Okay, so who wouldn’t want to write a blog about amusement parks? You can’t live in Southern California without hearing the words “Disneyland” or “Universal Studios” on an almost daily basis. Southern California is home to so many theme parks—Universal Studios, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Knotts Berry Farm, Lego Land, Disney’s California Adventure, and of course, Disneyland! (that’s not even the full list!)—that, no matter where you live in Los Angeles, you are never more than a couple of hours from endless fun, epic thrills, and fantastic adventure! Most amusement parks even offer special discounted rates for SoCal residents and special local deals such as “buy a day, get the rest of the year for free!”
Whether you are looking for an easy-going family retreat or a hair-raising adrenaline rush, there is a park for everyone. Universal Studios’ compact size and prime location approximately 10 minutes north of Downtown LA and a mere skip over the Hollywood Hills (and even closer to Studio City!) make it the perfect amusement park for anyone with limited time to spend or who may be stricken by a spur-of-the-moment craving for adventure. The park features delights and thrills for all ages. However, film and television buffs will find the park especially tailored to them as it operates partially on the actual (and active) Universal Studios lot! The studio tram takes park visitors through the Universal backlot and around LIVE sets of their favorite current and former TV shows and movies. Some of the attractions are even built into old soundstages. And don’t forget to visit the newly opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter and The Simpsons-themed, Springfield, USA!
If you are a pure adrenaline junkie, perhaps you are more into rollercoasters and thrills than theme worlds and movies. Six Flags Magic Mountain has you covered! Less than an hour from Larchmont Village, Six Flags Magic Mountain holds the world record for most rollercoasters in an amusement park! With currently over 100 rides and 18 rollercoasters, it has earned the title “Thrill Capital of the World!” I would be near impossible to tackle the entire park in one day, so taking advantage of season pass or membership deal is the best way to go. (Tip: spring for the one that includes parking- it adds up!) I may be headed here this summer with my girls.
If you are TRULY dedicated to getting lost in a world of fantasy and adventure, then Disneyland and Disneyland California Adventure are the parks for you. As the most famous amusement park in the world, Disneyland has a reputation to uphold. Don’t plan on finishing either park in one day, as they cover a total of over 140 acres (not including to 100-acre parking lot). Disneyland is more family oriented with rides and attractions from many classic Disney movies, but it is not just for children- adults will easily get swept up in the nostalgia. California Adventure is the newer and rowdier side featuring more thrills and high-octane amusement. It still caters to all age-ranges though and includes rides from more recent themes like Cars Land. It should be noted that Disneyland is currently undergoing major renovations thanks to the constructions of the all new Star Wars Land, slated for completion in 2018.
Which one is your favorite?
(Looking for something a little more relaxing than an amusement park? Check out these nearby public parks.)