Comprising Magic Mountain and newer watery cousin Hurricane Harbor, Six Flags delivers thrills for all but the most joyless and crowdphobic holidaymakers. The park offers rollercoasters and water rides for every level of screamer: while there are some gentle rides here, the park is most famous for the ones that'll push your heart into your mouth and your lunch on to the person sitting in front of you. It's a raucous place, both on the rides and off them: if you've got very young kids in tow, Disneyland and Universal Studios are both better bets.
Although a few of the rides at Magic Mountain come with Hollywood themes, such diversions are incidental to the excitement of the riding experience. Perhaps the most terrifying of all the park's rides is the Riddler's Revenge, the world's tallest, longest and fastest stand-up rollercoaster. However, it's got stiff competition.
Other highlights include the Colossus, billed as "the tallest and fastest wooden coaster in the West;" the ludicrous Viper, which soars 188ft (56m) in the air; the floorless Scream! coaster, hugely popular since its 2003 opening; and X, revamped during 2008 in a bid to increase the terror levels further. Happily, there are a number of activities that are suitable for riders of a nervous disposition, among them the gentler-than-it-sounds Canyon Blaster and the Log Jammer flume ride.
Hurricane Harbor is Magic Mountain's smaller, watery cousin. As you might expect, the rides here are a little milder, but there are still thrills to be had: try Tornado, billed as a 'six-storey funnel of fear'.
The parks' opening hours vary almost daily: check online for a detailed calendar, and for further information on the full range of admission-fee packages (including tickets covering both parks). Note that many rides have height restrictions, starting at around 48in (1.22m).