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Theme Park Thrills

Whether you are driving around with old friends or a back seat full of children, this trip is certain to please the young at heart.

Start:SeaWorld San Diego
End:Six Flags Magic Mountain, Santa Clarita
6 - 8Days,6Stops,165Miles
SeaWorld San Diego
Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego
LEGOLAND California, Carlsbad
Courtesy of LEGOLAND California
Disneyland Resort, Anaheim
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Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park
Courtesy of Knott's Berry Farm
Universal Studios Hollywood
BlueHill75/Getty Images
Six Flags Magic Mountain, Santa Clarita
Courtesy of Six Flags Magic Mountain
Stop 1

SeaWorld San Diego

500 Sea World Dr., San Diego

Explore the magic of the world’s oceans and learn about the importance of protecting marine environments at SeaWorld San Diego, just north of central San Diego. There’s always something going on at the nearly 200-acre theme park, including interactive exhibits, zooming rides, live animal interactions and other special events. SeaWorld hopes to inspire visitors to better understand the planet’s watery worlds. The park presents different ocean zones, each one featuring recreated habitats populated by some of the creatures found there. In Wild Arctic, get a closeup look at walruses, beluga whales and polar bears. Penguin Encounter is home to the entertaining seabirds. At Explorer’s Reef, see (and touch) harmless rays that live in coastal waters and then climb aboard Manta, a high tech rollercoaster that lets you twist, turn and dive like a ray. Or head to Electric Eel, the tallest and fastest rollercoaster in San Diego.

Stop 2

LEGOLAND California, Carlsbad

1 Legoland Dr, Carlsbad

While LEGOLAND California—created by 60 million LEGO bricks—may appeal to little ones, parents love it too. Walk through Miniland USA for miniaturised re-creations of Washington, DC, New York and San Francisco, as well as scenes from Star Wars. Go behind the scenes to look at the soundstage and models used during the The LEGO Movie. The park has more than 60 rides, shows and attractions, including three rollercoasters. Children especially love Driving School, where they learn the ways of the road in LEGO-esque mini-cars, and Safari Trek, where riders drive animal-striped Jeeps to explore a world of life-size giraffes, elephants and tigers all made out of LEGO bricks. 

For a fun overnight stop, stay at one of the two family-friendly resort Hotels —The LEGOLAND Resort Hotel or the LEGOLAND Castle Hotel—each a temple to everything LEGO with themed rooms and inspired extras.

Make sure you add to the fun with a trip to the LEGOLAND Water Park, with thrilling slides, and the Sea Life Aquarium with up-close encounters with sharks, rays and octopi.

Stop 3

Disneyland Resort, Anaheim

1313 Disneyland Dr., Anaheim

The granddaddy of theme parks has been leading the way since 1955, inviting visitors to the ultimate land of make-believe. The resort features two theme parks—the original Disneyland Park and the adjacent Disney California Adventure Park (DCA)—three hotels and an energetic, family-friendly dining and entertainment district.

In Disneyland, take a swashbuckling cruise on Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square. Bobsleigh down the slopes of the Matterhorn in Fantasyland. Head to a galaxy far, far away in the immersive Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, where you can pilot the legendary Millenium Falcon. In DCA, take flight in Soarin’ Over the World, help Rocket rescue the rest of the guardians in Guardians of the Galaxy—Mission: Breakout! or spend some time at the fun-filled Pixar Pier. You can meet Mickey and friends, plus Ariel, Belle and other favourites, throughout the resort.

Insider tip: download the free Disneyland Mobile app and utilise the resort’s fastpass or Maxpass system to save time, check waiting times and order food on the move.

Stop 4

Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park

8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park

About 16 kilometres from Anaheim in Buena Park, Knott’s Berry Farm is a unique combination of theme park and Southern California history. A family-run boysenberry farm started selling pies and fried-chicken dinners during the Depression, and over the decades added Old West attractions, carnival rides and live shows to the mix.

Today, Knott’s is known for stomach-flipping rollercoasters: scream your head off on the Silver Bullet’s corkscrew and double spiral, or streak past at 80 miles per hour on the Xcelerator. Each season brings its own events, from the super-spooky Knott’s Scary Farm in the autumn to the Snoopy-led Knott’s Peanuts Festival in winter and the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival in the spring. Year round, don’t miss an old-fashioned feast at the updated version of that original eatery, Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant.

Plan your visit

Stop 5

Universal Studios Hollywood

100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City

Just over the legendary Hollywood Hills, Universal Studios Hollywood blends a working film studio with a theme park offering both a behind the scenes tour of film making magic and rides that swoosh, swoop and dive through cinematically inspired fantasy worlds. A good first stop: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with its two rides and a full blown Hogsmeade village of shops and restaurants. Other film and TV favourites get their own rides, restaurants and attractions, including the zombie filled Walking Dead Attraction, The Simpsons Ride, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, the World-Famous Studio Tour and (opening summer 2019) Jurassic World. Before you leave, make sure you explore Universal CityWalk, the neon lit complex of shops, restaurants and entertainment spaces just outside the park. Insider tip: upgrade to a Universal Express ticket that lets you bypass the theme park’s queues, or at least buy your ticket online, which gives you access to the park an hour early.

Stop 6

Six Flags Magic Mountain, Santa Clarita

26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia

Adrenaline seekers, welcome to paradise. North of Los Angeles in the Santa Clarita Valley, Six Flags Magic Mountain boasts a staggering line-up of rollercoasters—20 in all, with the arrival of West Coast Racers. The choice of G-force-pushing thrills includes the world’s tallest and fastest looping rollercoaster (Full Throttle), and the world’s fastest stand-up ride (Riddler’s Revenge). Prefer something gentler? Take a selfie with one of the wandering characters—from members of the DC Comics’ Justice League to Warner Bros. icons such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the Tasmanian Devil.

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Road Trip Snapshot

Find out more about the amazing locations featured in this road trip. Ready to plan your trip? Print the itinerary or map your adventure to get started.

Stop 1SeaWorld San Diego
500 Sea World Dr., San Diego
Stop 2LEGOLAND California, Carlsbad
1 Legoland Dr, Carlsbad
Stop 3Disneyland Resort, Anaheim
1313 Disneyland Dr., Anaheim
Stop 4Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park
8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park
Stop 5Universal Studios Hollywood
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City
Stop 6Six Flags Magic Mountain, Santa Clarita
26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia

Car & RV Hire

Trusted car & RV hire companies to make your trip much easier

Avis Rent a Car
Enterprise Rent a Car
Hertz Rent a Car
Budget Rent a Car
Payless Car Rental
Zip Car
Alamo
National
Thrifty
Dollar
Fox Rent a Car
Sixt Rent a Car
Advantage OPCP
Silver Car
E-Z Rent a car
Midway Car Rental
Mex Rent a Car
United Auto Rental
Auto Distributors
Cruise America
El Monte RV

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