Southern California is a theme park hub. From family-friendly favorites to thrill capitols to animal-themed parks, we’ve pretty much got it all. And 2018 looks to be a banner year for SoCal theme parks. All six major SoCal theme parks will add attractions, shows, and new experiences this year. So grab your passes and get ready for an epic theme park adventure. Here’s what’s coming in 2018 to SoCal theme parks.
Knott’s Berry Farm
8039 Beach Blvd.
Knott’s Berry Farm is in for some exciting changes in 2018 starting with an all-new Knott’s PEANUTS Celebration taking place this January – February. The Celebration places Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and all of the beloved Peanuts characters front and center with new decorations, character experiences, photo opportunities, themed food and drinks, and new shows. In the Summer, Knott’s will debut a brand new steel roller coaster, HangTime, which will be the only dive coaster on the West Coast. Towering 150 feet over the updated Boardwalk area, the coaster will send riders along 2,189 feet of track, including up a vertical lift into a 15-story, 96 degree drop, the steepest in California.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Two new attractions will hit Universal Studios in 2018, allowing fans of both DreamWorks and Hello Kitty to rejoice. DreamWorks Theatre will play host to DreamWorks-themed attractions through use of state-of-the-art projection mapping and LED lighting effects showcasing the Kung Fu Panda franchise upon release. Global pop icon Hello Kitty will also join Universal Studios this spring with an exclusive Animation Studio Store, as well as meet and greets with park guests.
Six Flags Magic Mountain
The “Thrill Capital of the World” will add another dose of fun in 2018 when it debuts CraZanity, the world’s tallest pendulum ride, this spring. Standing 17 stories in the air, the giant disk ride will reach speeds of 75 miles-per-hour while swinging 40 riders back and forth over the newly-themed Boardwalk area. Six Flags also raised the bar with its schedule change for 2018, staying open 365 days/year instead of closing based on seasonal trends.
Disneyland California Resort
Disneyland & Disneyland California Adventure
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will debut a variety of new entertainment and attraction options in 2018 with its Pixar partnership coming to the park in all-new ways. The first-ever Pixar Fest, opening April 13, will celebrate everyone’s favorite Pixar pals with a new Pixar-themed fireworks spectacular, the return of two favorite parades (Paint the Night and the Pixar Play Parade), and Pixar-themed decor and entertainment. This summer, Pixar Pier will open as a new land in Disney California Adventure featuring four immersive Pixar-themed neighborhoods and an exciting new Incredicoaster, where guests will race to save baby Jack-Jack. Other additions to Disneyland this year include new sequences from “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on Star Tours -The Adventures Continue as well as Disneyland After Dark, a series of specially-themed events inspired by the 50s and 60s at Disneyland Park.
SeaWorld San Diego
2018 is “fully charged” at SeaWorld San Diego, where a brand new, thrilling attraction, Electric Eel, will take park guests on a looping, twisting adventure starting this summer. The coaster, which boasts a 60mph launch and then 150-foot lift also features an inverted “heartline” roll and twisting loop offering the only upside down view of Mission Bay. Also new for the year, SeaWorld Inside Look gives unique behind-the-scenes glimpses about SeaWorld’s animal rescue team, offered weekends in January. Sesame Street Bay of Play will unfold into the rest of the park with an all-new Sesame Street Party Parade featuring themed floats and live music; the fun continues during Halloween for a Sesame Street Halloween Parade.
2018 will be a year of enormous growth for LEGOLAND; this summer the park will showcase the largest investment at any LEGO park with LEGO City Deep Sea Adventure, an underwater adventure that highlights more than 2,000 real sea animals in a real submarine while exploring a sunken LEGO shipwreck. The park will also open a brand new hotel this spring, LEGOLAND Castle Hotel, a 250-room hotel with three fun themes: Knights and Dragons, Magic Wizard, and Royal Princess.
Katie Bodell is the Blog Editor for Trekaroo, the largest family travel website in the U.S. She is also a freelance writer, a happy wife to her best friend, and a mom to three sweet California girls. See more on: Trekaroo | CheapOair | Google+ | Twitter.