Exploring the Southern California Theme Parks

Dwelling on the east coast, I all the time have romantic notions of California. I’ve usually fairly envious of their stunning climate, palm timber, relaxed life-style, attractive Southern California seashores, and fabulous family-friendly actions.

Whereas I normally go to the Orlando theme parks, there are some incredible Southern California theme parks as effectively. Even should you stay nearer to the East Coast, I undoubtedly advocate visiting the West Coast to discover the California theme parks. If you’re situated within the California space, you would embrace theme park visits in your weekend getaway in Southern California.

I’ve had the chance to go to a number of of those theme parks for gratis for evaluation. All opinions are my very own. This publish incorporates affiliate hyperlinks. A purchase order via considered one of these hyperlinks might lead to a fee paid to us at no further price to you.

Lower your expenses in your Disneyland tickets and your Southern California trip by reserving via Get Away As we speak. You too can save $10 in your Southern California trip of two days or extra with the code FTM10. We booked our most up-to-date two journeys to Disneyland via Get Away As we speak.

Blue suitcase with globe and arrow
Pixar pier with Incredicoaster at Disney California Adventure, one of the theme parks in Southern California

Exploring the Theme Parks in Southern California.

Disneyland Resort

When visiting the California theme parks, you’ll completely have to return to the place all of it started. Disneyland Resort in Anaheim California was the primary Disney theme park, and it’s a lot enjoyable for households.

Sights on the Disneyland Resort embrace iconic rides prefer it’s a small world, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Area Mountain, Huge Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Haunted Mansion. Youthful youngsters will love seeing the Disney characters, in addition to the rides at Fantasyland, together with Mr. Toad’s Wild Experience, Peter Pan, and Alice in Wonderland.

Though the ToonTown in Orlando closed years in the past to make method for a brand new Fantasyland, Disneyland California nonetheless has a sturdy ToonTown. Little youngsters will love the colourful colours of the ToonTown buildings. It now boasts one of many latest Disney rides – Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

Disneyland additionally provides exhibits and parades all through the day, in addition to character interactions, scrumptious eating places (and yummy snacks), and enjoyable retailers.

Pixar Pier

Disney California Journey

The newer of the 2 Disneyland Resort parks is Disney’s California Journey. It’s situated adjoining to Disneyland Park, and you may simply stroll from one park to the opposite all through the day. You’ll solely have to undergo safety as soon as. Simply remember the fact that park reservations are at present required, and also you aren’t capable of park hop till after 11 am.

Disney’s California Journey provides a lot of family-friendly sights as effectively, together with Toy Story Mania, CarsLand (undoubtedly make sure you go to Radiator Springs Racers), Soarin’ Across the World, and Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! Thrill seekers will certainly need to go on the Incredicoaster (the one trip at Disneyland Resort that goes the wrong way up) and Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout.

California Journey can also be dwelling to the brand new Avengers Campus. This space of the park provides a more moderen trip – WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Journey.

When visiting Disneyland, you’ll have the choice of a number of completely different ticket sorts. We undoubtedly advocate getting the park hopper in your tickets so you possibly can go to each parks in in the future. You’ll additionally need to obtain the Disneyland app, and contemplate buying Genie+ if you wish to save time throughout your day(s) at Disneyland.

With Genie+, you pay a separate payment however will have the ability to guide a return time on the app. There’s additionally the chance to buy particular person lightning lane entry to the preferred rides – at present Radiator Springs Racers, Star Wars Rise of the Resistance, and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

There are three on property Disney resorts situated adjoining to the parks. As well as, there are a selection of “Good Neighbor” resorts which can be situated proper throughout the road from the parks. Many of those are chain resorts, and a number of other provide outside water parks for friends.

Throughout our final two visits, we stayed on the Howard Johnson Anaheim Resort, the Westin Anaheim Resort, and the Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance and actually cherished all three. For those who select to guide via Get Away As we speak, you can even embrace considered one of these resorts.

Basically, it’s best to plan to spend about 2-3 days on the Disneyland Resort should you’d prefer to expertise many of the sights on the property. You will be extra environment friendly should you get the park hopper choice in your ticket.

Camp Snoopy

Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott’s Berry Farm, the oldest theme park in California, grew from humble beginnings to a theme park full of kiddie rides and world-class thrill rides. It’s situated in Buena Park, California, which is about 20 minutes from Anaheim. Along with Knott’s Berry Farm Park, there’s additionally Knott’s Soak Metropolis, a water park that’s open seasonally. It’s a lot greater than an amusement park!

Knott’s Berry Farm is dwelling to Camp Snoopy, part of the park themed after the loveable Peanuts gang. That is undoubtedly most acceptable for youthful youngsters. Along with rides, you’ll additionally discover character meet and greets in addition to exhibits that includes the characters.

Older youngsters will completely love the joys rides at Knott’s Berry Farm. There are such a lot of quick coasters that go the wrong way up. My favourite of the rides is the Supreme Scream. This trip climbs up 252 ft within the air. You’ll have a cut up second to benefit from the attractive view earlier than plummeting.

When you are there, you’ll undoubtedly have to go to Mrs. Knott’s Hen Dinner Restaurant. It’s situated exterior the park, so that you gained’t want a park ticket to go to, and it includes a scrumptious fried rooster entree that comes with biscuits, mashed potatoes, and gravy.

I feel you would undoubtedly go to Knott’s Berry Farm in a day. There may be an affiliated lodge situated adjoining to the park that’s extraordinarily handy, or you would keep within the larger Los Angeles space. I’d most likely plan to remain close to Disneyland, and drive/Uber into Knott’s.

Legoland California

LEGOLAND California

After we visited San Diego with our youngsters just a few years in the past, the youngsters completely HAD to go to LEGOLAND California. It’s situated in Carlsbad, CA, a few half hour from San Diego and an hour from Anaheim.

LEGOLAND California might be most acceptable for youths as much as about 12 years outdated. The park options rides, LEGO displays, exhibits, and character greetings. There’s additionally an adjoining water park. If you’re simply visiting the theme park, you would undoubtedly go for simply in the future.

There are two LEGO-themed resorts on the property – the LEGOLAND Lodge and the LEGOLAND Fort Lodge. These resorts are good for a LEGO lover – they’re fully themed in full LEGO!

You’ll additionally discover a SEA LIFE Aquarium on the property. You possibly can improve your common LEGOLAND ticket to incorporate SEA LIFE. This publish will help in case you are attempting to determine on Disneyland vs LEGOLAND.

SeaWorld San Diego

Whereas I haven’t visited the San Diego model of SeaWorld, I’ve been to SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Antonio. My youngsters have all the time cherished our visits to SeaWorld, particularly as they’ve gotten older. The park is full of enjoyable rides, together with a lot of thrill rides.

For youthful youngsters, there’s the Sesame Avenue Bay of Play, which incorporates three rides which can be nice for youthful youngsters. Thrill seekers will take pleasure in one of many latest rides – the Electrical Eel Curler Coaster. It’s the tallest coaster in San Diego and consists of drops, twists, and turns. There are additionally just a few water rides, together with Journey to Atlantis and Shipwreck Rapids.

SeaWorld San Diego is situated alongside Mission Bay and might be a simple one-day journey. If you’re staying within the Anaheim space, you possibly can journey all the way down to San Diego for the day, or there are many San Diego resorts close to SeaWorld. A few of them provide complimentary shuttles to the park. In season, SeaWorld additionally operates the Aquatica Water Park, which is situated in Chula Vista, CA.

Common Studios Hollywood

This leisure and movie-themed park is a must-visit for film lovers. The most well-liked sights are the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in addition to the World-Well-known Studio Tour. There’s additionally Springfield U.S.A. – dwelling of the Simpsons, and Tremendous Nintendo World.

There are a number of close by resorts – just a few that provide trip packages with Common Studios Hollywood.

Tips for visiting the San Diego zoo

San Diego Zoo 

Though it’s not a theme park, the San Diego Zoo is certainly value a go to. It will get very busy, so it’s a good suggestion to reach early. Throughout our go to, we arrived when it opens and nonetheless confronted an extended line to park and enter the zoo.

When you select your ticket sort, buy your ticket, and enter the zoo, you’ll have the choice of taking a double-decker bus tour. Whereas it is a nice solution to discover the zoo and make a recreation plan in your day, we opted out as a result of it didn’t begin till half-hour after the zoo opened.

One other choice to journey across the zoo is the Skyfari, which runs from one nook of the zoo to a different. We used the Skyfari as a solution to stroll much less, however it was additionally a enjoyable little trip. Admission could also be further, relying on the kind of ticket you might have.

After all, as a zoo, there are a great deal of animal displays to see. My youngsters particularly cherished the koala exhibit, as a result of we had by no means seen them earlier than. There are additionally dozens of different animals, in addition to exhibits, particular displays, and extra.

Attending to These Southern California Theme Parks

There are fairly just a few airports which can be handy to those Southern California Theme Parks. Los Angeles Worldwide Airport (LAX) is certainly the biggest and hottest, however different smaller airports could also be extra handy and even cheaper.

Throughout my current journey to the LA space, I flew in via the Lengthy Seaside Airport (LBG). It’s a really small airport, however may be very straightforward to navigate. There’s additionally the John Wayne Airport (SNA), which can also be centrally situated.

Different choices embrace the Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR), Ontario Worldwide Airport (ONT), and the San Diego Worldwide Airport (SAN). If you’re visiting each LA and San Diego, it’s possible you’ll contemplate flying in via one airport and out via one other.

Entrance to LEGOLAND Hotel, roller coaster and Snoopy in canoe figure, Mickey wheel and roller coaster.

Regularly Requested Questions

Do I would like a automotive for my go to to the Southern California theme parks?

If you’re planning to remain at or proper close to Disneyland, you don’t essentially want one. In any other case, I’d extremely advocate having a automotive. You possibly can see rental costs right here.

Can I buy a bundle together with tickets to a number of sights?

Our affiliate, Get Away As we speak, provides packages with tickets to completely different sights.

The place ought to I keep for my Southern California theme park trip?

I’d most likely advocate staying in Anaheim, which is the place you’ll spend your time at Disneyland, or at a location nearer to the seashore.

How do I get from LAX to Anaheim?

For those who aren’t renting a automotive, you’ll have a number of choices. You possibly can take a trip share or taxi, or a shuttle bus. Be sure to have left loads of time to get again to LAX as a result of the site visitors will be terrible.

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