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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > California Trip

California Trip

chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile

Posted:
7/5/13 at
11:53:14 AM

I am planning on taking my first California trip next year.I guess my first question would be what month is the best to hit up California parks? I prefer minimal crowds but I do want all the water parks to be operating also.

Re: California Trip by LoneStar LoneStar Profile at 7/5/13 5:28:57 PM
Don't miss Six Flags Marine World. Nice little coaster selection and good animal attractions.

- Pat-O

Re: California Trip by Schrecken Schrecken Profile at 7/5/13 9:08:34 PM
I have no idea about when the waterparks might operate (as I never went to any out there in CA, and of course the weather is warmer out there, especially in SoCal later in the season), but I do know that SFMM is pretty dead all thru November.

You might look into when schools in the area start back up (again, no idea on that, but I lived out there about 15 years ago), especially if the times are staggered like they are in some east coast states (i.e. -some go before Labor Day and some right after). Then you might plan on going while the parks are open and some of the school districts have already started up.

Re: California Trip by LoneStar LoneStar Profile at 7/5/13 10:14:44 PM
Oh yeah, and don't miss Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk either!

- Pat-O

Re: California Trip by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 7/5/13 10:36:20 PM
I hate having to make so many decisions on which parks to visit but with only a certain amount of vacation days and money it makes it tough to decide.I don't know weather to hit Northern and southern California on one trip or just take two separate trips.Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is definitely a park I wanna get to sometime.Especially since it is the top seaside park on the golden ticket!!
Re: California Trip by Schrecken Schrecken Profile at 7/6/13 1:53:45 AM
Sorry, double post !

* This post was modified at 7/6/13 1:54:09 AM *

Re: California Trip by theRock-steel theRock-steel Profile at 7/8/13 8:54:02 PM
With five hours between north LA and south San Fran, I don't see how you could do both ends of the state with limited vacation days and money. With Disney, Knotts, Universal, Magic Mountain, Legoland, and SeaWorld there seems to be more for us theme park fans to do in the south. I am going there this year and will probably wait until about 2015 for the others up north. With Great America having problems with their new wooden, I think that this is a wise idea for now. By the way, Pacific Park is just west of LA. That might be a "plan B" for anyone who can't get to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk right away.
Re: California Trip by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 7/8/13 9:24:43 PM
Well I think I am gonna shoot for May. I will have ten days so I should be able to cover North and South.I will take the weekend before Memorial Day and use that whole week and weekend of Memorial Day and then fly back Tuesday.
Re: California Trip by theRock-steel theRock-steel Profile at 7/9/13 6:15:07 AM
So what places do you plan on going to ?
This is a park list, but I don't know if you would like all of them:
California's Great America
Gilroy Gardens
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
----------------------------------------
Disney California Adventure
Disneyland
Knott's Berry Farm
Legoland California
Pacific Park
Scandia Amusement Park
SeaWorld San Diego
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Universal Studios Hollywood
Re: California Trip by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 7/9/13 5:35:33 PM
I am mainly focusing my trip on roller coaster thrill factor.I have two tiers of parks that I have interest in.The first tier are the parks that I MUST get to and are top priority.

1) Magic Mountain
2) Knott's Berry Farm
3) Great America
4) Discovery Kingdom
5) Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Here is a list of the second tier parks that don't have many coasters but look like nice parks to visit.

1) California's Adventure
2) SeaWorld
3) Belmont Park
4) Gilroy Gardens
5) Universal
6) Disneyland

I am also gonna hit one of the best waterparks in the country.I hear Raging Waters in San Dimas is a really good waterpark!! Is Alcatraz worth a visit also??

So anyway.....any input on which of the second tier parks to visit would be nice.It is gonna be hard to choose which ones to go to.

Re: California Trip by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 7/9/13 8:26:24 PM
chitlins73 said:


I am also gonna hit one of the best waterparks in the country.I hear Raging Waters in San Dimas is a really good waterpark!!

Tell Bill and Ted I said "Party on, Dudes!"

Mike

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: California Trip by MABrider MABrider Profile at 7/9/13 9:23:49 PM
chitlins73 said:


Here is a list of the second tier parks that don't have many coasters but look like nice parks to visit.

1) California's Adventure
2) SeaWorld
3) Belmont Park
4) Gilroy Gardens
5) Universal
6) Disneyland

So anyway.....any input on which of the second tier parks to visit would be nice.It is gonna be hard to choose which ones to go to.


It took me a second to realize I've been to all six, #3 just this past March.

I would put the priority list in this sequence, with a caveat.
6) & 1) (they are "together" after all)
5)
2)
4)
3)

Here's the caveat: do Islands of Adventure with Universal.
Replace 3) with the San Diego zoo, if you bother to travel that far south. Belmont and its Dipper disappoints. Then again, Mission Beach is quite nice, if you want to do the ocean thing.
Oh, that's two caveats. :-)

Mike B.
Re: California Trip by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 7/9/13 9:45:17 PM
Hey Mike....I did not get your Bill and Ted reference??? Were they at that waterpark in the movie?
Re: California Trip by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 7/9/13 9:48:18 PM
Islands of Adventure??? That is in Florida only,correct?
Re: California Trip by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 7/10/13 5:47:41 AM
chitlins73 said:

Hey Mike....I did not get your Bill and Ted reference??? Were they at that waterpark in the movie?

As I recall,Bill and Ted go looking for Napoleon and find him at a waterpark called Waterloo. Those scenes were filmed at Raging Waters in San Dimas. I really gotta watch that movie again..it's been years, and a coupla people I liked in it have since passed on (George Carlin, Clarence Clemons.)

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: California Trip by theRock-steel theRock-steel Profile at 7/10/13 6:37:40 AM
I forgot that you wanted to take in some waterparks. With San Diego being a four hour drive from LA, I would skip that. Islands of Adventure and Universal are in Florida. There is a SeaWorld there too. That is of course on a completely different trip. California's Adventure, Disneyland, and Gilroy Gardens do seem to have something unique to bring to the table. So this seems like the better list for you:
Magic Mountain
Knott's Berry Farm
Great America
Discovery Kingdom
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
California's Adventure
Disneyland
Gilroy Gardens
Two or Three Waterparks
Re: California Trip by MABrider MABrider Profile at 7/10/13 8:00:52 AM
chitlins73 said:

Islands of Adventure??? That is in Florida only,correct?
Yep, eyema stoopid sumtymes.

The FL Universal/IoA locale is the only one I've been to.

Mike B.
Re: California Trip by chris92se chris92se Profile at 7/14/13 12:30:57 AM
I have gone to California many times in the last 7-8 years, but I have not gone to any water parks. I have been to Florida twice in the last three years, so I have something to compare it to. Seaworld and Universal in FL blow away the ones in CA.

First, the LA area:

The must visit place in California is SF Magic Mountain. It is all by itself about 30 minutes north of LA.

Universal Studios is in LA and pretty cool. It's about half as good as Universal in Florida, though. Mostly simulator rides (good ones, though) and shows. The Mummy and Jurassic Park are the only "real" rides.

I like Disneyland. The rides are not super "thrilling" like SFMM, but it is still a good time and everything is done well. It is the most expensive place to go in every way.

Knott's Berry Farm has a few good rides and it's usually not quite as busy. It has a water park, which sounds like a big plus for you.

I haven't been to San Dimas, but it's east of LA in a very hot area and lots of traffic to get there.

LA Traffic can be an absolute nightmare. All of the major highways and roads can be jammed. It all depends on the time of day and the direction you are going.

Here is what I have done twice that seems to work well for SFMM. I always pay extra to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn. It is the closest hotel to SFMM and it's got a free shuttle (don't have to pay to park). You can stay the night there (or two or three) and on the last day just put your stuff in the car, but still use the shuttle. Last week I stayed in Hermosa Beach, then drove up to the Hilton about 9 p.m. Wednesday night. We went to the park and when we were done we went out to dinner and left about 6 or 7 p.m. and drove all the way down to San Diego --total time was maybe 3 hours, but we caught a little traffic and stopped to have ice cream along the way.



San Diego is about 2 to 2.5 hours from LA (more if traffic is bad in LA). From Orange County to Seaworld is less than two hours (1.5 to 1.75). Legoland is probably an hour if traffic is light.

Seaworld in San Diego has good shows, but only two rides -- Manta and Atlantis. If you aren't into Animal shows, maybe pass.

Legoland is perfect if you are a 10 year old kid, or if you LOVE Legos. They have awesome Lego dioramas, but the rides are a bit on the yawn scale. I went there several years ago before they opened the water park, so I cannot comment on that.

The Giant Dipper in Belmont Park is a very old classic wooden coaster. It won't knock your socks off, but it's nostalgic. Otherwise, Belmont Park is like a small county fair. I love Mission Beach. Mw wife and I walked about 6-8 miles up and down the path.


Northern California:

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is a decent park. Once you have been to SFMM, you will be underwhelmed. It has a lot of animal shows and several rides. Medusa is excellent and Superman is very good. V2 was so-so and Roar was a fun woody.

It has been many years since I visited CA Great America but until they open the new Woody, all of the same rides have been there since the early 1990s.

It is a VERY LONG drive to Vallejo from the LA area. I would definitely choose SFDK over CGA.

I have not been to Gilroy Gardens.


It sounds like you are pretty set for May. Early May is usually not as busy, but in late May and early June, there will be large groups of kids at all of the parks. Many "8th grade graduation trips" and things like that. Hordes of 30-40 kids with matching T-shirts clogging up the lines and yakking on their phones. The weather can be a little cooler, too. Look up "June Gloom" which applies to May, as well.

My personal favorite time to go is late September. The weather is often very warm or hot (80s to mid 90s) and there are lighter crowds, mostly tourists from outside the country (JPN, AUS, NZ) that generally are friendly and follow directions.

Re: California Trip by chitlins73 chitlins73 Profile at 7/14/13 7:25:11 AM
Thanks for all of that input!! What is June Gloom??
Re: California Trip by chris92se chris92se Profile at 7/14/13 1:53:48 PM
June Gloom is a weather pattern in Southern California where clouds kind of hang over most of the day (usually not rain) and the temps are lower with higher humidity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_Gloom