California’s Theme Park Insider

The wide array of exciting experiences opening this summer illustrates there is something for everyone to enjoy at amusement parks, water parks, family entertainment centers and aquariums all over California.

NEW IN 2014

Adventure City in Anaheim debuts “Rewind Racers,” a $2 million steel shuttle coaster designed for the whole family. The coaster takes riders the track’s hills and curves both forward and backward.

Aquatica San Diego in Chula Vista introduces the 375-foot “Taumata Racer water slide that sends riders in and out of tunnels and along a 180-degree swooping turn.

Gilroy Gardens opens the $2 million “Water Play Oasis” in Watsonville, south of San Jose. The play space includes a flower-themed splash pad and two-foot-deep pool for young children.

Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park celebrates the 30th anniversary of its Camp Snoopy children’s zone with a restoration of the area and the addition of three new attractions. “Charlie Brown’s Kite Flyers,” a 32-passenger swing ride, takes riders up to 18 feet off the ground as they spin around the Kite Eating Tree. “Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies” lets up to 24 guests climb aboard six all-terrain vehicles for an adventurous ride that spins and bounces. On “Linus Launcher,” guests lay side-by-side on one of 12 blankets that takes them soaring up to 10 feet in the air.

Legoland California Resort in Carlsbad expands its water park by 3 acres and renames the attraction Legends of Chima Water Park. The new area features the “Lion Temple Wave Pool,” an interactive wave pool designed for families with young children. “Mount Cavora,” a 30-foot-tall tower at the center of the wave pool dumps more than 400 gallons of water per minute into the area below. Guests also can find adventure in Craggers Swamp, a hands-on water play area featuring slides and water cannons, as well as “Eglor’s Build-A-Boat,” where children can build boats while learning to adjust for currents and dodge obstacles while racing against fellow guests. “The Lego Movie Experience” also opens at the resort. Guests can step onto a Lego sound-stage, see movie footage, and explore some of the Lego models that helped inspire the new original 3-D animated movie.

SeaWorld San Diego debuts Explorer’s Reef, a new beach-themed park entrance with four kid-friendly touch pools in the 3-acre space. Each touch pool contains 24,000 gallons of water and allows children to pet thousands of fish, including 400 brown-banded and white-spotted bamboo sharks.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo introduces the interactive “Tsunami Soaker,” a classic spinning teacup ride with a twist. Each vehicle is partially submerged in a pool of water and outfitted with a water gun that allows guests to soak one another and bystanders.

Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia renovates Bugs Bunny World for the park’s youngest thrill seekers. The park debuts a new children’s coaster, “Speedy Gonzales Hot Rod Racers,” bringing the number of children’s coasters in the park to four. More experienced thrill seekers can enjoy riding the “Batman the Ride and “Colossus” roller coasters backward for limited times during the 2014 season.

Universal Studios Hollywood introduces the fully immersive “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” attraction where guests enter Gru’s house as they wait to experience a 3-D journey into his laboratory.