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The Top Southern California Amusement Parks for Summer Fun

By Edited Sep 6, 2016 1 0

Dumbo Ride at Disneyland

Summer Fun

Are you looking for fun things to do this summer? If you live-in or are visiting the Southern California area, you can find lots of fun activities at these top Southern California Amusement Parks.


The Disneyland Resort is one of Southern California’s top vacation destinations. You can visit Disneyland, Walt Disney’s original theme park, or Disney’s California Adventure Park. Both parks offer fun and exciting experiences for the whole family.

At Disneyland, you can visit Main Street, U.S.A.; Fantasyland; Tomorrowland; New Orleans Square; Adventureland; Critter Country; Mickey’s Toontown and Frontierland. Packed with so many rides, shows, and adventures, you’ll understand why Disneyland is known as the “Happiest place on earth!”

In Fantasyland, you will find Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and you can meet the heroes and villains of your favorite Disney stories. Take a spin in a tea cup, fly over to London with Peter Pan or sing along with a classic song as you sail past the elaborate spectacle of It’s a Small World.

Would you like to visit the Pirates of the Caribbean on a swashbuckling adventure and get a glimpse of Mr. Jack Sparrow himself? Or maybe you’re interested in a spooky encounter with 999 ghostly residents of the Haunted Mansion. You can do all this and more in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square.

For the tiny tots and the young at heart, visit Mickey’s Toontown and experience a miniature interactive metropolis full of architecture and sculptures. Hail a wacky taxi for the ride of your life on Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin or ride Gadget’s Go Coaster. Don’t forget to visit the houses of Mickey, Minnie, and other classic Disney characters; it’s where some of your favorite Toons call home.

Looking for a thrill ride? Look no further than Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland, where you can ride over the mountain on a runaway railroad car. While in Frontierland, don’t forget to visit Tom Sawyer Island and the Golden Horseshoe Stage.

See one of the most beloved critters in Critter Country when you take a stroll through the Hundred Acre Woods on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Looking to make a splash? Look no further then Splash Mountain, hear the rumble of railroads and waterfalls, plus a chorus of critters singing “Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah.”

There is so much more to see and do at Disneyland, but remember to carve out some time to visit Disney’s other park, California Adventure!

Visit this exciting place where classic Disney stories are told with California’s optimistic spirit. Enter through Sunshine Plaza and experience the best of California. At Disney’s California Adventure, you will find so many places to experience fun, like Hollywood Pictures Backlot; Paradise Pier; Golden State; A Bug’s Land; the Downtown Disney® District; Disney Fun for Southern California and live outdoor entertainment.  Truly something for everyone at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure!

For more information and park hours visit the website: disneyland.disney.go.com


The park has nine amazing world-class roller coasters! With a lineup that includes everything from kiddy coasters to action-packed scream machines, Knott's Berry Farm is a coaster lover's dream come true.

For all of those thrill ride seekers, Knott’s Berry Farm has them! From rocking, rolling and rotating to being turned upside down, dropped suddenly or thrust upward at 50 mph, a thrill-seekers delight!

You’ll find the ultimate in children's rides at Camp Snoopy, a favorite playground for the children in all of us! Camp Snoopy is full of rides and attractions for kids of all ages, including many for Mom and Dad to enjoy as well.

For guests who prefer milder thrills, a variety of relaxing rides await you. Every member of your family is sure to find one that is just right for them.

Knott’s Berry Farm also has water rides, the cool cure for those hot summer days. From a gigantic tidal wave to churning rapids, Knott's Berry Farm has several water rides sure to cool you off!

Don't miss the high-energy musical shows ranging from the biggest hits of the superstars, to great rock classics and even some great shows just for kids.

Hungry? You've never tasted anything as succulent as the world-famous Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant. You'll also find great park favorites along the midways at the many quick service locations!

Knott’s Berry Farm also has a water park, Soak City. Explore acres of intense water adventures including tube slides, body slides, wave pool, lazy river, family funhouse, kid's water-play area, and Pacific Spin!

Located adjacent to Knott's Theme Park is the Marketplace, a memorable and truly unique shopping and dining experience awaits you.

Be sure to check the Knott’s Berry Farm website at knotts.com for park hours and more information.  


LEGOLAND California is home to more than 60 rides, shows, and attractions. Just inside the entrance to the Park, you can't miss the bright red welcoming dinosaur, Bronte, standing nine feet tall and 34 feet long from his nose to the tip of his tail, made completely from LEGO® bricks!

New, guests can now enjoy seven of the most famous scenes from the six live-action Star Wars movies, as well as a scene from the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars™ all made out of 1.5 million LEGO® bricks built in 1:20 scale. Guests will be further immersed into the Star Wars experience as they pose with life-size LEGO models of Chewbacca, R2-D2 and Darth Vader.

Miniland USA is the heart of LEGOLAND® California. A dedication to the ultimate expression of the LEGO® art form, Miniland USA includes reproductions of seven areas of the United States; all constructed with 20 million LEGO bricks in 1:20 scale that can be seen from many places in the Park.

Explorers can dig for fossils, soar on a junior roller coaster, climb inside “Megga-Egga-Saurus” or lie inside a life-sized dinosaur footprint to get an idea of the enormity of these amazing animals.

Visit Pirate Shores and come aboard for an incredible, swashbuckling adventure. Guaranteed to shiver yer timbers, Pirate Shores includes water attractions with captivating high-seas adventures that will thrill buccaneers of all ages.

Castle Hill creates the illusion of a romantic time in history when kings and queens reigned supreme, and knights rescued damsels in distress.

The humorous and stimulating environment of the Imagination Zone epitomizes LEGO® creativity, and the many free play building opportunities are designed to make youngsters imagine some new designs of their own.

There is so much more to see and do at LegoLand California. For additional information and park hours, check out their web site: california.legoland.com.


Spend a day and experience fun shows like the Shamu Show; Believe; Shamu rocks; Blue Horizons; Sea Lions LIVE; Sea Lions Tonite; Pets Rule! Sesame Street Presents Lights, Camers, Imagination; Into the Blue; Cirque de la Mer; The Shamu Story and the One Ocean show.

Enjoy the fun rides like Journey To Atlantis; Shipwreck Rapids; Wild Arctic Ride; Bayside Skyride; Skytower; Elmo’s Flying Fish; Oscar’s Rocking Eel or Abby’s Sea Star Spin.

Don’t forget to save some time to visit the exhibits. You will be amazed at the Shark Encounter and

Wild Arctic exhibits. Take a look at the Rocky Point Preserve, Shamu: Close Up, and the Penguin Encounter. But that’s not all, you can also see the Forbidden Reef; Turtle Reef; Sesame Street Bay of Play; California Tide Pool; Pacific Point; Freshwater Aquarium; Aquarium de la Mer and the World of the Sea Aquarium.

With so much to do, you will want to remember to visit the Seaport marketplace, Flamingo Cove and Coco Loco (Arcade and Games).

For more information and park hours, visit the website: seaworld.com/sandiego


Are you looking for massive monster coasters, awesome adventure rides and fun family attractions? Well, look no further than Six Flags Magic Mountain. If you are looking for thrills, you've just found them. In fact, you've found some of the fastest, tallest, wildest, heart-pumping rides in the country-including a few record-breakers.

For parents of children less than 54" there is “Parent Swap.”  This allows one or two parents to wait in a designated area, while the other parent rides. Once the ride cycle is complete, the parents swap places and the other parent rides.

You will find the following thrill rides at Six Flags Magic Mountain California: BATMAN The Ride; Colossus;  Déjà Vu; Dive Devil; Goldrusher; Goliath; GREEN LANTERN; Ninja; Revolution; Scream; SUPERMAN; Tatsu; The Riddler’s Revenge; Viper and X2

(Please note, not all Rides may be open on all days, check the website for more information.)

You can find the following “Kid’s Rides” in BUGS BUNNY World: FOGHORN LEGHORN’S Barn and Railway; Merrie Melodies Carousel; PEPE LE PEW’S Tea Party; SYLVESTER’S Pounce and Bounce; Taz’s Trucking Co.; The LOONEY TUNES Lodge; TWEETY’S Escape and YOSEMITE SAM’s Flight School. Be sure to check the website for height requirements.

For more information and park hours, visit the website: sixflags.com/magicmountain


Go behind-the-scenes on the Studio Tour to explore where Hollywood movies are made. Get the full back-lot experience from the comfort of the new trams with built-in state-of-the-art HD monitors. Don't miss the award-winning King Kong 360 3-D Created by Peter Jackson - the world's largest, most intense 3-D experience. See the War of the Worlds wreckage and witness the special effects of the Fast and the Furious.  Pass the legendary Bates Motel from the movie Psycho and watch out for that famous shark from the movie Jaws, and so much more.

Experience the following rides, shows and attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood: Studio Tour with King Kong 360 3-D; Revenge of the Mummyâ„  – The Ride; Jurassic Park® – The Ride; Terminator 2®: 3D; House of Horrors; Universal’s Animal Actors; The NBC Universal Experience; The Simpsons Ride; Sherk 4-D™; The Adventures of Curious George; Water World and the Special Effects Stage.

Enjoy the adventure and fun of a day at Universal Studios Hollywood.

For more information and park hours, visit the website: universalstudioshollywood.com


For information on seasonal fun at the top California amusement parks, see the following articles:

The Top Southern California Amusement Parks for Holiday Fun
The Top Southern California Amusement Parks for Halloween Fun




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