As I said, I am so obsessed with the Los Angeles Go Card. And I feel like there are a million ways to strategize it. I think I did some things correctly, and some things not so much. (But I’m also not positive there is a “correct” and “incorrect” when it comes to this.)
If you mainly want to do theme parks (especially if you want to do Disney), it may be smarter just to get the Southern California City Pass… but that’s up to you. The point is, there are multiple options available.
My opinion is that in order to fully utilize the Go Card, it’s worth trying to hit all the theme parks, and some of the bigger studio tours (as those are the most expensive items).
I think every theme park listed (except perhaps Legoland, but that’s arguable) is worth an all-day adventure if you have the time (or at least an almost-all-day adventure, maybe just starting with a museum or something to try to get a little more in).
Most important strategy of the Go Card: The real trick is that your card shuts off each day at 5pm. But many places let you get re-entry hand stamps. So, I think it’s way worth it to find the places that have very late hours (e.g. Santa Monica Pier, or Universal during holiday hours, etc.) and check in early, get that hand stamp, and then go enjoy another 6 hours or something after your card has shut off for the night.
I think going in a holiday season was fun because there were a lot of extended hours and special things. (The flipside of that is there are also some shortened hours or closures on certain days for certain things, and a lot of things are a lot more crowded. So… you win some. You lose some.)
I also think there are a million ways to put the puzzle together. I personally wasted way too much time planning and re-planning because people would want to get in on certain things, but then that’d fall through, and I would’ve moved something for nothing. Then I’d try to re-move it, and it was a mess. So, I’d personally advise planning your itinerary before you arrive in Los Angeles (if you can), so you don’t waste any of your travel time planning stuff.
I’d also advise planning your itinerary either with someone you know you want to do the days with, or just planning it and telling people they can get in if they want. (This probably won’t apply to people just traveling in… as I was trying to get friends in on little legs here and there, but if you don’t know a ton of people in Los Angeles, that point/kinda waste of time will be moot.)
Last strategy advice: Of course, again, this is all personal preference. But I lean toward giving yourself some extras. If you’re saving money on admission, go ahead and tack on the hippos at the zoo, or the Behind-The-Scenes at the aquarium. To me, those kinds of things are fun, and special, and worth it… And some of those things are only available on certain days. And that’s where building the puzzle comes in. Good luck!