Which theme parks in Southern California should we cover more often?
Published: September 4, 2012 at 8:40 PM
Obviously, Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure are the big parks in Southern California. They're the region's most visited parks, and I think they're Disney's top two parks in America for quality. But how about the other parks?
Now, I'm still planning on covering all the other parks in SoCal. I think they're each doing things I consider important and noteworthy. But beyond that minimum, I want to know how much more you'd like to hear about them. So I've got five polls below - one for each park. Please take a moment to vote in each, to let us know how likely you'd be to read additional features about these five theme parks.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Why it's important: The nation's 10th most visited theme park is about to undergo a major transformation, including the construction of a new Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Its Transformers: The Ride 3D just won our Theme Park Insider Award for Best New Attraction of the year, and new attractions, a new hotel and a new station for its famed Studio Tour all are included in its ambitious new development plan, to be built over the next decade.
SeaWorld San Diego
Why it's important: The nation's 12th most visited theme park is SeaWorld's original park, located a short walk from the Pacific Ocean, on San Diego's Mission Bay. Its more family-friendly version of the Manta roller coaster gave this park its first world-class thrill ride, while upping its standards for decoration and design. With deep-pocketed new owners in place, SeaWorld has the potential for some major new shows and park enhancements.
Knott's Berry Farm
Why it's important: Parent company Cedar Fair's new CEO, Matt Ouimet, recently ran Disneyland, and he "gets it" - he knows the value of theming parks while providing world-class customer service, and he also values Knott's great history. The park's Mystery Lodge remains one of the best shows in the theme park business and new menus are now in place at many of the park's restaurants. And there's that Giga coaster rumor out there which just won't go away….
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Why it's important: Magic Mountain's the world's coaster capital, with more roller coasters than any other park in the world. And the park's not afraid to experiment in the thrill ride realm, with attractions such as X2 and its recent drop ride/coaster mash-up of Superman and Lex Luthor. Next summer's Full Throttle will offer a unique new track element, as well.
Why it's important: Legoland's first US theme park remains one of the world's best theme park experiences for elementary-aged children. Legoland does a better job than anyone in creating participatory attractions, such as the Driving School and the Police and Fire Academy, which involve kids in active play in ways that more passive theme park rides and shows simply can't.
I'll have additional posts like this one in the weeks to come about Central Florida theme parks, as well as for other parks around the country. (I started with Southern California, since that's where I live.) Got some thoughts about these five theme parks, or want to volunteer to help us cover them? The comments await you!