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California Ride Guide 2010

What's New for the 2010 Season at California Theme Parks and Amusement Parks

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California Ride Guide 2010

A rendering of the WALL-E scene from the Disney's World of Color nighttime spectacular coming to Disney's California Adventure.

Disney 2009. Used with permission.
Everything old is new again at many California theme parks in 2010. For example, King Kong returns to wreak havoc at Universal Studios Hollywood, Michael Jackson doppelganger, Captain EO, moonwalks back to Disneyland, and an old coaster gets a new lease on life at Six Flags Magic Mountain. There are some new, new goodies opening at California parks as well. Let's take a park-by-park look at all of the new fun. Parks are listed in alphabetical order.

California's Great America
Santa Clara (near San Francisco), CA
Planet Snoopy
The park retools all of its Nickelodeon attractions for the young'uns with rides, shows, shops, and restaurants themed to the Peanuts characters. Good grief!

Disneyland Resort
Anaheim, CA
Give a Day, Get a Disney Day
When most people volunteer for a good cause, they generally aren't looking for any kind of reward. But hey, getting something in return for volunteering is always appreciated, right? And when that something is a day at a Disneyland theme park, well that's really appreciated. That's exactly what Disney is doing for 2010 with its Give a Day, Get a Disney Day promotion. If you're ready to start helping out so you can help yourself to a free Disney theme park ticket, here's the scoop.

Captain EO
Jacko is officially backo at Disneyland. The 3-D attraction starring Michael Jackson reopens for a limited engagement at Disneyland.

Disney's World of Color
The massive expansion of Disney's California Adventure continues with the spring debut of the nighttime spectacular that will include water effects, lasers, and flame projections to highlight classic Disney animation. Also, the Orange Stinger swing ride will get a Mickey's Band Concert overlay when it reopens as the Silly Symphony Swings.

Toy Story Mania! update
In late May, the 3-D video game ride will get tweaked with new scenes featuring characters from the Toy Story 3 sequel.

The Disneyland Story featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
This isn't new for 2010, but it did sneak in towards the end of 2009. And it's not really new at all, since Disney's groundbreaking animatronic Mr. Lincoln debuted at the 1964 New York World's Fair and took up residence at Disneyland after the fair ended. He'd been on hiatus the past few years, however. The spiffed-up show features the latest animatronics technology, which includes the ability to present subtle facial movements.

Legoland California
Carlsbad (near San Diego), CA
Legoland Water Park
The relatively small water park (5.5 acres), which will be tucked inside the theme park, will require an additional fee. Legoland's water park, like the rest of its attractions, will be geared for the 12-and-under set. The park will also introduce a new 4-D presentation featuring the Lego character, Clutch Powers.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Santa Cruz, CA
Haunted Castle
The legendary dark ride gets some TLC and a major makeover.

SeaWorld San Diego
San Diego, CA
Blue Horizons
A glitzy, multimedia, multi-species show that includes whales, dolphins, birds, and (human) acrobatic performers.

Six Flags Magic Mountain
Valencia, CA
Mr. Six's Dance Coaster and Mr. Six's Splash Island
The goofy Six Flags spokesgeek (who never speaks) gets two new attractions this season. A family coaster that used to be known as Road Runner's Express at the shuttered Six Flags New Orleans is being relocated to Magic Mountain with a new Mr. Six theme. The modest ride will boost the California park's coaster count to 17 and allow it to reclaim its status, in a tie with Cedar Point, as having the most coasters on the planet. Also, Hurricane Harbor water park (which requires a separate admission) will be getting Mr. Six's Splash Island, an interactive water play structure for younger guests that will include slides, sprayers, a dump bucket, and other wet fun.

Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal City, CA
King Kong
The fire that swept through the faux streets of Universal Studios' storied backlot in 2008 leveled building facades and sets and turned the mighty King Kong into a pile of ashes. The big ape will rise from the ashes this season to once again terrorize riders aboard the park's tram tour. Instead of an animatronic figure, however, Kong will go digital 3-D and be projected on wraparound movie screens. In order to experience Kong 2.0, guests will have to don goofy 3-d glasses.

Coming in 2012:
Transformers Attraction
The blockbuster film and toy franchise, Transformers, would seem to be ideally suited for a theme park attraction. It's flashy, it's part of the cultural zeitgeist, it's larger than life, and...it's GIANT ROBOTS! THAT CAN TRANSFORM! In 2012, Universal Studios Hollywood will bring the changeable robots to life in a ride that will include 3-D, high-definition projected images, 4-D sensory and special effects, and large-scale animatronic characters.

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