It seems like there are as many ways to get a San Diego Zoo tickets as there are animals in the zoo. The easiest and most expensive way is to walk up and buy them at the entrance, but there are plenty of other options.
Don't get too carried away in your efforts to pay as little as possible for your San Diego Zoo tickets. The Zoological Society is not government funded, and part of the money they get go to help rescue vanishing species comes from you.
Besides the ticket tips below, try the visitor guide which will help you make the most of your trip.
Getting Your San Diego Zoo Tickets Directly
Anyone aged 3 and older must have a ticket. Child tickets are available for kids 3 to 11.
Best Value Tickets: The Best Value San Diego Zoo tickets include unlimited use of the Guided Bus Tour, Express Bus, and Skyfari Aerial Tram. Buy online ahead of time. You can save a little money and you won't have to wait in line. You can also get your ticket for the Safari Park at the same time.
San Diego Zoo Direct: The zoo website and the Safari Park website are the places to find out what all the options are for buying San Diego Zoo tickets.
- Two-Park Ticket: Combined San Diego Zoo and Safari Park tickets, saves about 10% compared to buying them individually.
Discounted San Diego Zoo Tickets
The options below will give you a discount of 10% or more on San Diego Zoo tickets, but if you've failed to take advantage of any of them, check with your hotel to see if they offer discounted San Diego Zoo tickets, look for discount coupons in "This Week" or "Quickguide" magazines and don't ignore those omnipresent racks of brochures, where you may find a few dollars' discount.
Zoo Membership: We think a one-year San Diego Zoo Membership is one of the best ways to get San Diego Zoo tickets. It costs about the same as full-price tickets to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, it's tax deductible, and you can enjoy the zoo's magazine for a year as a bonus. You also get discounts on the additional paid activities at both parks such as the Skyfari sky ride and special tours. Join online before you go, allowing enough time for your membership card to arrive before you leave, or go to the Membership window at either park and sign up when you arrive.
AAA Members: Get 10% off on San Diego Zoo tickets and other purchases
Senior: If you're more than 60 years old, you can get 10% off your San Diego Zoo tickets, but the discount is not available online.
- Military Personnel: Bring your military ID to get a free Best Value ticket.
If you're visiting several area attractions during your vacation, one of these combination passes may save you money, but you should get out your calculator or sharpen your pencil to be sure you'll really save money on the things you plan to use it for.
San Diego 3-for-1 Pass: Includes unlimited admission to the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and Sea World for up to five days.
Southern California CityPass: If you're going to Disneyland, too, this is a great money-saver. Besides a 3-day Disneyland Park Hopper ticket, you get one-day admission to SeaWorld and Universal Studios - and they have a San Diego Zoo add-on option. Find out more about whether it's the right choice for you in the Southern California CityPASS guide.
Viator.com offers a ticket that includes transportation.
Go San Diego Card: This card offers a lot of attractions at a very reasonable price. Use this handy guide to find out all you need to know about it.
- Balboa Park Passport: This one may be a good deal for you if you're going to some of the other museums in the park, too.
Poll: What are you going to do?
How will you get your San Diego Zoo tickets?