By Melissa Locker
September 08, 2015
LA Times via Getty Images

If you’re heading to California for a whirlwind amusement park tour, you might want to pick up a CityPASS first.

CityPASS started in 1997 giving visitors (and locals!) to Seattle and San Francisco a chance to save money on sightseeing by purchasing a bundle of tickets to some of the cities’ must-see attractions. The service was a huge hit and soon expanded to 12 cities nationwide, in addition to Toronto.

While tourists in New York City and Chicago use the CityPASS to visit museums and sights like the Empire State Building, the CityPASS for Southern California ($329 for teens and adults, $286 for children ages 3-9) improves on the formula by giving pass holders access to some of California’s best amusement parks, including Disneyland, Sea World, and LEGOland.

After you first scan your ticket for admission, the CityPASS for Southern California gives pass holders 14 days—including three visits to Disney parks—to visit all the sites, making it a great addition to any family vacation.

Skip the ticket line at Disneyland or Disney California Adventure by simply presenting your CityPASS card at a turnstile, and head straight into the heart of the action. Explore the world of Star Wars, race through Radiator Springs, and pay a visit to your favorite Disney princesses during three days of magic, memories, and family-friendly fun. While not part of CityPASS, definitely look into the park’s FastPass service. It’s a great way to skip the hassle of trying to entertain squirrelly kids while waiting for a chance to ride Splash Mountain.

The CityPASS also gives access to LEGOLand, where the tiny bricks turn in to full-sized fun. There are LEGO-themed roller coasters, interactive shows, and mind-boggling sculptures to entertain kids of all sizes. Admission with a CityPASS includes all rides and shows, attractions, plus deals at the on-site hotel, where your little LEGO masters-in-training can sleep in style in a pirate-, castle-, or adventure-themed room.

For a few extra bucks, visitors can add entrance to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, which is home to more than 3,700 rare and endangered animals. Pass holders get unlimited use of the Kangaroo Bus, rides on the zoo’s aerial tram and much more. Budding zoologists can watch a cheetah race, explore the world of pandas, and learn about elephants in the zoo’s new 7.5-acre habitat.

For more information, head to