Tips and Guidance

On this page, we’ll be providing quick tips and guidance to getting the most out of your day at Californian Theme-parks. Thus far, we have tips/guidance for the following parks; Six Flags Magic Mountain, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farm, California’s Great America, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and NEW!: SeaWorld San Diego and Disneyland Resort. We will be adding to the list of parks in the near future. For the easiest use of this page, scroll to the heading with the park of your interest, and just take a look at the tips! If you have any questions, that weren’t answered by the tips, or simply weren’t mentioned, feel free to comment on this page and we’ll respond at our earliest convenience.


Six Flags Magic Mountain

  • Parking is pretty far from the entrance. Arrive early!
  • If you’re a Gold Pass Holder, the park opens for ERT 10 minutes early.
  • When the park opens, ride Full Throttle first, then make your way around the park counter-clockwise.
  • X2’s line is shortest from 2’30-4PM.
  • Eat lunch after 2PM, to wait less in lines for food, and for rides.
  • For a fun, air-conditioned, dine-in restaurant, visit the Full Throttle Sports Bar. A lot of TV screens and many different kinds of beer along with great food.
  • (Summer) Check out Full Throttle Nights at the Full Throttle Plaza, and check out the brand new show Kwerk in the Gearworks Theater in the brand new Screampunk District.
  • Note that the park doesn’t have a lot of flat-rides.
  • The park has the world’s largest, most diverse, coaster line-up, make sure to check out the best and biggest record-breakers. (X2, Tatsu, Full Throttle, Goliath, Riddler’s Revenge, etc).
  • The following coasters have the shortest lines; Viper, Ninja, Goldrusher, Road Runner Express.
  • Superman: Escape from Krypton has a low capacity and is a short ride (23 seconds ride). In addition it doesn’t open with the park, it hardly ever does. If the line is near the entrance, don’t ride it. Come back later in the day, and make sure to ride some other rides first.
  • Of the water rides, Tidal Wave and Jet Stream don’t soak riders. Roaring Rapids on the other hand completely drenches riders. (Stand on the Tidal Wave bridge to get soaked).
  • To visit the top of Samurai Summit (Ninja and Superman: Escape from Krypton), use the Orient Express. A funicular that travels between Six Flags Plaza and Samurai Summit.
  • The park is on a mountain and is 260 acres big. It’s a physical event walking all around the park. Be prepared, wear shoes that are good for steep hills.
  • The park’s located in a dessert. In the summer it can easily be between 90-105 degrees Fahrenheit. Stay hydrated!
  • Lockers are available next to the Flashpass HQs and the Guest Relations building. Most rides have lockers. We advise you get an all-day ride-locker that moves from ride to ride, even though some rides will let you store items on the side of the station. Prevent the hassle, get a multi-rent ride locker for $8.
  • If you ever need water, go to any food vending location and ask for a cup of it, they will give it to you for free.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

  • Parking is across the lake, make sure to arrive ahead of time.
  • If you’re a Gold Pass Holder, The Oasis Plaza (Medusa, Cobra, Kong, Sky Screamer) opens for ERT 10 minutes before the rest of the park.
  • Ride all coasters early in the day, lines should be very minimal then.
  • Check out their awesome flat-rides, like Sky Screamer, Hammerhead, Tazmanian Devil, Tsunami Soaker, and Dare Devil Chaos Coaster.
  • The park has some of the best entertainment around. See Drench! (Dolphin show).
  • Arrive at the stadiums 20 minutes before show-time, for the best seats.
  • Unlike the other Intamin chutes in Cali, Monsoon Falls soaks riders.
  • The ‘Zoo’ part of Six Flags Discovery Kingdom closes before sun-set.
  • Odin’s Temple of the Tiger is a very educational show, we HIGHLY recommend a visit.
  • There’s a food court in the back of the park next to the lake, with plenty of seating.
  • Dining Pass options are very diverse and plenty, Discovery Kingdom has a very good Dining Pass program.
  • Shark-feeding demonstration is every morning a half hour after opening, inside the Shark exhibit.
  • There’s plenty of kiddie rides and family rides.
  • The line for White Water Safari gets very long, ride it earlier in the day.
  • Lockers are available next to security before entering the park. Inside the park they have lockers next to Coldstone at the entrance. Most rides have lockers. We advise you get an all-day ride-locker that moves from ride to ride, not a single loose article is allowed on-board their rides, and nothing is to be left inside the station (except for V2 and Boomerang), they will not let you ride. Prevent the hassle, get a multi-rent ride locker for $3 (5-time locker use).
  • If you ever need water, go to any food vending location and ask for a cup of it, they will give it to you for free.

    Universal Studios Hollywood

  • Arrive before opening.
  • Make sure to get a show-schedule when you arrive.
  • Ride Studio Tour first thing in the morning, so you don’t have to wait in line.
  • King Kong 360 3D is part of the Studio Tour. So is Fast and Furious: Supercharged.
  • The must-ride attraction at the park is definitely the Studio Tour.
  • The Studio Tour takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Visit the Lower Lot (Jurassic, Mummy, Transformers) before noon.
  • To get to the Lower Lot, guests use the Star Way, which takes about 10 minutes.
  • Shrek often doesn’t open ’til 10:30AM. (Upper Lot).
  • See an early WaterWorld performance. When at the park in the dark, see a late WaterWorld performance (as well. WaterWorld is best when experienced both during the day, AND at night).
  • Keep in mind that the Studio Tour closes before the park does, usually 2-3 hours before the park closes, unless there are Night Time Studio Tours during your visit. If there are, we recommend you catch a NTST tram!
  • It gets noticeably more crowded after 1PM.
  • About an hour after the sun goes down, the park attendance rapidly decreases.
  • Gift stores and restaurants on the Upper Lot are open 30 minutes before and after closing of the park.
  • Use the Single Rider Line at Revenge of the Mummy, Jurassic Park The Ride, and Transformers The Ride: 3D, to cut your wait time down to 0-10 minutes.
  • Lockers at Revenge of the Mummy are free for the first 90 minutes of use. When riding Jurassic Park, we advise you store your items in a free Mummy locker across the midway of Jurassic park.
  • Experience Jurassic Park- The Ride in the dark if you get the chance to. It’s a totally different, and arguably better, experience!
  • There are many good places to eat within the park. For cheaper food, get your hand stamped and exit the park. Grab food at CityFOOD at Citywalk adjacent to the park.
  • If you ever need water, go to any food vending location and ask for a cup of it, they will give it to you for free.
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is most crowded early in the day, and past 4PM lines become significantly shorter.
  • Be aware there may be a Timed Entry reservation system in place for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Which means you’ll have to pick up a return ticket near Universal Plaza.
  • No visit is complete without riding Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, one of the world’s best rides!

    Knott’s Berry Farm

  • Arrive early, as some of the parking lots are located far from the entrance.
  • Arrive before the park opens!
  • Season Pass Holders get ERT for 30 minutes before the park opens all summer.
  • Ride Silver Bullet first as the park opens, then Xcelerator and Boomerang at the Boardwalk.
  • The Timber Mountain Log Ride line is long in the afternoon, ride it before noon, or after 6PM for milder lines.
  • GhostRider’s line is shortest between opening and one hour after opening, and around 2-3PM.
  • Make sure to see some of Knott’s shows, they are truly amazing.
  • If there’s and ‘On Ice’ show while you’re at the park. GO SEE IT.
  • Eat around 1-2PM, or 3-4PM, and spend less time in lines and at the restaurants.
  • Make sure to ride some of the park’s flat rides.
  • Family rides’ lines are empty at night. (Including most flat rides).
  • Knott’s attendance dies down as soon as it gets dark. Lines get shorter.
  • Get a hand-stamp and leave the park for lunch or dinner at the Knott’s Market Place.
  • The park offers cubbies at most rides, for your loose items.
  • Lockers are available in Ghost Town next to GhostRider only! (No lockers at rides).
  • When it’s too crowded, hang out in Ghost Town for a while.
  • It’s worth eating at the park, Knott’s has some of the best food of any theme-park around.
  • If you’re just visiting the Knott’s Market Place, the Market Place parking lot is free for 1 hour parking, it’s free up to 3 hours if you have a receipt from any Market Place purchase you made. More than 3 hours will result in a $25 fee.
  • If you ever need water, go to any food vending location and ask for a cup of it, they will give it to you for free.

    California’s Great America

  • Purchase tickets online, bundle packages can be found for relatively large groups
  • Arrive about 30-45 minutes minutes before opening.
  • The park admission includes Boomerang Bay, a water park.
  • Water Rides and Boomerang Bay close significantly earlier than the rest of the park, be aware.
  • Ride Gold Striker first, as it is directly in the entrance plaza.
  • We also advise you ride the rides in the back of the park early in the day, as they are mostly low capacity and will have huge lines later on in the day.
  • Ride Flight Deck at opening or between 2-4PM for some of the shortest waits.
  • Take Eagle’s Fortress/Delta Flyer (Sky Ride) to get across the park.
  • There is a food court in the back area of the park. MANY different types of food.
  • The park has an unusual large amount of flat-rides, we recommend you try many.
  • Firefall is one of the best themed flat-rides at the park.
  • Summer entertainment is great, make sure to check out Aerial Ice Extreme.
  • At Rip Roarin’ Rapids you can pay five dollars to dry off in a machine.
  • When with family, ride Screaming’ Eagles. Note; lines get long due to capacity.
  • Vortex will hardly ever have a long line, so plan on riding that anytime of the day.
  • Don’t let Grizzly’s line fool you, lines move slow due to slow operations.
  • Demon is a bit rough, but it’s a pretty fun classic, give it a try later in the day.
  • White Water Falls isn’t soaking, standing on the bridge over it is.
  • Ride Star Tower for a relaxing, air conditioned, panorama of the surrounding area.
  • The park offers cubbies at most rides, for your loose items.
  • Lockers are available at the entrance only! (No lockers at rides).
  • If you ever need water, go to any food vending location and ask for a cup of it, they will give it to you for free.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

  • The easiest thing to do is park in the lots the park offers, which is expensive, but easier than finding parking on the street.
  • We suggest you buy an all-day ride pass.
  • If you visit in a warmer time of the year, we advise you bring something to swim in.
  • There is a very nice beach adjacent to the park.
  • Arrive at the park around when the rides start to open for that day.
  • Ride Giant Dipper as soon as you can. It’s a classic and a great ride.
  • Ride Undertow early, as it is not very high capacity.If you carry a credit card, you will need to buy a locker, otherwise, you may have to leave your items outside the ride, along with many others with the same dilemma.
  • Double Shot should not be missed for those who like thrills.
  • The Carousel is a piece of history and a fun experience.
  • On your way down to the other end of the park, you will pass Haunted Castle. It’s a nice way to get out of the heat, and is a decently fun ride.
  • If you at all like thrill rides, Fireball is essential. It is much less nauseating than it appears, so give it a try. It’s a very fun ride.
  • On the furthest edge of the park, Rock-O-Planes can be great for those who love thrills, not great for others. Unlike Fireball, it can be quite nauseating.
  • Logger’s Revenge is a fun ride that can help those cool off on a hot day.
  • In the area, Wipeout and Ghost blasters are also fun attractions.
  • This park offers a lot of good and interesting food. Giant Dipper Burgers is a personal favorite of ours, and it puts you in prime position for a nice dessert.
  • This would be a good time to hit the beach, as crowds can pick up around lunch, lengthening the lines.
  • Before you leave you should take a ride on Sky-Glider at sunset, it’s absolutely spectacular.
  • If you ever need water, go to any food vending location and ask for a cup of it, they will give it to you for free.

SeaWorld San Diego

  • Arrive before park opening, this way you park right in front of the entrance, and you’ll be inside in no time.
  • The park’s crowds don’t arrive ’til about 11AM. This means there’s often at least an hour or two where there will be no lines, and you can freely explore.
  • For the shortest wait on Journey to Atlantis, ride it within the first two hours of park operations. Or at night.
  • For the shortest wait on Shipwreck Rapids, ride it within the first two hours of park operations or after 5’30PM.
  • Manta’s line is fast moving, don’t let a long line scare you away.
  • Make sure to pick up a park-guide before you get in. Though you may know your way around the park, it’s important to be familiar with the show times.
  • Make sure to plan ahead, the park is known for its incredible shows, make sure you plan out your day well to catch some of the shows.
  • The park advises guests to arrive at the stadiums 15 to 20 minutes before show time. The stadiums open 30 minutes before the show, we advise you arrive 35 minutes before the shows to get the best seats. Arrive 25 minutes before the show and still have decent seats available, arrive later and you’ll likely have to find spots on the sides or higher up in the stadiums.
  • The park has many hidden gems, don’t think that shows and rides will do. The exhibits and aquariums are impressive, and a key part of the SeaWorld experience.
  • Explorer’s Reef is an amazing interactive entrance to the park with many touch pools. Make sure to check it out later in the day, when it’s less busy at the entrance, focus on the rides and short lines early in the day.
  • The quality of the food at the park is very high.
  • Bayside Skyride is a can’t miss attraction,  the lines get long. Ride it early in the morning, or wait ’til about sunset. (Sunset is the prettiest time of day to ride)
  • If you do not want to ride the Wild Arctic helicopter simulator ride, there’s a stationary viewing area for it as well. If you do not wish to see/experience the helicopter ‘flight’ to the exhibit, you can still see the Belugas and Polar Bears by just seeing the exhibit.
  • There are many interactive programs for guests, such as Dine with Shamu, make sure to make your reservations before your visit, or first thing when you arrive.
  • Most stadiums have splash zones. When there’s a splash zone, it’s a splash zone. You will get wet. (And get a better view).
  • Lockers are available at most rides.
  • There’s free WiFi at the entrance and right top section of Shamu Stadium.
  • Ride the Skytower for an incredible view of the park, San Diego, the bay, and the ocean. It’s a unique, very luxurious, double-deck Sky Tower.
  • If you ever need water, go to any food vending location and ask for a cup of it, they will give it to you for free.

 

Disneyland Resort

  • Arrive at Disneyland Resort prior to its opening in order to be able to park in the Pinocchio parking lot.
  • Begin your day at California Adventure (If you have a Park-Hopper Ticket), as most guests start off at Disneyland.
  • Use the single rider line for Radiator Springs Racers, the line gets excessively long even at the beginning of the day and Fast Passes run out quickly.
  • Make sure to hit the other flagship attractions as early as possible, especially Tower of Terror, and Soarin’ over California.
  • California Screamin’ has a capacity of 2400 people per hour, so do not be ‘deterred by a seemingly long line. The line moves incredibly fast.
  • Head over to Disneyland as soon as you have ridden the major attractions at California Adventure.
  • Fast Passes, take advantage of this system. Make sure you always get a Fast Pass as soon as your previous one has become available, even if you have not used your previous Fast Pass yet. Strategic planning and using of Fast Passes can help you skip a good amount of long lines, and help you walk right on.
  • Rides that Fast Passes will benefit you the most include, Indiana Jones: Temple of the Forbidden Eye, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, and Star Tours.
  • For Lunch we recommend Rancho de Zocolo near Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It is quality Mexican food for a reasonable price.
  • If you ever need water, go to any food vending location and ask for a cup of it, they will give it to you for free.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean is a incredibly high capacity ride, so even with overflow switchbacks the line is about 35 minutes.
  • If you need to take a break, or even just get around the park, take a ride on the Disneyland Railroad.
  • Also, if you’re tired of waiting in lines, head over to Tom Sawyer Island. It’s fun, interactive, and usually not too crowded.
  • For Dinner, Pizza Port near Space Mountain is not too expensive and has decent variety.
  • Ride Matterhorn Bobsleds at nighttime, it really adds to the experience. If you get on at about 9:30 pm, you’ll have an amazing Firework filled experience. Be aware that Matterhorn has a single rider line. In addition, since there are no Fast Passes available for the attraction, and there are two sides that share a single line, the line moves incredibly fast.
  • Avoid New Orleans Square from about 9-10 pm, the Fantasmic show draws horrid crowds.
  • If you can, stay past 10:00PM, when the fireworks end, much of the crowds clear out and the next two hours are bliss.
  • Splash Mountain from around 11:30PM to closing is absolutely empty, take advantage.

For maps of the parks, we advise you visit our park maps page, here. It has downloadable maps for all parks above. 

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