California’s Great America in Santa Clara makes my list of best California amusement parks for its over 40 rides and attractions that appeal to all levels of thrillseekers. There are reliable ways to buy discount California’s Great America tickets through authorized sellers so that you can save money and avoid paying gate prices.

You can save on tickets, tours, and hotels through my affiliations. If you make purchases through the links in this post, I may be compensated.

Three Types of California’s Great America Tickets

California’s Great America admission tickets are offered in Three types: Daily Tickets, Season Passes, and Group Tickets (along with various optional add-ons, like Fast Lane, and holiday tickets, such as WinterFest).

General Admission (Daily Tickets): Gate ticket pricing for a one-day ticket is currently around $50 – $70 for ages 3 and older, with discounts for kids under 48″ tall and for Seniors (62 and older). Children ages 2 and under are free.

Season Pass: California’s Great America offers four different Season Passes as well. Season Passes provide unlimited admission through the end of the calendar year of purchase. These may be the best option for those who intend to visit the park more than once during that time.

Group Tickets: A group discount is available for purchases of 15 – 99 tickets when purchased in advance online. Group discounts apply for regular admission and Winterfest tickets.

Fast Lane: You can upgrade your ticket before you go or at the park to include a Fast Lane wristband that allows you to bypass the regular lines on 18 rides that include the new RailBlazer roller coaster, Gold Striker, and others.

Bring-A-Friend tickets (Season Pass holders only): If you hold a California’s Great America Season Pass, you can bring a friend starting at $25.

WinterFest: Every year, usually from November to January, you can enjoy the park as it transforms into a winter wonderland holiday festival. The WinterFest activities include live shows, crafted hot chocolate, sending letters to the North Pole, and ice skating in front of the Carousel Columbia.

1. Park Only Discount Tickets

If you only need discount California’s Great America tickets and not a sightseeing pass (more on these below) you can save the most by purchasing through aRes Travel.

They are a San Diego-based, authorized ticket seller to major California attractions that offers cheap tickets to California’s Great America and other famous attractions such as the San Diego Zoo, LEGOLAND California, and Disneyland.

They charge a $2 convenience fee per ticket, but you will still likely come out ahead.

2. Go San Francisco Pass

You can save up to 55% off of admission to over top San Francisco attractions including California’s Great America, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, San Francisco Zoo by using the Go San Francisco sightseeing pass. Here’s how it works:

  • Choose the pass option that best suits you (All-Inclusive or Explorer) and buy your pass in advance.
  • Access your pass on a mobile device or print it at home.
  • Show the pass at any eligible attraction, and you’re in for free.

The All-Inclusive passes are available in 1, 2, 3, and 5-day options, each at different prices, where you can visit all included attractions over the course of your pass duration. You can use the Explorer Pass to visit any 2, 3, 4, or 5 included attractions or build your own pass including only the attractions you’d like to visit. Make sure the attractions you’d like to visit are listed on the option you buy.

See also: 10 Go San Francisco Pass Benefits For Sightseeing

3. California Explorer Pass

Temporarily not available. The California Explorer Pass offers savings for those visiting San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego attractions. With this sightseeing pass, you can explore 3, 4, or 5 major California attractions over 30 days. Participating attractions include our favorite amusement parks and theme parks.

  • Universal Studios Hollywood
  • LEGOLAND California
  • San Diego Zoo
  • San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • Warner Brothers Studio Tour
  • Knott’s Berry Farm
  • Knott’s Soak City
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain
  • SeaWorld San Diego
  • Belmont Park
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • California’s Great America
  • Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

4. California’s Great America Vacation Packages

Temporarily not available. Bundle your hotel with California’s Great America discount tickets for extra savings. The good news is that many of them offer free breakfast and parking.

5. FREE Pre-K Passes

If you have a child between the ages of 3–5 years old, register them by August 1, 2023, for a free Pre-K Pass. You will also have to activate the pass by visiting the park by August 1, 2023. With this pass, eligible kids will receive unlimited visits for the entire season, including access to Bay Shores Waterpark, The Great Pumpkin Fest, and WinterFest.

6. Costco

Search Costco’s theme park section online or in your local store to see if they are selling cheap California’s Great America tickets. As of this writing, they do not have online tickets available.

7. Military Discounts

Active and retired military personnel and veterans can receive a discount on front gate pricing on single-day admission. Take advantage of these savings online.

8. Group Discounts

A group discount is available for purchases of 15 – 99 tickets, when purchased in advance online. Group discounts apply for regular admission and Winterfest tickets. Details are available on the park’s website.

9. Season Passes

Frequent visitors should definitely consider a Seasons Pass. A California’s Great America Season Pass entitles the holder to unlimited park admission throughout the year. There are even select days where Season Passholders can arrive an hour before the park opens to the public to enjoy early access to select rides and attractions.

Choose between Summer, Gold, and Platinum passes. Gold offers free parking, while Platinum offers admission to other Cedar Fair parks. Check to see which works best for you.

How do you buy discount California’s Great America tickets?

Important California’s Great America Tips

Here’s what to know before you go.

Check California’s Great America Hours

When planning a visit to California’s Great America, be sure to check their calendar for opening dates and hours. They suggest checking hours on the morning of your visit as they may shift a little on opening days.

Read the Terms and Conditions

Before purchasing California’s Great America tickets, be sure to read all terms and conditions which should outline expiration dates, refund policies, and transfer policies. Some tickets will not be usable on days with special events like Halloween Haunt or Winterfest.

California’s Great America Directions and Parking

California’s Great America is located in Santa Clara, California in San Francisco’s South Bay area. (The new football stadium that is home to the San Francisco 49ers, Levi’s Stadium, was subsequently built adjacent to it.)

California’s Great America Address
4701 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA 95054

While one can drive to Santa Clara, of course, you can also take multiple forms of public transportation to California’s Great America.

Parking at California’s Great America currently costs $30 per car per day, or $25 per car when purchased on their website in advance.

It’s Not Just Roller Coasters

While the park is famous for thrill rides, young kids will enjoy meeting the Peanuts gage at Planet Snoopy, live entertainment, the carousel, and more. Even the new South Bay Shores water park (formerly known as Boomerang Bay water park), will feature water slides for small children and mellow experiences like a lazy river.

Patriot roller coaster at California's Great America theme park.
Jeremy Thompson from Los Angeles, California / CC BY

See also how to buy:

Top photo credit: Oleg Alexandrov / CC BY-SA

Katie Dillon headshot

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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