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7 California theme parks that will blow your kids' minds

Michelle Maffei is a freelance copywriter covering a variety of topics both online and in print, from parenting to beauty and more. Combining her two favorite loves, writing and motherhood, she has found joy in even the most challenging ...

Every amusement park you need on your California bucket list

Native Californians and tourists alike, you can add these top California theme parks to your summer bucket list. Whether your family is finally ready to make the big Disneyland trek or just wants to spend the day screaming on Six Flags Magic Mountain's Goliath roller coaster — these California theme parks are popular for a reason.

More: 35 things all kids need

No matter which park you choose (or even if you decide to hit them all this summer), you're bound to have a family vacation you'll never forget:

1. Best amusement park roller coaster

Every amusement park you need on your California bucket list
Image: Jeremy Thompson/Flickr

Six Flags Magic Mountain
26101 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia

Whether it's the more than 200-foot drop into a hole in the ground or the complete stop, leaving you hanging on your side above the ground, Six Flags Magic Mountain's Goliath is known as one of the best roller coasters in California. For the best experience, wait the extra few minutes for the front seat.

More: 15 things moms need to tell their daughters

2. Best theme park thrill ride

Every amusement park you need on your California bucket list
Image: Jeremy Thompson/Flickr

Knott's Berry Farm
8039 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park

Be warned — the Knott’s Berry Farm Supreme Scream ride has been categorized as a level 5 “Aggressive Thrill.” If that doesn’t deter you, then get ready for the ride of your life. Located on the park's boardwalk, the 45-second ride hits a top speed of 50 mph as it propels riders 252 feet straight up into the air, where you will experience three seconds of weightlessness before being plummeted back to earth. We recommend riding this thriller before lunch.

3. Best theme park for families

Every amusement park you need on your California bucket list
Image: Anna Fox/Flickr

Disneyland & Disney's California Adventure
1313 Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim

The "happiest place on earth" offers two great amusement parks for every member of your family. With baby centers that include facilities for diaper changing, nursing and bottle feeding throughout Disneyland, Disney's California Adventure and the Downtown Disney District, visitors young and old can have fun with the comforts of home while hanging with the Disney family of characters.

More: How to tell if you're too involved in your kids' lives

4. Best amusement park for adults

Every amusement park you need on your California bucket list
Image: Michael Sheehan/Flickr

Universal Studios Hollywood
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City

Hollywood magic is brought to life when you get a VIP pass to Universal Studios' movie-based theme park. Although there are attractions and shows for every age, this amusement park is best suited for teens and adults due to loud noises, high action and life-like special effects. Heads up: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the big attraction coming in spring 2016.

Next Up: Best water park

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