Surviving SoCal Amusement Parks in the Summer

July is officially upon us, which means that we are in the middle of summer break! It’s time to make the most of the season with our Summer Series: your guide to tips, tricks, and the best of Southern California living. 

This week we are exploring all of the must-see spots that SoCal has to offer.  Get ready for some adventure!

Last year, the top 20 amusement parks in the United States and Canada attracted 148 million thrill seekers, according to the global attractions attendance report.

Because July is traditionally a very busy month, it’s a good bet that attractions in Southern California such as Universal Studios HollywoodSix Flags Magic MountainDisneyland, Legoland, and Knott’s Berry Farm will be as hectic as ever.

So, follow these theme park tips to get around those frustrating lines and you’ll find yourself wanting to go back again and again!

  • TripAdvisor says to avoid peak days.  Midweek is ideal, especially Mondays and Tuesdays which tend to be the least crowded. Most crowds can be found on weekends.
  • Head to the park early in the morning to avoid big crowds and secure a prime parking spot.
  • Consider going to the park even if the forecast isn’t promising.  Parkgoers will  cancel if there is a chance of poor weather, meaning smaller crowds.
  • Don’t start with attractions and rides close to the main entrance, because that’s what everyone will do.  Instead, plan your route in advance and make your way around the park counter clockwise. Also, note the direction people tend to follow and head the opposite way.
  • Get on rides when events such as parades and shows are going on.  Other visitors will usually stop to watch, meaning you’ll spend less time waiting in line.
  • Ride popular attractions during nighttime shows such as fireworks, says the Travel Channel. Families with youngsters tend to leave the park then, making for smaller crowds.
  • Check if the park has an app. It can tell you wait times, saving you from discovering the line is more than an hour long when you get there.
  • If you’re alone, or if you are willing to split up with your group and do not mind riding with a stranger, look for the single-riders line. Those tend to have much shorter wait times.

Now, get up the courage to ride that roller coaster and scream as loud as you can!