If you are heading to San Antonio you will be well aware of the many amazing attractions available in the area. The old-time charm of America’s 7th biggest city Draws millions of tourists every year to visit the city’s historical attractions, beautiful colonial architecture, and fantastic parks and Riverwalk. However, being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the states there is a host of attractions designed to entertain and delight these tourists along with the huge population of the City itself.
As with most destinations visiting even a few of these attractions can make a large dent in your wallet and vacation budget and people naturally want to find ways to save some money when visiting these attractions. One way to save money is with an Attraction pass. These nifty products allow you to visit multiple attractions for one fixed fee that is a lot lower than paying separately. One such pass is Go San Antonio Explorer Pass, and in our Go San Antonio Explorer Pass 2023 we take a deep dive into the Pass to see if the pass offers good value, worthwhile attractions, and is simple and easy to use, basically is the Go San Diego Explorer Pass Worth it?
Go San Antonio Explorer Pass Review 2021
- Product: Go San Antonio Explorer Pass
- Price: $90- $140
- Price Child: $77 – $120(Child 3-12yrs)
- Where to Buy: GoCity.com
- Number Of Attractions: choose 2,3,4, or 5 from 26+ Top Attractions + 1 Premium
- Time Limit: 60 days
- Expiry: 90 Days Refund (No Quibble) – 2 Year Expiry for First Use
- Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – 4/5
Attractions Included – 30 + 1 Premium Attraction Per Pass
Premium Attractions: Choose One Only
- SeaWorld® San Antonio – $89.99 – Open
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas – $89.99 – Open
- Texas Hill Country & LBJ Ranch Tour – $109 – Open
- San Antonio Missions UNESCO World Heritage Site Tour – $65 – Open
- Natural Bridge Caverns Outdoor Discovery Package – $67 – Open
- Natural Bridge Caverns Discovery Tour – $39
Extreme Escape Games – Colonnade – $38.49
- LEGOLAND Discovery Center – $27.05
Ripley’s Haunted Adventure – $28.14
- SEA LIFE San Antonio – $24.98
- San Antonio Walking Historical Ghost Tour – $28.55
- San Antonio Zoo – $38.99
- Walking Taco Tour at the Pearl – $40
Guinness World Records Museum – $28
- City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Tour – $37.89
- Tejas Rodeo Company (March – November) – $25
- Plus Many More…
In a Nutshell
The San Antonio Explorer Pass offers really good discounts on some of the best attractions in the City, With top-rated attractions such as SeaWorld, Six Flags Fiesta and the Natural Bridge Canyons the pass opens up the best of the City at a really low and affordable Price point allowing you to see more and pay less. We just wish there was a more inclusive option that allowed you to visit even more!
What is the Go San Antonio Explorer Pass?
The Go San Antonio pass is an attraction pass that offers the user the chance to pay one single fee and access their choice of a range f top attractions. In this case, you purchase the number of attractions you wish to visit then simply visit the attractions you want up the number you have purchased. You can choose from 2, 3, 4, or 5 attractions per pass.
There is the added complication that you can choose one of your attractions from a list of PREMIUM attractions, however, you can only pick one Premium attraction per pass. This is a bit of a headache, as you will see the choice of premium attractions is pretty strong, and actually choosing just one is pretty challenging.
Once purchased the pass is activated by visiting your first attraction. You simply present the pass, which is scanned at the venue, and you are in. You then get 60 days to visit the remaining attractions on the list. There is no need to decide which attractions beforehand you just arrive and scan.
How much does the Go San Antonio Explorer Pass Cost?
- 2 Attraction Pass – Adult – $90 ($45 per attraction) Child – $77
- 3 Attraction Pass – Adult – $100 ($33 per attraction) Child – $86
- 4 Attraction Pass – Adult – $120 ($30 per attraction) Child – $100
- 5 Attraction Pass – Adult – $140 ($28 per attraction) Child – $120
We do regularly get discount codes made available to use so check our Promo Code Page to see if we have any available right now for you to save EVEN more money!
How Long is the Pass Valid for and Can You Cancel?
Due to Covid and the added uncertainty the pandemic has surrounded the travel industry in, travelers are wary of committing too much to any trip at the minute and are looking for maximum flexibility and cancellation options. The Go San Antonio Explorer Pass has you covered here.
The Pass offers a generous 90 day cancellation period, so if you change your mind, your strip gets canceled, covid restrictions change or for any other reason you can think of your trip gets canceled or postponed you can get your money back. It is worth noting that there is a small cancellation fee for orders older than 30 days, but within 30 days it is a full refund.
The pass is also valid for a full two years from the date of purchase. So even if you are outside the 90-day cancellation you still have two years to make the trip and activate the pass. Prices are very low right now, they have come down a large amount since before the pandemic, and are likely to rise once things pick back up again so now could be a great time to lock in a great price!
On top of this, you get a full 60 days from activation to use up your attractions. This is not a great advantage for travelers who are probably only in town for a few days, but is a great option for locals who could save money and spread some fun weekends out over a couple of months!
How does Go San Antonio Explorer Pass Work in Practice?
The Go San Antonio Explorer Pass is a Digital Pass. Gone are the days of physical cards and booklets. The Pass is simply E-mailed to you and you can scan it directly from your phone, the Go-City App, or for old-schoolers, you can print the pass out.
Essentially it is just a QR-Code that is scanned at the attraction as long as you have the code to be scanned, one way or another, you are good to go, it’s all linked internally. We use the app mainly simply for ease and convenience, however, we make sure we have a printout too, just in case the unthinkable should happen and you lose your phone!
As we said you have two years from purchasing the pass to activate it this is done by visiting the first attraction. Then you get 60 days to visit the remainder. This works great for relaxed pace trips as you don’t have to rush around fitting everything in.
Some of the attractions require reservations so it’s important to check which require pre-booking and which are walk-ups we try to mark out which require a booking but be sure to check the small print on the Go San Antonio Page to be sure. Pre-Booking does not count as an activation, the pass is only activated when you arrive and scan the pass.
Is the Go San Antonio Explorer Pass Right for Me?
Most people will find the pass of great benefit when visiting the City. The Attraction list covers most of the city’s top attractions and even just visiting two attractions can save a lot of money. We show some costed examples below. There are also some other really intrinsic advantages to buying a pass, again we look at these below too. However, not everyone who comes to the City would get the best out of a Pass.
There is a lot to see and do in the City which is essentially free, such as visiting the Alamo, the incredible River Walk, Visiting the city’s parks, and marveling at the colonial architecture. Maybe you are here for the incredible food science or just want to experience the real Texas vibe of the City, possibly as part of a Texas Triangle Road Trip.
Overall the suitability of the pass mainly comes down to the attractions offered, and if these suit your visit, so let’s take a look at these now:
Premium Attractions – Choose One Per Pass
The limit to one premium attraction per pass is a real headache. There are at least three that we could tag as real must-see attractions depending on your preferences, and only getting to visit one is a bummer. of course, you could always pay for the other separately but it would have been nice if there was an option to visit multiple premiums even if this meant a higher price.
SeaWorld San Antonio – $89.99*
Sea World is one of the US’s top theme parks, and while it’s kind of the forgotten Sea World, overlooked in favor of its more illustrious siblings in San Diego and Orlando it is every bit as good…well almost.
The Park has a really strong line-up of thrill rides. Texas Stingray is the largest and fasted wooden coaster in Texas, Wave Breaker is a thrilling, yet family-friendly, double-launch coaster. The great white (above) is a B&M inverted Coaster, similar to Batman: The Ride and Nemesis (Alton Towers, UK) a style of coaster that has stood the test of time and is every bit as thrilling today as ever. Steel Eel is a large steel coaster huge 150ft initial drop and 65+mph speed. All supported by a cast of less intense but still fun rides.
However, there is a lot more to SeaWorld than just rides and the Park is also a Marine Aquarium. There are thousands of animals on exhibit here from sharks to penguins, alligators to stingrays. The stars are the Marine Mammals, however, SeaLions, Dolphins, Beluga Whales, and of course the majestic Killer Whales. The Park is a fantastic day out for the whole family.
There are of course some issues with the modern-day incarnation of SeaWorld. Namely the public’s tolerance of keeping Marine Mammals in captivity, especially Orca. This is not an easy problem to solve and while we look to a future without captive whales for now we are satisfied that they have stopped the captive breeding program. It is a complex and nuanced argument, and one without an easy answer, if you are firmly against the captivity of whales then SeaWorld may not be a good choice.
* One big issue we have here is the listed entry price is not really accurate. This is the Gate price and no one should really be paying this. The online price is much lower and we take this into account below in our calculations.
Online Ticket Prices vary from $60 – $89 including taxes and fees
Six Flags Fiesta Texas – $89.99*
Six Flags Fiesta is much less problematic and is just a regular white-knuckle themepark. From the much-loved Six Flags, Brand Fiesta Texas is a seriously good themepark. It may not be the biggest and boldest of the Brand’s parks but it has a certain something that makes it very special.
It has fewer rides than some of Six Flags’ other locations but the ones it has are pretty special. Iron Rattler is an absolute beast and regularly hits high places in the Golden Ticket Awards, getting as high as number 4! Renowned for epic airtime and old-school coaster elements that just drive Coaster fanatics nuts. There is also Goliath a 5-inversion B&M Inverted Coaster, Superman: Krypton Coaster, a large steel coaster built inside a quarry. Batman: The Ride 4D Coaster is another must-experience ride and the Wonder Woman Golden Lasso is the world’s first Single Rail Coaster.
On top of this, there are all the regular Amusement park attractions. It’s a great little park with really top-notch rides. For Coaster fans, there are some real “must-rides” and for everyone else, there is a heap to see and do. The setting in an old quarry is really unique and sets it apart from rival parks’ flat, boring, lifeless locations.
*Again we take issue with the stated price here as you can back online pre-booked tickets much cheaper, but we again take this into account below.
Online Ticket Prices vary from $50 – $75 including taxes and fees
Texas Hill Country & LBJ Ranch Tour – $109
- Reservation Required
This Coach tour takes you out into Real Texas Cowboy Country. Taking you to LBJ’s Texas Ranch and up into Texas Hill Country home of cowboys rattlesnakes, Cati, Wineries, and Germans!
Heading out of San Antonio to Johnson City where Lyndon B Johnson was born, before heading out to his old Ranch, before heading to Frerichberg home to an old German Settlement and Nimitz Museum and National Museum of the Pacific War. Here you get free time to explore the township and visit the museums. You can even attend a wine tasting or bierkeller. Finally, you head back through Luckenbach, an iconic country music town, and finally a winery.
This is a great tour for anyone really wanting to experience the Texas they imagined. The Highlights of the tour are only part of the trip as the tour takes you into the really remote and wild texas wilderness of the Hill Country.
While the first two choices are fantastic theme parks they have very little to do with Texas and this tour is perfect for those looking for something a little more authentic.
San Antonio Missions UNESCO World Heritage Site Tour – $65
If you are wanting to take the culture to the next level the Unesco World Heritage Site Tours certainly fits that bill taking you on a tour of some hugely important historical sites. Locations do not get UNESCO status without being hugely significant in terms of historical importance.
This tour takes you around some of San Antonio’s most treasured locations and some of the States oldest Missions. These Catholic Outposts were ahead of the frontier and sought to spread Christianity to the natives.
There are four Missions in total including the beautifully preserved Mission Concepción with a stunning interior and detailed frescos. You will also visit Mission San Juan, Mission San Jose, and Mission Espada with its intact and still working aqueduct system that is still in use today and is one of the earliest examples in the USA.
This is a heavily historical tour and really couldn’t be further from the thrills and spills of Sea World and Six Flags Fiesta, but if your trip to San Antonia is more cultural than touristy then this could be the perfect option. It really is rare to find something this old and historic in such a new country as the USA.
It is worth saying you can visit all these sites for free, but the tour takes care of all the transport and offers a real insight into what you are seeing. you get a lot more out of a guided tour than just rocking up and reading the site info. But it does mean you can visit one of the other premium attractions. AND then visit the missions for free on your own.
Natural Bridge Caverns Outdoor Discovery Package – $67
Unfortunately, this is one of the less appealing options on the list. For one simple reason. The Natural Bridge Caverns are stunning and really are a must-visit in San Antonio, however, this package includes the Twisted Trails ziplines and the AMAZEn’ Ranch Roundup maze. It’s a good deal but the issue is the Caverns are included as a regular attraction (see below) so you can use the pass for one of the other premium attractions AND get to see the Caverns.
You will not get the AMAZEn’ Ranch Roundup and Twisted Trails on the regular attraction, but you can pay for those at the Caverns. Unless you are looking at a very limited itinerary and really want to do the caverns AND the Ziplines, and are not at all interested in the other premium attractions then we think It’s better value to do the caverns as a regular attraction and upgrade.
Which Premium Attractions to Choose on the Go San Antonio Pass?
First of all, unless you are choosing a Premium Attraction the Pass does not make great financial sense, you can still save money just by picking the regular attractions but it’s much harder. The value really comes from the higher-priced Premium Attractions.
The First two are a real tough call if you are looking for theme parks. They are both really great theme parks and both are well worth visiting. Sea World is much better for families and Six Flags Fiesta is for older visitors and especially rollercoaster lovers.
We LOVE both and really struggle to pick a winner. In fact, we would simply go off which one we could buy separately for cheaper. Use the pass for the most expensive, and pay separately for the cheaper. Put a gun to our heads and I would pick Six Flags, but Kate would pick SeaWorld so even then we can’t choose!
However, if you are not looking for theme parks then the two tours offer a really good cultural insight into the area. The Ranch and hill country tour is more fun and a great day out, whereas the UNESCO Mission tour is really deep history, especially good for those interested in religious history and how Christianity spread across the Americas.
As we stated we prefer to visit the caverns as part of the Standard attractions.
Once you have picked your Premium then it’s time to look at the standard attractions, of course, you do not need to choose beforehand or go in any order, you don’t even HAVE to pick a Premium, but it makes sense. We just think it’s best to consider them this way around as the premium pick is your most important.
There are a lot of options for the Standard Attraction and we take a look at our favorite below.
Natural Bridge Caverns Discovery Tour – $39
As we said in the Premium attractions section, these caverns are really wonderful and a must-see in the area, you can visit them as a regular attraction, and if you want add on the extras for a fee. The Ziplines are great and the maze is pretty fun too but the real star is the half-mile of stunning natural caverns that run 180 feet below the surface.
The Cave system is filled with stunning limestone formations such as stalactites, stalagmites, Pillars, flowstones, straws, and chandeliers. It’s like a world of melting ice cream and is beautifully lit with artificial light to really accentuate the features. It’s a stunning journey to another world.
It is also a cool 70°F (21°C) which can be a pleasant rest bite from the scorching Texas sun!
Extreme Escape Games – Colonnade – $38.49 No longer available on the Pass Reservations required
scape Rooms are becoming more and more popular and while incredibly touristy they are a great way to flex the grey matter and are fun fr the whole family. The Colonnade extreme rooms are intricately themed with fun and challenging puzzles, there are four rooms to choose from but you only get to choose one with the pass.
SEA LIFE San Antonio – $24.98
We love aquariums and while SEA LIFE San Antonio is not one of the best Aquariums in the USA it’s a well-run facility with some really nice exhibits. The biggest criticism is its size, it’s a fairly small aquarium, but it does feature most things people like to see, sharks, turtles, octopuses, and a nice coral reef exhibit with Dory and Nemo. There is a nice Amazonian Freshwater display and a cure Sea Horse Nursery.
If you spend over an hour here you are doing well, but overall it’s a fun little attraction to suit all ages.
Legoland Discovery Center – $27
Right Next door to the SEALIFE Center is the Legoland Discovery Center. This is a far cry from actual Legoland but it’s still a fun play center for younger kids who are into their Lego. This is definitely for kids, ages 3-10 but they are sure to have a blast.
San Antonio Walking Historical Ghost Tour – $28.55
The historical frontier feel of San Antonio lends itself perfectly to a spooky and eerie feel as soon as the lights go out. One of the oldest and most historical cities in the states, San Antonio has seen a lot of unrest and violence in its history, all things that lead to ghosts.
There are many tales of the paranormal associated with the City and this tour takes you on an after-dark walk around the most haunted spots of the City. Whether you spot a ghost or not, or even if you do not believe in them at all, the tour is still a haunting and spooky endeavor as you jangle your nerves in the dark corners of town as the guide regales you with tales of the undead.
Of course, these tours require a little “getting into the spirit” by the guests but if you let your imagination get away with things these can be really creepy and scary tours. At worst you will get to see the City in a very different light.
San Antonio Zoo – $38.99
Not the biggest or most prestigious Zoo in the world it is still a really good attraction and well worth half a day exploring. All the expected animals are present from lions, Tigers, Hippos, Monkeys, Crocodiles, and many more. Over 750 Species are represented at the Zoo.
It is a fairly small complex which makes it easy to see but the exhibits are really nice and there are an awful lot of animals in quite a compact space. One of our highlights is the head-level Giraffe feeding platform!
City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Tour – $37.89
The pinnacle of tourist traps is the iconic Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour. Nothing screams tourist more than a tour on an open-top Bus. However, despite the reputation, we always find these tours both fun and Useful.
Not always the best way to get around they are good for connecting up a few attractions while also getting around the City and seeing the sights. A great way to orient yourselves early on and get to know the City. The Guides are always knowledgeable and you can get a great early insight into the layout of San Antonio.
Tejas Rodeo Company (March – November) – $25.00
Nothing is more Texan than a Rodeo and it is really exciting to see one included on the Pass. The Tejas Rodeo is every Saturday, so take that into account and does not run through the winter, but it’s a romping good night out and everything you expect from an authentic Texas Rodeo.
Arrive Early, explore the grounds, and Take a Mechanical Bull ride, before catching the show. Finally, grab a Steak at the Steakhouse (not included) for the perfect Texan night out.
Is the Go San Antonio Explorer Pass Worth it?
Assuming there are attractions on the Pass that you want to visit then the next consideration is the purely financial aspect. The best way to do this is simply to cost the attractions you plan on visiting and see if they offer a cost-saving. Some of the Cheaper attractions mean that sometimes the pass can actually work out more expensive than buying separately. The Cost per attraction price is a good guide as to whether an attraction is “too cheap” to be a good choice! Here is a reminder
- 2 Attraction Pass – $90 – $45 per attraction
- 3 Attraction Pass – $100 – $33 per attraction
- 4 Attraction Pass – $120 – $30 per attraction
- 5 Attraction Pass – $140 – $28 per attraction
To give you an idea and show you how you could plan a trip we include some costed examples below. We have used a more realistic Price for SeaWorld as the price listed on the Pass Website is more than you are likely to pay at SeaWorld. We have used a mid-low price point, remember if you are coming at peak season, especially at weekend you could easily be paying the top-end prices so in these circumstances the pass is even better value.
3 Attraction Pass
- Hop-On Hop-Off – $37
- Natural Bridge Caverns Discovery Tour – $39
- Sea World – $89.99
- Total – $165.99
- Pass Price – $100
- Saving – $65.00 or 40%
5 Attraction Pass
- Hop-On Hop-Off – $37
- LEGOLAND Discovery Center – $27
- SEA LIFE San Antonio – $24.98
- Sea World – $89.99
- Natural Bridge Caverns Discovery Tour – $39
- Total – $217.97
- Pass Price – $140
- Saving – $77.97 or 37%
As you can see there are some really significant savings to be had, even when we have adjusted for an online SeaWorld Price. Savings of $40-60 per person are not to be sniffed at and that is money that could be used for other things to enhance your trip.
On Top of this, we can offer an extra saving with our discount code below!
Advantages Of The Go San Antonio Explorer Pass
On top of the pure cost savings above, there are a few other things we love about the Pass. These are more subtle advantages but they really help boost the perceived value of the pass and help you have a better trip!
When visiting a new city it can be hard to know exactly what is on offer. The Pass really helps open your eyes to the City and help you find new and fun things you probably didn’t know were available.
While we are not BIG planners and like to stay flexible, a certain amount of planning is needed to get the best out of any trip. The Pass really allows you to build a framework for your trip that you can build the rest of your sightseeing around.
While the pass is great for planning it does not tie you down too much and you can still chop and change based on mood, weather, or anything else. If you just change your mind on something having the pass means you can easily change your plans, If you have pre-booked tickets to attractions you have no choice but to go ahead or lose your money! Having a pass still gives you maximum flexibility to alter your plans on the fly.
It is also handy to have all your attraction tickets in one place. Just bring up the App, scan it, and you are in. Gone are the days of folders full of tickets and all sorts, ready to get lost or spoiled. It’s all in one pass with large cost savings built in!
See More Pay Less
Overall we just fin the Pass delivers the holy grail of Travel. Allowing you to See More and Pay Less. We genuinely find that the trips we take with a pass are better and more fulfilling than ones without and cost us less. It’s almost too good to be true but in the case of the Go San Antonio Pass, it is as good as it sounds.
Only One Premium
Hoesly we would really prefer the option of mere than one premium. Choosing between SeaWorld, Six Flags, and Hill Country Tour is tough. We have explained ways around this but it would just be much easier if the option to do multiple premiums was available. It is even tempting to buy multiple Passes, Especially for longer trips.
Chasing the Pass
This is more of an issue with some of the passes in other cities but it’s always a risk with these passes. What we mean is trying to plan too much into a trip just to try and get value. There are only so many hours in the day and you can only do so much. Be Realistic and only plan in what you really can fit in.
We understand why the headline prices are inflated, they are the listed gate prices at the attractions. But very few people actually pay this and as you are online and looking for passes we think it’s realistic you will be booking online for discounted prices. So this makes the Gate Price pretty meaningless for some attractions. We have adjusted our Costed examples for this and you still save a lot of money, but it’s a little disingenuous!
Overall the Pass is a great way to really open up the City of San Antonio and get to see a lot more than you might without a Pass. The cost savings are limited compared to some passes, but with a good discount code (See Above) the ass really can save a good amount when used correctly.
We find the limit on one premium a little frustrating but this is the nature of the beast and essential to keep the price of the pass at such a low price point. We would prefer an all-inclusive option too but this Explorer seems mainly aimed at short stays so the limited nature works well as time is of the essence.
Have Your Say
Have you used the Go San Antonio Pass? What did you make of the attractions and value of the Pass? What Premium did you choose? which attractions were your favorite? Let us know in the comments below and if you have any questions just fire away.