Southern California Theme Parks Are Calling This Summer

Find out what are the new rides, family fun and entertainment venues



The LEGO Star Wars X-wing starfighter, unveiled in New York’s Times Square, is made of 5 million LEGO bricks that took a team of 32 Master Model Builders more than 17,000 hours to construct.

Courtesy of LEGOLAND

If you’re looking for a way to beat the desert heat this summer, the handful of theme parks within driving distance might be calling your name. Before you pack up the kids (or the kids-at-heart) for a summer road trip, read up on what’s new at these Southern California theme parks.

Disneyland
2012 was the year of renovations for California Adventure, with additions like Cars Land and Buena Vista Street offering park-goers brand new experiences. This summer, Disneyland is revamping its entertainment lineup with its new “Mickey and the Magical Map” show, a live stage production that includes familiar faces from Disney classics like “The Little Mermaid,” “The Jungle Book” and “Pocahontas.”

Meanwhile, the little ones can meet Disney princesses at the new Fantasy Faire storybook village, which also hosts live storytelling performances of “Beauty and the
 Beast” and “Tangled.”

Knott’s Berry Farm
Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park is introducing three new family-friendly rides to its Boardwalk this summer.

First up is the Pacific Scrambler, a classic carnival attraction that spins riders about in all directions. The second addition is Surfside Gliders, where riders pilot their own gliders as they fly through the air with birds-eye views of the Boardwalk. And finally, the park is also welcoming Coast Rider, a family-friendly roller coaster filled with curves and turns reminiscent of the California coast.

LEGOLAND
The force is with LEGOLAND this summer: the hands-on theme park is introducing a new Star Wars X-Wing Starfighter that also happens to be the largest LEGO model in the world.

The X-Wing is made of more than 5 million LEGO bricks, weighs nearly 46,000 pounds and will be on display through the end of the year.

The park is also introducing a 4-D movie, “Legends of Chima,” that takes guests on a journey of good versus evil in a magical animal kingdom with special effects like wind and water.

Your LEGOLAND vacation doesn’t have to end when the park closes, thanks to the newly opened Legoland Hotel. Rooms come in pirate, kingdom or adventure themes, and kids get their own bunk beds and TV. Of course, plenty of LEGO-rich play areas also line the property, keeping youngsters busy as they pretend to be knights in the atrium’s castle or fight LEGO dragons on their quest for treasure.

SeaWorld San Diego
Summer is bringing a new musical show to SeaWorld San Diego. “Madagascar Live! Operation Vacation” is a 20-minute performance that follows a familiar cast of “Madagascar” characters, including Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, the penguins and King Julian, as they vacation and party with the audience.  A live band and dancers round out the show.

SeaWorld is also helping visitors cool off this summer with its new Aquatica Waterpark. Dozens of water slides and rides, a 1,250-foot lazy river and one of Southern California’s largest wave pools will help the family beat the heat at SeaWorld.

Six Flags Magic Mountain
Ready to inject a dose of adrenaline into your summer? Then look no further than Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia. While the roller coaster mecca has always boasted a formidable number of thrilling rides, this summer brings the introduction of Full Throttle, the tallest and fastest looping roller coaster in the world.

You’ll be flying 160 feet in the air at speeds of up to 70 mph, and if that’s not enough thrill for you, keep in mind that you’ll also be tackling this coaster both backward and forward.

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Desert Guide
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Robert Duvall, "Birdman" Director to Receive Palm Springs Film Festival Awards

Decorated actor Robert Duvall will receive the Icon Award and Academy Award-nominee Alejandro G. Iñárritu will be presented with the Director of the Year Award for "Birdman" at the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival's annual Awards Gala on Jan. 3.

The Palm Springs Hotel Reflects History, Design of Yesteryear

The Palm Springs Hotel, a renovated 1950s property, is a striking mix of midcentury modern meets industrial chic with a bit of European flair. Think clean lines, ceramic tiles, and adorable Parisian inspired cafe tables.

Terry Fator Celebrates Christmas With Fantasy Springs Show

Calling himself a total 'Christmas nut', comedian and ventriloquist Terry Fator brings a holiday-themed show Dec. 20 to the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.

Frank Sinatra Jr. Helps Bring in 2015 at Riviera Palm Springs

Frank Sinatra Jr. will help New Years Eve revelers bring in 2015 when he performs at the Riviera Palm Springs featuring songs from his legendary father and Palm Springs icon, Frank Sinatra, and his own.

Indian Wells Golf Resort Hosts Pro-Am Invitational

The Indian Wells Pro-Am Invitational golf event will tee-off Jan. 31, 2015 at the prestigious Players Course at Indian Wells Golf Resort.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Fashionista Friends

Fashionista Friends

Experience the glitz and glamour of Fashion Week El Paseo 2015.
2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Edit ModuleShow Tags