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Best California Theme Parks for Seniors

By Sixty and Me December 15, 2023 Travel

In the golden state of California, where dreams take flight and adventures are boundless, the magic of theme parks isn’t just reserved for the young. The vibrant diversity of California’s theme park landscape extends a warm welcome to seniors seeking fun, laughter, and unforgettable memories.

California offers a spectrum of theme parks that cater to the unique interests and desires of seniors.

  1. Disneyland Park – Disneyland offers a mix of classic attractions, gentle rides, and shows that cater to a wide range of age groups. Seniors can enjoy leisurely strolls, watch parades and fireworks, and experience iconic rides like “It’s a Small World” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
  2. Disney California Adventure –Located adjacent to Disneyland, this park features attractions such as “Soarin’ Around the World” and “Radiator Springs Racers.” The park also has many restaurants and entertainment options.
  3. Universal Studios Hollywood – Universal Studios offers a combination of entertainment and thrill rides. Seniors can enjoy studio tours, shows, and more relaxed attractions like the “Studio Tour” and “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.”
  4. Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park –Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park is a tranquil destination with beautiful gardens and family-friendly rides, making it an ideal choice for seniors seeking a relaxed day amidst nature and gentle amusements.

What to Look for in a Theme Park

When considering a theme park to visit, there are several factors to look for to ensure you have an enjoyable and memorable experience. Here are some key aspects to consider:

Attractions and Rides

The variety and quality of attractions and rides are central to any theme park experience. Look for a mix of rides, including thrill rides, family-friendly rides, and more relaxed, scenic attractions. Consider your own preferences and those of your group when assessing the ride options.

Theme and Atmosphere

The theme and overall atmosphere of the park can greatly enhance your experience. Whether it’s a magical kingdom, a movie studio, or a historical setting, a well-executed theme can transport you to another world. Choose a theme that resonates with your interests.

Accessibility and Mobility

If you or someone in your group has mobility concerns, check the park’s accessibility features. Ensure they have ramps, accessible bathrooms, and options for wheelchair or scooter rentals. Many parks offer services to accommodate guests with disabilities.


Look for a diverse selection of entertainment options, such as shows, parades, and character meet-and-greets. These can provide a break from the rides and add to the overall experience.

Dining Options

Good food can be an essential part of your day at the park. Check for a variety of dining options, including sit-down restaurants, quick-service eateries, and snack stands. Many parks now also offer a range of dietary choices, including vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Price and Value

Theme parks can be expensive, so consider the ticket prices, parking fees, and the overall value you’ll receive for your money. Look for senior discounts and annual passes if you plan to visit multiple times.

Crowd Levels

Visit the park on days and times when crowds are typically lower to avoid long lines and wait times. Some theme parks have crowd calendars or apps to help you plan your visit.

Customer Reviews

Read reviews from other visitors to get an idea of the park’s overall experience. Websites and apps like TripAdvisor and Yelp can be valuable resources.

Special Events

Many theme parks host special events during holidays or certain seasons. Check the park’s calendar to see if there are any events or festivals happening during your visit.

Lodging and Proximity

If you’re traveling from afar or planning a multi-day visit, consider the proximity of the theme park to lodging options. Some parks have on-site hotels, while others have partnerships with nearby accommodations.

The best theme park for you will depend on your personal preferences, interests, and the makeup of your group. Research and planning can help ensure a theme park visit that’s enjoyable, safe, and full of wonderful memories.

Best California Theme Parks for Women over 60

Disneyland Park

Disneyland Park’s enchanting atmosphere, captivating themes, and well-rounded offerings make it a timeless destination. Here, you’ll find an array of classic and gentle rides, such as “It’s a Small World” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” that cater to those with a preference for milder thrills. The iconic park is meticulously designed, ensuring easy mobility and accessibility, which is perfect for seniors.

As you stroll through the well-landscaped streets, you’ll enjoy charming shops, delightful shows, and live entertainment that invite you to relax and savor the moment.

Disneyland’s commitment to quality and service shines in its dining options, with a range of delectable choices for every palate. For those who appreciate the magic of storytelling and a sense of nostalgia, Disneyland offers a wealth of experiences that transport you back in time or to other worlds.

With its welcoming and accommodating environment, Disneyland Park ensures that you can enjoy the enchantment of the Disney universe at your own pace. For seniors, this timeless wonderland provides the perfect blend of adventure, nostalgia, and tranquility.

Disney California Adventure

Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, nestled side by side, create a magical duo that’s an ideal choice for seniors seeking a fun experience. These neighboring parks offer an abundance of options to cater to your preferences, ensuring a memorable visit.

“Soarin’ Around the World” offers a breathtaking journey, while “Radiator Springs Racers” combines excitement with an immersive story. For those who enjoy live entertainment, shows like “World of Color” captivate with their magic.

Disney California Adventure presents a harmonious blend of adventure, nostalgia, and tranquility, making it an excellent choice for seniors.

Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood is a captivating destination for seniors seeking an extraordinary and cinematic experience. This legendary movie studio and theme park offers a diverse range of attractions that cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences. As you explore, you’ll find a mix of thrilling rides and more leisurely experiences, making it an ideal choice.

Universal Studios Hollywood is renowned for its studio tour, providing you with an opportunity to go behind the scenes of some of your favorite films and TV shows. The tram tour is both informative and relaxing, allowing you to take in the magic of Hollywood’s movie-making history. For those who appreciate a more laid-back pace, there are entertaining shows, such as “WaterWorld” and the “Special Effects Stage”, which offer a fascinating glimpse into the art of filmmaking.

The park’s diverse dining options ensure you can savor culinary delights amidst the cinematic wonder. Universal Studios Hollywood is a fantastic choice for seniors looking to enjoy Hollywood’s glitz and glamor while savoring every moment in comfort and style.

Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park

Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park, located in the charming town of Gilroy, is a hidden gem that offers seniors a unique and tranquil experience. With its picturesque gardens, whimsical rides, and serene atmosphere, it’s an excellent choice for those seeking to enjoy a relaxed day.

The heart of Gilroy Gardens is its magnificent gardens, filled with vibrant flowers and lush landscapes. Strolling through these gardens is a peaceful experience, allowing you to connect with nature and take in the beauty of the surroundings. The park’s iconic Circus Trees, with their twisted trunks and branches, are a testament to the park’s horticultural artistry.

The rides at Gilroy Gardens are suitable for seniors who prefer milder thrills. The “Sky Trail Monorail” provides a unique perspective of the park’s beauty, and the “Artichoke Dip” is a gentle and charming ride.

This park’s ambiance and attractions are accessible and conducive to a calm and cozy visit, ideal for seniors. The friendly staff and inviting dining options ensure your comfort and enjoyment throughout your day.


Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you like theme parks? Which theme park is your favorite? With whom do you like to go to theme parks with? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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The Author

Sixty and Me is a community of over 500,000 women over 60 founded by Margaret Manning. Our editorial team publishes articles on lifestyle topics including fashion, dating, retirement and money.

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