Pimp My Thrill Ride

Nothing signals the start of summer like the shrieks and screams of thrill-seekers riding the latest pulse-spiking attractions. This year, four Southern California amusement parks deliver $140 million in new diversions designed to terrify or tantalize.

--brady macdonald

[1] Pony Express knott's berry farm

Who'll love it: Soccer moms and NASCAR dads

First ride: May 22

The tab: $9 million

Lowdown: Ride astride one of 16 roller-horses on an elongated figure-eight track featuring hairpin manuevers, whoop-de-dos and 60-degree turns.

Fun factor: Launch accelerates from 0 to 38 mph in three seconds.

[2] Simpsons Ride universal studios

Who'll love it: Fanboys

First ride: May 17

The tab: $40 million

Lowdown: On this motion- simulator ride, visitors join the Springfield clan as the first guests of Krustyland, the cantankerous clown's low-budget theme park complete with the dreaded Tooth Chipper roller coaster.

Fun factor: Visitors enter the attraction through Krusty's mouth, walking along his squishy, unfurled tongue.

[3] X2 six flags magic mountain

Who'll love it: Adrenaline junkies

First ride: May 24

The tab: $10 million

Lowdown: The oft-troubled X coaster, with rotating 360-degree seats, gets special effects and lighter cars in a much-anticipated rehab.

Fun factor: Military-spec parts and fighter-plane paint promise to make the 75 mph coaster fiercer than X.

[4] Toy Story Mania Disney's California


Who'll love it: Gamers

First ride: June 17

The tab: $80 million

Lowdown: "Shrunk" to the size of toys, riders sit in carnival trams and travel through a 3-D video game while firing virtual darts, eggs and pies at carnival midway games displayed on giant screens.

Fun factor: Spring-action shooters fire up to six rounds a second.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World