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California Amusement Park Vacation

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California Is About Classic Entertainment

It's easy to feel dizzied by California's electric array of amusement parks, especially when they feature so many dramatic roller coasters and gravity-defying rides. Luckily for you, we've curated a guide to the very best The Golden State has to offer! Whether you're in search of some serious entertainment without the hefty price tag, or you're all about an all-access pass to the world's most famous attractions, we've got the information you need to plan an unforgettable California amusement park vacation.

Amusement Parks in California: Top Accommodations

House Bodega Bay
Jun 17 - Jun 24
-22%
$160
$125 per night
House ∙ 6 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms

House in Bodega Bay with Patio

4.0
Very good (42 ratings)
Bodega Bay, Sonoma County, California
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House Gualala
Oct 15 - Oct 22
$369 per night
House ∙ 10 guests ∙ 4 bedrooms

Vacation Home in Gualala with Grill + Panoramic Views

5.0
Outstanding (23 ratings)
Gualala, Mendocino County, California
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House Chula Vista
Aug 18 - Aug 25
-37%
$260
$163 per night
House ∙ 6 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms

Beautiful Vacation Home in Chula Vista with Grill & Patio

4.3
Very good (16 ratings)
Chula Vista, San Diego County, California
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Best California Amusement Parks for Budget Travellers

Best California Amusement Parks for Budget Travellers

California isn't just about package deals and pricey entertainment, though. There are plenty of quality experiences available in California to those on a budget – the climate alone is worth traveling for!

  • 1. Knott's Berry Farm

    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.

  • 2. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

    This sprawling theme park is located approximately 40 miles from Downtown San Francisco. Its impressive range of roller coasters twist and tower above the Northern California landscape. Thrill seekers will be delighted to hear that Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has plenty of white-knuckle rides on offer, while still offering exceptional value for money.

Best Places to Stay for Amusement Parks in California

Private room Six Flags Magic Mountain
Jun 1 - Jun 8
$72 per night
Private room ∙ 2 guests ∙ 1 bedroom

Private Room in Santa Clarita

Six Flags Magic Mountain, Los Angeles County, California, United States
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Apartment Six Flags Magic Mountain
Jun 29 - Jul 6
$271 per night
Apartment ∙ 7 guests ∙ 1 bedroom

Rental Apartment in Valencia with Sauna, Grill & Pool

5.0
Outstanding (4 ratings)
Six Flags Magic Mountain, Los Angeles County, California, United States
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House Six Flags Magic Mountain
Jun 28 - Jul 5
$220 per night
House ∙ 4 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms

Vacation Home in Saugus with Pool & Grill

Six Flags Magic Mountain, Los Angeles County, California, United States
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Best California Amusement Parks for Thrillseekers

Best California Amusement Parks for Thrillseekers

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.

  • 1. Six Flags Magic Mountain

    Six Flags is home to some of California's most extreme thrill rides. The Apocalypse roller coaster 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 roller coaster and tops out at a height of 255 dizzying feet.

  • 2. California's Great America

    Home to the Gold Striker, a wooden roller coaster which is considered amongst the best in the world, California’s Great America is a great option for those located or traveling to the Bay Area. Located around 8 miles from Downtown San Jose, this multifaceted park has something for the whole family to enjoy. Roller coaster fans will also love Patriot and Flight Deck.

  • 3. SeaWorld San Diego

    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 roller coasters.

Recommended Accommodations for Amusement Parks in California

House Knott's Berry Farm
Feb 8 - Feb 15
$637 per night
House ∙ 14 guests ∙ 6 bedrooms

Wonderful House in Sherwood Forest & Thistle Development

4.8
Outstanding (17 ratings)
Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park, California, United States
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Villa Knott's Berry Farm
Feb 8 - Feb 15
$609 per night
Villa ∙ 15 guests ∙ 5 bedrooms

Villa in West Anaheim with Optional Pool

5.0
Outstanding (15 ratings)
Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park, California, United States
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House Knott's Berry Farm
Sep 2 - Sep 9
-41%
$1,277
$753 per night
House ∙ 20 guests ∙ 5 bedrooms

Vacation Home in Fullerton with Mandatory Pool

4.7
Excellent (179 ratings)
Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park, California, United States
Free cancellation
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Best California Amusement Parks for Families

Best California Amusement Parks for Families

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.

  • 1. Disneyland

    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.

  • 2. Disney California Adventure Park

    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 roller coasters 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 roller coasters, rides, and other attractions.

  • 3. LEGOLAND California

    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.

Top Offers for Amusement Parks in California

House Universal Studios Hollywood
Oct 5 - Oct 12
$250 per night
House ∙ 7 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms

Lovely Vacation Home in Studio City, Next to Universal Studios Hollywood

5.0
Outstanding
Universal Studios Hollywood, Central LA, California, United States
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Apartment Universal Studios Hollywood
Jul 30 - Aug 6
$181 per night
Apartment ∙ 4 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms

Charming Apartment in Toluca Lake

Universal Studios Hollywood, Central LA, California, United States
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House Universal Studios Hollywood
Jun 8 - Jun 15
$506 per night
House ∙ 6 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms

House in Hollywood Hills with Pool, Yard & Jacuzzi

Universal Studios Hollywood, Central LA, California, United States
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Information about California Amusement Park Vacation

😎 Least busy month June
🥳 Busiest month March
🛏️ Popular home types House rental and Condo
🌡️ Hottest months July and August
❄️ Coldest months 34 °F in January and December
🌧️ Rainiest months March and December

Frequently Asked Questions

California Amusement Park Vacation: What is the price per night for a stay?

HomeToGo has ideal vacation rentals, with rates as low as $72 per night.

California Amusement Park Vacation: is there a good selection of vacation rentals for large groups?

The average size for a House rental is 188 m² and can fit 8 people on average which is ideal for large groups.

California Amusement Park Vacation: what kinds of vacation rentals are available in California?

You can browse 47,302 House rentals and 14,118 Condos in California right here on HomeToGo.

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California Theme Park Index 2023 - HomeToGo
Coasting through the Best and Most Affordable Amusement Parks for 2023

California Theme Park Index 2023

Want to plan a thrilling theme park vacation in California? To celebrate the start of amusement park season, HomeToGo has released it's annual ranking of the top theme parks in California. From Santa Monica to Santa Clara, we've researched the latest prices at some of the biggest and most popular theme parks across the state.

To help our travelers plan an unforgettable getaway, this index takes into account each park's affordability as well as the number of rides and attractions. This invaluable information will let you know where you can find the most thrills for your dollar this summer.

So fasten your shoulder straps and get ready to dive into the 2023 California Theme Park Index.

Top Theme Parks, Ranked by Price

Theme Park
State
Country
Entry
Parking
Accommodation
Total Cost
Affordability Score (Points)
1
Knott's Berry Farm
CA
USA
$84.99
$25.00
$45.60
$155.59
20.00
2
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
CA
USA
$49.99
$40.00
$92.59
$182.58
17.26
3
Belmont Park
CA
USA
$60.00
$0.00
$126.74
$186.74
16.83
4
California's Great America
CA
USA
$49.99
$30.00
$117.66
$197.65
15.72
5
Pacific Park
CA
USA
$40.00
$15.00
$153.23
$208.23
14.65
6
Six Flags Magic Mountain
CA
USA
$74.99
$40.00
$117.66
$232.65
12.16
7
SeaWorld San Diego
CA
USA
$109.99
$35.00
$142.04
$287.03
6.63
=8
Disneyland Park
CA
USA
$169.00
$30.00
$90.03
$289.03
6.43
=8
Disney California Adventure Park
CA
USA
$169.00
$30.00
$90.03
$289.03
6.43
10
Universal Studios Hollywood
CA
USA
$134.00
$30.00
$188.25
$352.25
0.00
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For more info on the prices and how we scored this index, please see the methodology below.

Best Amusement Parks, Based on Number of Attractions

Theme Park
State
Country
Roller Coasters
Other Attractions
Total Attractions
Attraction Score (Points)
1
Six Flags Magic Mountain
CA
USA
20
21
41
20.00
2
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
CA
USA
10
30
40
19.39
3
California's Great America
CA
USA
9
30
39
18.79
4
Knott's Berry Farm
CA
USA
9
26
35
16.36
5
Disneyland Park
CA
USA
3
22
25
10.30
6
Disney California Adventure Park
CA
USA
2
19
21
7.88
7
SeaWorld San Diego
CA
USA
5
11
16
4.85
8
Universal Studios Hollywood
CA
USA
2
10
12
2.42
9
Pacific Park
CA
USA
1
10
11
1.82
10
Belmont Park
CA
USA
1
7
8
0.00
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Top Theme Parks in California, Overall

Theme Park
State
Country
Affordability Score
Attraction Score
Overall Score
1
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
CA
USA
17.26
19.39
36.65
2
Knott's Berry Farm
CA
USA
20.00
16.36
36.36
3
California's Great America
CA
USA
15.72
18.79
34.51
4
Six Flags Magic Mountain
CA
USA
12.16
20.00
32.16
5
Belmont Park
CA
USA
16.83
0.00
16.83
6
Disneyland Park
CA
USA
6.43
10.30
16.73
7
Pacific Park
CA
USA
14.65
1.82
16.47
8
Disney California Adventure Park
CA
USA
6.43
7.88
14.31
9
SeaWorld San Diego
CA
USA
6.63
4.85
11.48
10
Universal Studios Hollywood
CA
USA
0.00
2.42
2.42
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Spotlight: Top 5 Best and Most Affordable Theme Parks 

Based on HomeToGo’s research, here’s a snapshot of the most affordable theme parks to visit this summer:

  1. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

Methodology

The theme parks included in this ranking include those that are located in California and are most searched by travelers using HomeToGo.com with travel dates between June 1st, 2023 and August 31st, 2023. In order to rank these theme parks, we researched 5 data points: the price of entry, the price of parking, the price of a nearby accommodations, the number of roller coasters, and the number of other attractions. After obtaining the raw data, we combined the data points into either Total Cost or Total Attractions and assigned each them a representative numerical value between 0 and 20, with 0 representing the lowest data point and 20 representing the highest data point. The hypothetical "perfect score" would be 40 out of 40. We used the following equation in order to calculate this for every factor:

Score(i) = 20 · (x(i) - xmin ) / (xmax - xmin )


Affordability Score

Total Cost: Entry + Parking + Accommodation

Entry: Online price for an adult 1-day, any day entry ticket in the peak season. If dynamic pricing was enabled, June 3rd 2023 was used as the dummy date.

Parking: Online price for 1 day of regular parking, purchased in advance, as listed on park website. If dynamic pricing was enabled, June 3rd 2023 was used as the dummy date.

Accommodation: Median nightly price per person to stay in an accommodation found nearby on HomeToGo.com between the dates of June 1st, 2023 and August 31st, 2023.

Attractions Score

Total Attractions: Roller coasters + Other Attractions

Roller coasters: Based on the number of active roller coasters listed on coasterpedia.com.

Other attractions: Based on the number of rides, experiences, exhibits, and simulations listed on coasterpedia.com.

Research was conducted during May 2023. Processing fees and taxes not included. For additional information and interview requests, please contact [email protected].

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