High Speed Thrills Both On and Off the L.A. Freeways
By Jane Cassie
Contributor to Travelink Publishing

Hovering over its sprawled-out four hundred-or-so square mile metropolis, I was able to get a bird's eye view from my comfy window seat.

Hemmed in by mountain peaks and coastal beaches, lay our desert basin destination, the city of Los Angeles. And getting there on Alaska Airlines had been a breeze - literally - from the efficiency of electronic ticketing to the exceptional in-flight service. Yes, we had certainly started our vacation off on the right foot or should I say on the right flight

As I gazed below, a myriad of interlacing freeways criss-crossed and overlapped each other in an effort to lead travelers to a variety of vacation spots. This, after all, was the 'entertainment capital of the world', and we couldn't wait to check out some of the city's newest attractions. Here is some of what we discovered

Knott's Berry Farm is a long-time amusement park favourite and while is started out in the 1920's as a berry farm, it now offers a lot more than just their famous jams and jellies. In addition to live entertainment, Knott's Berry Farm is the home of a new thrill-seeking scream machine, Perilous Plunge, that promises riders an almost straight vertical drop from at least 115 feet.

It claims to be the world's tallest, steepest and wettest thrill-provider since you'll plummet to your heart's delight, creating a splash that is taller than a four-story building as a grand finale!

If you are truly into thrills of a lifetime, sixty miles north of Anaheim is the popular Six Flags Magic Mountain. Here you'll find more than one hundred rides and attractions, including their newest addition, Goliath that will tax your adrenaline and test your pacemaker. From this giant roller coaster's first sixty-one degree vertical drop, you'll be shrouded in total darkness when soaring through its 120 foot-long underground tunnel. Then there are its hair-raising series of high speed banked turns and spiral curves that are like no others!

If you think Universal Studios is only about 'Lights, Camera, and Action,' take a second look and be prepared. From the mind of James Cameron comes Terminator 2:3D, design to send your pulse soaring amidst explosions, laser fire, and a very realistic cyber war. This combined with all its other back-lot rides and simulations needs a full day to enjoy and is worth battling the frenzied freeway for.

The most exciting attraction, of course, must be the opening of the new Disneyland Resort adjacent to Disneyland. Its 55-acres is devoted to 'Disney's California Adventure' where the Golden State is commemorated within a variety of extraordinary attractions. For example, The Grizzly Peak Recreation area features a sensational river ride and a large children's play area that is themed like a wilderness scout camp; 'Soarin' Over California' are displayed giant aircraft hangars where guests can view an air show, or sit suspended in theatres that float above an Imax screen for a five-minute hang-gliding simulation experience. Paradise Pier features all the very best of California's seaside attractions such as a looping steel roller coaster, a Ferris wheel where riders travel along its spokes in addition to the traditional circule, and a swing ride inside an enormous orange peel. From San Francisco settings to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, a visit to Disney's new theme park provides adventure, excitement, and some basic California reality perhaps best seen in 'The Mulholland Madness,' a roller coaster themed like a typical and crazy commute of a Southern California Freeway!

If You Go:

Alaska Airlines Vacations are the leading seller of Disneyland vacation packages domestically and one of the top three worldwide. They will provide one stop shopping and coordinate your vacation for you.

Reservations: within US and Canada: 1-800-252-7522

web site: www.alaskaair.com

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