Amusement Parks are a must-have in every trip itinerary. With all of the awesome amusement parks across the USA, then you will surely have endless options to choose from. If you are planning on visiting California, then you need to be prepared for the long list of amusement parks available. Plan your trip and create an experience to remember by reading through this list of the best amusement parks in California! This list covers some of the most popular, oldest, and most enjoyable options for amusement parks in California. If you want to enjoy a fun and exciting experience during your trip, then read on for more information.
Best Amusement Parks in California
Adventure City, Stanton
The Adventure City in Stanton is fun for all ages. There are about 15 attractions and activities in Adventure city. It contains some common staples in every amusement park, such as a mini Ferris wheel called the Giggle Wheel and a carousel. Some of the more fun and mobile options include a spinning ride called the Balloon Race, which takes guests on a fun ride on hot air balloon-shaped cars. There’s also the Brainstormer Planes, where little ones can speed through the rides on colorful airplanes.
If you have older kids with you on the trip, then you may want to try out some of the more thrilling rides. There are roller coasters available inside the park, such as the Rewind Racers and Freeway Coasters. Another exciting ride is the Drop Zone, which plunges guests up and down a 45-foot-tall tower. Adventure city is also about the experience. Young ones can experience a day as a firefighter, engineer, and rock climber in attractions like the Rescue Ride, Crack-N-Roll, and Mount Adventurous. These are only some of the many attractions in the park, so be sure to visit Adventure City’s website for more information!
Blackbeard’s Family Entertainment Center, Fresno
Blackbeard’s Family Entertainment Center in Fresno is one of the best amusement parks in California if you and your family enjoy experiences more than rides There are nine attractions that guests can enjoy while they’re visiting the park. If you’re into rides, then your and your young ones will surely enjoy the Cap’n Kids Rideland. This is an area in the park with many rides, like the carousel, pirate ship, roller coaster, and Ferris wheel.
Other fun areas in the park include the Ropes Course Adventure, where you and your family can explore an obstacle course while suspended above the ground. Guests are provided with harnesses, so rest assured that you’ll be safe during the activity.
Blackbeard’s Family Entertainment Center also has a waterpark, which is great for hot summer days when you need to cool off. When you’re at the park, make sure you don’t miss out on fun activities like the Xtreme Laser Tag, Mini Golf, and Bumper boats. They also have areas for baseball and basketball experiences. If you ever get hungry while exploring, then you can take a break at the park’s Snack Bar or dine in the picnic area to replenish your energy for the day.
Children’s Fairyland, Oakland
The Children’s Fairyland in Oakland offers an enchanting experience that you can’t afford to miss out on. If you and your family love fairytales and magic, then this is one of the best amusement parks in California for you. Children’s Fairyland is the epitome of a fairytale brought to life. The park is covered in vibrant colors, adorable characters, and beautiful structures that you would only see in your child’s favorite storybook. There are many areas based on your favorite tales, such as Jack n Jill, The Old Lady in the Shoe, Alice in Wonderland, and many more! They are interactive, fun, and look amazing in pictures.
If you are looking for thrill rides, then Children’s Fairyland is not the right place for you. The rides in the park revolve around bringing the fairy tales to life, which may be just as exciting for your family in a different way. You can experience rides such as the Jolly Trolly, a colorful train ride, and the oldest ride in the entire park. There’s also the Wonder-Go-Round, which is a miniature carousel with animal cars inspired by Alice in Wonderland. The miniature Ferris Wheel is made to look like a spider web from an African folk tale, taking the little ones on a relaxing spin. Lastly, there is the Flecto Carousel, decorated with loud and vibrant paint by the Flecto Pain Company in 1997. Lastly, Children’s Fairyland also features a small area with animals, where you can get up close and personal with ponies, donkeys, ducks, and more.
Fun Town at Micke Grove, Lodi
The Fun Town at Micke Grove isn’t exactly an amusement park. It’s a small area in Micke Grove with an assortment of different rides for families to enjoy while they are exploring the area. The Fun Town is only one out of the many attractions in Micke Grove Regional Park. Fun Town is only big enough to enjoy for a few hours, so it’s a quick and fun adventure to go on if you’re not sure what to do in Micke Grove. Aside from the amusement park, there is also a zoo, a fishing area, picnic areas, a Japanese garden, the San Joaquin County Memorial Museum, and many more.
Fun Town has about ten rides in total. Some of the most popular rides include the Kiddie Coaster, which is a thrilling and fun experience for kids. There’s also the Tilt-a-Whirl, an exciting ride that spins you around in colorful cars. Another popular attraction is the Fun Town Express Train, which takes guests on a relaxing ride around the park. The park is designed to look like the traditional carnival we all know and love, so expect to see a lot of yummy snacks and games in the stalls around the amusement park. Fun Town may look a little worn and old but that’s the charm of it. The amusement park is decades old and signifies some of the most meaningful parts of Micke Grove’s history.
Funderland Amusement Park, Sacramento
Adults aren’t the only ones who deserve to go on thrilling rides. The Funderland Amusement Park in Sacramento takes the thrilling rides we all know and love and tones them down for the young ones to enjoy. There are 12 attractions to enjoy in the park. Many of the attractions are modeled after cool characters and awesome designs, so don’t forget to bring your cameras with you. One of the best ways to remember your time at the park is to take advantage of their photo-op areas. You and your family can take pictures on the Red Baron Plane, Duesy Car, and at the Funderland Express Train Depot with the park’s mascot.
The rides at the park are exciting and unique, especially because of their design. If you’ve ever dreamed about riding a dragon, then you can finally make it happen by hopping on to the Flying Dragon roller coaster. The Squirelly Whirl takes guests on a spinning swing ride around Happy the Squirrel’s tree, creating a cool and windy experience. You and your kids can ride around different types of vehicles like Red Baron Planes, the Wild Stagecoach, Backroad Buggies, and the Funderland Express Train, which takes you on a tour around the park. Of course, no amusement park is complete with a carousel and a teacup ride. The carousel is one of the oldest rides in the park, functioning for over 75 years.
Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park, Gilroy
Theme Park features many gardens and plant-inspired attractions within the park, so it’s one of the best amusement parks in California if you have a green thumb. The park is surrounded by lush greenery, creating a natural scenery that you can enjoy as you try out all of the rides. There aren’t a lot of thrill rides in this park, as it focuses mainly on creating a fun and relaxing experience for the family. However, there are still a few options that are thrilling enough to spark some excitement while riding them. Rides are ranked with a thrill level of 1 to 4, with 4 being the most thrilling.
All the kiddie rides are ranked with 1. This includes adorable animal-shaped rides like the Bulgy the Goldfish ride, Big Red Engine Co., the Illions Supereme Carousel, and the Tubs-o-Fun. For thrill level 2, there’s the Panoramic Ferris wheel, the Paddle boats, Rainbow Garden Boat Ride, and the Bofante Railroad Train Ride. There’s also the Sky Trail Monorail, which gives a stunning overview of the park from above. Thrill level 3 includes the Timber Twister Coaster, a kid-friendly roller coaster that is shaped like a snake. There’s also a high swinging ride called the Mushroom Swing and the Garlic Twirl, which is a fun take on the classic teacup ride.
The most thrilling ride in the park is the Quicksilver Mine Coaster. It’s the only attraction that scored a thrill level of 4. It’s a high-speed coaster that brings guests through a flurry of twists and turns through the park’s greenery.
Kiwanis Kiddieland, Merced
The Kiwanis Kiddieland in Merced is a fun little park with only 6 rides, so it’s perfect for those days when having some extra time and doesn’t know what to do. Most of the rides are made for smaller kids, but some rides are also big enough for the parents to accompany them. Rides in the Kiwanis Kiddieland are designed with bright colors and fun characters, so your little ones will be able to feel the excitement from the moment they enter the park. Many of the rides are simple but enjoyable. There aren’t many options to choose from but the amusement park is great for pictures and memories.
Kids can ride on different vehicles like the Rocket Ride, which features small rocket cars that spin around. Each car can fit two kids, so it’s a fun activity for pairs. There are also similar rides like the Car Ride, which lets your little ones hop on different kinds of cars for a brief ride. It’s the same concept for the Helicopter Ride as well. Kiddieland also features a miniature train ride around the park and the classic merry-go-round. The most thrilling ride would be the Go Gator Rollercoaster, where kids and parents can zoom through a kiddie alligator-shaped coaster.
Playland Fresno, Fresno
Playland Fresno has been around since 1955 but remains one of the best amusement parks in California today. Playland Fresno has only gotten better with time, keeping some local favorite rides while also adding new attractions to their park’s collection. There are 11 attractions to enjoy in the park, so make sure to set aside an entire day for you to enjoy all of them. Take note that the minimum height requirement for all the rides is 34”.
Playland Fresno features classic rides like the spinning Teacups, Big Top Carousel, and Wonder Wheel. The most exciting ride in the park is the Dragon Coaster, a miniature roller coaster that contains the perfect amount of thrill for your little ones.
There are also rides like the Helicopter, where kids can experience what it’s like to become a pilot. The Kyle Express Train is more relaxing and greater for sightseeing, taking guests down on a tour across the park. For smaller kids, there are rides like the Buggy Adventure and Lithia Little Racers, which allow kids to race on fun vehicles. There is also the Wheeee Wheel, a smaller version of the park’s Ferris wheel. There are also activities for guests of all heights and ages. There are boat rides available on Shipwreck Cove and a small lagoon called the Splash Pad.
Pixieland Amusement Park, Concord
The Pixieland Amusement Park in Concord is described as a place where ‘little kids have big fun.’ With that, it’s easily a great option if you’re visiting California with smaller children who aren’t big enough to go on most rides. This amusement park has rides for both bigger and smaller kids, with some big enough for parents to ride with them.
Younger kids have vehicles like the Coin-op purple cow, ice cream truck, and bat car to enjoy. As the name suggests, they’re coin-operated and themed machines that your little ones can take for a spin. Little ones can also ride attractions like the Windy Grove Cars, as long as they have a parent or guardian with them. Calm and pleasant rides like the Pixieland Express Train are also great for a nice little adventure.
Kids who meet the minimum height requirement of 40” for the rides can enjoy many attractions without a parent to accompany them. The Tea Cups and Carousel are two classics that are enjoyed by guests of all ages. There are also more exciting options like the Frog Hopper, a ride that takes kids up and down a frog-themed tower, and a Dragon Roller Coaster for a speedy ride around an adventurous course.
Scandia Family Fun Center, Sacramento
Unlike most of the amusement parks listed so far, the Scandia Family Fun Center offers some screamers and thrilling rides for adults and older kids to try out. Most of the rides are still designed to be family-friendly but all attractions are guaranteed to be fun for all ages. The most thrilling ride inside the park would be the Sky Screamer, an exciting ride that spins and throws you around in mid-air using a tall tower. There’s also the Crazy Dane Coaster, which is a roller coaster with many turns, slopes, and twists. The Norway Flier is tamer compared to the previous two but it’s still an exciting ride, swinging passengers around in a Viking-themed car.
If you want to try something fun and unique but not too thrilling, then you can race down the tracks in the Stockholm Raceway or take a ride on the Swedish Scrambler. For a more relaxing experience, boat rides are available on the Baltic Sea Bumper Boat attractions. Lapland is also quite fun, allowing kids to slide down curved slides in a race to the end. Aside from their rides, the Scandia Family Center also features activities like mini-golf, batting cages, and an arcade.
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Vallejo
Six Flags is a go-to tourist destination, so it’s no wonder why it made it to this list of best amusement parks in California. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has the biggest selection of attractions out of all the amusement parks we’ve mentioned so far. Aside from being an amusement park with various kinds of rides, it’s also a zoo that hosts different animals. There are a lot of attractions in the park so it’s best to check the website for a clear description of all of them. However, these are some of the most popular attractions.
There are many roller coasters inside the park so feel free to experience a long course of loops and curves with rides like Batman: The Ride, Boomerang Coast-to-Coaster, and Cobra. There’s also a unique type of coaster available in the park: Kong, a King Kong-inspired roller coaster that spins, loops, and takes you on a ride while suspended in mid-air. Another coaster called Medusa has some of the most thrilling loops, taking passengers on an adventurous and exciting course. Aside from roller coasters, there are also rides like the seaport carousel, Sidewinder Safari, Skyscreamer, and many more. If you want a break from the thrill, then you can head over to their animal exhibits to watch shows and meet animals like alligators, seals, sharks, and so much more.
Castle Amusement Park, Riverside
Castle Amusement Park is one of the best amusement parks in California if you are looking for an all-around experience. Castle Amusement Parks has over 20 rides and many different attractions, including a waterpark called the Buccaneer Cove. The rides in the park vary in thrill level and intensity, giving options for all members of the family regardless of age and height. It’s one of the most popular amusement parks in California, for a good reason. A lot of the attractions in the park have a mild thrill level, which means that they are family and kid-friendly. Some mild attractions include the Flying Animals, Sky Rider, Whip, and a lot more kiddie rides.
Moderate rides take it up a notch, increasing the intensity through speed and height. The moderate rides inside the park include the Flying Saucer, Tilt-a-Whirl, Log Ride, and Dragon’s Tower. The most intense rides are high-speed screamers. The first ride is called Fireball, an inverted roller coaster that takes you through fast spins in a daring loop. The second ride is called the Screamin’ Demon. It’s another roller coaster that is guaranteed to make you yell your lungs off through a 35-foot-high course filled with bumps, turns, and loops. There are many rides inside the Castle Amusement Park, so you may need to come early or go on two consecutive days to enjoy all of them.
Disney California Adventure, Anaheim
This list would not be complete if we didn’t include Disney California Adventure. As a name that we all know and love, Disney has created one of the best amusement parks in California for guests to enjoy. It’s an experience that you’ll surely remember. There are over 50 attractions and activities to explore, so we’ll only be able to cover some of the most popular ones. Feel free to visit their website for more information about the park.
Seeing all of our favorite characters in action is Disney California Adventure’s biggest charm. Rides like the Incredicoaster, Jessie’s Critter Carousel, and Radiator Spring Racers bring our favorite tales to life, creating a fun and immersive experience for the entire family. Kid-friendly ride options include the Grizzly River Run, Jumpin Jellyfish, Red Car Trolley, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, and many more. The entire family can also participate in fun activities like meet-ups with the mascots and characters, Turtle Talk with Crush, and watch dazzling performances from the band and theme park cast. Taller kids and adults can enjoy more exciting rides like the Silly Symphony Swings, Monsters After Dark, and Mission: BREAKOUT! By the time you leave the park, you’ll have many memorable experiences with beautiful pictures to match.
Disneyland is a different park from Disney California Adventure. It also has a bigger selection of rides and attractions, listing over 70 things to do on its website. As Disney California Adventure, Disneyland offers an all-around experience for families. There are many interactive attractions, thrilling rides, and kid-friendly experiences for the entire family. The shows and parades are also one of the best parts of exploring the park, as you get to see different characters sing, dance, and perform as they stroll through the streets of the park.
Guests of all ages can enjoy kid-friendly attractions like Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Astro Orbiter, and the Alice in Wonderland experience. Taller kids and teenagers can enjoy more thrilling rides, like the Gadget’s Go Coaster, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and Splash Mountain. Some of the most daring options in the park are featured on the website. Rides like the Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Hyperspace Mountain, and the Indiana Jones Adventure can be enjoyed best by taller kids, adults, and teenagers. As one of the best amusement parks in the area, you cannot afford to miss out on visiting Disneyland while you’re in California, so be sure to make time on your schedule!
Fiesta Village Family Fun Park, Colton
Fiesta Village Family Fun Park in Colton offers many fun activities, rides, and experiences for the entire family. There aren’t many rides inside the park but they make up for it in the various games and activities that they offer on-site. There are only 4 rides available in Fiesta Village Family Fun Park. The first attraction is called the Slugger’s Slide, a 20-foot-tall slide that allows guests to race with their family and friends through a quick glide to the bottom. The next ride is called Dizzy Bears. The concept is similar to the traditional teacup ride, allowing guests to control a bear-shaped car as it spins and spirals during the ride.
A great option for older kids, teenagers, and adults is the Tilt-a-Whirl: Whoopee. Hold on tight and try not to see stars as this ride spins you around with multiple tilts and whirls. This is one of the most popular attractions in the park, so make sure to check it out. The last ride is called the Scrambler, another thrilling ride that spins passengers around at high speed. Aside from their rides, Fiesta Village Family Fun Park also features activities like a roller-skating rink, a Go-Kart track, mini-golf, laser tag, and many more. You can also enjoy the Pyrite Rapids Water Park for hot and dry summer days.
Scandia Family Fun Center, Victorville
The Scandia Family Fun Center in Victorville has similar rides to the park in Sacramento. However, this one feature more attractions and activities. The Scandia Family Fun Centers in Victorville and Sacramento share the same rides, such as the Baltic Sea Bumper Boats, Stockholm Raceway, and Sandia Screamer. Aside from the rides mentioned, the attractions in the Scandia Family Fun Center in Victorville take a different approach. Most of the rides are for teenagers, taller kids, or adults. The Thor’s Chariot has a minimum height requirement of 48” if riding alone, even if the guest comes with an escort. The Viking Tilt Tower required at least 44”, while the Passenger Boats require at least 58”. There is also another ride called the Michael Jackson’s Slide, which is made for guests that are 39” or taller.
Aside from these rides, visitors can also enjoy many other activities. There is a mini-golf course available on-site. You can also practice your baseball skills in the park’s batting cages, equipped with 8 pitch cages with various levels of difficulty. There is also an arcade available for guests, so feel free to find your favorite games if you want a break from the rides.
Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia
Magic Mountain is another amusement park by Six Flags, located in Valencia. Like the Discovery Kingdom, Magic Mountain features attractions for guests of all ages. There are thrill rides, kiddie rides, and family rides for everyone to enjoy. The Kiddie rides include a kiddie coaster called the Canyon Blaster, Daffy’s Adventure Tours, Elmer’s Weather Balloons, the Magic Flyer, and classic rides the Merrie Melodies Carousel. There are also rides that the entire family can enjoy. This includes the swinging Buccaneer ship, a high-plunge ride called the Jet Stream, Racing on the Pacific Speedway, the Roaring Rapids, and many more.
Thrill-seekers are in for a treat in Magic Mountain’s high-thrill rides. There are a lot of daring and adventurous roller coasters in the park, like the Dive Devil, Full Throttle, Gold Rusher, and Goliath. The newest addition to the park is called the Wonder Woman Flight of Courage, a tall and curvy coaster that will launch in the summer of 2022. If you’re sick of roller coasters, then you can also try out the suspended, spinning disks in the CraZanity or the exciting free-fall ride down the Lex Luthor Drop of Doom. Magic Mountain is truly one of the best amusement parks in California, especially if you’re looking for exciting screamer rides and extreme drops.
California is rich in amusement and theme parks, so you may have a hard time deciding where to go. If you’re looking for more wholesome and memorable family experiences, then Disneyland and Children’s Fairyland may be the best options. If your group is composed mainly of thrill-seekers and adults, then parks like Six Flags and Castle Park are the way to go. Overall, these are some of the best amusement parks in California for all ages. If you are planning on taking a trip to the USA soon, then feel free to check our website for more guides and lists of the top attractions across all states.
Looking to explore California? Here are some other great things to do in the state: