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In this Go Oahu Card review, I’ll explain how the pass works, what’s included, and how to get the most bang for your buck. Enjoy!
If you’re planning a trip to Oahu, Hawaii, you are no doubt excited for the sun, sand, and maybe even some surfing.
While it’s 100% possible to spend your entire Oahu vacation lounging on the luxurious beaches, there are also tons of sightseeing and activities available to take your trip to the next level.
The downside about Oahu, and Hawaii in general, is that it’s expensive. Awesome activities like private surfing lessons, snorkeling, catamaran sailing, and touring historic Pearl Harbor can be hard on your wallet.
Luckily, the Go Oahu Card is an all-inclusive attractions pass that can help you cut these costs in half.
Let’s get going!
Go Oahu Card: How it Works
The Go Oahu Card is an all-inclusive pass that gets you access to 31 of Oahu’s top attractions for one low price. If you play your cards right, you can save a whopping 55% on admission costs! Yup, I said 55%.
Choose from either a 1, 2, 3, 5, or 7-day pass, and hit as many of the attractions as you can on the days you use the pass.
Here’s my favorite part: The Go Oahu Card isn’t a consecutive day pass – you can spread out your activities over 14 days. This is fantastic because, let’s face it, you’re gonna want some lazy beach days on Oahu.
Similar to the Go Cancun Card, the 3, 5, and 7-day passes also come with a premium attraction! You get to choose 1 of 6 incredible experiences, helping to add some serious value to this pass.
You can print a hard copy of the pass or use a digital version with the Go City App. Either way, just present your pass at your first attraction to activate it. The pass operates based on calendar days, not 24-hour periods, so make sure you activate your pass early.
Every time you head to an attraction, just show your pass, and you’re in – no paying extra at the gate. Certain attractions (like tours) require reservations, so make sure you consult the free guide that comes with your pass so you know what’s what.
Attractions Included on the Go Oahu Card
Every Go Oahu Card includes access to 31 attractions. Here are some of the best, along with their regular adult admission prices:
- Battleship Missouri at Pearl Harbor – $29
- Makani Catamaran Sail – $117.40
- Hanauma Bay Snorkel – $27.23
- Polynesian Cultural Center – $67.87
- All of Oahu in One Day Tour – $98
- Sea Life Park Hawaii – $41.87
- North Shore Tour Guide, Shoreline Fishing – $75
- Secret Island Beach at Kualoa Ranch – $51.25
- Wet ‘n Wild Hawaii – $62.35
- Pearl Harbor Historic City Tour – $49
- North Shore Tour Guide Hike – $75
- Taste of Kualoa – $51.25
- Get the complete list of attractions here
On the three, five, and seven-day passes, you also get access to one of these six premium attractions:
- Ka Moana Luau Deluxe Splash Package (including Sea Life Park) – $137.28
- Dolphin Encounter by Sea Life Park – $146.59
- Sunset Dinner Sail on Makani Catamaran – $120.68
- Oahu Hidden Gems Tour + Snorkeling with Turtles – $130.89
- Semi-Private Oahu Surf Lessons (for two+) by Sea & Board Sports Hawaii – $138.89
- Alii Luau (includes Entry to Polynesian Cultural Center) – $128.48
*All regular prices current as of April 3rd, 2019
I’m just gonna say it: When it comes to the best sightseeing passes, the Oahu Go Card includes one of the most expensive lineups I’ve ever seen. All of the premium attractions are valued at over $100, and nine of the included attractions carry a regular ticket price of more than $50.
Of course, regular admission prices are only part of it. Let’s take a look at the pass pricing to explore the overall value of the Go Oahu Card.
Go Oahu Card Pricing
|Passes||Adult Price||Child Price (Ages 3-12)|
|*Current as of April 3rd, 2019|
So, it’s pretty obvious that Hawaii isn’t the cheapest vacation spot, and these passes are more expensive than what you may be used to seeing. In fact, more than $400 for the 7-day pass might sound downright steep.
But, when you do the math, it’s actually an incredible value.
It works out to be just $60 a day for unlimited activities and sightseeing. When you consider the regular ticket prices of many of the attractions, you’ll quickly see that it’s easy to get your money’s worth – and more!
That said, I think most people will gravitate toward the three and five-day passes. If you’re in Oahu for a week or so, that leaves enough time to enjoy some relaxing beach days, too. These passes aren’t quite as good of a deal as the seven-day pass, but you can still get excellent value from them.
Top Reasons to Buy the Go Oahu Card
Save Mad Cash
The #1 reason to use an attractions pass is to save money, and the Go Oahu Card delivers. If you use the pass strategically, you can save up to 55% on admission costs – that’s huge!
Like with the Go Chicago Card, the key to saving the most money is choosing the more expensive attractions and visiting at least two spots a day.
Great High-Value Activities and Sightseeing Selection
The Go Oahu Card gives you access to 31 attractions, and the 3, 5, and 7-day passes also include a premium attraction. Unlike some other passes that are mostly museums (I’m looking at you Paris Pass), the Go Oahu Card features a ton of activities like snorkeling, kayaking, and catamaran sailing.
There are museums in the mix, of course, as well as several excellent tours (like the 8-hour All of Oahu in a Day Tour). Many of these attractions have high regular admission costs, meaning the pass offers good value. Overall, I think the Go Oahu Card provides a very well-rounded selection.
Premium Attractions: Ka Moana Luau Deluxe Splash Package
The premium attractions included on the three, five, and seven-day Go Oahu Cards add extra value. In particular, the Ka Moana Luau Deluxe Splash Package is a fantastic deal. For one thing, it’s an evening activity, so your day remains free for other pursuits. Most importantly, it’s a complete night out. You get dinner, two drinks, fun cultural activities like lei making and hula lessons, and upgraded seats to an award-winning show.
But wait, there’s more! You also get a ticket to Sea Life Park that you can use within the next seven days. Yeah, Sea Life Park is included on your pass anyway, but you could use the Go Oahu Card for other attractions and save the ticket to Sea Life Park until after you’ve used up your pass.
What About the Other Premium Attractions?
The Oahu Hidden Gems Tour + Snorkeling is probably the second-best deal. You get a guided tour of Oahu and an afternoon of snorkeling with sea turtles and other Hawaiian fish. Transportation to and from your hotel is also included. It’s an eight-hour activity that’ll take up most the day, but you’ll have your evening free. The only thing to consider is that your pass already comes with an even more comprehensive guided tour of Oahu.
The dolphin encounter and the surf lessons are fun, though short, activities. If you opt for one of these, you’ll still have plenty of time in your day for other things.
The Alii Luau is another dinner and a show, and apparently, it’s quite the show! Think fire dancers, live music, a pig roast, and all-you-can-eat Polynesian food. One caution about the Alii Luau, though, is that its value is lower than the $128 it boasts. It includes same-day entry to the Polynesian Cultural Center, which is included by default on every Go Oahu Card. This makes the real value of the Alii Luau $60 since that is what you would pay to attend the Alii Luau if you used your pass to visit the Polynesian Cultural Center.
The Sunset Dinner Sale lasts two hours and takes place, during, well, dinner time, so it doesn’t take up a full day, either. I like that it combines a sought-after experience (sailing) with something you’d have to pay for otherwise (dinner). Notice, though, that every Go Oahu Card includes a two-hour afternoon catamaran sail valued at $117.40. So basically, if you choose the Sunset Dinner Sail as your premium attraction, you’re really just getting dinner.
Other Benefits of the Go Oahu Card
Valid for Two Weeks – Most unlimited sightseeing passes operate on a consecutive day basis. If you buy a three-day pass, for example, you have to use it on three consecutive days. For some travelers, cramming all the attractions in like this can be exhausting. With the Go Oahu Card, you can only use it for the number of days purchased, but you can spread those days out over two weeks. I consider this to be the ideal set-up for sightseeing passes.
Extra Discounts – The Go Oahu card comes with some additional discounts at local restaurants and retailers. Through the Go Oahu Card Concierge, you can save 10-40% on activities and tours not included on the pass.
Digital Pass – I really appreciate that the Go Oahu Card is available as a digital pass. Just download the Go City Card app and use the pass directly on your smartphone. This is so much more convenient than carrying around and keeping track of a physical pass. If you prefer a hard copy, you can absolutely print one off and go that route.
Free Guide – The Go Oahu Card comes with a free guide that includes key details for all the attractions and activities. Having all the info you need in one place eliminates the need to waste time looking stuff up.
Where the Go Oahu Card Falls Short
The Go Oahu Card offers excellent value, but it isn’t perfect. There are a couple of weaknesses worth mentioning:
Misleading Values for Some Premium Attractions
The Go Oahu Card offers an impressive selection of attractions and activities. However, as I mentioned above, some of the premium attractions aren’t as valuable as they want you to believe. The advertised value of the Sunset Dinner Sail and Alii Luau include the cost of activities that come with every Go Oahu Card. This means their real-life value is lower.
Only One Kualoa Ranch Tour Per Day
The Go Oahu Card includes three unique Kualoa Ranch tours – Secret Island Beach, Voyaging Catamaran Tour, and Taste of Kualoa. Unfortunately, you can only use your pass for one of these tours each day. That means that if you wanted to do more than one, you’d have to go to Kualoa Ranch on different days, which is incredibly inefficient. It would be much better if you could spend a day at Kualoa Ranch doing all the tours.
Who Should Consider the Go Oahu Card
Travelers Who Like to Spread Out the Fun – Remember, you don’t have to use the Go Oahu Card on consecutive days. You can spread it out over 14 days, if you’re there that long. This is great news for travelers who want a few chill days sprinkled in between tours, activities, and sightseeing.
Families – The cost of an Oahu vacation can add up fast for families, but luckily, so can the savings you’ll realize with the Go Oahu Card. A lot of what’s on the pass is family friendly, including a few of the premium attractions, so you’ll definitely want to take a look if you’re traveling with kids.
Anyone Interested in a Premium Attraction – If you’re in Oahu for at least three days and plan to do one of the premium attractions, you should just go ahead and buy this pass now.
Who Should Skip the Go Oahu Card
People Who Won’t Do Enough to Justify the Cost – If you only plan to do a few of the activities included on the Go Oahu Card, you should skip the pass and pay at the gate.
Travelers Only Interested in Beaches – If you’re heading to Oahu purely to take in the sun and sand, you don’t need an attractions pass. Relax and enjoy!
Travelers on a Very Strict Budget – If you don’t have much money to spare for activities and sightseeing, the Go Oahu card isn’t a good fit for you.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of the Go Oahu Card
Get at Least a 3-Day Pass for the Premium Attractions – The three, five, and seven-day passes include a premium attraction. These options really boost the value of the pass and should not be skipped.
Think about it…the three-day pass costs $242, and you can use one of your days to do the Dolphin Encounter and Sea Life Park for $147. Even if you spend the whole day doing that, you still get two full days of activities/attractions for under $100. It’s so easy to save money!
Don’t Choose the Sunset Dinner Sail – On the topic of premium attractions, the Sunset Dinner Sail on Makani Catamaran offers the least value. As discussed above, every Go Oahu Card includes a two-hour afternoon catamaran sail. If you opt for the Sunset Dinner Sail, you’re basically using up your premium attraction to get dinner and an evening view. Every other option is better value.
Visit the Most Expensive Attractions – The key to saving money with the Go Oahu Card is to make sure the regular admission to your attractions of choice cost more than the pass. Using the pass frequently is part of it, but so is choosing the more expensive attractions. The good news is that it’s easy to do with the Go Oahu Card because a lot of the options are on the pricey side.
Visit at Least Two Attractions Per Day – Building on the last point, make sure you use the Go Oahu Card frequently enough to ensure regular admission costs exceed the price of the pass. If you visit at least two attractions per day, this should be no problem.
Buy the Pass on Sale – The Go Oahu Card goes on sale on a semi-regular basis. If I were you, I wouldn’t pay full price. Sign up for their email list to stay in the know and watch for a sale. Then you’ll save even more!
Activate Your Pass Early in the Day – The Go Oahu Card operates based on calendar days, so make sure you activate your pass early so you’ll have your whole day ahead of you.
Plan Your Days Based on Attraction Location – The attractions are spread all over the island, so you’ll need to plan your days with efficiency in mind.
How to Buy the Go Oahu Card
If you’re convinced the Go Oahu Card is for you, you can grab it online right now.
After purchasing it, you’ll get an email with a downloadable pass, complete with instructions. Print it at home for a hard copy or download it to the Go City App and keep the pass on your phone. It’s ready when you are!
Note that the pass expires one year after purchase, so make sure you activate it before then.
Bottom Line: Should You Get the Go Oahu Card?
If you’re traveling to Oahu and are interested in visiting the included attractions, I think you should absolutely consider the Go Oahu Card. If you use it on multiple attractions each day and strategically choose the more expensive options, you can save a ton of money with this pass.
The inclusion of a premium attraction on the three, five, and seven-day passes is a great addition offering HUGE value. For this reason, I recommend considering at least the three-day pass if you’ll be on Oahu for five days or more.
I hope you found this Go Oahu Card review helpful. Thanks for reading and have a fantastic trip!