Ultimate San Diego Zoo Membership Guide | FAQ + Is It Worth It?

San Diego Zoo Membership is filled with tons of different perks and a variety of options which leave a ton of questions to be had.

Figuring out if San Diego Zoo membership is worth it and what type of membership to get can quickly become overwhelming with 11 different membership types to consider!

This San Diego Zoo Membership Guide will cover frequently asked questions, pricing, perks and detail if membership is worth the price!

Questions We'll Answer About San Diego Zoo Membership:

  • What Are The Kinds Of San Diego Zoo Membership Available?
  • What Are The Benefits Of Membership?
  • How Much Is San Diego Zoo Membership?
  • How Soon Can You Use San Diego Zoo Membership?
  • Is San Diego Zoo Membership Tax Deductible?
  • What Is Your San Diego Zoo Membership Number?
  • What Do You Do If You Lost Your Membership Card?
  • How Long Does It Take To Receive San Diego Zoo Membership Card?
  • Is San Diego Zoo Membership Worth It?

 San Diego Zoo Logo

What Are The Kinds Of San Diego Zoo Memberships Available?

The San Diego Zoo has 11 different types of membership options currently available.

These range from the Wildlife Explorer membership which is only for children between the ages of 3-17 all the way up to the $10,000 President's Ambassador membership.

Each type of San Diego Zoo membership has different perks, benefits and pricing which can vary greatly depending on which membership you purchase. 

San Diego Zoo Entrance

On a very high level, San Diego Zoo membership is similar to annual passes at theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios which give you admission to the parks multiple times throughout the year.

We'll dive further into the benefits of each membership in the follow section!

What Are The Benefits Of Membership?

San Diego Zoo Membership has various perks which can include unlimited admission to both the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Safari Park and discounts on food and merchandise. 

These perks vary depending on which specific type of membership you purchase as illustrated in the chart below from the San Diego Wildlife Alliance:

 San Diego Zoo Membership Benefits

As you can see, some of the more premium membership tiers have tons of perks outside of admission and discounts like special entrances, and even hours of the day in which the Zoo and Safari park are only open to members!

The Annual Membership Event and Member Appreciation Day are two events reserved only for the two most expensive membership types where the San Diego Wildlife Alliance goes all out to show their appreciation for these folks. 

Not listed on this chart are the four "President" tier of membership which include their own extra special set of perks. 

President Tier Membership Perks Include:

  • Exclusive opportunities to meet the president of the San Diego Zoo and other key partners
  • Guest privileges which allow you to bring up to two guests with you into the Zoo and Safari park
  • Exclusive event invitations not offered at other membership tiers
  • The full list of President Tier membership perks can be found here: Associate, Partner, Patron, Ambassador

San Diego Zoo Red Double Decker Tour Bus

How Much Is San Diego Zoo Membership?

San Diego Zoo Membership prices currently range from as little as $70 for the Wildlife Explorer Membership reserved for kids under the age of 17, all the way up to the Wildlife Champion Membership at $10,000.

The pricing for each membership tier is listed below!

Wildlife Explorer: $67 for ages 3-17

San Diego Resident: $85 for adults | $76.50 for seniors

San Diego Resident Premium: $109 for adults | $98.10 for seniors

Wildlife Protector: $129 for adults | $116.10 for seniors

Wildlife Protector Premium: $149 for adults | $134.10 for seniors

Wildlife Guardian: $209 | Includes two additional complimentary 1-day guest tickets

Wildlife Champion: $400 | Includes two additional complimentary 1-day guest tickets

President's Associates: $1,200 for two adults as well as two additional accompanied guests per day

President's Partners: $2,500 for two adults as well as two additional accompanied guests per day

President's Patrons: $5,000 for two adults as well as two additional accompanied guests per day

President's Ambassadors: $10,000 for two adults as well as two additional accompanied guests per day

Blue San Diego Zoo Double Decker Tour Bus

How Soon Can You Use San Diego Zoo Membership?

Immediately! 

After you purchase your San Diego Zoo membership wether it be online or in-person, you'll be able to take advantage of your perks right away.

If you purchased your membership online then head to a ticket booth or guest services area outside of the zoo's entrance to get your membership card printed.

Is San Diego Zoo Membership Tax Deductible?

Most San Diego Zoo Memberships are only partially tax deductible. 

Each membership has a "fair market value" which you can provide to your accountant to determine how much money, if any, you can deduct from your taxes.

Please consult a tax advisor for guidance on anything related to tax deduction as Theme Park Center does not provide financial or tax advice!

Couple on Skyfari

What Is Your San Diego Zoo Membership Number?

Your San Diego Zoo membership number will be provided to you after purchasing your membership.

This number is your unique identifier tied to your membership so you can access your payment and billing information, renew your pass and reserve a spot at special events.

Your membership number will typically be provided to you in a confirmation email or be printed on your membership card.

What Do You Do If You Lost Your Membership Card?

Membership cards can be replaced for a small fee at either the San Diego Zoo or Safari Park. 

Your membership number will remain the same, but your card will have a new barcode making your old card useless. 

If you're lucky and employee may be able to print you a new membership card for free, but more often than not you should expect to pay for your membership card to be replaced. 

Two Koalas in a Tree

How Long Does It Take To Receive San Diego Zoo Membership Card?

Membership cards are typically received 2-3 weeks after you purchase your membership.  

If you chose Green Delivery then you will not receive a membership card in the mail!

With Green Delivery you will need to physically pick up your membership card at the San Diego Zoo or Safari Park.

Is San Diego Zoo Membership Worth It?

With prices starting as low as $85 for adults we find San Diego Zoo membership to absolutely be worth it. 

With the price of a San Diego Zoo single day ticket being just $20 less than a membership which will allow you to visit the property multiple times, it makes sense to upgrade to our membership if you plan on coming back even for just one more day. 

Lion at the San Diego Zoo

If you don't think you'll be returning to the San Diego Zoo at all for the rest of the year then it is likely a better decision to get a single day ticket, but we suggest really thinking through the membership option!

Between being able to visit the zoo again, as well as discounts on food and merchandise you may find that membership quickly paying for itself. 

You may not expect to visit the San Diego Zoo multiple times, but having that membership card may encourage you to do so on a day when you just can't find anything else to do!

The more premium memberships, especially the President's Tier, are a more personal decision in which you need to evaluate how much you really value each of these perks.

Two hippos in the water

For some these perks may be worthless, while for others they may be priceless especially if you're hoping to attend some VIP events or meet other high profile donors to the zoo. 

Overall, if you're local to Southern California or a neighboring state then there is definitely a lot of value to purchasing a San Diego Zoo membership.

If you live in another part of the country where you won't be visiting San Diego multiple times a year or planning any impromptu trips the Zoo or Safari Park then you may not find the same value.

 

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