California Dreamin' Tour

We're off to California to visit some of the best theme parks in the US, with live updates on Facebook and Twitter. Here's where we will be visiting and when:

  • Universal Studios Hollywood on Tuesday September 30
  • Disneyland Resort on Wednesday October 1
  • Knott's Berry Farm on Thursday October 2
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain on Friday October 3

We'll be posting comments, photos and videos from each of the theme parks.

To make sure that you don't miss any of our updates, like ThemeParks-US on Facebook and follow ThemeParks-US on Twitter.

We visited Six Flags Magic Mountain on Friday October 3 as part of our California Dreamin' Tour.

Six Flags Magic Mountain currently holds the world record for the most roller coasters in a theme park, so we knew that it would be a full scale assault on the senses and it certainly lived up to those expectations.

Our first ride of the day would be Revolution, the world's first modern roller coaster to feature a vertical loop. It's a classic ride and was a gentle start before what was to come!

We followed this with Tatsu, a gigantic flying coaster that hugs the side of the 'mountain' at the center of the park and is the tallest, fastest and longest of its kind in the world. It features the world's largest pretzel loop which subjects riders to intense g-forces.

Next was the classic suspended roller coaster Ninja, the fastest of its kind in the world with a top speed of 55 mph.

There are many rides at Six Flags Magic Mountain themed to DC Comics and our first of the day was Superman: Escape from Krypton. This reverse launch roller coaster does an incredible 0 to 100 mph in just 7 seconds, and reaches a height of 415 ft.

After descending the 'mountain' on the other side of the park we reached Apocalypse: The Ride, an enjoyable wooden roller coaster.

The Riddler's Revenge was our next ride, which upon opening was the tallest, fastest and longest stand-up coaster in the world. It features 6 inversions; a vertical loop, 2 dive loops, an inclined loop and 2 corkscrews.

We then entered the DC Universe, home to thrill rides such as Wonder Woman: Lasso of Truth, Flash: Speed Force, Green Lantern: First Flight and Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom which is 400 ft high and reaches 85mph.

Batman: The Ride is the iconic inverted coaster, with clones of the ride all around the world, and we loved the smooth but intense experience.

We were really looking forward to the next ride, the floorless roller coaster Scream, and aside from the shocking lack of any thematic elements (it is built in the car park!) the actual ride experience is brilliant, especially in the front row.

Equally exciting was the hyper coaster Goliath next door, with a 255 ft drop and a top speed of 85 mph. There is some great airtime on this ride.

Now returning to the front of the park, we took on one of the newest additions to the insane lineup of roller coasters. Full Throttle is a fun roller coaster with 2 forward launches and 1 backward launch, plus the world's tallest vertical loop.

Our last ride of the day was X2, a '4th dimension' roller coaster where riders experience a series of somersault maneuvers during the ride, a very innovative and unusual experience.

In the midst of an intense heat wave and after a relentless barrage of twists, turns, inversions and g-forces we had reached our limit and were ready to say fawell to Six Flags Magic Mountain.

We visited Knott's Berry Farm on Thursday October 2 as part of our California Dreamin' Tour.

Our visit to this historic theme park started in the legendary Ghost Town, based on the real ghost town of Calico among others, and brought to life with a variety of craftsman including a blacksmith, woodcarver, glass-blower, sign cutter and spinner.

We began with a ride on the horse-drawn Butterfield Stagecoach which offered a brilliant tour of several areas of the park, this really was something special that you don't expect to see at a theme park and was a great start to our day.

Next was the Silver Bullet inverted roller coaster which is 3,125ft long, 146ft tall and features 6 inversions including a vertical loop, cobra roll, zero-g roll and 2 corkscrews.

We then passed through Camp Snoopy to ride the Sierra Sidewinder spinning roller coaster and explored Fiesta Village, a colorful Mexican and Aztec themed area of the park, and enjoyed the 2 roller coasters Jaguar and Montezooma's Revenge.

The vibrant Boardwalk area was next, with the Xcelerator launched roller coaster where riders accelerate from 0 to 82 mph in 2.3 seconds and climb 205 ft into the air, the 325 ft tall Supreme Scream drop towers and a classic Boomerang roller coaster.

We then enjoyed panoramic views of the theme park and beyond from the Sky Cabin at 250 ft.

Returning to Ghost Town, next up were the Calico Mine Ride and Timber Mountain Log Ride, both recently refurbished as they have been operating since 1960 and 1969 respectively.

We then crossed over to the other side of Ghost Town to ride the Pony Express family roller coaster and Bigfoot Rapids.

Our final ride of the day would be one of the best as the GhostRider wooden roller coaster is an incredibly wild ride that is packed with airtime, twists and tightly banked turns. It's a very long ride with 4,533 ft of track!

We would definitely recommend a visit to Knott's Berry Farm, a charming theme park with a great collection of thrill rides that really compliments the nearby Disneyland Resort.

We visited Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort on Wednesday October 1 as part of our California Dreamin' Tour.

We started our day at Paradise Pier with a ride on the interactive 4D attraction Toy Story Mania! followed by the launched roller coaster California Screamin'.

Next we braved the Grizzly River Run rapids and explored the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail in Grizzly Peak, followed by a great flight on Soarin' Over California in the nearby Condor Flats.

A short ride down Hollywood Boulevard on the Red Car Trolley and we arrived in the heart for Hollywood Land outside The Hollywood Tower Hotel to enter The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror drop ride.

We passed through A Bug's Land which has a variety of children's rides and attractions such as It's Tough to Be a Bug! in 3D, the Heimlich Chew Chew Train and Flik's Flyers. We love the illusion that you have shrunk down to the size of an insect as you wander beneath the canopy of leaves and plants.

One of the absolute highlights of Disney California Adventure is the incredible Cars Land with Radiator Springs Racers, Mater's Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi's Flying Tires.

There are a couple of charming dark rides, The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure and Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! elsewhere in the park.

At the end of the day we returned to Paradise Bay for the World of Color nighttime spectacular featuring water fountains, screens, smoke, lasers and fire accompanied by a fun soundtrack of Disney classics.

We visited the original Disneyland in Anaheim on Wednesday October 1 as part of our California Dreamin' Tour.

Tomorrowland was the first to be explored, with an array of retro-futuristic themed attractions including Space Mountain, Star Tours, Autopia, Astro Orbitor and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.

Unique to the original Disneyland is New Orleans Square with an intricate series of streets that weave around many shops and restaurants. Here you will find Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, which for our visit during Halloween Time had been completely transformed as Haunted Mansion Holiday.

The most popular ride in Frontierland is the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster, but there is so much more to enjoy on and around the Rivers of America such as taking to the water on the Mark Twain Riverboat and Sailing Ship Columbia or hopping on a raft over to the Tom Sawyer Island.

The star attraction of Critter Creek is the superb Splash Mountain log flume with The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh dark ride next door.

Sleeping Beauty Castle is the gateway to Fantasyland which features many classic attractions; wonderful dark rides including Peter Pan's Flight, Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio's Daring Journey, Snow White's Scary Adventures, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and It's A Small World, plus other popular family rides such as Dumbo the Flying Elephant and the King Arthur Carrousel.

Adventureland includes the classic Jungle Cruise, Tarzan's Treehouse and Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room. By far the highlight though is the Indiana Jones Adventure dark ride, sorely missed from the other Disneyland parks around the world.

Two of our favorites at Disneyland are the Matterhorn Bobsleds and Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, mainly as they are so different to anything else.

The park was beautifully decorated for Halloween Time, so there was plenty of seasonal atmosphere aside from Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy.

We visited Universal Studios Hollywood on Tuesday September 30 as part of our California Dreamin' Tour.

'The Entertainment Capital of LA' is an incredible blend of working film/TV studio and theme park located in the Hollywood hills, and the biggest reason for any visit is the legendary Studio Tour.

Also in the Upper Lot there are a number of great live shows, from the spectacular WaterWorld stunt show to the Special Effects Stage with demonstrations of how things are done for the big screen, as well as the adorable talented creatures in Universal's Animal Actors.

There are also some top family attractions in the Upper Lot including The Simpsons Ride, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and Shrek 4D.

Down on the Lower Lot is where you will find thrill rides including Transformers The Ride, Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride and Jurassic Park: The Ride.

Aside from the rides, shows and other attractions Universal Studios Hollywood also offers some fantastic views of Hollywood.

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