Is the Go All California Card worth it? Go All California Card review 2016
More and more, Go Cards and City Passes are becoming a travel staple and a ‘must have money saver’ for city vacations around the United States. Most of them however, only focus on one city and can only be used within that city. Changing the game is the Go All California Card which covers three different cities- San Fransisco, San Diego and Los Angles- all in one. This card allows you access to attractions around the state, which is great for those who fancy a classic California road trip.
In fact, the card allows access to 30 attractions and activities in total, which really allows you to plan your prefect dream vacation. Now with that said, it is important to keep in mind that some of the attractions in each city are pretty far apart, let alone the actual cities themselves. In order to make sure that the Go All California Card really is the best value for you, we’ll take a look below at what the card is, how not to use the card and how to pay and receive it. We’ll also provide a look into a few sample itineraries to give you a better idea of the savings involved, if any.
2016 prices for the Go All California Card
Prices for this pass are not set it stone, but rather based on the particular attractions that are chosen, the amount of people on each pass and their ages.
To help you understand a little better, here are a few sample card itineraries with both the gate prices and the card price:
- San Diego Zoo- gate price for 2 adults: $100.00
- Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum- gate price for 2 adults: $40.00
Total gate price: $140.00
Total with card: $112.00
2 Adults, 1 Child:
- Knott’s Berry Farm- gate price for 2 adults/1 child: $186.00
- Golden Gate Bay Cruise- gate price for 2 adults/1 child: $80.00
Total gate price: $266.00
Total with card: $212.80
- Exploratorium- gate price for 4 adults: $119.80
- Six Flags Discovery Kingdom- gate price for 4 adults: $270.44
- Madame Tussauds Hollywood- gate price for 4 adults: $119.80
Total gate price: $510.04
Total card price: $408.03
As you can see, depending on how many people are put onto each card, their age and what individual attractions are visited, you’ll end up paying a different rate per card purchased. Each card rate however, is proven above to be about 20% cheaper than the gate entry rate total.
How does the Go All California Card work?
Essentially a custom, build it yourself pass, the Go All California Card lets you combine two or more attractions from Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. What this means is that instead of buying a card that grants you access to attractions within one city over the other, now you’ll be able to visit all three cities and use the card easily in each. This is a great option for anyone that is planning on venturing on a California road trip and who knows ahead of time which attractions to they’re looking to visit.
Though you are guaranteed to save at least 20% off of gate prices, the exact dollar amount changes varying on which individual attractions you choose.
In the end, this is how the pass works:
- You first choose your two or more attractions.
- Then you’ll select the number of people you’ll be traveling with (what this refers to is the number of people who will be sharing the card with you and visiting the same attractions at the same time)
- Next step is to pay for your pass and then you’ll be able to either print it out or use it straight from your smartphone.
Things to keep in mind when selecting your attractions is a single attraction can only be visited once using the card and that you must have at least two different attractions on each card.
Top sights and attractions
San Diego Zoo – $50.00
With plenty of different species to view and learn about, the Sand Diego Zoo is a great place for those with curious minds who seek to learn more about the animal kingdom. With more than 3,700 animals and more than 700,000 different plants, you’ll find lots to enjoy. This is a great activity for any age, especially for those with a strong love for animals.
USS Midway Museum – $20.00
972 feet long and built with 74,000 tons of metal, the USS Midway aircraft carrier is a beautiful sight with lots of history. Located at the Navy Pier, this museum takes you directly onto the aircraft carrier where you’ll get an insight look into the 225,000 sailors that served from 1945 to 1992. This is a great family activity, as well as one for adults. Each visit should take you a few hours to enjoy.
Knott’s Berry Farm – $72.00
America’s first ever theme park, the Knott’s Berry Farm is much more than berries. In fact, here you’ll find rides, shops, dining and of course some of their famous Boysenberry pie. Ride wise, you’ll find a roller coaster, rides suitable for small kids and a few water rides that are perfect for those hot summer days. A trip here should take about half a day and is best for families.
Aquarium of the Bay – $24.95
A great visit for those who love the ocean, the Aquarium of the Bay is a short little attraction that is perfect for all ages. Located in San Francisco, you’ll find different exhibits that focus on ocean and marine life from different parts of the world. You’ll also get the chance to walk through a tunnel surrounded on all sides by 700,000 gallons of bay water. This tunnel shows you first hand the creatures that call the bay home.
California Academy of Sciences – $34.95
An activity that will take about 3 hours of your time, the California Academy of Sciences is a great experience for every age with lots of different learning options. For those interested in the sea, you’ll find the Steinhart Aquarium and its 38,000 animals. If space is more your thing, then you’ll want to check out the Morrison Planetarium where you’ll find a 75-foot projection screen that showcases planet and space movies. There are several other exhibits to check out as well, making this attraction a very well rounded one.
Golden Gate Park Segway Tour – $75.00
A great way to view the park, the Golden Gate Park Segway Tour allows you to cruise around in a fun way while also exploring all of the scenic pathways that line the park. With this tour, you’ll find gardens and trails all while listening to a narrative outlining some of the park’s more historic facts. Generally speaking, each tour takes about 2 and 1/2 hours. This tour is for adults only.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood – $62.00
If you’re a movie or a TV show buff, or simply someone who loves a good behind the scenes tour, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood is made for you. On this tour you’ll get to visit the studios themselves and see where all the action happens. In addition to venturing around the backlot’s 110 acres, you’ll also find yourself visiting the Prop Department, the Archive and the Picture Car Vault. Reservations are required and each tour takes about 3 hours. It should also be noted that children under the age of 8 are not allowed. Generally speaking, this is more of an adult attraction.
Is the Go All California Card a good deal? Here’s the short answer
After looking into all the details, it does seem like this pass is a great deal. When using the pass, you’ll be saving at least 20%, which is a large chuck of change that can then be spent toward fuel, food, shopping or a good night’s sleep at a nice hotel. Another great aspect of this card that helps to make it a good deal is the length that the pass if valid for. Each pass, no matter how many attractions are on it, is good for a full 30 days from the first attraction visited. This means that the pass doesn’t go into effect until you visit an attraction and show the gate keeper your pass, and not from the day that the card is purchased. With that said, you have a year from the purchase date to use your pass, anything over will render the pass invalid.
Another great aspect of this card is that children ages 3 to 12 can also be added. Generally speaking, kids under the age of 3 get into attractions free, making a pass for them unnecessary.
When visiting attractions, most of us have been in the situation where we end up spending a good amount of time in line waiting to reach the front. Luckily with this card, most of those lines can be avoided and you truly can ‘skip to the front’. Most of the attractions allow you to walk straight in, however there are a few that you may have to make reservations for. But no need to worry, even with these attractions, you’re still getting a good deal.
Will the Go All California Card save you money?
Just as stated above, the Go All California Card will save you roughly 20% or so off of the attraction gate cost. This means that you would pay more to wait in line and pay at the gate rather then having the attraction paid for ahead of time and skipping the line.
How NOT to use a Go All California Card
Though we have established that the Go All California Card is a great deal, there are a few ways of using it that could make it not that great after all. Unlike other Go Cards where you’re confined to attractions within one city or smaller area, this card allows access to attractions in Los Angles, San Diego and San Francisco making it necessary to plan your road trip or travel plans out a little more before purchasing the card. If you’re planning on staying in the southern region of California, then you’ll want to make sure that you don’t add a San Francisco attraction to your card. This would mean that you would have to make a completely different road trip far up the state to San Francisco for a single attraction. Even though the attraction itself would be cheaper still, you’ll end up spending a lot of money on fuel.
Another thing you don’t want to do is wait a long time between each attraction. Though a little bit of time, say a few days or a few weeks is okay, any longer and you risk your card expiring. If this happens, you won’t be able to get a refund and will lose out on the attractions at a lower price.
Where to buy for instant delivery
If you feel that the Go All California Card is a good choice for you and your group, you can easily buy one from the link below. With this link, you can either choose to have it emailed to you so that you can print it out or you can store it in your smart phone with their app. Either way you choose, delivery of this card is instant, easy and free.