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La Jolla Mom

How to Buy Discounted Tickets to the San Diego Zoo

Save money on San Diego Zoo tickets with my promo code - Updated 12/30/19

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The San Diego Zoo is our city’s number one attraction and a great add to nearly every itinerary. It is definitely possible to buy San Diego Zoo discount tickets. Which method you choose depends on how many other San Diego attractions are on your itinerary.

The options chosen here are by far the most reliable to eliminate the need to scour the web for promo codes that simply don’t work. You should know that as of recently, the San Diego Zoo ticket pricing is at parity across all authorized ticket sellers, however, I do have an exclusive promo code on 1-Day tickets below.

Use code LAJOLLAMOM for $6 off 1-Day adult and child tickets at San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park while supplies last.

Shortcut to the Most Popular Ticket

Click to Save on 1-Day Adult and Child Tickets.

Go straight to the gate! Tickets are good for one year from date of purchase.
Use code LAJOLLAMOM to save $6 per ticket!

Did you know that parking at the San Diego Zoo is free?

1. Go San Diego (Most Popular Bundled Attractions Pass)

Go San Diego is a sightseeing pass that saves up to 55% off of admission to 48+ top San Diego attractions in three simple steps:

  1. Choose the option that best suits you (you can buy an All-Inclusive pass or a Build-Your-Own pass) and buy your pass in advance.
  2. Get your pass on a mobile device or print it at home.
  3. Show the pass at any eligible attraction and you’re in for free.

See also: 10 Benefits of the Go San Diego Discounted Attractions Pass

All-Inclusive passes are available in 1-, 2-, 3-, 5- and 7-day options, each at different prices. Make sure the attractions you’d like to visit are listed on the option you buy. This by far the most popular discounted, bundled San Diego attractions pass.

Tip: Be careful where and how you buy the Go San Diego pass. If you buy through them directly, you will not have to redeem a voucher at a specific attraction in order to activate the pass. They also have an app that you can use for digital entry rather than carrying a paper ticket.

Exclusive La Jolla Mom Discount

Click here to apply an extra 10% off All-Inclusive Go San Diego sightseeing passes.
Offer expires June 30, 2020.


2. Discounted 1-Day Tickets (Exclusive Promo) + Combo Packages

aRes Travel is a San Diego based, authorized ticket seller to major California attractions. They offer ways to buy San Diego Zoo discount tickets in addition to other popular San Diego attractions such as LEGOLAND, Disneyland and SeaWorld San Diego. I prefer to support local businesses where I can, I have personal contacts at the company, and readers use hundreds of thousands of these tickets through me every year without issues.

If you are looking to buy individual tickets to only the San Diego Zoo, this is by far your best choice. Passes can be printed at home and presented at the gate. Or, you can show your pass on your phone. You do not need to redeem a voucher at the ticket booth. aRes Travel charges a $2 per person convenience fee but you will still come out ahead. Tickets are good for one year from the date of purchase.

Use code LAJOLLAMOM to save $6 off of 1-Day adult and child tickets at San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

1-Day Pass

The 1-Day Pass includes unlimited use of the Guided Bus tour, Kangaroo Express Bus, Skyfari Aerial tram, all shows, and exhibits.Prices (before LAJOLLAMOM promo code): $58/adults and $48/kids

2-Day Pass

The 2-Day Pass includes:

  • One visit to the San Diego Zoo and one visit to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park -or-
  • Two visits to the San Diego Zoo -or-
  • Two visits to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Both visits must occur within a year of purchase making this a fantastic option for residents and people who visit San Diego multiple times per year.

Parking at the Zoo is Free. Parking at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is not included in the price of the ticket.

Prices: $92.80/adult and $82.80/kids 

LEGOLAND California, San Diego Zoo, and San Diego Zoo Safari Park Combo Deal

This combo deal includes 1 day at LEGOLAND California, 1 day at the San Diego Zoo, and 1 day at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Price: $186/adults and $161/kids

San Diego Zoo & Old Town Trolley Combo Deal

This combo pass includes 1-Day San Diego Zoo ticket and 1-Day Old Town Trolley “Hop-on Hop-Off” tour. You’ll be able to explore San Diego by hopping on and off the Trolley and enjoy a full or half day at the San Diego Zoo. This pass is ideal for people who would like to go carless in San Diego. The Old Town Trolley stops at a myriad of other locations from Coronado to, of course, Old Town. Price: $87.90/adult and $62.75/kids

San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and SeaWorld San Diego Combo Deal

This combo deal includes 1 day at the San Diego Zoo, and 1 day at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and 7 consecutive days at SeaWorld San Diego. Price: $172.99/adults and $152.99/kids

San Diego’s Fab 4 Combo Deal

This is for those planning to hit all four major theme parks. This Combo Pass includes 1-Day San Diego Zoo ticket, 1-Day San Diego Zoo Safari Park ticket, 1-Day Legoland California and up to 7 consecutive days at SeaWorld San Diego.

Buy Discount San Diego Zoo TicketsGo straight to the gate

3. Bundle Your Hotel with San Diego Zoo Tickets

San Diego Family Fun Package

This bundled attraction package can include your favorite hotel with the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld San Diego and LEGOLAND California as well as many other attraction choices when you build a custom San Diego Family Fun Package. Save up to 40%.

The San Diego Zoo or Safari Park Package

This package allows you to bundle tickets to the San Diego Zoo or San Diego Zoo Safari Park with the hotel of your choice (at the time of this writing there are over 113 hotels to choose from).

Your Own Adventure Package

Customize your own San Diego vacation package! Package includes your choice of tickets to 5 popular San Diego theme parks: SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE Aquarium and hotel accommodations.


4. Multi-Day Balboa Park Explorer Pass

The Multi-Day Balboa Park Explorer Pass with One Day Zoo Admission includes the ability to visit the Balboa Park museums for seven consecutive days AND one-day admission to the San Diego Zoo. This is convenient because the Zoo is right next door to Balboa Park.

This San Diego Zoo ticket includes one-day admission, guided bus tour, and Skyfari aerial tram. Tip: Some museums are closed Mondays; The San Diego Museum of Art is closed Wednesdays.

Price: $103/adult and $68/kids


5. California Explorer Pass (Includes Los Angeles and San Francisco Attractions)

The California Explorer Pass launched offers an excellent solution for those on a California road trip. Explore 3, 4, or 5 major California attractions over the course of 30 days. Participating attractions include:

  • 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
Exclusive La Jolla Mom Discount

Click here and use code LJMCAL10 to apply 10% off the California Explorer Pass
Offer expires June 30, 2020.


6. AAA

The San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park offer a special 10% discount for AAA members when you show your card at a ticket booth window.

Buy Discounted Tickets to the San Diego Zoo

7. Military Discounts

The San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park offer special military discounts and even free tickets that can be used year-round.

  • U.S. Armed Forces personnel receive a complimentary 1-Day Pass to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park upon presenting a Common Access Card (CAC) or Uniformed Services ID Card at any ticket window. Complimentary admission is reserved exclusively for active duty service members, however.
  • Military spouses and eligible dependents receive a 10% discount off the 1-Day Pass at both the Zoo and Safari Park, when showing a valid dependent ID card.
  • Check with MWR Departments for other applicable San Diego Zoo discount tickets.

8. Trusted Tours & Attractions

Trusted Tours also offers print and go to the gate 1-Day San Diego Zoo tickets (no discount but it is another reliable option).


9. Group Discounts

Groups of 15 or more can receive a 10% discount off of the regular 1-Day Pass ticket price.


10. Senior and Student Discount

Ages 65 and older are eligible for a 15% discount off of the regular 1-Day Pass ticket price. Students ages 12 and above are also eligible for a 15% discount off of the adult 1-Day Pass ticket price. Neither can be redeemed online as a photo ID will need to be presented at a Zoo ticket booth window in order to be eligible for the discount.

11. Discounts for the Travel Industry

A 10% discount on a 1-Day Pass is available to members of the travel industry whether you are a travel agent, cruise line employee or an airline employee. Head to a ticket booth window with a valid ID to take advantage of this discount.


12. San Diego Zoo Gift Cards

Did you know that it’s possible to give San Diego Zoo gift cards? This could provide great value to zoo lovers and enable them to save off of San Diego Zoo tickets, enjoy one of their many upgraded experiences, or save on an annual membership.

These gift cards can be purchased in denominations of $50 and above.


13. San Diego Zoo Membership

We have an annual membership and believe it’s a great value. Regular visitors should absolutely consider a San Diego Zoo membership that will allow multiple entries per year for one flat rate.

There are multiple membership tiers to consider that come with a variety of perks. (Tip: Some annual pass holders will need to buy Guided Bus Tour tickets which are normally included with a 1-Day or 2-Day pass.)

FAQs About San Diego Zoo Tickets

How much are tickets to the San Diego Zoo?

Regular One-Day Passes cost $58 for adults and $48 for children aged 3-11. Children ages 2 and under are free and do not require tickets. They can walk right in with a paying adult.

What is included with a 1-Day ticket?

A 1-Day or 2-Visit San Diego Zoo ticket gets you into the zoo and on the Guided Bus Tour, Kangaroo Express Bus, and Skyfari Aerial Tram.

Admission to a 4-D movie in one of the two theaters is an additional $7 and can be purchased at the Zoo if you later decide that you have time for a movie. You can also buy a combination ticket that includes 1-Day admission and a 4-D movie through the San Diego Zoo for $1 less (you’d come out ahead though with my promo code for a 1-Day ticket and then adding on the movie at the park.)

Can you get tickets to both the zoo and Safari Park? 

Yes, there are several multi-pack options. The 2-Visit Pass provides you with one visit to the zoo and one visit to the Safari Park, or two visits to either attraction. The San Diego 3-For-1 Pass gets you into the zoo, Safari Park, and SeaWorld San Diego and is valid for seven consecutive days. Another option is to purchase a Go San Diego pass which provides admission to more than 48 local attractions. 

Does the zoo offer annual passes?

Yes, there are multiple types of annual passes available. The Annual Pass offers unlimited access to the zoo, Safari Park, Zoo Skyfari Aerial Tram, and Safari Park Africa Tram, along with member specials and discounts. The San Diego Zoo Club is the child’s version of the Annual Pass. The Keeper’s Club offers the same perks as the annual pass, plus two free guest tickets, free parking at Safari Park, and Door Club Entrance. You can also experience a variety of other benefits through Donor Club levels.

Can I upgrade my 1-Day ticket to an annual pass?

Yes. Bring your paper or digital ticket to a ticket booth and staff members will be able to credit the amount paid for your 1-Day ticket to the purchase of an annual pass. It will depend on how you purchased your 1-Day ticket but note that aRes Travel tickets do qualify for an upgrade.

Where can you get discounted tickets? 

La Jolla Mom offers information on finding discounted San Diego Zoo tickets from trusted vendors. Use my exclusive promo code and find tips on bundling your tickets with your hotel, multi-day passes, membership, and more. You will also save with Go San Diego, our most popular sightseeing pass.

Can you get military discounts to the zoo?

Active duty military members receive complimentary admission into the park with a valid military ID. Military spouses and dependents receive 10% off the 1-Day pass with a valid military ID (the military member does not need to be present).  

What day is the zoo free? 

From October 1-31, children under the age of 11 receive free admission into the park during the annual Kids Free San Diego promotion if they enter with a paid adult.

Is one day at the San Diego Zoo enough?

It is possible to see the majority of the Zoo in one day. However, families traveling with young kids can benefit from breaking days up into two visits or by taking one of the cart tours to see the animals at a faster pace before small children become tired. We go multiple times per year and there is enough in the park to have a different experience every time.

Learn also how to buy discount tickets for:

See also: 13 San Diego Discounts: Experience the City for Less

These are the best ways to buy trustworthy discounted tickets to the San Diego Zoo.


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9 thoughts on “How to Buy Discounted Tickets to the San Diego Zoo

    1. I just verified this with aRes Travel and their tickets can be scanned on your phone. Thanks for asking!

  1. Thank you for your recommendation of aRes travel. Thankfully, kids are free in October so we are saving a lot of money on both hotel and tickets. Great job!

  2. Hi, is Ares Travel legit for San diego Zoo ticket purchasing? Has anyone used it before and able to enter the park?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Tracey. aRes Travel is an authorized seller of San Diego Zoo tickets so you don’t have to worry. I sell thousands of these tickets per month and haven’t received a single complaint.

  3. Hello, I clicked on your link for 10% off the go city pass. I added it under the promo code but it would not give it to me. Just wondering if it wont be applied because of their discount already? Or if there is something I am doing wrong. I see it expires soon!

    1. Hi! If you click the link it will automatically apply when you get to the cart. It’s for all-inclusive passes only and will stack on top of any other promotions Go City is running. I tried it and it worked.

      1. Ok. I was trying to apply it towards the Explorer Pass. I am trying to decide if purchasing the all-inclusive pass is worth the money vs. paying for the few attractions we are wanting to see. For example, I used your discount code for San Diego Zoo and would be able to purchase 5 tickets for $260 vs. $290. We want to visit the zoo, Six Flags, Warner Bros Tour as must sees.
        I am just beginning the planning and feels a little overwhelming trying to decide the best value for things. I also saw that Six Flags has a significant discount right now, but that would mean I have to purchase the tickets this far in advance (trip is end of May). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

        1. Ah! I see what you mean. I have asked Go City to investigate as it isn’t being applied per usual on California Explorer Passes. Thanks for letting me know. It is hard to say what promos the parks will run in May (I should have this Explorer Pass discount extended but can confirm later).

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