on Day 3, so the thrills are spaced out a bit. And again, you could potentially do another thing in the morning or early evening, but most people just stay all day in the park.

    On the middle day you can do at least 2 or 3 of the rest of the activities that appeal to you. Most of the rest are in or near Hollywood, and they only take 2 or 3 hours each, so doing 3 in a day is pretty easy as long as you plan things out a bit. Madame Tussauds is surprisingly entertaining, and there is also the Warner Brothers Studio Tour (you have to reserve that on the phone in advance). The hop-on, hop-off bus tour is interesting because it connects all the major sights without having to worry about parking and all the traffic yourself.

    The Hollywood Movie Star Homes tour is interesting to some people, but not everyone. The thing about it is, most of the homes that they point out are former homes of big stars, or current homes of lesser stars, and you probably won’t see any stars. However, they can be really fun for seeing mansions and the most glamorous neighborhoods near Hollywood. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
      Min says:

      Thanks for your prompt reply Roger,
      I am coming only with my wife, and I defiantly agree that we need to go to universal for the whole day and then nearby restaurants.

      For the second day, do I need to use three different parking to go to Madame Tussauds, Warner Brothers Studio Tour and Hop-on hop-off

      For the third day, we think about six flags, do you think we can combine it with Whale Watch by Newport Landing and the aquarium of the pacific?

      Another question please, can we find cheaper parking near the amenities or we have to use their expensive parking

      Really appreciate your help and support

      Best regards
      Min

       

        Min,

        Yes, you’d have to park 3 times on that day, but none of the parking lots should be too expensive. And for the HOHO bus, you might even be able to find a free parking spot near one of the stops.

        Unfortunately, Six Flags Magic Mountain is about 30 miles northwest of Hollywood, and Newport Landing is about 40 miles southeast, so you wouldn’t want to try those on the same day. Knott’s Berry Farm is in the same direction as Newport Landing, and the Long Beach Whale Watch or Harbor Cruise is on the way to Knott’s. Knott’s has fewer thrill rides, but it has plenty of them still, and it’s more interesting overall compared to Magic Mountain. I grew up close to it and I’ve been there at least 15 times. There are quite a few other attractions in that same area south of Downtown LA, so it will be easy to find a few to combine in one day if you go down the list a bit.

        For something like Universal or the other theme parks, you really have to park in their lot. The parks are so large that you’d have to park at least a mile away to park outside of the park, and you might not even save any money. But for something like Madame Tussaud’s, there are many smaller and cheaper parking lots within a few blocks. Generally speaking, parking in Los Angeles isn’t too expensive because everyone drives and there are lots all over. You might be paying about US$8 to park for the afternoon, or something like that. It’s annoying, but there is no good way around it, and you’ll have a better time if you just do it the convenient way. And compared to the total cost of your holiday, it doesn’t add up to much. Have a great trip. -Roger

         
Lou says:

Hello Roger

Actually i have the same thoughts of Min, please advise if i can do Madame Tussauds in the early morning before universal studios??
Also you think i can do both knotts berry farm and knott soak city water park on the same day??
And if you can also advise what can be done on the same day with warner bros studio and hop on hop off but not hollywood home tour?

Thanks in advance
I really appreciate your kind support for everyone

 

    Lou,

    It would be quite a busy day, but you could definitely do Madame Tussauds, which opens at 10am, in the morning, and then Universal Studios, which is open until 10pm or 11pm in summer, after that on the same day. Madame Tussauds is really impressive and fun, but you’ll have seen it all in 90 minutes or so. And Universal does have some rides, but it’s more of a park where you go see the stunt shows and so forth, and you can easily see all of those if you get there by 1pm.

    And it would also be quite easy to do the 2 Knott’s parks on the same day, as long as you are going by August 18 or so, after which the Berry Farm cuts its opening hours back a bit. So if you are going before then, you could spend 2 or 3 hours in the morning in Soak City, and then change back into your normal clothes to go next door for the main park, and spend at least 6 or 7 hours there, which is enough time to ride all the rides.

    With the Warner Brothers Studio Tour and HOHO Bus, you could also do the OUE Skyspace LA Observation Deck in Downtown LA, or the Sony Pictures Studio Tour (if you could get a reservation at the right time), and/or the Hollywood Museum, or even the mountain-bike rental in Santa Monica. Have a great trip. -Roger

     
Liza says:

Hello Roger

Sorry ihave another question; do you think legoland in just for kids? As i will be coming onlyme and my husband alne for our anniversary; we are in our late twenties. Legoland seems interesting but we are doubting that is maniky for kids

Thanks again for your help and support
Liza

 

    Liza,

    My understanding is that Legoland is most popular among families with younger children. People rave about it so I’m sure anyone would be able to appreciate what they’ve done there, but I don’t think I’d recommend it to people in their twenties. Also, it’s a LONG way south of every other attraction, actually closer to San Diego than Los Angeles, so it requires a long time on the road there and back. -Roger

     
Laura says:

Hey!
I’ll be in L.A on December, I’m atying for 42 days…. the thing i that I’m 20 years old , I’ll be traveling alone and I don’t have enough money to rent a car and I don’t even have a drive license but I wanna go to the studios and things like that … what should I do?

 

    Laura,

    This is a tough one. I understand your situation. I grew up in LA and partly because all of the driving, I’ve lived in places where I don’t need a car for the last 13 years (currently in London). Los Angeles does have public buses, although those get caught up in traffic as well. And there is the subway system, which has been expanded again recently and is now somewhat useful to tourists.

    I think my advice would be to find a hotel or hostel close to one of the subway stops. Hollywood is the most central location on the subway lines, as that will allow you to get Downtown, to Universal City, and to the West Side (Santa Monica, Westwood etc) all on the subway. Most of that was built since I last lived there 13 years ago (although I still visit often), and it looks like you can get around pretty efficiently on the subway now.

    In some cases you’ll probably want to spring for an Uber to get to places that aren’t close to the subway line. They are fairly cheap in LA, and even if you end up taking 2 short Ubers per day and a daily subway pass, it’ll probably be cheaper than renting a car and paying for gas. And you’ll save $10 or $20 per day on parking as well. The only real downside is that it might take you an hour to reach something that could have been reached in 20 or 30 minutes by car. But again, you won’t have to worry about parking, so you’ll regain some of that time.

    If you allow yourself, say, $30 per day on Ubers, you’ll be able to go to all of the main places between Santa Monica, Hollywood, Downtown, and the studio area in and near Burbank. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Marianna says:

Hi Roger,

We are heading to LA in Sept and will be there for 9 nights. Im looking at gstting a 3 day gocard and want to do universal studios, knotts berry and warner bros / madame tassauds / and either hoho tour or santa monica pier. Can u tell me if it is better to purchase the card online from here in australia or purchase it when we get there? Also what time does universal studios close, and as we are staying in anaheim for the whole time is public transport into downtown la easy enough to navigate? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

 

    Marianna,

    You’ll want to buy the Go Los Angeles Card online, as it’s not available any other way. Fortunately, unlike many other passes and city cards, you can download your pass to your smartphone and use it that way, so you don’t need anything shipped to you.

    Universal Studios closes at different times on different days, and it’s sort of unpredictable. Check the website for hours and you can plan on one of the later days (9pm to 11pm) if you need to.

    There is a train from Anaheim to Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles, but the last one going in that direction leaves at 9:16am and then not another one until 4:39pm. The journey takes 48 minutes so it’s not bad. These are only commuter trains, unfortunately, so they only operate in the morning and then again in the afternoon. If that works for you, you’ll be fine. There are also buses and shuttle vans, although those can and usually do get caught in traffic. Most tourists drive, and it should be surprisingly easy if you want to give it a try. I’m from Los Angeles and I rented a car in downtown Melbourne to drive up to the Great Ocean Road and then down to the Blue Mountains and Sydney. Driving on the other side was a bit stressful at first, especially in downtown Melbourne, but then it got easy. Driving from Anaheim to Los Angeles will be even easier, as there are freeways everywhere and you can just pick a lane and stay in it. Let me know if you have any questions. -Roger

     
Marianna says:

Hi Roger,
Thanks for your earlier response…..just one more question! Do the LA GoCard attractions include front of line access or are they just general admission tickets?
Marianna

 

    Marianna,

    Only a few of the included attractions allow you to skip the main ticket line, but fortunately that isn’t really a big issue at most places. The theme parks and those sorts of attractions have many ticket windows in order to process everyone quickly, so you shouldn’t have to wait more than maybe 10 minutes at almost any of them. Have a great trip. -Roger

     
Ann says:

Roger, great info. Can you purchase the additional front of the line access ticket at Universal Studios if I buy the inclusive Go Card?

Thanks, Ann

 

    Ann,

    I believe you can buy the Front of Line access as an add-on once you get to the park, but I’m not 100% sure. You might want to call Universal to check for sure. Have a great trip. -Roger

     
Kaye says:

Hi Roger, my family (2 adults and 2 children) will be going to LA in Feb 2017 and I’ve been so overwhelmed with information available on the Internet. We will be staying in LA for 5days and after spending months on our itinerary, I only came across this today and it’s been the most helpful. Thank you so much!

 

    Kaye,

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. And let me know if you have any other questions. As I grew up in Los Angeles and am still very proud of it, I’m happy to try to help. -Roger

     
Kelly says:

Hi Roger,

Thank you for providing such valuable information on the Go Card. I’ll be visiting for a week and will probably buy the 3 or 5 day pass. Plus, I’ll rent a car and map every location to be as time efficient as possible.

Question: Is there some catch to this pass? I’m looking at the cost of admission for some of these places and the pass (even for 3 days) is only $199 per person. Are there any charges on top of admission into the gate? Or am I really getting all these tours and boats rides for the price of the pass?

Your help is greatly appreciated!

 

    Kelly,

    From everything I’ve heard, there are no other charges aside from what is on the website, and it’s all legit. I know what you mean about it seeming a bit too good to be true, but it’s the real deal. The included attractions know that they can draw extra people with passes like this, and in most cases there is no extra cost to them. For example, on weekdays, Universal Studios Hollywood never gets overly crowded, so by being part of the Go Card they accept a lower payment from the card company and the visitors go on weekdays rather than the too-crowded weekends.

    These kinds of cards operate in nearly every tourist city in the US and around the world, so the business model works for both sides. And to be perfectly honest, the average person buying a card or pass usually won’t be able to go to all of the places they hope they could. This way, the card and the attractions guarantee a reduced amount up front, and in the end it makes them more money than if they weren’t involved at all.

    And again, many of the attractions have no additional marginal cost per extra visitor because they rarely sell out. So many people go to a place like Madame Tussauds when they wouldn’t have gone otherwise. And Madame Tussauds gets some money for each person who uses the card, and some of those people buy a t-shirt or lunch, so they are better off.

    Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Wilgert says:

Hi Roger,

We are doing a 2 week roadtrip through California, Arizona and Utah in May 2017 and found out about the Go LA Card a couple of days ago.

Your post was very helpfull and we are taking a 3-day pass and will use most of your 3 day itinerary.

Thank you so much for your information.
Greetings,

Wilgert
The Netherlands

 
Gals Portal says:

Hi…. we are planning to come to LA in Nov..
Planning to get the 3 day card.
1 day universal.
2nd day morning,
At abt 9/10am whale watching,
Then join the studio tour in the afternoon & try to enter
6 flags by 5pm so that we can stay abt 8 to 9pm..
Is this a feasible plan??

 

    Gals,

    The San Pedro whale watching is close enough that it could work in the morning. Then as long as you can make it to one of the studio tours (Warner Brothers or Sony Pictures) at one of the scheduled times, you could make it to Six Flags in the evening. The main challenge will be that traffic to Six Flags is bad starting in the late afternoon every day. So if you go to the Warner Brothers Tour, which is halfway to Six Flags, it would be easier. But it could still take over an hour to get to Six Flags at that hour. So it’s not an ideal itinerary, but it could be done. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
Eliza Dudas says:

Hi, it may seems like a dumb question but I’m not from the states, so I don’t know for sure if the prices near the sights are what I have to pay for each attraction or after I buy the Los Angeles go card every sight on the list will be free?
Looking Forward to your answer anytime soon!

 

    Eliza,

    It’s not a dumb question. The prices listed are the regular walk-up prices for each attraction, and they are all free if you have a Go Los Angeles Card. Have a great trip. -Roger

     
Nietje says:

Roger,

I have a small budget, the Go Los Angeles Card will save me money, but the parking fees is killing my budget. Public transport is not the solution, I will loss too much time. Do you have some advise to save on parking fees.
And another question. To use the card you have to be inside an attraction before 5:30pm? Is this true and is this for all attractions

 

    Nietje,

    Parking fees obvious vary from one attraction to another, but you are right that they can be annoying and can add up. For theme parks such as Universal you really have no choice but to use their parking lot, although those aren’t usually too high. If you have the Uber app you could probably find free parking a short drive away and then take an Uber to the gate for US$6 or so. But really it’s probably not worth it.

    For attractions such as Madam Tussauds, there are competing lots in the area, and you can usually find a spot for around US$8 for a few hours. Again, it depends on the attraction.

    And it’s true that most of the attractions are daytime things, but some of them go into the evening such as the OUE Skyspace LA observation deck, which goes until 11pm or midnight. So the 5:30pm thing isn’t a rule. You just have to look at the specific things that you are considering visiting. Best of luck with this and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     
      Nietje says:

      Roger,
      I have another question. I found rome2rio.com they give advise for travel fare. I will be staying in Culver City and like to go to Universal Studio. The site is saying that I will pay for Uber $ 15-22, will this price be correct? If so no need to rent a car for that day, it will be cheaper by Uber as by car. Parking place will cost already $ 18 and rent/gas for car. Sorry maybe I sound cheap, but I prefer to spend my money on attractions and sideseeing and good food as for parking space and high transport.

       

        Nietje,

        One big issue in Los Angeles is the famous traffic. If you went in the middle of the night then $15 to $22 sounds about right from Culver City to Universal. Unfortunately, there is no freeway that goes directly there, so you have to take surface streets or freeways that take out a bit out of the way. My guess is that at a random time in the morning, it would cost much more in an Uber than $22.

        Honestly, I think you’d have a better day if you rented a car, and driving there isn’t unusually challenging. If you tried to do it just by Uber you might save money, but if traffic is really bad it might end up costing much more. I understand you wanting to economize, and it could work out if you understand that it also might end up costing more. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

         
Daniella says:

hi Roger,
We”ll be arriving in LA in 2 weeks . For sure we will purchase the Go LA card . Universal Studio will be a must for our kids . Which other theme parks would u recommend to us , since we will take a 3 days one. We have no idea which parks are already a bit outdated. Which would u recommend between Knott berry o r magic mountain? Many thankss

 

    Daniella,

    All of the big Southern California theme parks are updated on a regular basis, with Disneyland being the most modern (and most expensive). Magic Mountain has always been known for having the most roller coasters and other thrill rides, while Knott’s Berry Farm has more of a cohesive theme and it is really unique. Magic Mountain is similar to many other Six Flag’s theme parks around the country.

    Knott’s also has many big roller coasters and thrill rides, so it’s a good choice for kids maybe 8 and up, while Magic Mountain might be a bit better for older kids, say 13 and up, but maybe not as good for younger ones.

    Really, they are both great, and if you have to choose one I’d do it more by location. Knott’s is in Buena Park in Orange County, only about 20 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles and a bit farther from Hollywood. Magic Mountain is in Valencia about 35 miles northwest of Downtown Los Angeles, and a bit closer from Hollywood. Traffic can be bad for both of them, although the worst traffic is going into the city in the morning and out in the afternoon, so you will probably be going the other directions.

    Long story short, it really depends on where you are staying. If you are staying in Burbank or somewhere else in the San Fernando Valley, then Magic Mountain is probably the better choice. But if you are staying in Hollywood or Santa Monica or anywhere near downtown LA or to its south, then Knott’s is probably the better choice. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     

Hi Roger,

I am contemplating a 3 day pass with my wife and kids ages 6 and 4. My kids are too young for studio tours so I am on the fence. Looking at 1 day in Universal, 1 day on Hollywood for Madam Tuseaud’s and Hollywood mueseum and 1 day on Santa Monica Pier. Can We are staying near LA LIve. Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks!

 

    Jason,

    I see your dilemma. Universal will be great, and the Santa Monica Pier park should be as well, for kids that age. Aside from that you’ve got the LA Zoo and the Aquarium of the Pacific that are good for that age, but I can see why you might not want to spend so much of your LA visit on places like that. Legoland is fantastic, though it’s a long drive from Downtown LA.

    I think your plan does look pretty good, and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by Madam Tussaud’s. Not only are those figures amazing up close, but they also provide quite a few little fun activities in the museums, such as interesting photo opportunities with costumes and such. So I think you’d enjoy the things on your list, with Universal Studios being the obvious highlight. But paying as you go for some things and having the flexibility to choose some others would also be fun, and probably not much more expensive if at all. The Go LA Card is great for many people, and you seem like you could be on the edge where it could be helpful though not as obviously as with many other groups. Best of luck with your trip and whatever you decide. -Roger

     

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