If you haven’t reserved a ticket in advance, there is a chance during busy times of year that you will wait in line for several hours to find there are no tickets left. This happens commonly because visitors are not aware that space is limited to the USS Arizona Memorial. The program sponsored by the National Park service features a short documentary and a round-trip shuttle ride to the USS Arizona. Both the theater and boat have limited seats, which are what dictates how many tickets are available daily.
Booking a tour in advance is the only way to guarantee that you will be able to visit the USS Arizona Memorial. Sometimes, tickets can be reserved with as little advance notice as the day before. Your vacation time in Oahu is precious. Don’t waste a day standing in line with nothing to show for it.
That being said, there are sometimes options for people who did not book tickets in advance. If programs have no-shows, you may be able to talk to a park ranger about taking their place. Simply walk around and ask tour guides if you are able to join their group. If they do not have space, they may know of a tour guide who does.
If you are unable to find a tour to join, you are still able to access the museums and parks. Although the experience is greatly enriched with a guided tour, the exhibits available are still fascinating for people who enjoy history or the military. The USS Arizona Memorial is an impressive monument, but visitors to Pearl Harbor can also access the Bowfin Submarine, Battleship Missouri, or Pacific Aviation Museum. Short of visiting the USS Arizona Memorial, you can get a great look at it from the bow of the USS Missouri.
It cannot be stressed enough that booking tickets to the USS Arizona Memorial in advance is the recommended course of action to ensure that you have a stress-free and enjoyable holiday.