Feature

Getting the flavor of … California’s best amusement parks

Many of California's theme parks have added new attractions and new thrills.

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.”

Disneyland, Anaheim 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.”Contact: Disneyland.com

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.”Contact: Disneyland.com

Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal City The new Simpsons Ride has “amusement-park junkies and Simpsons fanatics salivating.”Contact: Universalstudioshollywood.com

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.”Contact: Knotts.com

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.Contact: Sixflags.com/magicmountain

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.”Contact: Legoland.com

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.Contact: Seaworld.com/sandiego

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