Think California’s amusement parks are too expensive to visit with the whole family? Don’t despair! In addition to world-famous giant entertainment complexes such as Disneyland, Legoland, and Universal Studios, you will find many lesser-known but equally amazing theme parks there. What’s more, they will delight you with a cheap price. 

There are several such spots within driving distance of Los Angeles. A spacious van rental will be the easiest and fastest way to get to each of them on a budget. You can book it online or through a simple van rental app. And once you’re ready, get behind the wheel and head to the following amusement parks.

Castle Park

Address: 3500 Polk St, Riverside, CA 92505

Admission: $34.99/person

Located in Riverside, Castle Park will provide you with many unforgettable entertainment options that won’t cost you much. Getting there in a rental car from Los Angeles will be easy. It will take you not more than an hour to cover the distance of 53 miles. 

Castle Park is a small park in the spirit of the Middle Ages, perfect for those who want to spend a pleasant day off with their family and avoid the noisy crowds of visitors. There are more than 30 attractions here, including 3 roller coasters, and an 18-hole mini-golf course located among the most picturesque landscapes of the surrounding nature.

A distinctive feature of this park is that all rooms and attractions are made in the style of medieval castles and towers. Therefore, it may seem to you that you find yourself in the era of knights and dragons. 

The names of the attractions also match the theme of the park. For example, such popular rides as “Dragon Tower” and “Sea Dragon” offer visitors an exhilarating ride around the park. The guests of the park will also like the huge entertainment complex with video games, bowling, cheap eateries, and other interesting spots.

Castle Parks has ample parking, which will allow you to park your rental car close to the entrance. It costs $10 per vehicle.

Knott’s Berry Farm 

Address: Knott’s Berry Farms Grand Entrance, Buena Park, CA 90620

Admission: from $57/person

Knott’s Berry Farm is a powerful entertainment complex with state-of-the-art attractions nestled in the green of California. In addition to the most picturesque views, you will find six thematic zones, a wax museum, an artificial active volcano, gold mines, souvenir shops, and crazy rides. 

In total, there are 165 interesting entertainments in the park. For example, Ghosts Town will appeal to those wishing to experience the thrill. Here you can ride on the high wooden roller coaster called GhostRider.

The guests of the park will also like vivid costume parties. However, the most popular and most visited ride is the famous Xcelerator“, which is a launched roller coaster. Just imagine: trailers with passengers reach the speed of 110 mph, while the push force is so great that the train rushes up the rails without additional acceleration. 

Younger visitors also have many amazing attractions to choose from. The colorful children’s playground is nestled among green trees and pleases its guests with all kinds of entertainment. Here, parents don’t have to worry about their kids at all, since all the rides are fun and safe.

Knott’s Berry Farm is located 22 miles-drive from Los Angeles, so it will take you about 20 minutes to get there in your rental car. Parking at Knott’s Berry Farm is paid and costs $ 20 per vehicle.

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Address: 26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia, CA 91355

Admission: from $45/person

Six Flags Magic Mountain was opened in 1969, which makes it one of the oldest amusement parks in the USA. If you rent a car in Los Angeles, it will take you about 35-40 minutes to get there. It’s situated in the middle of the mountains, 35 miles away from the city center. 

It’s better to plan a trip to this entertainment complex in the morning because the abundance of all kinds of rides and rather long queues will take a lot of time. You will hear the screams and squeals of entertaining guests as you approach the park. Therefore, leaving the rental car in the parking lot and going to the park area will be your strongest desire. 

Six Flags Magic Mounts has more than 40 attractions divided into three categories according to the degree of stress on the cardiovascular system. After purchasing a map of the park, you can easily decide on the type of entertainment for yourself and your kids. 

The main theme of adult entertainment is various superheroes such as Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, and others. In total, there are 25 breathtaking rides in the park, guaranteeing you a frenzied adrenaline rush.

One of them is “Superman: Escape from Krypton”. It’s an ultra-fast ride in a trailer to a height of 127 meters at a speed of 104 mph, where passengers experience a delightful state of weightlessness for as long as 6 seconds. Then there’s a rapid fall into the abyss and a chain of repeated ups and downs.

The children’s section is represented by characters from various cartoons and includes funny carousels, playgrounds, an adventure park, inflatable slides, and other entertainment for kids. In addition to exciting rides, there’s a water park, go-karting, numerous cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops on the territory of the park. On holidays, colorful performances and grandiose show programs are held there.

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