This is an archived article that was published on in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

For thousands of Utah families, the summer travel season often means it's time for a trip to a theme park.

Whether it's Lagoon locally or Southern California parks such as Disneyland, Legoland and Magic Mountain, these popular attractions draw thousands.

So, what's new this year?

Here is a look at what visitors to Lagoon or the Southern California theme parks can expect to see this year.


Lagoon tries to add one or two new attractions each year. While the venerable Farmington park has added the Ruka Safari and Flying Tigers rides to its large children's area, the big news involves a 50-year-old attraction — a major redesign of Terroride.

The original is one of only eight of its type remaining across America designed by Bill Tracy, a famous dark-house designer. Lagoon's Dracula's Castle also is a Tracy design.

According to Lagoon's Adam Leishman, the park is working to restore Tracy's wax and papier-mâché figures while working with feature film director Joseph Wartnercheney on a new storyline and Utah Opera's scenic department for updated sets.

"Upon inspection, these are incredibly detailed figures," said Leishman. "They are fine work. We want to tell more of a story while keeping the original elements as much as we could."

The main character is named Louis von Black, who will be seen throughout the redesigned ride. The park is also bringing back a restored historic mural painted by Tracy that once appeared at the entrance of the ride. An official opening day for the ride has yet to be set, but is expected in early June.

As for the new rides, Lagoon special-events coordinator Julie Freed said Ruka Safari involves cars that go up and down, while the Flying Tigers are an airplane ride.

Like many of Lagoon's new kid rides, the two new additions are designed to allow adults to ride with their kids or grandkids.

Lagoon day tickets this year are $55.95 for adults, $49.95 for seniors 65 and older, and $39.95 for kids under 48 inches. For information, visit

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

This 2-acre park on the Santa Monica Pier is offering the new Shark Frenzy ride, a twist on the classic 1927 Tilt-A-Whirl. Instead of the regular spinning cars on tilting platforms, riders sit in cars that look like different kinds of sharks.

This park offers 12 amusement rides, 14 midway games, a food plaza and shopping. No admission is charged to enter; rides and attractions are priced individually from $5-$10. For information, visit

Disneyland/California Adventure

The big new ride at the two Disney properties this year is a remake of the old Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at California Adventure Park. Opening Saturday, the ride is now called Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout. Heroes from the film appear for the first time in a Disney park. The ride includes the free-fall sensation with all-new visual and audio effects.

Disneyland has also revived its Main Street Electrical Parade, which will run through Aug. 20, and the nighttime spectacular Fantasmic! is set to reopen with new scenes. At Disneyland's Rivers of America, the Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia, Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes and Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island attractions also are set to reopen this summer. There have also been some improvements on Autotopia.

Single-day tickets have increased but vary depending on the day. They will be $97, $110 or $124, with discounts for multiday packages.

For more information, visit

Universal Studios Hollywood

After last year's big launch of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the park has made no new announcements yet for 2017 attractions, though some are rumored. The park has 75 percent new rides in the past five years.

Prices vary depending on the day, starting at $105. Any-date passes are $120. Multiday pass discounts are available online at Front-of-line passes run from $179 to $254.

Knotts Berry Farm

Knotts Berry Farm's biggest addition this year is the Sol Spin, a six-story-high ride with six spinning arms that is similar to Lagoon's Samurai. The park is also adding two water-slide towers at its Soak City water park and is continuing the interactive kids' Ghost Town Alive Tours.

Prices this year are as low as $45 depending on the day. An any-day pass is $75 and priority-boarding day passes are $103. Discounts can be found at

Six Flags Magic Mountain

The park that served as Walley World in the original "Vacation" movie features 19 roller coasters. New rides that have opened or will open soon include the Justice League: Battle for Metropolis ride, featuring wind fire, fog and all sorts of special effects, and The New Revolution Galactic Attack virtual-reality coaster.

Day passes are $79.99; discounts available for kids, groups or buying in advance online at


This venerable aquatic theme park's big new 2017 attraction is the Ocean Explorer, which includes multiple aquariums, rides and digital technology. The signature ride is called Submarine Quest, a 3-minute submarine ride. Orca Encounter is a documentary presentation on orcas in the wild. The park is also adding Electric Ocean, a nighttime light, dance club and entertainment outdoor show that runs June 17 through Sept. 14.

Passes at SeaWorld this year cost $93 for 10 and older and $87 for ages 3 to 9. For information, visit

Legoland San Diego

Legoland has added Ninago universe rooms to its hotel and Surfer's Cove, a competitive water raceway designed for children to compete against each other.

Park admission is $89 for kids 3 to 12 and $95 for adults. For information, visit

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