Southern California Theme Parks Offer Something for Everyone

Families who enjoy theme parks are in for a special treat when visiting Southern California. The area hosts a number of fun parks to explore and enjoy.


The LEGOLAND theme park complex in Carlsbad is a complete vacation destination. In addition to LEGOLAND California — the main theme park — it includes an aquarium, a water park, and two hotels.

During the day, visitors have access to 60 rides in the main park. The water park features multiple slides, beaches, and the exciting Build-a-Raft River, which lets you build your own LEGO raft and float down a river on it.

At night, two themed hotels offer even more fun, with thousands of LEGO models on display.


Walt Disney himself oversaw the design of Disneyland in Anaheim. Various themed “lands” make up the park. Each one offers something different and special.

Disneyland has three hotels to choose from on property, with several others located within a short walk of the resort. The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is spacious and elegant, offering pure comfort. The Paradise Pier Hotel sends you back in time with a California boardwalk feel — with modern amenities, of course. The Disneyland Hotel puts you right by the park’s attractions and offers unique monorail waterslides.

The resort area also includes Disney California Adventure Park. Celebrate California’s past, present, and future here, along with Marvel and Pixar-themed rides, live entertainment, and more.

Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott’s could be the oldest theme park in the United States. It dates all the way back to the 1920s when it consisted of a roadside berry stand. Eventually, that turned into a restaurant and shops, with more features being added over the years. Now, it’s 160 acres with 40 rides and even a water park.

In the main park, you’ll find roller coasters and railroads. The Old West Ghost Town sends you back in time while Camp Snoopy lets you hang out with the Peanuts gang.

The Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel accommodates a range of visitors, from families to business travelers. Kids can enjoy an entire wing with a Snoopy theme as well as a special activity area. There’s also a restaurant if you don’t feel like going far for your meals.

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Santa Clarita is home to Six Flags Magic Mountain, which dubs itself the “thrill capital of the world.”

Adventurous adults can try the Full Throttle roller coaster, which has one of the tallest vertical loops in the world. Kids can join the fun on a more family-friendly coaster like the Canyon Blaster. There are also carousels and even an adventure tour lead by Daffy Duck. The entire family can enjoy live entertainment, such as meeting the Justice League or the Looney Tunes characters.

Universal Studios Hollywood

This Los Angeles attraction combines a theme park with a Hollywood movie studio, making it truly unique.

The Studio Tour takes you behind the scenes of the studio itself. Trams carry visitors through the backlot, where they get a glimpse of film and TV sets, including sets where “Back to the Future,” “War of the Worlds,” and “Desperate Housewives” were filmed.

Universal Studios Hollywood also contains The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You can visit Hogwarts, shop in Hogsmeade, and ride Flight of the Hippogriff, a roller coaster designed for the whole family.

Whether you’re traveling from across the country or you live nearby, you’ll find something to do in Southern California’s theme parks.

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