The summer of 2008 is shaping up as a boom year for California’s theme parks, said Brady MacDonald in the Los Angeles Times. Many have been adding new attractions, and soaring gasoline prices may mean that more of the state’s tourists than ever will flock to it top thrill spots. Here is “a sneak peek at the shrieks and screams on tap.”
This year’s big draw is a new, live-action Indiana Jones–themed show. A free adventure map lets youngsters “search for clues that unlock some Internet goodies when they get home.”
Disney’s California Adventure, Anaheim
A $1.1 billion expansion is set to kick in at summer’s end, but there’s still plenty to enjoy now—notably, the 3-D, $80 million Toy Story Mania ride. “Prepare to be blown away.”
Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal City
The new Simpsons Ride has “amusement-park junkies and Simpsons fanatics salivating.”
Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park
The much-anticipated Pony Express roller coaster “straps riders to the back of a wild steed galloping at 38 mph.”
Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia
The former “roller coaster capital of the world” is exchanging thrills for family fare such as Bugs Bunny World and Wiggles World. Still, the recently overhauled X coaster “with rotating 360-degree seats” is breathtaking.
Legoland California, Carlsbad
The Lost Kingdom Adventure takes riders aboard an off-road vehicle that speeds through “ancient temple ruins while shooting at animated targets with laser blasters.”
SeaWorld, San Diego
Big Bird, Elmo, and the Sesame Street gang are in charge of a special aquatic-themed musical stage show and a “4-D” movie incorporating physical effects.