boon_nz

Which California Theme Parks?

15 posts in this topic

Hey all, I'm travelling with 4 mates to California for the month of April. It's not primarly a theme park trip but obviously I want to try and take in 1 or 2 parks while i'm there. We are all 24-25 year old males and while i've been doing heaps of research, i'm struggling to pick which park or parks to go to. As far I can tell, the best options are: - Magic Mountain - Knott's Berry Farm - Disneyland - Universal Studios I think Magic Mountain may be the best bet (even though X2 won't be open), but i'm just not sure. When I did Dreamworld and Movieworld last year I far preferred Movie World - I guess it was partially the theming, but also because it had kickass new rides that I hadn't been on before (I went a long time ago - Giant Drop was brand new at Dreamworld). Favourite rides were Superman Escape, Scooby Doo coaster and maybe Batwing (or Giant Drop) So any help would be greatly appreciated. Would it be a bad move to skip Disneyland? I'm worried that it might too 'little kidish' - I'm into to thrill rides. Also is Universal Studios a waste of time? Thanks for taking your time to read this and I look forward to hearing what you've got to say!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its easy, magic mountain for the thrills and Disneyland for magic. You can get a 3 day hopper pass and you can do California adventure as well. That only takes 4 days out of a month. X2 I thought opens in spring. The ride is near complete with the new trains already on the tracks. There is not alot to do at Universal although it is hard to fit in every ride and show in one day. If you missed Disneyland then yes it would be a bad move. Disneyland isn't about if it's too kidish. There is so much to do at the Disney parks and no matter how old or young you are I will promise you will have fun. Don't get me wrong about Knotts however, it still is a great park with some great rides (silver bullet, ghostrider, sierra sidewinder, etc.) and the park is barely busy with queue line times around the 10 to 20 minute wait (excluding silver bullet). If your up for new rides or rides you have never experienced before than Magic Mountain is your place with a flying coaster through to standing coaster. Oh and I forgot to mention how darn good the park is looking now. Sexy new paint job on Viper :D

Edited by mickey_079

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info Mickey! From what i've read, the only word on X2's opening date is 'Memorial Weekend 08', which is end of May....so I don't think we'll get a chance to ride it. Good to hear about Disneyland - I'm pretty sure we won't get 4 days though, we've got a pretty tight schedule. So that makes it a little tougher choosing between Disneyland and KBF......still keen to hear what others have to say!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Zach94

I went to Knotts berry, Universal and Disney at christmas and Disney was my favourite. All the rides in Disneyland are fun and across the road is California Adventure with California Screamin and Tower of Terror which are the best rides ever!!! Universal is alright and the revenge of the mummy ride is really really good!!!! Knotts Berry is good but i was not there for long and only go there for thrills and exciting rides!!! At xmas the lines at Knotts Berry and Disney were massive... Universal had hardly any lines. I'd go to Disneyland again if i had the chance... :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I'd do Disney and SFMM, you can get a one day park hopper for Disney so you could do all the big rides at both parks in a day if you were smart about it, and then purchase a second day to do the stuff you had missed, Disney isn't kiddy, and it is not something to be missed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok cool - thanks for the info. So you think it might be a good idea to get a hopper pass for Disneyland / California Adventure and just look to do the best rides at each place? @ Gazza - Did you do Knott's Berry Farm? How did it compare? Did you do Universal Studios?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely Disney and SFMM. Universal is cool but it's definitely a poor cousin to Disneyland, and in my opinion the only thing really worth trekking out there for is Jurassic Park, which still isn't that amazing. Knotts is cool as well, but there's nothing special there... Silver Bullet isn't fantastic, Accelerator is good but not hugely more impressive than Superman, and Perilous Plunge has a cool splash but that's about it. SFMM may be dirty, full of Latino gangsters and a bit sleazy, but the rides are unique and pretty damn awesome. And Disney, well, it's just Disneyland, and you don't need any more reason that that :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I did all the LA parks. Universal is great, only 2 rides (Revenge of the Mummy and Jurassic Park...Im not sure if the Simpsons Ride will be open when you visit) so the park is more about shows, they are good but it depends if you would rather watch good shows than do rides. Knotts was fairly good, horribly busy when I visited which is odd for knotts, but I got the worthwhile stuff done, if its the coasters you are after then SFMM does give more choice in that respect. I mean, if you had to narrow it down to two parks, I would do Disneyland/DCA and SFMM as you will get the broadest experiences this way. Of course, try and talk your mates into going to the other parks too since they are all worth it, if you are in LA i struggle to think of much else to do...visiting Hollywood is a half day job...what else is there to do :) As for Disneyland/ Disneys California adventure, here is a strategy we employed on my first visit....Disneyland opens an hour earlier than DCA, so go to Disneyland for 50 minutes or so and go on Indiana Jones, and if you have time, another ride with a short line . Head across to DCA (50m walk from gate to gate) a few minutes before the place opens, when the park opens make a beeline for Tower of Terror, and then Soarin over California, Do Grizzly River Run and California Screamin next, and if you dont mind being split up in exchange for a very short queue, use the single rider entrance on each of these rides (ask the cast member out front for the pass) After this, check out the other rides you want to get done...you can probably get the whole park done by early in the afternoon, from there head across to Disneyland, do space mountain and then do the rest of the rides in Disneyland...and don't forget to pick up fast passes when you can, so you can be riding one ride whilst waiting for your timeslot to roll around for the fastpass you are holding. A member here named Joz did a fair bite of both parks in one day so maybe he could give pointers, personally I would recommend two days as it is a great pair of parks that are worth that amount of time at least.

Knotts is cool as well, but there's nothing special there... Silver Bullet isn't fantastic, Accelerator is good but not hugely more impressive than Superman, and Perilous Plunge has a cool splash but that's about it.
Id go as far as to say that out of Superman and Xcelerator, that Superman is the better of the two, thats just me though. Silver bullet is cool, but i mean there is a comparable ride at SFMM in Batman. Edited by Gazza

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Id go as far as to say that out of Superman and Xcelerator, that Superman is the better of the two, thats just me though. Silver bullet is cool, but i mean there is a comparable ride at SFMM in Batman.
lol and superman has a much better unfadded paint job. As Gazza said there really isn't that much to do in L.A. Hollywood is a half day thing and if your doing the OC tour cancel it, it shows you nothing apart from the pier in the movie.
SFMM may be dirty, full of Latino gangsters and a bit sleazy
The park is no longer in that state anymore and has a bright future with new management. The park is being cleaned up and has been clean for a long time now. Heck even skytower is open again! You said what I was going to say Gazza lol. Indiana is a first and if its a rainy day be sure to wll not run but get to that ride quicker than normal. Its popular when its dry... its just ridiculously long queued when its wet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers Nev, Gazza and Mickey for all your responses - There is nothing more helpful than someone who has been there done that! So, do most of the coasters at Knott's have a rough equivalent at SFMM? While doing some research today i've come across another problem - We are going to be in LA in the first week of April and that is going to overlap with the end of Spring break....we have to be in LA for that time because we are hitting up a Lakers and a Ducks game. We will also be coming back through LA later on (around the 18th). Do you think it will be chaos doing either of the parks then (during Spring break)? If we did one park then (early April) and one park later (mid April), which would be which? I've heard about massive queue times at both SFMM and Disneyland, so which way do you think would be better to do it? I can't imagine we'd hold up too well with several hour queues.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can only answer your first question sorry and that is SFMM downright has better coasters than KBF. KBF coasters don't really compare to what there is to offer at six flags. I mean at six flags you have your flying coaster, stand-up, floorless, mega coaster (is goliath a mega?), first looped coaster which is great fun when you race through the mountain, giant inverted boomerang, the goldrusher lol, theres just so much to chose from. I'm not sure how the queue lines will be in spring break for the park but don't forget you can purchase flash passes, the ride i can tell which will be busy is tatsu (as always) but being spring break remember there aren't going to be families there so who knows, the queue lines could be just like normal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok cool - I guess the only coaster I would really be worried about missing out on is Ghostrider - What is the wooden coaster like at MM? Another thing I should point out is that College Spring Break should be over by the time we go, however it will be during the school spring breaks. So that makes me think that it may be better to go to SFMM (older crowd?) during the first week and DL in mid April?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well colossus doesn't compare to ghost rider. Ghost rider is fun and a lengthy ride but damn its rough. Colossus is good, it isn't as fast, but its smooth for a woodie and if both tracks are running then your bound to have lots of fun. Out of the two ghost rider was my favourite but at the end of the day it just hurt me so much. But ghost rider isn't like a MUST do in coasters anyway and you wouldn't be missing out on alot if you didn't get to experience it. I mean whats missing out on one coaster compared to missing out on 4 or more coasters?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool, well I think after doing more reading I have made my decision - SFMM and Disneyland/DCA - Thanks for all your help everyone! I'll try and ask about the best dates to go in an American or Disney forum, i'd expect that they may more familar with that sort of thing. The next thing is trying to figure out what I must ride at Disneyland and DCA (in 1 day probably....): This is what i have so far (absolute must-do): DL: Indy Space Mountain Splash Mountain DCA: Soarin' California Screamin' ToT Are there any others in your opinion? What about the next lot of rides (great but not essential). I have tried to read up on this but a lot of the info is tailored towards parents with children....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Parkz Crew

    Support Parkz... join the Crew for:

    • Ad-banner free viewing
    • Parkz Crew profile badge
    • Extended editing
    • See who's liked your posts
    • Purchase discounts

    Join Now from $20/yr

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.