From Bronte the 34-foot-long dinosaur to a re-created Death Star, the colorful block constructions at this Carlsbad theme park appeal to kids, nostalgic adults, and now . . . ninjas. In the Ninjago World, visitors first test their balance, reflexes, and agility skills before boarding Ninjago the Ride, an immersive 4-D experience complete with smoke, heat, and wind effects. A little dojo training (and some cutting-edge Maestro hand-gesture technology) and riders can shoot animated fireballs, shock waves, lightning bolts, and ice from their palms with only a dramatic wave. Will you defeat the monstrous fanged snake known as the Great Devourer? Your fate is in your hands.
Six Flags Magic Mountain
A Valencia landmark since 1971, this thrill factory specializes in superlatives: tallest, fastest, and most likely to make you cry for Mama. One of its lastest envelope pushers is Twisted Colossus, the world’s longest hybrid roller coaster. Combining the strength of steel with the rattle of wood, the coaster features two side-by-side cars that race along adjacent tracks—hurtling down a 116-foot drop, catching wicked airtime on 18 hills, and corkscrewing 360 degrees through a Zero G Roll. Its hands-down coolest move? The “high five,” where the two tracks twist inward and riders feel as if they could fist bump folks in the opposite car.