Tag - los angeles

A guide to Six Flags water parks

Six flags- Cr-socal.catholic.org

Six flags- Cr-socal.catholic.org

Six Flags is the largest amusement park company in the world. It owns and operates 21 properties in North America, including theme parks, water parks, thrill parks and family entertainment centers. Most of the water parks(eleven in all) are located inside Six Flags theme parks so, you get two parks for the price of one. Each water park is different, but they all have some common features, such as a variety of slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and shopping areas. If you live near one, you may want to buy a Season Pass, which will save you money and help you stay cool all summer long.

Here are the Six Flags water parks:

Hurricane Harbor, Los Angeles, California

Hurricane Harbor is located not in, but next to Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park and requires separate admission fee. You will need more than one day to visit both. The park offers 23 different water slides, a wave pool, river rafting, a large play area for younger children and a 1,300-foot-long lazy river. Most of the rides are mild to moderate and can be enjoyed by all family members (some rides have a 48” height restriction). The park is famous for its thrill water ride, the Tornado, which is seven stories high.

White Water, Atlanta, Georgia

Six Flags White Water offers over 30 rides on 40 acres, including thrill rides, moderate family rides and child-friendly options. The best thrill ride is the Cliffhanger, a 9-story tall water slide, one of the tallest free-fall slides in the world. For the little kids there are: Captain’s Kids Cove, an interactive play area, Tree House Island, four stories of chutes, slides and bridges and, opening in May 2010, The Wiggles Water World, The Wiggles-themed area.

Hurricane Harbor, Chicago, Illinois

This Hurricane Harbor is located inside the Six Flags Great America theme park. This Caribbean-themed water park measures over 100,000 square feet and offers lots of moderate to extreme water rides, Hurricane Bay, a 500,000-gallon wave pool, and Skull Island play area for children. The park’s admission includes both, the theme park and the water park.

America/Hurricane Harbor, Baltimore/Washington DC, Maryland

America water park is located next to Six Flags America theme park and you can visit both for one admission fee. The park offers a variety of mild to moderate body slides, tube drop slides, kid’s size twister, Bamboo Chutes and a couple of thrill rides. The newest water slide, Tony Hawk’s Half Pipe, opened in 2008, is shaped like a skateboarding half pipe and is four stories high. It is quite intense and is not recommended for young children.

New England/Hurricane Harbor, Springfield, Massachusetts

New England is a family-friendly water park located within Six Flags New England theme park. It has two 500,000-gallon wave pools, several slides, river rafting, an interactive play area for children and an extreme water coaster, Typhoon. In 2010, the park is adding another play area (16,000 square feet) for the youngest kids, Mr. Six’s Splash Island. It will include 30,000 gallon wave pool and an interactive lazy river. One admission fee includes both parks.

St. Louis/Hurricane Harbor, Saint Louis, Missouri

St. Louis water park is a 12-acre tropical paradise. It is located within Six Flags St. Louis theme park and it is free with admission to the theme park. It offers many slides, including Wahoo Racer, a six-lane water racer with triple drop layout, five-person raft ride, 560,000-gallon wave pool and a play area for children, Hook’s Lagoon.

Hurricane Harbor, Jackson, New Jersey

The water park was built next to Six Flags Great Adventure and Six Flags Wild Safari. Each park requires separate admission fees. It features the most impressive one-million-gallon wave pool, a half-mile long lazy river with rapids, waterfalls and geysers, three extreme body slides, Cannonball, Wahini and Jurahnimo Falls. In 2010, the Tornado will make the newest addition to the park.

Splash Water Kingdom, Lake George, New York

Splash Water Kingdom is located within Six Flags Great Escape theme park. It offers many slides, including Black Cobra, two completely dark enclosed tube slides, 500,000-gallon wave pool, interactive play areas and some fun water rides, such as the Tornado or Mega Wedgie, a 100-foot tunnel slide. One admission includes both parks.

Great Escape Lodge and Indoor Water Park, Lake Gorge, New York

This is the first indoor water park in New York State and the first one owned and operated by Six Flags. It was opened in 2006 and it made a great addition to the existing Six Flags Great Escape theme park. The 38,000-square-foot indoor water park is opened year-round. However, it serves only lodge guests. The main attractions are: a FlowRider surfing simulators, lazy river, raft ride, and Boogie Bear Surf.

Fiesta Texas/White Water Bay, San Antonio, Texas

White Water Bay water park was built right next to Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme park. The admission includes both attractions. The water park has a 500,000-gallon wave pool, multi-passenger rafting, lots of tubes, slides and rides. Children can play at Splashwater Springs, a play area filled with rides and other activities. There is also a family interactive play area, Texas Tree House. For thrill seekers there are three rides, the Tornado, Whirlpool and the Big Bender.

Hurricane Harbor, Arlington, Texas

It is one of the largest Six Flags water parks. It offers lots of attractions for everyone, including a massive one-million-gallon wave pool, Surf Rider surfing simulator, play areas for children and many moderate and high-thrill slides and rides. Hurricane harbor is located just across the street from Six Flags Over Texas, but tickets have to be purchased separately to each park.

Six Flags water parks have some of the best water parks in the country. They offer a variety of activities, from mild that can be enjoyed even by the youngest family members to high-thrill rides providing some unforgettable experiences and lots of fun.

Westlake Village a Relaxed Southern California Experience Just North of L.A.

Westlake Village a Relaxed Southern California Experience Just North of L.A.

Westlake Village a Relaxed Southern California Experience Just North of L.A.

Westlake Village, located just north of Los Angeles, allows visitors to enjoy Southern California without the usual hassles, lines and crowds.

Southern California is a popular vacation destination thanks to its great weather, beautiful beaches, and fun attractions. However, Los Angeles is a huge city full of people with roads and freeways crowded with traffic. The result can be anything but relaxing. Basing a vacation out of Westlake Village allows travelers to be near all of the L.A. hot spots, since downtown, Beverly Hills, Hollywood or Malibu Beach are all less than a 40-minute drive away, while still enjoying the sun and a relaxed atmosphere.

Westlake Village Inn

While the location of Westlake Village Inn contributes to its relaxed resort atmosphere, it also benefits from sitting on 17 acres of beautiful landscaping surrounding a private lake. Just recently, Travel + Leisure added Westlake Village Inn to their ballot for the 2012 World’s Best Awards. The California bungalow-style buildings, never more than two stories tall, are spread out so that the patio or balcony of every room overlooks different hotel features that can be found throughout the property such as rose-filled arches, garden walkways or the retro chic circular pool.

Westlake Village a Relaxed Southern California Experience Just North of L.A.

Westlake Village a Relaxed Southern California Experience Just North of L.A.

For those who want to relax outside their room, Mediterraneo Restaurant, located on the property, has a back deck overlooking the private lake and an authentic working vineyard. It’s a place where guests can enjoy a glass of wine along with homemade flat bread or pizza made in the wood-burning stove along with truffle mac and cheese and Italian focused dishes.

The most notable room that can be rented at the Westlake Village Inn is the Ronald Reagan Master Suite, which pays tribute to the 40th president of the United States of America. The suite features a number of photos that have never been published as well as walls containing some of the famous sayings of the president. Every stay includes a copy of the book, “The Reagan Diaries,” and a jar of jelly beans. The Inn has a suite dedicated to the president because the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum is located just a few miles away.

Westlake Village Inn

31943 Agoura Road  Westlake Village, CA


Mediterraneo Restaurant

32037 Agoura road  Westlake Village, CA


Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

Regardless of one’s political affiliations or preferences, the Reagan library has exhibits that everyone will find interesting. See a panel from the Berlin Wall, view a replica of the Oval Office, or walk through the retired Air Force One plane that Reagan flew around the world in during the 1980s.

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

40 Presidential Drive  Simi Valley, CA


Saddle Peak Lodge

Westlake is surrounded by state parks, national recreation areas and open preserves that have been used as Hollywood movie sets throughout the years. To get a sense of the history, take a drive into the local hills of Malibu Creek State Park to Saddle Creek Lodge, a 100-year-old former Pony Express stop that was once a favorite hangout of Charlie Chaplin and Errol Flynn and is said to have ghosts haunting the place.

Despite the history, the main reason to visit today is to enjoy wild game such as gazelle, New Zealand elk, Texas antelope or the wild game trio all served in a intimate and historic setting.

Saddle Peak Lodge

419 Cold Canyon Road  Calabasas, CA


Visitors to Westlake Village can see the bright lights and big city of Los Angeles, and then return to an idyllic setting to enjoy a relaxing vacation Southern California Vacation. h4>

Studio tours – California

Getting an up-close view of true movie magic

New Fast & Furious car chase at Universal Studios Hollywood theme park

While movie-making is done “on location” more than ever before, the Los Angeles area still is home to a steady stream of movie and television productions – so many that it’s notunusual to come across filming on any given trip to L.A. And out-of-towners never seem to get tired of visiting movie studios and famous movie-making locations.   Today most of the studios are closed to the public except when audiences are needed for live shows or when the call goes out for extras to populate various movie scenes. But there are several that do allow tours, including some where the chances are good you’ll see a real movie star.

The granddaddy of movie studio tours has to be Universal Studios Hollywood, which now includes its movie studio tour as just one small part of a Disneyland-like theme park with elaborate rides and attractions all having something to do with the movies. Built along a hillside in Universal City, the theme park has grown over the years incorporating new attractions that match up with some of the hottest movies produced at Universal. We first visited Universal more than 30 years ago so, on our recent visit to the park, the overall experience seemed much more of a complete entertainment package than when the tour was just a movie studio tour with few additional attractions. We had been back to the park in the 90’s but, even since then, this theme park has seemed to grow dramatically, adding new attractions on a regular basis to encourage visitors to return.

Jurassic Park ride plunges riders down an 85-foot waterfall

Visitors to the park are now greeted with a choice of
parking, lower priced parking that requires a little walking and premium parking that is closer to the park. We chose the former because we need the exercise – but, alas, the park has installed an elaborate 21st Century system of escalators to whisk visitors all over the hilly terrain both from the parking lot, and from the theme park down to the actual movie lot.
  One of the highlights of our Universal visit was a discovery we made: the Front of the Line Pass. It is a bit pricey – at $99.95 it’s about double what you’ll pay if you buy a regular pass online – but it totally changes the experience. Instead of waiting in long, hot lines all day (typical of most Southern California theme parks) we were quickly zipping between the best attractions, never standing in line more than five minutes.

We felt we saw everything we wanted to see in one day, but were not nearly as exhausted as we might have been standing in lines that each appeared to be 45 minutes to an hour long.   For middle-age guests who have given up on theme parks because of the lines, the Front of the Line Pass will put you right back in the game.   Most rides at Universal are relatively tame – not quite the kiddie-land variety, but something less than the roller coasters at Six Flags.

The hydraulic rides like Back to the Future continue to be popular, as well as moderate thrill rides like the roller coaster in the Revenge of the Mummy and the 85-foot waterfall drop for the boats in the Jurassic Park ride.   We were especially impressed with the Waterworld show, which apparently is doing a lot better than the movie ever did. A group of actors and stunt persons puts on a show filled with acrobatic feats and pyrotechnics climaxed by an almost full-scale airplane startling spectators by landing in the water right in front of their seats.

There are numerous rides, attractions, top-notch shows – everything to keep you busy for much longer than a day. But don’t forget to take the studio tour – the thing that got all of this started decades ago. The tour is still conducted on the famous trams that snake their way through the Universal back lot. The trams have been updated to offer TV commentary by stars like Whoopi Goldberg, but the experience was much the same as it was back in the 70’s – only the TV shows and movies have changed.

Longtime attractions like the original Psycho house are still there, but now the tour includes a stop on Wysteria Lane to see the Desperate Housewives. You can still see where Spartacus was filmed, but now you also drive right through the plane crash scene from War of the Worlds. A new Fast and Furious demonstration adds another thrill with two race cars hurtling toward the tram through the magic of hydraulics.

Universal Studios is one of the best and easiest ways to get a close-up view of L.A. movie-making, but there are many other fascinating locations around town. For example, the Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills was home to productions like Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, the Flintstones: Viva Rock Vegas and numerous TV series. And, did you know that you can visit a Culver City industrial area that was once the “Forty Acre Back lot,” the former location of Mayberry where all the outdoor scenes on the Andy Griffith Show were filmed?

Waterworld show is action-packed and entertaining

Warner Brothers Studios, Burbank – We enjoyed this two-hour tour which we took a few years back. Visitors are escorted in groups of 12 through the Warner Brothers lot, with stops along the way at television and movie sets. All of the sets and props here are real and not just for the benefit of the tourists. Visitors get to see the costume department as well as the mill that creates the sets. Since numerous productions are ongoing at any given time, you may have a better chance here of seeing a star – we didn’t, but it was fun seeing the actual sets for shows like Friends. Phone 818-972-TOUR.

Sony Pictures Studios, Culver City – If you want to visit the studio that made the Wizard of Oz, this is the place. It’s the former MGM Studios and offers a walking tour of the studio’s back lot, sets, sound stages and historic scenery. In more recent years, the studio is where Men in Black and Spiderman were filmed, and where shows like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune are taped. Phone 323-520-TOUR.

NBC TV Studio Tour, Burbank – These studios are where many a live television show has been taped, including the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The guided walking tour takes you into the warehouses where costumes and props are stored, control room areas and the tour gives you a great overview of how network television is produced. Phone 818-840-3537.


WHERE: Universal Studios Hollywood is located in Universal City, just north of downtown Los Angeles. The theme park is easily accessed using Highway 101 North. General parking is $10 while preferred parking is $20.

WHAT: Universal Studios Hollywood offers the most complete experience of any movie studio tour – a major theme park and a tour through the actual working areas of Universal Studios.

WHEN: Year-round. Keep in mind that summertime temperatures can be warm under direct sun, so wear sunscreen and dress appropriately.

WHY: While the Universal Studios tour is the most slickly produced of the movie studio tours – which is not necessarily an advantage – it offers a major theme park right next door. Any trip to Universal
Studios Hollywood is as much about visiting the theme park as the movie studio.

HOW: For more information on Universal Studios Hollywood, phone 1-800-UNIVERSAL or visit .universalstudioshollywood.com. Admission price for an adult is $59, or $49 online. The Front of the Line Pass is $99.95 per person.

OTHER DESTINATIONS: If San Jose is your idea of a California vacation, be sure to check out other California Weekend articles on Marine WorldDisneyland, Legoland and Hollywood.