Vacations can be super expensive, especially with the rising cost of airline tickets, long hotel stays, car rentals, meals, and more. LA is like Disney World, you can’t do everything in one trip. On a recent trip to Los Angeles, I purchased a Go Los Angeles Card and there are definitely pros and cons to buying and using them!
Pro: Low Cost and Cost Savings
The cost savings by having a GO LA card saved my friends and I a substantial amount of money. With the 3, 5, and 7 day LA Cards, you get a free weekday visit to Universal Studios. For example, the cost of the three-day ticket on 365 Tickets USA is $193.00. Just getting into Universal Studios can cost up to $115 depending on the date and month of your visit.
With other attractions included such as celebrity homes tour, the Warner Brother’s back lot tour, Pacific Park in Santa Monica, the pass ultimately pays for itself as the one base price of the pass includes admission to all these types of attractions.
Con: Timing Rules
While the cost savings are great, Smart Destinations (the owner of the GO Card) has time restraints set in place. When using a Go LA Card for admission into any of the attractions covered, guests must be inside between the hours of 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM. Once inside, guests are allowed to stay as long as they would like.
For my group, this was an issue we ran into a few times. With traffic in the LA area, planning is key. Make sure to allow ample time for parking, walking, and checking into any attraction or you might be turned away due to the time you arrive.
Pro: Good For All Types of Vacations
The Go Card worked for us because of the different types of personalities we had to please on the trip. If you are a family who likes to keep busy on vacation and make the most out of whatever city you find yourself in, this pass has more than enough attractions to keep you occupied with. If you happen to be a lazy traveler and you only feel like doing a few small things here and there, this will work for you as well.
The passes are good for 2 weeks, no matter how many days you buy for. For example, on my latest trip to Los Angeles, I had plans to attend a concert on Friday. With the three-day pass I bought, I used it on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. The three-day period is not per 24-hour intervals, but actual calendar days.
Con: Reservation requirements
Some of the GO LA card attractions require 24-hour advance reservations. Among the attractions that require reservations, The Warner Brother’s Back Lot Tour is the biggest one on the list. The 3-hour back lot tour is a mixture of walking and riding on a tram, but it will take up the biggest chunk of your time. Warner Brother’s tapes some of the biggest shows – be prepared to spend a portion of your day on the tour.
The other attractions that require advance reservations are: Hollywood Behind the Scenes Tour by Red Line Tours, Self-guided Movie Star Homes Bike Tour by Bikes and Hikes LA, Sony Pictures Studios Tour, Harbor Cruise of Whale Watch in Long Beach and San Pedro, Whale Watching and Dolphin Cruises in Newport Landing, and Catalina Whale Watching by Newport Landing,
Pro: Perks & Freebies
One of the coolest perks of the GO LA card is the amount of discounts you can get and the free items some locations give out. If you love shopping, you can hit up the Beverly Center and by showing your GO LA card, you will receive a book of coupons. One of my favorite freebies was the poster at the LA Farmer’s Market at The Grove!
Con: Not all attractions are located in the LA area
This could go either way, but for my group, we felt this was a con to the GO LA card. Our whole trip was to explore Hollywood, so when we saw things on the card like Six Flags Magic Mountain and Legoland, we knew we wouldn’t be able to go to them as they are out of the LA area completely. With the traffic in LA, the drive to these attractions is lengthy. Plus, depending on the length of your trip, you may not have time to visit all the attractions located outside the greater Los Angeles area.
Overall, my experience with the GO LA Card was a positive one. I wish more attractions were included, but many of my favorites were!
If the Go LA Card sounds like your cup of tea, you can find it, and others around the country, on 365 Tickets USA! We hope you have a delightful trip!