5 reasons to head to california for a family vacay
1. DISNEYLAND RESORT
The undisputed granddaddy of theme parks has been leading the way since 1955, inviting visitors to spend the day in the ultimate land of make-believe. This beloved Anaheim institution serves up vintage icons like the Matterhorn Bobsleds as well as new innovations, like laser lights and soaring fountains in the nightly show World of Color, or mystical mouse antics in Mickey and the Magical Map. The resort, which consists of the original Disneyland Park and the adjacent Disney California Adventure Park, has themed ‘lands’ with related rides, shows and attractions.
2. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD
Movie magic, mega attractions - If Hollywood is the land of make believe, then this is your chance to step into that fantasy world. On a sprawling complex on the east side of the Hollywood Hills, this movie studio/part theme park blends behind-the-scenes tours with rides that swoosh, swoop, and dive through movie-themed worlds. An adjacent, neon-lit complex of shops, eateries, and entertainment spaces known as Universal CityWalk lets you stretch out the experience beyond the park.
3. LEGOLAND CALIFORNIA
It’s hard to say who enjoys Legoland more: the little ones running around in a magical world created by 60 million Lego plastic bricks, or their parents who get a kick out of it too. Walk through Miniland USA for a visual and structural jaw-dropper: expansive miniaturized recreations of Washington D.C., New York, and San Francisco, as well as scenes from Star Wars. There’s also a chance to go behind-the-scenes to look at the soundstage and models used during the The Lego Movie. While the focus here leans towards making little ones smile, there’s plenty to entertain older visitors too: the park has more than 60 rides, shows, and attractions, including three rollercoasters.
4. SEAWORLD SAN DIEGO
From swooshing and swooping rides to interactive shows and million-gallon aquariums, this is one theme park that truly makes a big, big splash. See—and learn about—the amazing undersea worlds of animals from around the globe, including walruses, sea lions, polar bears and penguins. See (and touch) harmless rays and sharks, and be entertained by Shamu and other killer whales, as well as dolphins, in daily shows and presentations. Climb aboard a host of rides, too, including Manta, a high-tech roller coaster that has you twisting, diving and turning like a ray.
5. BUENA PARK PLAYTIME
Just northwest of Disneyland Park in Anaheim, the town of Buena Park offers more places to play. Knott’s Berry Farm features Camp Snoopy with kids’ favourites like Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies, and for adrenaline-seekers, sky-high thrills with Rip Tide and other exciting rides. The family classic Calico Mine Ride, the original main attraction of this park (opened in 1960), is still a charmer, with
nearly 50 state-of-the-art animatronic humans and dozens more animals.
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