If you’ve ridden all the rides at local theme parks and are anxious for a fresh new thrill, get ready for a slew of them! Whether you want to race, roller coaster-style at Six Flags or hang with The Force at Disneyland’s long-awaited Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, SoCal theme parks are stepping it up this summer when it comes to new attractions. Read on to find out more.
West Coast Racers at Six Flags Magic Mountain
Kids who like to race against their friends going at top speed are going to love the newest ride in Magic Mountain's record-breaking roller coaster arsenal. This one-of-a-kind coaster will simultaneously launch two trainloads of passengers on side-by-side tracks and send them zipping up and around up to 55 miles per hour around two complete laps with multiple airtime hills and overbanked turns.
As if that isn't enough, the competing coasters will criss-cross so close to each other that riders will practically be able to high-five each other as they whoosh by. In between laps, riders will be treated to an immersive “pit stop” inside a model West Coast Customs race shop. Then...they're off!
When: Opens Summer 2019
Ages: Best for ages 8 and up. (Height requirement not yet listed)
Six Flags Magic Mountain
26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy.
Tidal Twister Coaster at Sea World San Diego
Surf's up at Sea World this summer, as the San Diego-area park debuts a crazy new coaster that'll send guests whirling around and around as if they're caught in the curl of a wave. The bi-starting coaster is the first of its kind in the world, featuring seats that face forward and backward on a dizzying ride that will send passengers up to 30 miles per hour along a tight, figure-8 track.
Two trains holding 16 passengers each will load at opposite ends of the tracks and have one "close call" as they cross in the center. "Guests will see the excitement on the faces of the other riders," said Marilyn Hannes, SeaWorld San Diego’s park president. "You’ll almost feel like you can reach out and touch them."
When: Opens May 2019
Ages: Best for kids 7 and up. (Must be 48" to ride)
Sea World San Diego
500 Sea World Dr.
Calico River Rapids (Re-Imagined) at Knott's Berry Farm
As if you need a reason to get soaked on those sizzling SoCal summer days, what was once Knott's Berry Farm's Bigfoot Rapids will make its new debut this summer as Calico River Rapids. The re-imagined and renovated water ride will feature new animatronics, a new story overlay and plenty of dynamic water effects to entertain rafters as they float and bob their way through the themed outskirts of the park's Ghost Town area. The story (if you're paying attention to it instead of just trying not to get sprayed by guest-controlled water blasters) takes riders on a search for new lands. Be warned: Rough waters lie ahead. And we hear Big Foot's still around here somewhere.
Oh, and yes: You will get wet.
Thinking of spending a day or two in Buena Park? We've got all the reasons why that is a good idea.
When: Opens Summer 2019
Ages: Best for kids 7 and up. (Must be 42" to ride)
Knott's Berry Farm
8039 Beach Blvd.
Jurassic World Ride at Universal Studios
If your kids never got a chance to ride Universal Studios' old Jurassic Park flume ride—a serene float through the famed dinosaur zoo that ended with a scary T-rex sighting and a thrilling plunge to safety—there's a new dino drop in town, and this one should be even more fun than the last. Of course, the new Jurassic ride will still feature an awesome moving menagerie of life-size dinosaurs, but it's been more than 20 years since the original ride opened: Technology is better, and so today's dinosaurs will be better, too (plus, Universal says there'll be new dinos in the mix). We say grab your ponchos and get in line: This one will be worth getting wet for.
When: Opens Summer 2019
Ages: Best for kids ages 7 and up. (Height requirement was 42" for the original ride, so we're guessing it'll be similar for this one)
100 Universal City Plaza
Fly With Dragons at iFLY Hollywood
While you're at Universal, stop by iFLY indoor skydiving center at the Citywalk, where daredevils who want to up the ante on plain old indoor skydiving (!!) might want to try strapping on a pair of VR goggles and get a taste of what it's like to fly with the dragons. The indoor skydiving center recently debuted its latest adventure: a virtual reality indoor skydiving session inspired by Dreamworks' How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. After a short training session, flyers get to choose between between Hiccup or Astrid and then step into the massive wind tunnel and soar like a dragon alongside Toothless above the mythical Viking world of Berk.
Parents: It's not as scary as it looks, since an instructor is with participants at all times. Inside the wind tunnel, the instructor literal holds onto wiggly fliers to make sure they don't soar too high.
Cost: $59.95 per person for two flights
When: Open now
Ages: Best for ages 8 and up (must be at least 6)
1000 Universal Studios Blvd. (inside Universal Citywalk)
Star Wars Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland
To the delight of Star Wars fans everywhere, the galaxy far, far away is finally, almost here. Disneyland's much-anticipated Star Wars Galaxy's Edge is slated to open this summer and—with two massive new rides and a 14-acre alien landscape complete with trading outposts, layers of towering stone spires and a full-scale Millennium Falcon spacecraft—it stands to be the largest and most ambitious themed land Disney has ever built.
Aside from the overall out-of-this-world coolness of the simulated alien vista, Galaxy's Edge will feature two new rides, including The Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run, a flight simulator which will allow riders to pilot the infamous ship for themselves; and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, an immersive ride experience that has been called "one of the biggest, most elaborate, and longest rides in the history of Disney." In it, passengers become a part of the resistance after being captured and then escaping the First Order.
Star Wars fan or not, the force is strong with this one—and we can't wait to witness, first hand, Star Wars Galaxy's Edge in Disneyland!
When: Summer 2019
Ages: Best for children 4 and up (ride height requirements not yet listed)
1313 Disneyland Dr.
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