Theme park paradise

Southern California offers endless amusements for the entire family

Once upon a time, a certain mouse named Mickey started America’s theme park revolution in an orange grove in Anaheim, California. Since Disneyland’s 1955 debut, Southern California has remained a theme park stronghold, despite stiff competition from Florida’s mega-parks.

The iconic Magic Kingdom alone has attracted 600 million guests since it opened in 1955.

In’s 2011 reader-voted awards, Disneyland Resort’s revamped Star Tours won “Best New Theme Park Attraction,” while its Grand Californian Hotel was named “Best On-Site Theme Park Hotel.” You’ll discover, however, that this warm, oceanside region’s bonanza of rousing rides and spectacular shows extends beyond Disneyland. Whether it’s homey charm or Hollywood glitz you crave for your next family escape, you’ll find it in our seven spotlighted parks near San Diego, Anaheim or Los Angeles—all within driving distance of one another.

If you and your kids hunger to experience something that’s the first, the fastest or the funniest, SoCal’s got a wild ride or two for you. Let the celebration begin.

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