In this article
Reading time: 4 minutes
With the Go New York Explorer Pass, you can choose how many attractions you would like to visit. There are over 80 top attractions, tours and activities to choose from. Everything is included in one affordable price. It’s one of the many discount passes available to purchase if you are going to New York. Similar to the other discount passes, it is cheaper than buying individual tickets to the attractions you’d like to visit. It’s suitable for those who know what they want to see and do. You only pay for the attractions you would like to visit, this means you don’t have to force yourself to do a lot of activities to make the pass worthwhile. If you’d like to spend a few hours shopping or relaxing in Starbucks drinking a coffee, it’s no problem! The pass is widely accepted and known throughout New York. You can use it to do a variety of activities with reputable companies like Circle Line, Big Bus and Unlimited Biking.
The Go New York website claims you can save up to 54% on the best New York attractions with the pass. Once this calculation is broken down, it’s actually difficult to get the maximum savings claimed on the website. The 54% savings is based on the total of individual ticket prices so depending on which attractions you visit, these savings may not apply to you specifically. We’ve taken a look at several review platforms to see what other pass holders thought of their experience with the New York Explorer Pass.
The Explorer Pass claims to be perfect for those who know what they want to see and do in New York. It does offer the flexibility to create your own agenda and it allows you to choose exactly what you want to see in New York City. Unlike other ‘unlimited’ day passes, you only pay for the attractions you want to visit so you don’t have to worry about getting your money’s worth. The app is easy to use, it includes the Go New York passbook and itineraries. However, it does not show which attractions you have visited and how many you have left.
The Explorer Pass also offers the bonus of being able to skip part of the queue at several attractions. Unfortunately, this is almost too good to be true. The line you ‘skip’ are those who line up for tickets at the kiosk; you actually join a separate queue for discount pass holders (depending on the attraction). The good news is that this queue still moves faster than buying individual tickets at the kiosk. These selected attractions only include Top of the Rock, Madame Tussauds and the Empire State Building. You will have to wait in a normal line like usual with your pass at other attractions. Therefore, if you only choose to visit one of these attractions with fast track lines for pass holders; you don’t really get the advantage of this. We don’t recommend ‘fast track’ as the main reason to buy the Explorer Pass. If your main goal is to save money and you aren’t looking for an incredibly wide range of attractions or additional information, then this pass might be for you.
Below an itinerary and savings table.
|Top of the Rock||$42|
|Statue of Liberty Ferry Ticket||$19.25|
|Empire State Building||$46|
|1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off||$59|
|American Museum of Natural History||$23|
|Total cost separate tickets:||$217|
|6 attractions Explorer Pass||$157|
|Savings per person:||$28|
|Discount per person:||-13%|
On Trustpilot, the New York Explorer Pass rates very positively overall as excellent. A majority of pass holders describe it as great value with a wide choice of activities. It’s convenient to use and offers a good range of discounts. The app is easy to use, a majority of people encountered no problems with it. Pass holders who travelled to New York “off-season” still felt like the pass was worthwhile and offered lots of things to visit. Go City Customer service is also reviewed as helpful and quick with the response time. Passholders recommend reading the conditions on each attraction (times, reservations, etc) in order to avoid unexpected disappointments.
The only problem encountered was at some of the attractions, it’s required to redeem your pass for a ticket to enter or make a reservation beforehand. The ‘skip-the-line’ at select attractions has been reviewed negatively. Several pass holders found they still needed to queue at the attractions (which included this benefit) to have their QR codes scanned. Others advise checking the price of the attractions you would like to visit first before buying the pass, this ensures you will actually save money.
On Tripadvisor, the New York Explorer Pass has overall positive reviews. It’s easy and straightforward to use at attractions. It offers a great selection of locations to visit. The pass was well known at each attraction so the QR code or physical pass was scanned directly. The pass is also praised as the best way to see many attractions in a short period of time. It allows for flexibility to do what you want whenever you prefer, this is good in case of a last-minute change of plans or less than ideal weather.
Although there is a wide choice of attractions; it is still required to queue at certain attractions to redeem your pass for your entrance ticket. This was scored as a disadvantage to some pass holders. Several reviewers comment that this pass might save you money, but you’ll waste more time queuing. It’s good to keep in mind that you are visiting a busy city so it’s best to manage your expectations with queuing times. Another disadvantage is the app cannot be used offline; this is understandably inconvenient as wifi is not always available and data coverage may incur an additional cost.
The New York Explorer Pass is considered to be a ‘must-have’ for exploring New York, according to the reviews on Viator. The pass is rated as affordable and very convenient to use. It’s also recommended to us that we should choose this pass rather than other unlimited day passes. It’s easier to get your money’s worth since you only pay for the attractions you actually want to see.
The benefit of the ‘skip the line’ advertisement received mixed reviews on Viator; some travellers rate it positively, while others suggest it’s a waste of time. It’s also suggested that compared to other discount passes this pass is not as well known by tour operators across the city