What’s New at California’s Amusement Parks

There are plenty of new reasons to visit California amusement parks this year, like a floorless roller coaster that lets you see the track right below your feet and new head-spinning attractions.

Patriot roller coaster

Photo: Courtesy California’s Great America

California’s Great America

Your feet will be dangling inches above the track on the Patriot roller coaster, which opened at the Santa Clara park in April. The floorless coaster takes you on a slow and suspenseful 91-foot ascent before plummeting into a 360-degree loop at 45 miles per hour—and all the way you see the track right below your feet.

Knott’s Berry Farm

Hold onto your hat—the newest ride at this Southern California amusement park will turn you topsy-turvy. The Sol Spin, now open, features six arms that whirl riders’ cars in head-spinning circles. The ride rises six stories into the air, offering stunning views of the park—if you’re brave enough to open your eyes!

LEGOLAND® California Resort

The splashes of fun will be getting bigger and better at LEGOLAND Water Park in Carlsbad with the opening of

Surfer’s Cove at LEGOLAND California Resort

Photo: Courtesy LEGOLAND California Resort

Surfers’ Cove this summer. In the new California beach-themed area of the park, kids can cool off running around Wipeout Lagoon, where super-soaker jets spew streams of water. They can also compete against their pals at Riptide Racers; with six water slides placed side-by-side, it’s easy to see who comes in first. Plenty of LEGO® models will bring the beachy vibe to life.

Also, don’t miss the new LEGO® Star Wars™: The Force Awakens Miniland Model Display featuring a 16-foot long Finalizer model made completely out of LEGO bricks.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

The classic Northern California amusement park by the sea has two new thrill rides opening this summer. The Typhoon will wildly hurl riders upside-down and all around on two spinning arms that soar 60 feet into the air. The Shockwave takes riders 65 feet off the ground on motorcycle-style seats in a massive disc that spins around and rocks back and forth on a curling, wave-shaped halfpipe.

Shockwave

Photo: Courtesy Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Disney California Adventure® Park

The Southern California’s park’s newest adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!, blasts you into the Marvel comic-book universe. On your journey, filled with mind-blowing effects and bombastic action, you’ll join superhero Rocket Raccoon in his attempt to bust his pals out of the Collector’s fortress. The ride opens May 27, 2017.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!

Photo: Artist Concept Only © Disney © Marvel

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Snap on your cape — the newest attraction at the Southern California amusement park, the 3-D dark ride Justice League: Battle for Metropolis, puts you in the role of superhero as you battle alongside Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg and Green Lantern to save the city of Metropolis from Lex Luthor, The Joker and their henchmen. The virtual reality experience will take you through a series of action-packed scenes and turn your stomach inside-out as you travel along the first virtual 360-degree loop. Special effects such as wind, fire, mist and fog bring the drama to life. The attraction opens this summer.

Justice League: Battle for Metropolis

Photo: Courtesy Six Flags Magic Mountain

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

For a different sort of superhero action, check out the new WONDER WOMAN Lasso of Truth attraction—the latest in the park’s lineup of DC Comic superheros. Lasso of Truth is an oversized pendulum ride that will send guests on a dizzying journey, propelling riders at speeds of nearly 70 miles per hour as the ride swings back and forth while rotating counterclockwise. As guests swing higher and higher, they will experience a feeling of weightlessness at 147 feet in the air. The Wonder Woman attraction will be located near two of the park’s newest attractions, the Superman Ultimate Flight ride and The Joker roller coaster.

Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth

Photo: Courtesy Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

Read more about some of the best roller coasters in California.

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Janice Yip-Hudson, AAA Travel Counselor, Daly City, Calif.

Today, people's lives are so busy. We're thinking three days ahead just to get through our to-do lists. I love helping my clients plan vacations where they have nothing to do but relax; where time stands still, and you're just on vacation.

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