In this Dallas CityPASS review, I’ll explain how it works, how much you’ll save, and ultimately help you decide if it’s a good fit for you.
Are you traveling to Dallas and looking for ways to save money? Although the best travel rewards credit cards can help you rack up enough rewards to cover your flight, you’ll still need watch your wallet once you get there. Sightseeing, transportation, and wining and dining can get expensive!
While I can’t help you with the wining and dining, here’s something that can cut your sightseeing costs by 40%: the Dallas CityPASS.
Dallas CityPASS: How It Works
The Dallas CityPASS is a sightseeing pass that includes single entry to four of Dallas’ top tourist attractions.
Every pass includes three attractions by default plus a choice between two others to fill the fourth slot.
Truth be told, it’s less of a pass and more a set of tickets – five tickets, although you only use four. Don’t worry, you don’t have to decide which sites you’ll visit in advance, though.
When buy them online, you’ll get an email containing the ticket for each of the five attractions. You can print them or just show your tickets on your smartphone. You have a year to activate your pass by using your first ticket.
So, how do the tickets work?
It’s easy. Just head to your first attraction, present your ticket to the staff for scanning, and voila—your Dallas CityPASS is officially activated and you’ll be admitted. You have nine days, including that day, to use your other three tickets. Once you do, the remaining ticket (for the attraction you didn’t choose) becomes void.
Pretty easy, right?
You might be wondering, though, what’s the whole point? What’s in it for you?
Mainly, 40% in savings. That’s right; compared to regular admission prices, the Dallas CityPASS saves you up to 40%!
Ready to hear more?
Top Attractions Included on the Dallas CityPASS
OK, so you know the Dallas CityPASS can save you significant money. Of course, that only matters if you’re interested in visiting what’s included on the pass. Check it out:
- Perot Museum of Nature and Science ($28)
- Reunion Tower GeO-Deck ($18.40)
- The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza ($18)
- Dallas Zoo ($17) OR George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum ($21)
How Much Does the Dallas CityPASS Cost?
So, how much will one of these bad boys set you back? Details are in the table below.
|Adult (ages 13+)||Child (ages 3-12)|
|*Current as of July 2, 2019|
Some quick math shows that if you choose the George W. Bush Library over the Dallas Zoo, the total cost of regular adult admission would be $85.40. The Dallas CityPASS only costs $51, so you save $34.40. That’s 40% – I’ll take it!
Dallas CityPASS Attractions Guide
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Eleven exhibit halls spanning five floors (plus a 3D theater) open your eyes to the wonders of nature and science.
This isn’t a stuffy old museum with nothing but fossils in display cases (although you will see some rad dinosaur fossils). Interactive technology like virtual reality lets you explore space, human biology, and natural disasters.
And get this: In the Engineering and Innovation Hall, you can try designing (and playing with) a robot. Needless to say, Perot is fun for the whole family.
Reunion Tower GeO-Deck
You haven’t seen Dallas until you’ve seen it from the Reunion Tower’s observation deck – 470 feet in the sky.
While the city skyline is breathtaking on its own, the GeO-Deck has tech to take your experience to the next level. You’ll find high-def zoom cameras and telescopes to help you get up close and personal with Dallas sites.
Kids (and the young at heart) will enjoy creating light shows with interactive touch screens and getting a PIX photo with fun props and back drops.
The Dallas CityPASS gets you single entry, but if you can’t choose between a daytime or nighttime view, you can upgrade to a 24-hour ticket for just $5.
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
This history-buff haven transports you back in time to the 1960s and explores the life and death of President John F. Kennedy.
The Sixth Floor Museum is in what used to be the Texas School Book Depository, which was where the sniper who murdered Kennedy took the fatal shot. Visitors will see the sniper’s perch and immerse themselves in the television and radio broadcasts, photos, and artifacts that tell the story of the assassination that occurred in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
The Dallas Zoo is 106 acres of interactive fun.
The Giants of the Savanna exhibit features a safari experience that introduces you to the wildlife of the Savanna. That includes elephants, giraffes, kudus, zebras, lions, cheetahs, and more. The Wilds of Africa includes a 20-minute monorail ride that takes you through the 6 major habitats of Africa.
While both of those exhibits are fun for adults and children alike, the zoo has something special for its smallest visitors: the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo. Kids will go wild for the hands-on fun. They’ll get to splash through a stream (bring a towel and swim wear!), ride a pony, and feed birds. Adults will have a blast taking it all in.
Note that the Dallas CityPASS includes general admission, but some of the extras that enhance the experience (like the monorail and pony rides) carry a small fee.
George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum
George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States, grew up in Texas and served as its 46th governor. There, more than elsewhere, he’s kind of a big deal. His presidential library and museum opened in 2013 and tells the story of his presidency.
Highlights include the Decision Points Theatre, which takes you inside GWB’s decision-making process during key crises, a true-to-size oval office replica, and a huge montage of all the U.S. Presidents (up to 2013).
Note that the George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum is an optional attraction, with the Dallas Zoo being the alternate choice. History and political buffs will prefer the Library and Museum, while animal lovers and most kids will probably like the zoo better.
Other Benefits of the Dallas CityPASS
Save 40% on Admission – The main reason to use a good sightseeing pass is to save money relative to regular admission and the Dallas CityPASS delivers. You save up to 40% – that’s more money in your pocket to enjoy Dallas.
Streamlined Entry at the George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum – Besides saving you money, the Dallas CityPASS can save you time. Look for the shorter CityPASS holder line.
Valid for Nine Days – The Dallas CityPASS is valid for nine consecutive days, which means you have lots of time to fit the attractions in among your other activities.
Digital Tickets – The Dallas CityPASS offers digital tickets that can be stored on your smartphone and presented at each attraction. This is miles more convenient than having to carry around a physical ticket booklet. It means fewer things to carry and less chance of losing them.
Where the Dallas CityPASS Falls Short
The Dallas CityPASS can save you up to 40% on sightseeing, but it’s not perfect.
For one thing, it’s pretty basic. The five attractions (you visit four) are only a snapshot of what Dallas has to offer. Of course, no pass is truly comprehensive, but the Dallas CityPASS doesn’t really come close.
Three of the five attractions are museums, which means there isn’t much variety on the pass. Some travelers might find that a little lackluster.
Like other CityPASS cards, including the Chicago CityPASS and Seattle CityPASS, there is another important point worth mentioning. The physical ticket booklets come with a fairly outdated and wonky rule – you’re not allowed to rip out your own tickets!
Seriously, if you tear out your own ticket and pass it in at the admissions desk, that ticket might be considered void. Hand over your full booklet and let the staff remove the ticket for you. (Don’t say we didn’t warn you!!!)
Not ripping out the tickets isn’t a big deal, it just means you have to carry them all with you. That might annoy some, especially those nervous about losing them. The bigger issue, however, is that some people might not be aware of this bizarre rule and end up violating it.
Thankfully, the Dallas CityPASS is also available digitally, so you can carry your tickets on your smartphone and not worry about it.
Who Should Consider the Dallas CityPASS?
First Time Visitors – If it’s your first time in Dallas, you’ll want to check out the main tourist draws. The Dallas CityPASS can help you do it for less, so why not?
Museum Buffs – If you love a good museum, the Dallas CityPASS will be right up your alley. It includes two museums by default, and if that’s not enough, you can choose the George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum instead of the zoo.
Sightseers Who Like to Take Their Time – I love that the Dallas CityPASS is valid for nine days. Even if you’re only in town for five days or a week, you don’t need to worry about trying to schedule multiple attractions each day. You can relax and take your time.
Families – When you’re traveling as a group, the cost of visiting attractions adds up quickly. The Dallas CityPASS offers family-friendly options for a fraction of the regular price. Note that kids will probably appreciate the zoo more than the George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum.
Who Should Skip the Dallas CityPASS?
People Who Don’t Like Museums – Three of the five attractions are museums, so if you’re not a fan, the Dallas CityPASS probably isn’t for you.
Repeat Visitors – If you’ve been to Dallas a bunch of times, you’ve likely seen all the included attractions, maybe more than once. If that’s the case, you might not be jonesing to visit them again during your next trip.
Travelers on a Very Tight Budget – The Dallas CityPASS can save you up to 40%, but if you’re on a super-strict budget, the cost of the pass might be too high.
Tips for Using the Dallas CityPASS
- Do Not Rip Out Your Own Tickets – If you’re using a physical ticket booklet, don’t rip out your own tickets or they’ll be considered invalid. Just present the booklet at the attractions and let the staff handle it. Weird, I know, but you don’t want to risk it.
- Visit All Four Attractions – If you want to get the best possible value from your Dallas CityPASS, make sure you visit all four attractions. Visiting three will save you a few bucks, but nothing to get super-excited over.
- Choose the George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum if you Want to Maximize Savings – If you want to save the full 40%, choose the GWBPLM instead of the Dallas Zoo, since it has higher admission prices.
- Choose the Dallas Zoo if You’re Traveling with Kids – The GWBPLM saves you a little more, but most kids will prefer the zoo. In this case, I’d stick to what’s more enjoyable rather than try to milk every last drop of savings out of the pass.
How to Buy the Dallas CityPASS
Purchasing a pass is easy. Buy the Dallas CityPASS online here!
Once your purchase is complete, you’ll get an email with five mobile tickets. Keep them on your smartphone for the ultimate convenience, or print them out and take them with you.
Dallas CityPASS Review: Is It a Good Value?
So, is the Dallas CityPASS worth it?
If you’re likely to visit three attractions, the pass is a good buy. While your savings will be more modest than if you visit all four, the Dallas CityPASS will still save you some money.
With that said, you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck if you visit all four of the included attractions. In fact, the Dallas CityPASS saves you up to 40% off the cost of regular admission prices. So, for travelers interested in visiting all four attractions, the pass is clearly a good investment.
Thanks so much for reading and enjoy your trip to Dallas!