California amusement park vacations are a child's dream. Come to the place with "where dreams are made." It's not just the prevalence of fairytale castles, though. California's amusement parks are plentiful, and young and old will marvel at this mecca of Western entertainment.
This 72-acre theme park is devoted to a figure that looms large among California's cultural giants. Disney's influence on the state is as vast as the rollercoasters that dominate the park's skyline. You'll meet all of your favorite cartoon characters from the worlds of Pixar and Marvel, too. Explore the seven themed regions of the park, all crammed with rollercoasters, rides, and other attractions.
Delve into this 262-acre theme park in Santa Clarita, just 35 miles from central Los Angeles. Six Flags is perfect for families. Here, you'll find heart-pumping rollercoasters along with soft-play options for toddlers. What's more, there's a waterpark where kids can wade and slide to their heart's content. Expect visits from your favorite cartoon characters and a packed schedule of seasonal special events.
The hundred-year history of this unique theme park is a testament to its iconic allure. What was once a simple family farm has grown into a vast 160-acre playground that's enjoyed by families from all over the world. From the waterpark to famous farm cuisine and the Old West Ghost Town, the delights of this characterful attraction never cease to please its patrons, both young and old.
Visit the oldest and best known of Hollywood's star-studded film studios. Tours explore the mystique of filmmaking and culminate at a 7-story IMAX theater.
Adrenaline junkies make the pilgrimage to California from all over the world. Known as the epicenter of many of the planet's fastest and most famous rides, California boasts some of the most thrilling amusement parks.
Six Flags is home to some of California's most extreme thrill rides. The Apocalypse rollercoaster drops you from a height of 75 feet, while Batman: The Ride takes you on a curious loop-the-loop trail at what feels like supersonic speed. For those who like their fun fuel injected, there's Full Throttle, a ride that features 160-foot loops. Ever ridden a hypercoaster? Goliath is even faster than your usual rollercoaster and tops out at a height of 255 dizzying feet.
Built under the watchful eye of Walt Disney, Disneyland California may be 50 years old, but offers plenty of fast-paced entertainment. Eight themed districts let visitors explore a shifting mirage of fanciful environments, each with exciting themed rides. Splash about on the Matterhorn Bobsleds, or whizz along the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Don't miss California Screamin', a state-of-the-art roller coaster that will leave you breathless.
California isn't just about package deals and pricey entertainment, though. There are plenty of quality experiences available in California to those on a shoestring – the climate alone is worth traveling for.
Compared with the premium amusement alternatives available in California, this LEGO-themed park purveys more cost-effective fun. The park is constructed of more than 20 million LEGO bricks. With an extensive miniature park, aquarium, and plenty of roller coasters, there's much enjoyment to be had here, whatever your age.
Visit SeaWorld San Diego for less with a joint pass, which lets you access San Diego Zoo, the Safari Park, and Seaworld over the course of several days. The CityPASS also reduces the price of your ticket. Inside SeaWorld, you'll get the chance to experience dynamic animal shows featuring all your furry (and scaly) favorites, and ride gripping rollercoasters.
Another option for fun seekers on a budget is Santa Cruz's famous boardwalk. Enjoy the golden sand and views over the sparkling ocean for free at this landmark destination. An assortment of roller coasters and thrilling rides are joined by plenty of entertainment, retail, and dining venues. Year-round, special events complete the picture-perfect day out in the Californian sunshine you can enjoy at this park.