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I’m a member and a huge advocate of visiting San Diego Zoo Safari Park. I’ll share why it’s not your average zoo. I’ll also give you reliable tips for buying discount San Diego Zoo Safari Park tickets through authorized sellers, including access to my exclusive promo code.

This way, you can avoid trying online coupons, special offers, and deal links that do not work (there are many). The idea is to leave a little extra cash in your pocket to upgrade your day with a lorikeet feeding, animal encounters, sweet treats, or fun souvenirs.

Note: San Diego Zoo Safari Park and San Diego Zoo reopen on Saturday, January 30, 2021. If you were planning to use tickets during the time they were closed, please read my FAQ section below.

EXCLUSIVE SAVINGS: Due to my volume, I have a very reliable way for you to enjoy the best 1-Day San Diego Zoo Safari Park tickets discount. Readers have used tens of thousands of these cheap tickets over the years. I specialize in helping people save money on San Diego vacations, and theme parks, so may be compensated if you purchase using the links in this post.


SHORTCUT TO THE CHEAPEST TICKETS

Request my exclusive discount for La Jolla Mom readers on 1-Day San Diego Zoo & San Diego Zoo Safari Park tickets! Use it to purchase now online through aRes Travel, an authorized ticket seller for both parks. It’s the best price, I promise.

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*By texting the word SAFARI to 1-833-490-0799 you agree to receive automated promotional messages with how to secure my deeper ticket discount and this agreement isn’t a condition of any purchase. Msg and data rates may apply. 2 msg/mo. Reply STOP to cancel. Read my full privacy policy.


What to Know Before Buying Discount San Diego Zoo Safari Park Tickets

You can feel good about visiting this park and will walk away with a deeper understanding of their important conservation initiatives. It’s the world’s largest veterinary hospital, home to a Frozen Zoo (from which they plan to bring the white rhino back from extinction, for example), and their research is shared with organizations worldwide to help save native species.

Not to mention you’ll enjoy one-of-a-kind views of zebras, camels, cheetahs, gorillas, giraffes, lions, meerkats, tigers, warthogs, wild cattle, and more in free-range enclosures designed to mimic natural habitats closely. You may still hear people refer to the park by its old name, San Diego Wild Animal Park, or as the Escondido Wild Animal Park.

These days, general admission prices are consistent across authorized ticket sellers, which is why my promo code is so valuable. To understand the savings, first, you need to know what gate San Diego Safari Park prices are.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park Prices at the Gate

If you were to purchase tickets directly through the Safari Park online or at the gate, you would pay the following:

  • 1-Day Passes: $60/adults (ages 12+) and $50/child (ages 3-11).
  • 2-Visit Passes: $100/adults (ages 12+) and $90/child (ages 3-11).
  • Kids ages 2 and under are always free.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park charges a $1 per ticket administrative fee for purchasing admission online in advance through them. (You pay less overall with my savings.) New health and safety measures at the park encourage guests to arrive with tickets already purchased to minimize contact. Plus, you’ll need a reservation anyway.

NEW: Reservations Can Be Made

Date-specific reservations are required to visit San Diego Zoo Safari Park using 1-Day tickets. If you purchased tickets before this announcement on December 5, 2020, you do not need a reservation.

Members will need to make reservations as well.

Parking Fees

San Diego Zoo Safari Park parking is $15 per vehicle and $20 for RV parking, year-round. Preferred parking is normally available for an additional $18 per vehicle (or $33 total), but is temporarily unavailable. Parking fees are not included in the prices of any of the tickets quoted in this post. You’ll pay for parking when you arrive at the park.

Crunch the Numbers if Visiting Other Attractions

Some methods are better for those on longer San Diego vacations while others are a better deal for day-trippers, but here is the bottom line.

Your main decision is to decide whether you need a 1-Day ticket because you’re only visiting the Safari Park. If so, you will save most with my exclusive San Diego Zoo Safari Park savings. If you are also visiting other San Diego attractions, you’ll need to crunch the numbers to decide which sightseeing pass, combo ticket, or a la carte discount ticket purchases are best for you.


1. 1-Day Tickets + Combo Packages — Use My Exclusive Discount

The most popular (and easiest) way to get discounted admission to San Diego attractions, including the Safari Park, is my affiliation with San Diego-based aRes Travel. They are an authorized ticket seller that I am comfortable recommending because I know people in the company, use the tickets personally. My readers haven’t had issues with their purchases.

NOTE: The Zoo charges a $1 per ticket transaction fee. Since aRes Travel Good Any Day 1-Day tickets include taxes and fees, you are already coming out ahead. Passes can be printed at home and presented at the gate so that you can skip the ticket line.

If you are looking to buy 1-Day San Diego Zoo Safari Park tickets, this is your best deal because I have an exclusive discount. And, right now, you do not need a reservation to enter.

TIP

If you need both San Diego Zoo and Safari Park tickets, you may want to consider a build-your-own Go San Diego pass instead of a 2-Day pass.

2. Go San Diego Sightseeing Pass

Go San Diego is the most popular bundled attraction pass used by tourists and locals alike. With it, you can save up to 55% off of admission to most of the top San Diego theme parks, museums, and attractions — including San Diego Zoo Safari Park and San Diego Zoo.

It’s extremely easy to buy and to use. Just choose the pass option that gives you the best discount on the attractions you want to visit. You have three pass choices:

  • Build your own pass with only the San Diego attractions you’d like to visit.
  • Purchase admission to 3, 4, 5, or 7 attractions with the Explorer Pass.
  • Choose the All-Inclusive pass, available in 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7-day options, which allows you to visit all included attractions.

Once you buy your pass, it will appear right on your phone and serve as your ticket. My discount below on All-Inclusive passes stacks on top of Go San Diego sale pricing for extra savings if you go this route.


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

The California Explorer Pass is an asset for California road trips and we recommend it to our friends traveling through the state, as well.

With it, you’ll save up to 29% on admission to top Southern California attractions including:

  • Universal Studios Hollywood
  • LEGOLAND California (2-Day Resort Hopper)
  • San Diego Zoo (Multi-Day Ticket)
  • San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour
  • Knott’s Berry Farm
  • Knott’s Soak City
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain
  • SeaWorld San Diego
  • Belmont Park Ride and Play Pass
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • California’s Great America
  • Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
  • Big Bus Los Angeles 1-Day Ticket

When you buy the California Explorer Pass, you can choose up to three, four, or five attractions that you can then visit once each over 30 days — on whatever schedule works best for you. It’s a bundled pass with a lot of flexibility. (And, it’s obviously a better deal when the theme parks are open.)


4. San Diego Zoo Safari Park Vacation Packages

There are a couple of popular ways to combine San Diego Safari Park tickets with hotels near San Diego Zoo Safari Park for extra savings through aRes Travel.

There are many reasons to stay in the Escondido area, where hotel prices can be more reasonable. But, you can also bundle admission with hotels across San Diego County.

LOOK FOR PRICE DROP ALERTS!

When you shop the San Diego Zoo Safari Park vacation packages below, look for the special Price Drop alerts that indicate deeper hotel savings. The longer you stay, the more you save!
My daughter feeds a duck at San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

5. Free Kids Tickets in October

One of the best times to visit San Diego as a family is in October when kids eat, stay, and play for free at over 90 venues around town. From October 1-31, 2020, up to 10 kids ages 11 and under enjoy free admission to San Diego Zoo Safari Park when accompanied by a paying adult.

Tickets purchased with my deeper discount qualify for Kids Free San Diego!


6. Free Seniors Tickets in February

During the month of February 2020 guests ages 65 and up received free general admission to San Diego Zoo Safari Park. If you qualified for this discount, you would simply present your ID at a ticket booth window when you arrive at the park. Parking is not included.

This promotion was wildly successful and expected to be repeated in 2021 though no official announcement has been made yet.


7. AAA Discount Tickets

While this isn’t the deepest discount available, AAA San Diego Zoo Safari Park tickets are 10% off for members who have a valid membership card. You can buy these at the ticket window for up to 6 people or check with your local branch to see if you can purchase them in advance.

San Diego Zoo Global is encouraging people to arrive at their parks with tickets in-hand as part of their increased health and safety measures. My deeper savings offers nearly the same discount and the tickets can be purchased online right now, saving a little bit of hassle.


8. Military Discounts for Military Personnel and Families

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park offers both special military discounts in the form of free passes for active-duty members along with discounts for spouses and dependents. These discounts are currently available year-round and you can take advantage of the more than once in a year.

For Active-Duty U.S. Armed Forces Personnel

If you present a Common Access Card (CAC) or Uniformed Services ID card at the ticket window, you’ll receive a free single-day pass to the Safari Park. Free tickets are for active-duty members.

For Military Families

Spouses and children of active-duty personnel who present a valid dependent ID card at the ticket window will receive a 10% discount off of a single-day pass.

TIP: Your MWR Department may know of other discount programs for veterans and military members that can be applied to San Diego Zoo Safari Park admission.


9. Group Ticket Discounts

Groups that include 15 people or more and purchase tickets together can receive a 10% discount off of single-day passes. Groups of 100 or more can get a 15% discount off their 1-Day Passes. Note that for large groups, advance reservations are recommended.

Teachers and other educators who plan to bring their classes to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park can organize field trips for free or for a small fee by calling the Safari Park directly at 760-738-5057.


10. Student and Senior Discount Tickets

Outside of the seniors free in February 2020 promotion, visitors who are 65 and older can get a 15% discount off of the regular 1-Day Pass price when they present a photo ID at the ticket window. The 15% off student discount for kids ages 12 and older also requires a photo ID to be presented at the ticket booth. Neither discount can be applied online or by phone and must be done in person.

A tiger looks around his enclosure at Tiger Trail, which you can see with discount San Diego Zoo Safari Park tickets.

11. Travel Industry Discount Tickets

If you are a travel agent, airline employee, or cruise line employee, you can receive a 10% discount on a 1-Day Pass. You’ll need to present the required identification at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park ticket booth window.


12. Gift Cards

While not part of a discount program, San Diego Zoo Safari Park gift cards let you give your favorite people the gift of visiting the park more often. Gift cards can be applied to regular passes, a safari experience, or even an annual membership. Gift card amounts start at $50. (They are temporarily unavailable.)

See also: How to Buy Discounted Tickets to the San Diego Zoo


13. San Diego Zoo Safari Park Membership

If you visit the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (and the Zoo) regularly, as we do, an annual membership is a great way to save on the price of admission while also supporting San Diego Zoo Global’s conservation efforts. Starting on December 5, 2020, members will be required to make reservations before visiting the park.

Annual Passes

Residents in zip codes 91900–92899 can purchase San Diego Zoo Safari Park Annual Passes.

Annual Pass: Includes unlimited admission to San Diego Zoo Safari Park and San Diego Zoo, two 50% off Super Discount admission coupons, exclusive member specials, ZOONOOZ magazine subscription. A household receives one set of member benefits if two members from the same household join. (Price: $115/one adult and $205/two adults)

Keeper’s Club (TOP PICK): Keeper’s Club is for frequent visitors to both parks and includes everything that the Annual Pass does. In addition, these pass holders receive free San Diego Zoo Safari Park parking, two free one-time-use guest passes, special early hours at the Safari Park and Zoo, WildPerks 10% discount off of food and merchandise, and access to the special donor entrance. (Price: $277/one adult and one guest and $277/two adults in the same household)

San Diego Zoo Kids Club: Residents who plan to visit either park twice in a year with their kids should consider this pass. For a little more than the price of a 1-Day ticket, kids receive an entire year of unlimited admission AND exclusive member specials. (Price: $60/ages 3-17)

Donor Clubs

Donors Clubs memberships range from $400–10,000. They include everything in the Keeper’s Club membership and much more but are fantastic for people who enjoy special events. The higher the level that you join, the more exclusive experiences you are invited to.

We have been to these events and I would highly recommend them for behind-the-scenes private experiences and animal interactions.


14. Saving on Safaris (Upgraded Tours)

San Diego Zoo Safari Park tours are called “safaris” and are at an additional cost to your general admission. These safaris offer some of the best animal encounters in San Diego and if you’re a conservation or animal enthusiast I would recommend them.

Currently, they are available as private buyouts directly through the Safari Park. You can zip line over the park, spend the night, and go behind the scenes to keeper-only areas. When group tours are permitted during normal times, you can find some of the popular tours at a discount. I will keep an eye out and post them here.


What to Know Before You Go

New health and safety guidelines are in place. Here is what you need to know:

  • Starting on December 5, 2020, you can make San Diego Zoo Safari Park reservations. However, you will not need reservations if you purchased tickets prior to this announcement. Good Any Day 2-Visit passes also do not require reservations.
  • It is highly recommended that you purchase San Diego Zoo Safari Park tickets (use my promo code for 1-Day tickets) and upgraded safaris in advance to minimize transactional contact while at the park (and to be sure that you have a reservation).
  • Take your valid admission ticket straight to the turnstiles for scanning.
  • Everyone ages 2 and above will be required to wear face coverings at all times, except when dining.
  • Orange floor markers indicated safe distancing between guests, and you will be expected to follow spacing requirements.
  • Some exhibits will be closed but rest assured this will not impact your day. Just prepare the kids accordingly.
  • Park re-entry is temporarily not permitted, so be sure to take everything from your car that you need for the day. Locker rentals are available (you will need quarters for them).
  • San Diego Zoo Safari Park parking will be limited and is normally $15. Plan to arrive when the park opens.

You can read more about the new procedures here.


FAQs About San Diego Safari Park Tickets

These are the questions about San Diego Zoo Safari Park ticket prices and admission that I receive the most in my inbox.

Is San Diego Zoo Safari Park open?

San Diego Zoo Safari Park will reopen on Saturday, January 30, 2021, after being closed for Southern California’s regional stay-at-home order.

What happens if I had a reservation to visit when the park was closed?

If you had a reservation to visit the Safari Park during its closure, it was automatically released. Your ticket will stay valid for one year after purchase. You can make new reservations.

What happens to my annual pass?

Your annual pass will be extended by the number of days that the Safari Park was closed.

How much are San Diego Safari Park tickets?

A 1-Day Pass to the park costs $60 for guests 12 years and older, and $50 for guests that are 3-11 years old. Children ages 2 and under are free.

Are tickets separate for San Diego Zoo and Safari Park?

Yes. San Diego Zoo Global operates the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park, but they are two separate parks with two separate tickets.

(Note: I have heard of people accidentally buying tickets for one park and showing up at the other park that were let in. Especially now, I would avoid this risk.)

Is there a San Diego Zoo and Safari Park package?

Yes, there are several multi-park passes you can purchase, depending on your preferences. The 2-Visit Pass gets you admission into both the Zoo and the Safari Park (one visit each) or two visits to either park.

The Go San Diego Card provides admission to more than 55 local attractions. Its cost depends on which of the three pass types you choose, the attractions you’d like to visit, or the duration of your vacation. And, you can buy other combo ticket packages like the San Diego Fab 4.

How can I get San Diego Zoo Safari Park discount tickets?

Request my ticket discount for cheaper 1-Day tickets (mentioned above). That is the best deal for single-day admission. You can also use my other advice for taking advantage of military or AAA discounts and more. 

What does a San Diego Safari Park ticket include?

A San Diego Safari Park ticket gets you into the park with access to all open public exhibits, favorites like the Cheetah Run, unlimited rides on the Africa Tram (temporarily closed), and all regular shows. You may upgrade your day with a variety of safaris at an additional cost.

Are there San Diego resident discounts?

San Diego County residents who live in zip codes 91900–92899 are eligible to purchase annual passes. Annual passes are the only ways that residents can save a little bit more on tickets, dining, and merchandise in the park. Anyone, including SD residents, can get a better price by using my promo code on tickets.

Is there a Safari Park and LEGOLAND package?

Yes. San Diego Zoo Safari Park and LEGOLAND ticket packages are very popular for those staying in North County San Diego. You can add the two San Diego attractions to a build-your-own Go San Diego pass, if these are the only attractions you’ll visit. You can also bundle these two parks with San Diego Zoo tickets or San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld San Diego at aRes Travel. Remember that not all of our theme parks are reopened yet, including LEGOLAND.

What other San Diego Safari Park discounts are available?

Outside of the deals mentioned above, the way to save while at the park is with an annual membership that provides WildPerks that basically provide San Diego Zoo Safari Park discounts on food and merchandise.

To give you an idea, Keeper’s Club and Curator’s Club members enjoy a WildPerks 10% discount. Director’s Club and President’s Club members, and Circle of Friends enjoy a WildPerks 15% discount.

I’d recommend planning to spend a few dollars for food to feed the lorikeets and ducks, especially if you visit with kids. Outside of this, you don’t really need to spend money inside the park. You’re allowed to bring in food and drinks which is one way to minimize costs. Just keep in mind that right now, park re-entry is not permitted so it’s best to bring in a soft-sided cooler that you can carry or put in a locker.

Part of my job involves keeping an eye out for reliable San Diego Safari Park coupons, cheap tickets, discount codes, so if they exist they’ll be listed in this post. However, if you do spend money in the park, every dollar that you spend goes to operating costs and San Diego Zoo Global’s amazing conservation initiatives as a nonprofit organization.

How do I use an aRes Travel ticket?

It’s so easy. I buy these tickets myself. All you need to do is pull your ticket up on a mobile device and the park will scan its QR code at the turnstiles. Alternatively, you can take a printed copy, which you will receive immediately after purchase by email, and they’ll scan the QR code on your printed copy. With an aRes Travel ticket, you can go straight to the gate and skip the ticket booth queues.


Want to score more theme park ticket discounts? I’ve written comprehensive guides to buying discount:

How do you buy discounted San Diego Zoo Safari Park tickets?

Buy discounted San Diego Zoo Safari Park tickets

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9 thoughts on “How to Buy San Diego Zoo Safari Park Discount Tickets

  1. I heard that the Safari Park is allowing free admission to the park for seniors during the month of February. I know that parking is $15.00.

    Is this true?

    Please email me back and let me know. Thanks.

    1. YES! I was just adding this detail to the page. What you need to do is bring an ID to the ticket booth when you arrive at the park if you qualify for the promotion.

  2. Your code LAJOLLAMOM is invalid for the 1 day pass. I just tried it after clicking on your “1 Day adult tickets” above. Can you please update the code? I’d like to purchase 2 Adult tickets + 1 Child ticket.
    Thanks!

    1. Hi! I see it working. Use it on aRes Travel here – https://reservations.arestravel.com/attraction/single/10244/2.

  3. I would like to sleep at the San Diego Safari Park, and pay extra to see behind the scenes safari tour. I viewed one episode on the Animal Planet and individuals purchased additional price tickets. Might you offer ideas how we might be able to make this dream a reality. Just to let you know we live in Orange County, so we would be open to any date.

    1. Hi Elaine. You are looking for the Roar and Snore Safari! This is the one where you can spend the night and you can choose between different types of tent accommodations even. You can book directly through San Diego Zoo Safari Park and it is available now. But, you can also book a few behind the scenes tours right now that are so neat during the day. You can do the Cart Safari full buyout or the Behind-the-Scenes Safari (during normal times, the Caravan Safari is what I would recommend but it’s currently not running). Your visit is so much more meaningful when you understand what they do here which becomes more evident when you have a keeper or staff member leading you around. There is so much conservation-wise from being the world’s largest veterinary hospital to trying to preserve or bring back species from extinction via the Frozen Zoo. You may still need admission tickets depending on what you decide to do so definitely use my promo code, which is currently the best price out there.

  4. Hi so October is kids free san diego! Question is if I buy adult tickets thru ur site does safari park and SD zoo honor kids under 11 free? Or do I have to buy directly from safari park and sd zoo?

    1. Hi! Yes, my tickets qualify for Kids Free San Diego (the best time to visit). Use the promo code and grab the discount. Kids do not need a separate ticket, you can just show up! Have fun!!!!

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