By Emily Sorensen
With school out for the summer, what will you do for a fun day out? The theme parks of Southern California have a variety of fun new attractions and events for the whole family this summer.
• Disneyland has a whole heap of new live shows and attractions to explore this summer. The newly remodeled Fantasyland has a lot to offer families, including “Mickey and the Magical Map,” a new, live show in the newly refurbished and updated Fantasyland Theatre, that features Mickey taking adventures with King Louie from “The Jungle Book,” Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from “Tangled,” Sebastian from “The Little Mermaid,” Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog,” Pocahontas, Mulan and an on-screen visit with Stitch from “Lilo and Stitch.” The 22-minute show runs five times a day, seven days a week.
When you finish watching Mickey and his friends, check out the Fantasyland Faire, next to Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Enjoy two fun-filled shows, encounters with your favorite Disney princesses, food, souvenirs and more. The princesses gather each day in the Royal Hall to meet their guests, and you can enjoy shows with Belle and Rapunzel in the Royal Theatre.
Over in Disney California Adventures, Disney Junior fans can enjoy interacting with characters from “Sofia the First” and “Doc McStuffins” during the “Disney Junior - Live on Stage” show.
• Knott’s Berry Farm also has some fun new attractions for summer 2013. Three new attractions will be unveiled on the Boardwalk this summer: the Coast Rider, a 52-foot tall, 1,339-foot long family roller coaster, Surfside Gliders, a two-man aircraft that lets guests soar 28 feet in the air, and the Pacific Scrambler, a classic boardwalk ride that spins you around.
Starting June 15, Knott’s Berry Farm is also offering a big lineup of summer entertainment, including “Snoopy... Unleashed! On Ice,” “Boom Town,” an acrobatic show, “Britain’s Finest,” a Beatles tribute band, and Snoopy’s Starlight Spectacular. Some shows only play on certain nights, so check the calendar on the Knott’s Berry Farm website before you go, www.knotts.com.
• With three parks to choose from, Legoland has a ton to offer families this summer. Explore the original Legoland California, Legoland Water Park and the Sea Life Aquarium, and stay in the Legoland Hotel, which opened in April. Newly available at Legoland California is the world’s largest Lego model, a life-sized Star Wars X-wing fighter made of over 5 million Lego bricks. The model weighs over 45,000 pounds, and stands 11 feet tall and 43 feet long, with a wingspan of 44 feet.
Cool off at the Legoland Water Park, and do battle at Pirate Reef, or enjoy one of the numerous rides and play areas for kids of all ages.
For a more educational visit, check out the Carlsbad Sea Life Aquarium, which incorporates Lego bricks and models into its exhibits, and is geared towards children.
• SeaWorld recently opened Aquatica SeaWorld’s Waterpark on June 1, and there’s plenty for your family to do this summer. Among the many rides and water slides the park offers, enjoy Big Surf Shores, one of the largest wave pools in Southern California at over 500,000 gallons, and includes a sandy beach to bask in the on. Aquatica, located at 2052 Entertainment Circle in Chula Vista, is a separate park that requires a separate admissions fee from the original SeaWorld park.
Over at the original SeaWorld park, beginning June 15 you and your family can enjoy “Madagascar Live! Operation: Vacation.” The 20-minute musical show follows the antics of Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, King Julien, Mort and the Penguins during a vacation adventure. The production will feature rock/pop music performed by a live band and include classic and original songs, and will include a meet and greet with the characters after the show.