Read below the step-by-step guide for buying the Go New York Explorer Pass. It explains what you can expect when buying online and how to get the most discount by using a promo code.
Questions answered in this step-by-step-guide
Reading time: 7 minutes
The best place to get the Go City Explorer Pass is simply online. The reason for this is that it’s better to buy directly from the official site, as the official site will most likely have the best deals on offer all year-round. However, more importantly, the information will always be up to date. Third-party websites are not given access to the information regarding (new) deals made with attractions and tours – or whenever inclusions change. On the official site, you’ll also be able to read detailed instructions for using the pass at specific attractions.
This was what the homepage looks like (at the time of taking this screenshot):
On the homepage, you’ll notice a few things: the current promotion, important information regarding the passes, reviews as well as the claims that Go New York makes regarding the passes. Read more about the Explorer Pass here.
The instructions detailed in this guide are for buying the New York Explorer Pass directly from the company online. Please note that the same steps apply if you want to buy ‘Build Your Own’.
On the right, you can scroll through screenshots taken during the booking process.
Why use a promo code? Because you’ll essentially be getting a discount on top of the original discount! When buying the Explorer Pass it’s important to note that the promo or discount code is not at the last step of the checkout process. You need to fill in the promo code after you have added them to your cart but before you proceed to payment. When reviewing your order, you’ll see underneath your cart ‘Have a promo code?’. Click this and fill in the promo code. This is what this step looks like:
Hover over and scroll through screenshots of the steps here:
The Explorer Pass is valid for two years, so take advantage of the sales.
Once you’ve completed the steps above and received your order confirmation you have two options: you can install the Go City app or you can use the PDFs. Both options contain the QR code that is required to enter the attractions. The email looks like this:
Whichever option you choose is up to you. Below are some of the benefits / drawbacks detailed when using the app. Once you have this email, and your confirmed booking; you can reserve tours. You cannot reserve attractions such as observation decks, cruises or museums in advance . You will have to physically go to these places to obtain your tickets.
If you choose the option to ‘print’ the PDF, this is what it will look like. A few FAQs are included on the pages. Most likely these questions were asked so frequently that they decided to include it on the PDF. This could be seen as another reason to buy the pass directly online.
Note: each pass has a seperate QR code and must be used by each individual visiting the attractions (which is why you see ‘Pass 1 of 2’). To be on the safe side, it is recommended to actually print the passes. You never know what could happen to your phone.
The guidebook can be found via the link in the PDF. It is over 50 pages long so it is not necessary to print. The guidebook is difficult to navigate and doesn’t contain any other information than what is already listed on the site. If you were expecting a map, walking routes or insider tips – this is not the guide for you. This guide is specifically for using the Explorer Pass. In the confirmation email, there is mention of ‘The Go New York guide’, this is a link to the Go City blog and not the actual guidebook. The blog does have useful articles, but keep in mind when reading them as they are aimed towards supporting the Go City / Explorer Pass products.
Alternatively, you can use the Go City app for your Explorer Pass / Build Your Own. You’ll need to download the app from the app store and select the correct city. From there, you can sync your pass with the app by filling in the details.
In the app there is a map that includes all of the attractions included in the pass. If you would like to use navigation, it’ll prompt to open with the phone’s original navigation (with iPhone that would be Apple Maps). You can view all the details of each of the attractions, favourite them or add them to your itinerary. The itinerary (second picture below) has no extra features or interaction, other than listing the amount of attractions added and the average duration spent at them.
You can import our passes (third picture below). There is no extra functionality available; clicking on ‘My attractions’ shows all of the attractions included in the pass. You cannot (currently) see which attractions you have visited. Unfortunately, you will have to remember which ones you have visited.
In most cases it’s pretty simple: scan and enter. At the entrance of the attraction, you show the QR code (either printed or via the app) and have it scanned. With some attractions you’ll gain immediate entry (Empire State Building) and with others you will receive a timeslot (One World Observatory). A few attractions such as Top of the Rock offer fast track or skip-the-line access. For the Statue of Liberty, you will need to exchange tickets before boarding the boat. In short, it’s worth taking time to read the instructions for the attractions you want to visit to avoid problems while you’re in New York.
Tip: Make sure to use up all of the attractions, there is no compensation for any of the attractions you did not use.
If you want to book a tour such as a Harlem Gospel Tour or a Central Park Bike Tour,you’ll need to do this in advance at least 48 hours prior. However, tours sell out quickly so book when you know when you would like to visit . When you reserve the tour, you’ll need to have the order number handy as well as your credit card information. Your card will not be charged unless you do not show up or arrive late and the tour has departed. In these cases, you will be charged the full retail price. Therefore, you will have to pay on top of one of your attractions. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of each provider carefully to avoid problems and disappointments.
Depending on which tour you’d like to reserve there are different steps you need to take. For this example, we’ll book tickets for THE RIDE. You can use either the guidebook or the website to follow the instructions, below we’ll be following steps via the website.
Hover over and scroll through screenshots of the steps here:
Here is making a reservation in full: