The Los Angeles area has an abundance of theme parks and amusement parks, each with a different personality. What makes a good theme park experience depends on what you are looking for. Theme parks are by definition touristy, so it's just a matter of which type of tourist experience you appreciate. Los Angeles theme parks also put on great holiday attractions for Halloween and Christmas, which can be fun to visit, even if you don't care much for riding rides.
01 of 09
Disneyland in Anaheim is the number one theme park in Southern California, full of the traditional Disney charm, attention to detail and obsessively perfect "cast" to make sure your visit runs smoothly. Disneyland is more about family fun than big thrills, although you can find a few rides with motion sickness potential in Tomorrowland. 3-day admission to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure is included in the Southern California CityPass, the only discount option for Disneyland tickets.
02 of 09
Disney California Adventure
Disney California Adventure shares a common plaza with Disneyland and offers a selection of rides originally themed to California landmarks, but more recently overtaken by movie-themed lands like the totally immersive Cars Land. California Adventure also has plenty of shows, parades and interactive experiences for the whole family. California Adventure offers a few thrill rides like the California Screamin' coaster, a raft ride and the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride that make it popular with teens. 3-day admission to Disneyland and California Adventure is also included in the Southern California CityPass.
03 of 09
Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood is the original movie-themed amusement park located on the grounds of an active film and television studio. In addition to movie-related rides and attractions and the recent addition of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Tram Tour takes you through the back lot and some sound stages of the Universal Studios production studios. The 3 to 7-day Go Los Angeles Card includes weekday admission to Universal Studios.
04 of 09
Knott's Berry Farm
Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park is a Snoopy-themed park with a nice combination of rides for younger kids, and high thrill coasters and other more advanced rushes to keep the big kids white-knuckling it. The original Ghost Town is a charming place to just hang out, and hosts an array of live interactions with colorful historic characters, which is expanded in summer. For the quantity of entertainment per dollar, it's the best theme park value in town, especially if you get discount tickets. Knott's Berry Farm is included in the Go Los Angeles Card and you can often find discount tickets on Goldstar.com.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia is the LA area's most extreme amusement park with the highest concentration of thrill rides. It is a rite of passage for area teens to get up the courage to ride these extreme monsters. Six Flags Magic Mountain is included in the Go Los Angeles Card.
06 of 09
LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad is located between Los Angeles and San Diego. This Lego-themed park is designed specifically for kids 2 to 12, and some of the rides have a maximum age and weight limit. The Go Los Angeles Card includes admission to Legoland California.
07 of 09
Sea World San Diego
Sea World San Diego is a medium-sized marine park located on the coast at the northern edge of San Diego with rides, an aquarium and dolphin, whale and other marine animal shows, including Shamu, the killer whale. Sea World San Diego tickets are included in the Southern California CityPass.
08 of 09
Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier
Pacific Park is a collection of a dozen kid-friendly carnival rides on the Santa Monica Pier, jutting out into the Pacific Ocean. There is no admission fee. You can pay per ride or buy an unlimited ride wrist band. Also on the Santa Monica Pier you'll find a trapeze school, aquarium, food court and restaurants. One day unlimited rides are included on the Go Los angeles Card.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Los Angeles Water Parks
Los Angeles Water Parks are open seasonally, usually starting and ending with weekends May through October and daily through the summer months. Click the headline for details on the four Los Angeles area water parks.