California invites visitors to celebrate the state’s 170th birthday in 2020 by coming to enjoy an array of new offerings, including thrilling theme park attractions, immersive outdoor experiences and special anniversary events.
“California’s dream big spirit inspires continual growth, so there is always something new to explore in the Golden State,” Visit California President and CEO Caroline Beteta said. “In 2020, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy an abundance of new theme park attractions and hotels, while taking part in celebrating California’s rich history.”
From meeting a superhero at the new Avengers Campus, to celebrating the arrival of the iconic sea lions at PIER 39, the experiences highlighted below are just a taste of what visitors can enjoy when traveling to California in 2020.
For more information about what’s new and exciting in California, visit media.visitcalifornia.com.
California Major Openings
Avengers Campus launching at Disney California Adventure Park
Visitors can suit up alongside their favorite superheroes at the Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure. The Avengers Campus will include the first Disney ride-through attraction to feature Spider-Man, an eatery called Pym Test Kitchen that will use the latest innovations to grow and shrink food, Avengers Headquarters with an e-ticket attraction aboard a Quinjet and heroic encounters throughout the campus.
New ‘Magic Happens’ Parade to debut spring 2020 at Disneyland Park
Debuting in spring 2020, the new “Magic Happens” parade will travel down Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland Park. Celebrating awe-inspiring moments that are at the heart of so many Disney stories, the “Magic Happens” daytime spectacular will feature stunning floats, costumes and beloved Disney characters – all led by Mickey Mouse and his pals.
Universal Studios Hollywood debuts The Secret Life of Pets Ride
Adoption day is the ultimate rite of passage for every animal seeking a home, and it’s now the inspiration for Universal Studio Hollywood’s lively new ride, “The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!” opening in 2020, based on Illumination’s global blockbuster movie. In this all-new fully immersive experience, guests assume the roles of stray puppies as they join a familiar cast of leading characters from The Secret Life of Pets on the ultimate quest of finding forever homes.
LEGOLAND® California Resort Debuting New Land Based on The LEGO® Movie™
Families can step into their favorite moments of The LEGO® Movie™ in 2020, when LEGOLAND® California Resort opens a brand new land inspired by the film. The centerpiece of The LEGO® Movie™ World will be Masters of Flight, a full-dome-screen simulated ride on Emmet’s triple-decker flying couch through Middle Zealand, Cloud Cuckoo Land, Pirates Cove and Outer Space.
New ‘Emperor’ Dive Coaster Opening at SeaWorld San Diego in summer 2020
SeaWorld San Diego’s new “Emperor” dive coaster is scheduled to open in summer 2020. The new roller coaster will be the tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster in California, as well as the only floorless dive coaster the state. Thrill-seekers will experience a 143-foot facedown vertical drop accelerating to more than 60 miles per hour, along with inversions, a barrel roll, an Immelmann loop, a hammerhead turn and a flat spin while racing along nearly 2,500 feet of track.
Sequoia Park Zoo to unveil new Redwood Canopy Walk in summer 2020
Sequoia Park Zoo in Eureka is the only zoo in the world situated among redwoods, and is scheduled to open the only redwood canopy walk in North America in summer 2020. The expansion is anchored in the Native Predator zone, and will offer visitors an educational eco-adventure that illuminates the life cycle and bio-importance of these magnificent, ancient trees. Highlights of the experience include a launch deck, several suspension bridges, an ADA section, and five viewing and interpretive platforms.
New SoFi Stadium welcomes fans to Los Angeles
Football fans are in for a treat when the new SoFi Stadium, stadium and entertainment complex in Inglewood opens in 2020. SoFi Stadium is the anticipated home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers and is scheduled to host Super Bowl LVI in February 2022. Los Angeles will host at least one event for every major league sport throughout the decade, including the Super Bowl, World Cup, three All-Star games for the NHL, NBA and MLB, the CFP Semi-Final and the U.S. Open, all leading up to hosting the 2028 Summer Olympic Games.
New Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza coming to Palm Springs in fall 2020
The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians plans to open its new 5.8-acre Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza in fall 2020, featuring the new Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, a state-of-the-art spa that celebrates the sacred Agua Caliente Hot Mineral Spring, a Gathering Plaza, gardens and an Oasis Trail. The 48,000-square-foot Agua Caliente Cultural Museum will be the largest Native American museum west of the Mississippi.
Gather at the New San Luis Obispo Public Market
Arriving in early 2020, the SLO Public Market is located at the historic Bonetti Ranch, founded in 1880. The ranch boasts 4.18 acres, with 48,242 square feet dedicated to the Market Hall and surrounding shops. Across eight buildings, the San Luis Obispo Public Market blends the renovations of existing historic buildings with the construction of four new buildings featuring dining and retail shops, a market hall, a brewery and more.
Monterey Commemorates 250th anniversary with a yearlong celebration
The City of Monterey will commemorate its 250th birthday in 2020 with a yearlong celebration and citywide birthday bash June 3. Visitors can celebrate the city’s history through interactive tours and historic attractions. History buffs can embark on a walking tour of Monterey’s most historic landmarks such as Old Customhouse – the site where U.S. Commodore John Drake Sloat raised the American flag and declared California part of the United States in 1846 – while foodies can enjoy the flavors of the city and its fascinating history with Monterey Bay Food Tours.
Celebrate the 150th anniversary of Golden Gate Park
2020 is the 150th anniversary of Golden Gate Park, home of the California Academy of Sciences, De Young Museum, Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden, Botanical Gardens, National AIDS Memorial Grove, Stowe Lake, Shakespeare Garden, Rose Garden, two windmills, a bison paddock, the Children’s Playground, the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club, and more. Visitors can enjoy a wide array of activities at the park, along with iconic annual events. 2020 will also mark the 50th anniversary of San Francisco Pride.
Knott’s Berry Farm celebrates centennial and debuts 4-D dark ride in summer 2020
Knott’s Berry Farm commemorates its 100-year anniversary in 2020 with a grand summer-long celebration featuring festive park décor, themed food, entertainment, exclusive merchandise and special surprises. “A Knott’s Family Reunion” will introduce a new 4-D interactive dark ride. “Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair” will take guests on an exciting journey through reimagined show scenes from the original dark ride.
San Francisco celebrates 30th anniversary of sea lions arriving at PIER 39
In honor of the 30th anniversary of the sea lions’ residency at the pier, Aquarium of the Bay and PIER 39 will launch “Sea Lions in San Francisco” in January 2020. Thirty local artists will paint 6-foot-tall sea lion statues in their own unique styles, each with an environmental message. The statues will be displayed throughout San Francisco all year long. Combined with 3,000 smaller statues painted by local luminaries, the program will be entered in the Guinness Book of World Records for the “World’s Largest Display of Hand-Painted Sea Lions.”
Gilroy Gardens celebrates its 20th season all year long
Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park is celebrating its 20th season all throughout 2020. Guests can visit uniquely themed “Party Zones” and enjoy special treats and birthday surprises throughout the park, along with over 40 family-friendly rides and attractions, gardens, and the whimsical Circus Trees.
ABOUT VISIT CALIFORNIA:
Visit California is a nonprofit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs – in partnership with the state’s travel industry – that keep California top-of-mind as a premier travel destination. According to Visit California, spending by travelers totaled $140.6 billion in 2018 in California, generating nearly 1.2 million jobs in the state and $11.8 billion in state and local tax revenues. For more information about Visit California and for a free California Official State Visitor’s Guide, go to www.visitcalifornia.com.
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