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Which L.A. area park to visit?!?!?

Taking my first trip to LA where I will have time to visit a theme park....WHICH ONE?!?!?!

From Tom Skeptik
Posted June 14, 2013 at 5:51 PM
I am taking my first trip to the L.A. area in late September and looking for a recommendation on which park to visit. I will only have one day free, so I have to choose between Knotts, Magic Mountain, Universal, you know, all the awesome ones!
A little about my trip. I will be (sadly) flying solo. I LOVE coasters and well done simulators like Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey.
Drop your ideas below please, and keep on coastin! Oh my lord, did I really just say that?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Tyler Harris
Posted June 15, 2013 at 4:30 AM
I would go with Magic Mountain.

From TH Creative
Posted June 15, 2013 at 5:58 AM
California Adventure

From Dominick D
Posted June 15, 2013 at 7:06 AM
Go to either of the Disney parks.

From Daniel Etcheberry
Posted June 15, 2013 at 7:25 AM
Park hop between Disneyland and California Adventure. I went there for the first time last year and it worked perfectly because (unlike Disney World) both parks are a few steps away from each other. Do Radiator Springs Racers (the best ride IMHO)first.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted June 15, 2013 at 9:15 AM
Disneyland, but I don't think that was on the choices.

I personally like Universal because it is actually a movie studios

From AJ Hummel
Posted June 15, 2013 at 9:50 AM
If you are willing to spend the money and are interested in it, I would do Disney. Either do just Disneyland or, if you're visiting on a weekday and don't mind paying extra, do both parks. I would not recommend doing only DCA as, while the park can be a full day park for a first timer, it is really more of a half-day park when crowds are low and isn't worth a $92 ticket.

If you cannot do or are not interested in Disney, it depends whether you like coasters or theme parks better. If you don't mind spending a day riding nothing but roller coasters, I'd choose Magic Mountain. Otherwise, go with Knott's. Note that Magic Mountain is only open weekends in September, so if you'll be visiting on a weekday that is not an option. I cannot recommend Universal Studios Hollywood to anyone who has visited its Florida counterpart as the park is very overpriced for what they offer and a majority of the attractions exist at both locations.

From Bryce McGibeny
Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:04 AM
I would park hop between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. If you can't park hop, I would pick one of the two. It appears you're familiar with the Florida parks because you mentioned FJ at Islands of Adventure. With this being the case, I would pick Disney California Adventure over Disneyland. Disneyland, while apparently a better park than MK, shares a lot of similar attractions with the MK. Disney California Adventure will be a brand new park to you, with Buena Vista Street, Cars Land, Paradise Pier, Pacific Wharf, etc.

But if you like coasters, then Magic Mountain seems like the way to go!

From Hubert Wong
Posted June 16, 2013 at 5:12 PM
Are you already planning to go to Disneyland/DCA and have one day left to visit another park?

As others have already said, if roller coasters are what you want, Six Flags Magic Mountain (about 45-60 minutes north of Los Angeles) is your best bet. You just have to make sure the park will be operating that day, which it probably won't if it's a non-holiday weekday in September after Labor Day.

If Magic Mountain is closed, I would go to Knott's Berry Farm-- not as many thrill rides as Six Flags, but some pretty good roller coasters and other thrill rides: Ghost Rider, Xcelerator, Silver Bullet, Supreme Scream; some classics like Montezooma's Revenge; and some milder rides like Sierra Sidewinder and Pony Express. Plus some really well done themed rides like the Calico Mine Train and the just-refurbished Log Ride.

If you've never been to Disneyland or California Adventure, that would be my first choice, but I don't like thrill rides as much as I like well-themed, immersive rides and parks. Knott's Berry Farm might be the best balance between the two.

From M. Ryan Traylor
Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Universal Studio Hollywood doesn't offer enough to justify spending your entire one day at that park.

Where are you traveling from? Have you already visited USO and WDW parks recently? If the answer is yes, then you should hit up SFMM or Knotts.

Knotts will give you some good coasters and theme. SFMM is a coaster world. A form of any variety of coaster exists at that park. But it lacks theme.

From Joey I
Posted June 23, 2013 at 7:09 AM
Park hop between Disneyland and DCA. It will take you a full day while Universal is only a half day park

From Lisa Clark
Posted June 26, 2013 at 4:36 AM
You say you LOVE coasters, so do I and I looked at all the parks and only Magic Mountain and Knotts got my attention. Both were great, but Magic Mountain wins hands down! I been there 3 times and Knotts once. The other parks 0 times. Disney is NOT the place if you love coasters. Sure all coasters are fun, but when you travel you want to make the most of your trip and that would head you straight for the awesome collection of coasters that Magic Mountain has. Check out the parks website and park map ahead of time to get familiar with it. Enjoy!

From Mike Gallagher
Posted June 26, 2013 at 9:47 AM
Lisa said: "Sure all coasters are fun,.."

Been on Dark Knight? :)

From Bradley Keith
Posted June 27, 2013 at 10:53 AM
Definitely Magic Mountain for coasters. However be aware that the place is significantly far away from downtown L.A. I'm not sure how far but it's more than half an hour for sure and not at all an L.A. area park. Knotts is good but not on the same level. Knotts is closer to L.A. but I would take Magic Mountain especially since Full Throttle is now open. Knotts got a wild mouse this year... Full Throttle isn't world class but I have heard its pretty fun. Not as great as it seemed when first announced. It's too short. Still impressive they could fit something in that small space though.

California's Great America now has Gold Striker, a great GCI woodie, but Magic Mountain has Apocalypse. And, a lot more. I honestly don't know where in California it is but for some reason I remember it's in California.

So I would go with Magic Mountain if you want thrill rides. If not, there's a little place called "Disney".

I see you think Cedar Point is overrated.

Forget what I said, you know, Adventure City has incredible roller coasters! It is the best park in the state for sure! Freeway Coaster is the most unique, fastest, and overall amazing coaster I have been on! 12 MPH. Whew, what a ride. Tree Top Racers is unbelievable! It is a whopping 35 feet tall. Amazing! Best thing is, it's in the heart of Anaheim! It's almost 2 acres of unlimited thrills and fun. :)

And yes, Dark Knight is certainly NOT fun. Neither is Mean Streak.

From Jay R.
Posted June 27, 2013 at 1:57 PM
Hey Bradley, I'd say Magic Mountain is considered an LA area park.

It depends on where you are in the city. Magic Mountain is in LA County (while Knotts & Disney are in Orange County)

And if you're in the valley, Magic Mountain could be alot closer.

That said, all 3 of those parks are about 45 minutes or so (maybe a little less or more depending on traffic) from downtown, but I wouldn't let the distances determine where you go. Again, all 3 are about the same when it comes to distance.

From Bradley Keith
Posted June 27, 2013 at 8:42 PM
Okay, thanks. Not familiar with the area. I remember when I was first over there being surprised at how far away it was but now I see, I guess I was on the other side.

So don't let that influence your decision!

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