Amusement parks have been a staple of California recreation and entertainment for over a century. First appearing along the beaches and multiplying up and down the coast, these parks ignited an industry that has seen tremendous change and innovation. Children's Fairyland—America's first theme park—and Knott's Berry Farm—the first children's park—set high standards for the amusement world. When Disneyland opened in 1955, amusement parks became destinations in themselves, transforming surrounding communities.
Discover how these magical places came to be. Learn little-known secrets of 20 California parks and what makes them landmarks. For guests of all ages, California's theme parks offer an abundance of entertainment possibilities. 301 color photos provide a unique glimpse into an industry that forever changed family entertainment.