Vacations are the highlight of the year for many people around the world. When deciding on where to go for a vacation though, the options seem almost endless at times. One of the more popular locations to head to is California. The state of California has a great deal to offer any traveler that heads its way. The sun, the warmth, the sandy beaches, the pacific oceans, the desert, the forests, and other natural areas all welcome visitors for a friendly stay in an exciting location. One of the other things that has gone a long way in making California famous are the many theme and amusement parks located there.
The Walt Disney Company started the whole California theme park industry in 1955 with the opening of the spectacular Disneyland. Since then new parks have been added throughout the region, each one catering to a specific group through the means of attractions within the park as well as the overall theme of the park. There are a great many options now for anyone vacationing in California and wanting to visit a theme or amusement park.
The many theme and amusement parks in California.
The grand daddy of them all, Disneyland is also one of the most technologically forward of the Southern California theme parks too. The facility is one of the most popular and widely visited theme parks in the world and the bulk of its resident Disney characters and scenery is almost immediately recognizable. Disneyland has transformed itself into a genuine resort these days with many first class accommodations, restaurants, and other attractions located right on the grounds. The number one attraction though are the rides, and there are plenty of them for everyone.
Disney’s California Adventure Park
Located right next to Disneyland is Disney’s California Adventure Park. This is one of the newer Disney theme park properties and has a look all its own with special sections of the park celebrating different areas of California. The rides in Disney’s California Adventure Park are fabulous and keep both kids and adults satisfied and coming back again and again to experience them again. The different themed areas in the park include Sunshine Plaza, Paradise Pier, Golden State, Hollywood Pictures Backlot, and A Bug’s Land.
California’s Great America
Located in Santa Clara, California’s Great America is one of the most popular amusement parks in Northern California. The park opened in 1976 and since then has become an important part of the California theme park landscape. Some of the more popular rides in the park include The Demon, Flight Deck, Vortex, Drop Tower: Scream Zone, Grizzly, Whitewater Falls, Loggers Run, and Psycho Mouse. California’s Great Adventure also regularly hosts live shows including stunt, musical, and show performances.
Knott’s Berry Farm
What started out as a simple berry farm, grew into a country restaurant, has now developed into a full fledged theme park. Knott’s Berry Farm is located in the community of Buena Park and bills itself America’s First Theme Park, though it wasn’t really a competitor with nearby Disneyland until the late 1970s. The themed areas within the park include Independence Hall, Ghost Town, Fiesta Village, The Boardwalk, Camp Snoopy, Wild Water Wilderness, and Indian Trails. Some of the more popular times to visit Knott’s Berry Farm include during the many annual events that are held there including the Halloween themed Knott’s Scary Farm celebration, as well as the Christmas season’s Knott’s Merry Farm festivities. Some of the popular roller coasters currently at the park include Montezooma’s Revenge, Timberline Twister, GhostRider, Xcelerator, Silver Bullet, and Pony Express.
When it opened in 1999, Legoland California was the third park of its kind to open, but the only one outside of Europe. There are nine sections of Legoland including The Beginning, Dino Island, Explore Village, Fun Town, Knight’s Kingdom, Miniland USA, Pirate Shores, Imagination Zone, and Land of Adventures. The park includes shopping opportunities, games, rides, and a restaurant. Mixed among the both large and small scale Lego creations are rides including the Coastersaurus, Water Works, and the Dragon. There are a number of entirely unique activities available at Legoland including going to a driving school where kids can learn to drive electric Lego cars.
SeaWorld San Diego
When SeaWorld San Diego opened in 1964, it was one of the top attractions in all of Southern California. More than thirty-five years later, and it still is. This incredible venue actually serves a number of purposes aside from being a fun vacation destination and local attraction. SeaWorld is a working marine zoological park with a great deal of positive work being done on behalf of animals. SeaWorld is also a very educational stop where both children and adults can learn about marine life and the issues that affect it. But above all, SeaWorld San Diego is one of the most fun places in the world to take an entire family. The park has everything from Killer Whales and Dolphins to amusement park rides and animal viewing areas.
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
Located in the community of Vallejo, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has combined the best of both an amusement park and a zoo experience. The park opened in 1968, but only became a part of the Six Flags company in 1999. the park offers rides suitable for all ages from toddler to adult and in all categories including children’s rides, water rides, family rides, thrill rides, and roller coasters.
The park also includes a number of unique animal experiences that can be had in the many animal attractions that are found there including Shark Experience, Dolphin Discovery, Sting Ray Bay, Penguin Passage, Alligator Isle, Tava’s Elephant Trails, Cougar Rocks, Leo’s Lion Den, Odie’s Sea Lion Stadium, and Reptile Discovery. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is perfect for families that love animals, families that love amusement parks, and especially families that love both.
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Six Flags Magic Mountain opened in 1971 as part of the Southern California amusement park boom. The park sits in Valencia which is just north of Los Angeles and many of the same park and ride designers that worked on Disneyland worked on it as well. The park is regularly featured in many famous movies and television shows, so it is quite common for visitors to recognize portions of it or certain rides when they have in fact never been there before.
Some of the more popular rides in the park include the Atom Smasher, Batman: The Ride, Buccaneer, Colossus, Cyclone 500, Dive Devil, Deja Vu, Gold Rusher, Jet Stream, Log Jammer, Ninja, The Riddler’s Revenge, Scream!, Superman: The Escape, Viper, and Yosemite Sam Sierra Falls. The park is also famous as an entertainment venue with many live shows available there by individuals and groups both big and small.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood was first started as a way to treat travelers coming to the entertainment capital of America with tours of actual Universal Studios sets, soundstages, and backlots. The facility grew to the point where now it is a fully functional theme park. They have even branched the idea off and now there are a number of Universal Studios parks in different places around the world. Today, the tour aspect is still kept active at the park, but it is largely overshadowed by the theme park operations. There are on-site accommodations and eating establishments to service those who come to the park and there is also a multi-screen theater.
Some of the popular attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood include Waterworld: A Live Sea War Spectacular, Shrek 4-D, The Simpsons Ride, T2 3-D: Battle Across Time, Universal’s House of Horrors, Jurrasic Park: The Ride, Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride, and Backdraft. As part of the still present studio tour, guests can see some of the best of the old attractions like Earthquake: The Big One, Jaws, and Flash Flood. Many sets still in use can be toured too including the television series’ Desperate Housewives’ Wisteria Lane. Universal Studios Hollywood is the perfect attraction for those interested in entertainment and a theme park at the very same time.
Visit these California Theme Parks with Orbitz
With orbitz vacation packages users can save over $400. Orbitz also offers the lowest price or they will give travelers cash back. Use an orbitz promo code for even more discounts. A California orbitz promotion code can result is extra money for those Disneyland souveniers.
Taking a vacation can be a fun and fabulous experience, but to make it extra special often requires doing something that is extra special. Incorporating a visit to a theme or amusement park during a vacation to California is a great way to add that special experience that cannot be duplicated elsewhere. Vacationers coming to California are already enjoying the sunny weather, the ocean beaches, the arid desert, the fabulous shopping, and so much more… they may as well enjoy the best of what the modern amusement park has to offer. Visiting any of the above theme parks during a California vacation is a great way to make memories that will last a lifetime.