Dear Mickey, I confess! I cheated on you this summer…

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Dear Mickey,  I confess!  I cheated on you this summer –  are not words I ever thought I would say in my lifetime.  As a Disney Addict, Disneyland Annual Pass holder, regular visitor to the parks and Entertainment Writer for Chip and Co., cheating on Mickey is not just wrong it might even be illegal.

So let me explain myself before my Disney Addicts t-shirts, decals and buttons are confiscated by Chip.  Yes, I cheated on Mickey, but only because my Disney So. Cal annual pass was blocked for the summer.

Finding something to do besides visiting Disneyland can be challenging so I set out to see what else Southern California had to offer us until annual pass block to Disneyland was lifted at the end of August.

Here is a list of fun parks and places my family and I enjoyed this summer.

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor – Valencia, California.  Located just 10 minutes from home, the water parks are a fun way to cool off from the summer heat.  With lots of slides and areas for kids and adults, including Tiki (Tiki Room) and Lightening (McQueen) Falls, Castaway Cove (Cay?) area for the little ones, and the 1,300 foot long lazy river named River (Jungle) Cruise, I felt right at home.  Ticket pricing starts at $29.99 with a 5 day on-line advance purchase and $39.99 at the door.

Knott’s Berry Farm – Buena Park, California.  Located about 45 miles from home was a park I had not visited in over 20 years.   Advance tickets purchased up to 5 days before your visit start at $40 per person.  I spent the day at Knotts Berry Farm with fellow writer, Keli and her family.  Knotts has lots of fun rides and shows to enjoy.  Camp Snoopy was great for the under 46″ little ones.   Knotts reminded me of the country fair with a touch of Universal type shows (like the Wild West Stunt Show).  My favorite ride of the day was the Calico Railroad, complete with handsome bandits and a hold up.

Legoland – Carlsbad, California – Located about 3 hours from home, had us spending the day with the granddaughters.  After a half hour wait to get into the parks, we grabbed a map and started at the first section, Dino Island, where the girls, had a blast digging for fossils,  DUPLO village was a hit for my 5 year old grand daughter, while the older one loved the Imagination Zone area.   My favorite was Miniland USA, with over 20 million LEGOs used to construct seven areas of the U.S. in a 1:20 scale, as well as several well known and loved characters from Star Wars, you can spend hours in this “land”.  Priced at $83 for adults and $73   for kids, along with a 6 hour round trip ride, made for long but memorable day.   Other ticket packages are also available.

Universal Studios – Hollywood, California – Located 30 minutes from home was our final park.  As a fan of Despicable Me and the Minions, I was excited to see the new ride, Universal had recently opened.   The Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride was everything I hoped for.   The interaction with Dru and the girls with interruptions and “help” from the Minions was hysterical and the ride was fun, and just long enough to make it worth the wait.  The Super Silly Fun Land next door, a replica of the amusement park, Dru and the girls visit in the movie, was an instant family favorite. The studio tour brought back memories of my visits as a kid although I was a bit disappointed when the earthquake portion had been shortened (one of the scariest yet most anticipated part of the tour).  The King Kong 360 3D experience was incredible and had me ducking and my heart pounding while clenching the side rails.  Transformers the Ride, Revenge of the Mummy and The Simpson’s rides as well as the Waterworld action packed show kept us laughing, and screaming all day long!  Universal Day passes start at $92 and you can take advantage of the buy a day and get 2015 for free offer to enjoy Universal all year long.

The summer came to an end and my family and I were once again reunited with our favorite Disney parks.  While visiting the other So. Cal parks was fun and full of new and exciting memories, there is NO place like home.   Hello Mickey! I’m back!!!

My name is Loretta Garcia and I am the Entertainment Writer for Chip and Co.  Visit our pages for all your news, promotions and DISNEY fun.


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