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Summer Splash | Family

New Attractions for Theme Park Lovers

Summer will bring ghosts, marauding pirates and enough leaps, spins and plunges to make riders break into a cold sweat.


Knott's Berry Farm, Pharaoh's Lost Kingdom, Legoland and Pacific Park allhave new rides opening this summer. Look for ghosts on the Queen Mary, Rugrats at Universal Studios, Batman and Robin at Magic Mountain and marauding pirates at Sea World.

Summer is the height of the theme park season--time for extended hours, special shows and new attractions. Here's a rundown on what's coming to Southern California theme parks this summer:

Universal Studios

The Power Rangers will descend on Universal for five shows each day this Saturday and Sunday. The five superheroes will be joined by the newest ranger, Titanium Ranger, in the Castle Theater, followed by a meet-and-greet in the Aqua Zone. Fans can also check out the Power Ranger Humvee and motorcycles on display.

On June 9, the Rugrats Magic Adventure will toddle onto the Theme Park Stage for an indefinite run. Angelica, Tommy, Phil and Lil will work their baby magic in an interactive musical show based on their Nickelodeon cable TV series.

All events are included in park admission. Prices are $41; ages 3-11 $31; seniors $36. (818) 622-3855.

Queen Mary

From deaths on board to strange sightings off the bow, the Queen Mary has its share of creepy history. That's the basis of the new Ghosts and Legends attraction, opening June 16 on the historic ocean liner.

The haunted jaunts include most of the lower deck, which generally hasn't been open to the public. Ship admission is $15 for adults; $13 for ages 3 to 11; Ghost and Legends is an additional $2. (562) 435-3511.

Pacific Park

Pacific Park on Santa Monica Pier has added two new attractions this month and will open a third in June.

The Frog Hopper, designed for ages 2 to 13, sends as many as seven passengers leaping up to 18 feet in the air. The two-seater Sea Fury, for older patrons, features a spinning platform that whirls riders in three dimensions of rocking, rolling and rotating motions. Coming next month is a rock-climbing wall.

Admission to the pier is free; prices for individual rides and games range from $1.25 to $4. An all-day wristband is $8 (for guests under 42 inches) or $12 (for over 42 inches). Information: http:/ or (310) 260-8744.

Knott's Berry Farm

New this summer (opening is tentatively set for June 30) is the Perilous Plunge, a boat ride that sends passengers racing down a 115-foot chute.

For an even greater immersion, there's Soak City USA, Southern California's newest water adventure. It's across the street from Knott's Berry Farm and will offer 21 water rides when it opens, June 17.

From June 24 through Sept. 4, special activities will be featured at Camp Snoopy, including the Birthday Funhouse and the Extreme Wheels 2000, featuring BMX bikers and skateboarders.

Knott's prices: $38 for adults; $28 for seniors and ages 3 to 11. Hours vary. Information: or (714) 220-5200.

Six Flags Magic Mountain

The Batman & Robin and Batgirl Live Action Show opens Saturday and runs through Oct. 31. The dynamic trio fights to foil Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy in a special effects show.

Also this weekend, the adjoining Hurricane Harbor water park opens for daily operation, through Sept. 10.

Park admission is $39.99; seniors and children under 48 inches $19.99; children younger than 2 years, free. Information: or (661) 255-4111.

Aquarium of the Pacific

More than a dozen species of sea jellies--more commonly known as jellyfish--will be included in the new Phantoms of the Deep exhibit, opening June 16. Admission to the aquarium is $14.95 for adults; seniors, $11.95; ages 3 to 11 $7.95. Information: (562) 590-3100.


July 17 marks the 45th anniversary of the opening of Disneyland. An anniversary parade, running nightly throughout the summer, offers a montage of Disney characters made famous through the decades of the theme park, films and classic cartoons.

Also this summer, an expanded Autopia will reopen, with new visual elements, new body styles and an expanded track that winds through Tomorrowland and Fantasyland.

Ages 10 and older $41; 3 to 9 $31. Information: or (714) 781-4565.


This weekend marks the opening of the two new Kid Power Towers, which will join the one existing tower offering a 30-foot free fall.

From June 19 through Sept. 4, the Summer Nights ColorJam interactive music and dance party gets underway. Park hours are extended from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The first-ever Lego Maniacs Kidvention comes to Legoland on July 8-16, offering building competitions, master Lego modelers and the chance to exchange building tips.

Admission for adults $34; ages 3 to 16 $27. (760) 918-5346.

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