It’s time to get out your new calendar and start planning your California travel year. There are quite a few new things happening.
Jewels of the Sea: The Jellyfish Experience
500 Sea World Drive, San Diego 92109
The first of its kind for SeaWorld, the Jellyfish Experience will be the newest immersive and interactive aquarium at SeaWorld San Diego. Guests will be greeted by a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes in three unique galleries as if diving into the heart of the ocean. Each of the galleries will feature a jelly species to discover including Moon Jellyfish, Pacific Sea Nettles, Upside-Down Jellyfish and Comb Jellies.
Old Spanish Days Fiesta
Old Spanish Days Fiesta is a beloved Santa Barbara tradition celebrating 100 years in 2024. The annual event will be held July 31-Aug. 4. It educates residents and visitors about the history, customs and traditions of the American Indian, Spanish, Mexican and early American settlers that comprise the rich cultural heritage of Santa Barbara. The festival includes parades, a horse show, rodeo and a colorful Mexican market where you can stroll and feast on Spanish and Mexican-American foods, shop for crafts and souvenirs and enjoy live entertainment.
AutoCamp which takes “glamping” to the next level with small cabins, luxury tents and Airstream trailer rentals will open a new location just outside Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Current California locations include the Russian River, Yosemite and Joshua Tree.
The wonder of Yosemite is calling. Wildhaven Yosemite, located in Mariposa outside Yosemite National Park, offers glamping tents and cabins on property with mountain views.
The glamping experience provides the comfort, cleanliness and customer service of a hotel while keeping everything you love about the outdoors.
There are hiking trails and communal spaces to socialize. Activities include yoga, wine tasting and live music.
Reservations are now being accepted for visits beginning March 15.
Santa Cruz Giant Dipper Centennial
400 Beach St., Santa Cruz 95060
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk will debut two new rides in 2024, in addition to celebrating the centennial anniversary of the iconic Giant Dipper.
The historic wooden roller coaster took 47 days to build and opened on May 17, 1924, at a cost of $50,000. With a height of 70 feet and a speed of 55 miles per hour it is one of the most popular wooden roller coasters in the world.
The classic wooden coaster can be seen in several movies including “Sudden Impact,” “The Lost Boys,” and “Dangerous Minds.” The cost to ride the Giant Dipper is $8.
The first new ride to open in 2024 is the Dream Wheel, a modern take on a quintessential seaside amusement park Ferris wheel. Standing just under 65 feet tall, this family-friendly ride will provide views of the Boardwalk, Monterey Bay, downtown Santa Cruz and the coastline and is tentatively scheduled to open around spring break.
The second ride, Surge, is tentatively scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend. Seating up to 24 people, this is a modern spin on a classic thrill ride with 360 degrees of adrenaline-packed excitement.
… and more fun!
One of the unexpected presents travelers received this year is the announcement by Disneyland Resort of all of its major special events for 2024.
This the first time that the mega-theme park has gifted the public with this much information for advance travel planning.
Dates to remember:
Lunar New Year, a multi-week festivity, opens on Jan. 23.
Celebrate Gospel will take place on Feb. 17 and 24.
May The Force Be with You. The Season of the Force will be held April 5 through June 2.
Halloween comes early on Aug. 23, an early start for the resort’s hauntingly spooky season.
Reimagined Camp Snoopy
The reimagined 6-acre Camp Snoopy is set to open at Knott’s Berry Farm on Memorial Day weekend.
Legoland Turns 25
In 2024, Legoland California turns 25 and is celebrating with new attractions, entertainment and experiences.