Theme Park Highlights in Southern California: Disneyland® Tickets and More!
If you are planning a visit to Southern California, you can’t miss out on visiting some of the country’s premier theme parks. With world-class rides and stunning attractions, Southern California theme parks are an unforgettable experience for the whole family. Here are some of the must-see rides and attractions at Southern California’s top theme parks.
Disneyland® Resort and its sister theme park Disney California Adventure located in Anaheim, CA, are the ultimate in Southern California theme parks with world-class rides and attractions that truly make it the Happiest Place on Earth.
1. It’s a Small World After All
Though not a white-knuckle adventure, this classic ride makes up the heart and soul of Disneyland® Resort. As one of the oldest rides featured at the park, It’s a Small World After All, is a trip filled with whimsy and nostalgia. With no height restrictions and gentle movement, it’s an excellent option for families with young kids. 2009 saw updates and new additions to the animatronic characters, so even the newest Disney fans will recognize their favorite classic characters.
2. Toy Story Midway Mania
Toy Story Midway Mania is an engaging, interactive ride loved by guests of all ages. The ride vehicles take you between scenes of your favorite Toy Story characters where interactive video game technology, 3D glasses and 4D effects like air blasts and water spray immerse you in the world of Toy Story. Onboard canons let you shoot targets, gain points, and beat your friends in a frenzied game play that will have you lining up again and again.
3. Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission – Breakout
With the success of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, the engineers at Disneyland® Resort decided to makeover the old Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride into a thrill-a-minute adventure ride with multiple rises and dizzying drops combined with humorous action from the Guardians. The ride enlists guests to help Rocket Racoon free the rest of the Guardians from the dastardly Collector. Mission – Breakout is a hugely popular ride, so be prepared for longer queues.
4. Indiana Jones Adventure
Inspired by the now classic movies, Indiana Jones Adventure uses state-of-the-art vehicle technology with onboard computers that sync up with the ride’s action. Amazingly, these intuitive computers can create over 160,000 different ride variations so you will never experience the same ride twice.
With mind-blowing special effects and highly detailed sets including dark, foreboding caverns and obstacles such as boulders and snakes, guests are transformed into 1930s era archaeological tourists exploring the Ancient Temple of the Forbidden Eye.
5. Pirates of the Caribbean
This classic Disney ride was the inspiration for the successful movie franchise, and now fans can see their favorite characters incorporated back into the ride. Pirates of the Caribbean is an amazing combination of superb storytelling and high-tech fun as guests float past scene of pirate adventures and experience subterranean treasure troves and even a splash down thrill.
Tickets and Packages
Disneyland® Resort rides and attractions are included in the price of your entry ticket, however, some special events and activities which must be purchased as a separate ticket.
At aRes Travel we offer a wide variety of Disneyland® Resort tickets and packages to suit your needs including 2, 3, 4- and 5-day single park entry tickets which allows you access to either Disneyland® Resort or Disney California Adventure. Or, for a more flexible option, we also have 2, 3, 4 and 5-day Park Hopper® tickets which allow you access to both parks in a single day.
We also offer Disney MAXPASS® as an add-on to your ticket which allows you to make Disney FASTPASS® selections via the mobile app and comes with unlimited Disney PhotoPass photo downloads so you can treasure the memories.
Universal Studios Hollywood ™
As the ultimate theme park for movie lovers and a working production studio, Universal Studios Hollywood™ stands out among the rest for its special effects rides and state-of-the-art technology.
1. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
This dark ride is featured as part of the elaborately themed Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and with the queue starting inside Hogwarts Castle, there is plenty to keep you occupied while you wait. After guests are seated inside the robotically controlled vehicles, they are transported into the amazingly detailed world of Harry Potter and taken on a whirling adventure including flying through the Floo network and attacks by the Whomping willow.
2. Studio Tour
Though not technically a ride, a tour around the studios is one of the must-experience attractions at the park. Using the old-fashioned studio trams, with commentary by knowledgeable tour guides, the tour takes you around the … making stops at the backlots, classic and contemporary studio sets, as well as working studio productions along the way.
It’s a leisurely 45-minute trip down memory lane full of nostalgia and a glimpse behind the scene at a real-life working Hollywood film studio.
3. King Kong 360
Incorporated into the studio tour is another Universal Studios’ highlight: King Kong 360. Using immersive motion simulator technology, the trams are clamped down onto a platform which makes you feel as though you are being tossed around during a battle between the King of the ape and a dinosaur.
4. Transformers – The Ride 3D
Transformers is a ride like no other, with state-of-the-art roving motion vehicles and high definition 3D projected scenes, this ride is totally immersive. Seated inside your transformer vehicle, Evac, you are recruited to help the Autobots defeat the Decepticons and save mankind. With Michael Bay’s distinctive cinematography, the fast-paced ride keeps on the edge of your seat.
This big-budget flop has been completely redeemed as one of Universal Studios most spectacular attractions. Viewers are transported to a post-apocalyptic world where the polar ice caps have melted, and the battle begins between the Smokers and out heroes. The stunt show thrills audiences with death defying stunts, unbelievable special effects, and dazzling pyrotechnics.
Tickets and Packages
There is so much to do and see at Universal Studio Hollywood™ that you would be hard-pressed to fit it all into a single day so at aRes Travel, we offer both 1-day and 2-day single park admission tickets.
If you want to upgrade your visit, try the Universal Express™ ticket which includes the cost of admission but also lets you skip the queue at every ride and attraction and gives you the best seat in the house for live shows.
1. Knott’s Berry Farm
Billed as America’s oldest theme park, Knott’s Berry Farm is often one of the most overlooked theme parks available in Southern California but offers some of the most thrilling rides you will find anywhere in the country. With its fun Western theme and huge variety of rides, this park is perfect for the whole family.
2. Silver Bullet
This extreme metal coaster is not for young visitors with a height restriction of 54-inches, and for good reason. Silver Bullet is an inverted white-knuckle death ride through a dizzying 146-ft series of curves, rolls, and loops with a total of six inversions while traveling at speeds of 55 mph.
The hydraulic launch ride is the highest and fastest rollercoaster in the entire park. Hitting 80 mph in 2.3 seconds, Xcelerator starts the ride with a bang, and the thrills continue as you head towards a 205-ft 90-degree drop.
4. Montezuma’s Revenge
As one of the last remaining shuttle looper rides left in the world, Montezuma’s Revenge is a must for any visitor to Knott’s Berry Farm. Hold on as the ride propels you forward and backward at 55 mph through a single loop, and with only lap bars and seatbelt to hold you in place; you are in for an extra thrilling ride.
5. Knott’s Scary Farm
As the oldest theme park Halloween event, the annual Knott’s Scary Farm has grown so big over the years, you will find it a challenge to experience everything in a single visit. From ambient fog throughout the park to seasonally themed attractions that incorporate the theme park’s mining and Old West theme such as “The Depths” or “Dark Entities” inspired by classic movie monsters. Halloween at Knott’s Berry Farm is one of the best theme park Halloween events in Southern California.
6. Calico Mine Ride
The Calico Mine Ride is one of the classic rides at Knott’s Farm. It is an elaborate dark ride with an Old West theme and over 120 carefully crafted characters. This gentle ride takes you on a slow locomotive ride through the Gold Rush-era mine past scenes of miners in dark caverns complete with immersive narration.
Tickets and Packages
A General Admission ticket gives you unlimited access to all the parks’ rides and attractions, excluding arcade games and some special events. For families who want to experience the Old West thrills and Knott’s Berry Farm, we offer the Knott’s Family Pack that gives you huge discounts when you buy three or more General Admission tickets.
You can also combine your trip to Knott’s Berry Farm with a trip to Knott’s Soak City for unlimited use of the water rides and attractions.
SeaWorld® San Diego
Combining entertainment with education about marine life and conservation, SeaWorld® San Diego is the ideal family theme park destination with plenty of animal encounters, live shows and thrilling rides to keep every member of the family entertained.
1. Tidal Twister
The newest addition to the park is also one of the most thrilling rides. Tidal Twister is a dueling roller coaster with two carriages that start at opposite ends of the ride. Traveling at 30 mph along a figure-8 track, the carriages cross in the middle completing a zero-G roll. This ride was specifically designed for the tween and teen visitors who want to start with moderate thrills before building up their courage to try an extreme rollercoaster.
Named for the giant ray, Manta is a flying coaster that lets guests experiences the grace of the manta ray combine with the sheer terror of a flying rollercoaster. Traveling smoothly at 56 mph, Manta propels you through a series of inversions and drops including a drop taking you 54-ft underground.
3. Electric Eel
As the fastest and tallest coast in San Diego, Electric Eel put SeaWorld® San Diego on the map as a destination for thrill seekers. Electric Eel is a triple launch rollercoaster that reaches speeds of 62 mph and heights of 150-feet taking you through twists and turns with spectacular views of Mission Bay.
4. Animal Encounters
You can’t go to SeaWorld® San Diego and miss the chance to see marine animals up close. Whether you catch one of the dazzling live shows featuring dancing dolphins and hilarious sea lions, or you can take a glimpse behind the scenes and view the animals with their trainers and have the opportunity to feed and pet and animal in a SeaWorld® animal encounter.
5. Electric Ocean
During the summer season, there are many incredible seasonal events to attend, but by far the most spectacular is Electric Ocean with a dance floor, DJs and laser show as well as a stunning light display on the Manta ride. For the perfect way to end your visit to SeaWorld® San Diego this summer, Electric Ocean is an incredible experience.
Tickets and Packages
To take advantage of different pricing for weekdays and weekends, we offer discounted tickets for weekday visitors. If you can’t see everything you want in a single day, we also have tickets that give you admission for seven consecutive days for the price of one.
Combine educational fun and thrilling rides with the ultimate dining experience at SeaWorld® San Diego with the All-Day Dining Package. Or, receive your general admission to SeaWorld® San Diego as part of the Go San Diego Pass which lets you explore some of the biggest attractions around the city.
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Boasting some of the biggest, fastest and most thrilling rides in the world, and voted as America’s Best Theme Park, Six Flags Magic Mountain is an adrenalin junkie’s dream destination.
1. Twisted Colossus
The original Colossus ride thrilled, and terrified fans for decades as was even featured in the hilarious Family Vacation film. However, this newest incarnation, the Twisted Colossus is monster of a ride with a hybrid steel and wood construction and an exciting mix of airtime, multiple drops and a heart-stopping Zero-G roll twisting passengers 360-degrees.
X2 is the world’s first 4th dimension track with coasters cars that sit outside the track and rotate 360-degrees independently from the train. The ride takes you along twists and drops, and the 4D cars send you soaring for an added adrenaline rush.
3. Justice League: Battle for Metropolis
It’s not just rollercoasters at Six Flags, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis is an interactive, roving motion, media-based dark ride that recruits passengers into the Justice League to battle The Joker and Lex Luthor. The game is fully immersive with intuitive vehicles that rotate and spin in sync with the gameplay while 3D footage is projected on multiple big screens.
4. Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom
If you have ever wanted to feel your heart in your mouth, then Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom is the ride for you. Climbing to a staggering 400-feet before plummeting at speeds of up to 85 mph, this drop ride is not for the fainted -heart. Naturally, height restrictions apply, so this ride is not for young kids or people with heart conditions or who are pregnant.
Crazanity takes the classic fair pendulum ride to an extreme level. Clearing 170 feet and reaching top speeds of 75 mph, puts this swinging thrill ride as one of the tallest and fastest pendulum rides in the world.
Tickets and Packages
General Admission tickets for Six Flags Magic Mountain give you access to all the park’s thrilling rides and attractions. And, if you can’t get enough or death-defying rides, you can combine your Six Flags visit with another of Southern California’s amazing theme parks with one of our ticket packages.
For exclusive deals on discounted Disneyland® Resort, Six Flags, Universal Studios Hollywood™ and other theme park tickets, amazing savings on packages and hotels, and some of the lowest prices on travel, call 1 (800) 434-7894 (international callers use +1 (619) 546-5622) to speak with an aRes Travel planning expert seven days a week, or book online now.
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