The Bottom Line
- Save almost 50% on ticket prices
- Skip long lines, a big plus
- Can be used over 9 days
- Includes "extras" besides general admission
- Only includes choice of 5 attractions
- Even "VIP" lines can be long on peak days
- Real value comes if only using all 5 tickets
- Cost: $76/adults; $59 children (as of 04/2011, subject to change)
- Availability: Ordering online is most convenient,
- or purchase at the main ticket window of the first attraction on your schedule
- Shipping cost can be avoided by utilizing their "e-ticket" option
Guide Review - Chicago City Pass - Save Money and Skip Long Lines
The Chicago City Pass is a booklet of tickets that give you entrance to a choice of 5 top Chicago attractions. The City Pass also gives holders "VIP" access to the attraction by skipping the usually long ticket lines. In the case of the Sears Tower Skydeck or John Hancock Observatory, you also get a "Fast Pass" elevator entrance -- which on really busy days can mean a time savings of up to 2 hours.
How the Chicago City Pass works: You receive a booklet containing 5 admission tickets, simply present the appropriate ticket at the attraction for entrance. All attractions have signage indicating where to go. The City Pass is valid for 9 days, and the clock starts ticking when you visit the first attraction. The City Pass is only valid for a very select group of attractions, but the good news is that the ones included are among the city's most popular. Included are:
- Shedd Aquarium - General admission, plus entrance to special exhibits, Amazon Rising, Oceanarium, Wild Reef, and 4D Theater
- Field Museum of Natural History - general admission to all permanent exhibits (special exhibits extra)
- Sears Tower Skydeck, includes Fast Pass admission
- A choice of either the Adler Planetarium - general admission to all exhibits plus one 3D theater show -- or general admission to the Art Institute of Chicago
- A choice of either the Museum of Science and Industry - general admission plus one OMNIMAX show -- or the John Hancock Observatory - includes Fast Pass admission
How you save: By buying the Chicago City Pass up front, the total cost is almost 50% less than purchasing tickets individually. Of course, if you don't plan on visiting all five options offered, the savings diminishes. Also, the savings is based on if you were going to take part in all the "extras" at the attractions above and beyond general admission.
So if you're coming to Chicago and want to have an action-packed trip, then you should certainly consider a Chicago City Pass to save some cash, not to mention some of your time.