The Biggest Thrill Rides in California
Transformers 3D: Nobody under 40 could pass up the chance to fight alongside Optimus Prime to protect Earth against the evil Decepticons, could they? Well, you’ll get your chance come May 25, 2012 when Transformers: The Ride 3D has its grand opening at Universal Studios Hollywood. A combination of 3D projectors and flight-simulator technology promises to push this ride past other rides like Back to the Future, which also pushes riders through a 3D video experience of the movie.
Star Tours: Star Wars fans flocked to Disneyland after Star Tours was reopened after a remodel last year. The ride was always a popular attraction, but in sore need of an upgrade after several decades of use. Multiple storylines now characterize the experience, randomized to be different for every group. You could go on this ride several times and never have the same experience. Riders glide along with Wookies on Kashyyyk, jump into a pod racer on Tatooine or go underwater in the lakes of Naboo. That’s just a taste of the 3D adventures that have been designed into this ride.
The Green Lantern: Six Flags has a whole string of roller coasters and thrill rides designed around DC Comics’ cavalcade of superheroes. The Green Lantern: First Flight coaster takes riders on a spinning, twisting ride that turns the regular coaster experience on its head. Once you’re strapped in, you won’t be able to count on “down” to be in any particular direction for long.
King Kong 360 3D: Remember the awesome fight in Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake, between Kong and three T-rexes? Yeah, it was pretty much the most awesome thing that happened in the movie, and Universal Studios has wisely turned it into a ride and made it part of the Studio Tour. I’m not sure how much more I can say that won’t detract from it: King Kong fights dinosaurs — enough said.
Indiana Jones Adventure: This classic ride at Disneyland never seems to get old. Take a tour through the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, past booby traps, boiling lava and giant snakes (Why does it have to be snakes?). We all know how this goes. You’re going to get yourself into trouble, and Indy is the only one who can save you. Watch out for the giant boulder! Nobody ever seems to remember that part.
Southern California is still the Mecca of amusement park enthusiasts, vying with Florida for the top spot in the US. Universal Studios Hollywood, Six Flags: Magic Mountain and Disneyland Resort are the three heavyweights in So Cal, and they are home to some of the biggest thrill rides on the planet.