Wow, looking at those choices makes me very ... sad.
I chose Sea World just because it's a very stress free park. They might not have as much as some other parks, but the staff, cleanliness is 2nd only to Disney. And they have penguins there.
My run down of some of the other parks:
USH: Almost got my vote for the same reason's Sea World did. It's a pretty stress free park, they do have more stuff to do than SW and it's always clean. But ... they don't have penguins.
SFMM: Has the rides, is close to me but is a shell of it's former self. If we were talking SFMM in the late 80's / early 90's then this would take it. Has deteriorated tremendously in the last 10-12 years.
Legoland: A great park. I'm not too happy with them right now because of a big mix-up with our AP's when we had them. Their Guest Services department SUCKS, big time and actually asked us for a bank statement when we were there to prove we paid for our AP's. WTF? Like I carry my statement with me everytime.
Knott's: Probably my least favorite SoCal park now. Kinda sad considering a few years back this was my favorite besides Disney. The operations suck now, the height requirements are a joke and the food sucks (other than the CDR). The ONLY time I go to Knott's now is for Haunt, and while that's still a good time things don't change enough. I'm glad to hear that some things that have been at Haunt for far too long are changing this year. We haven't even been down to ride Silver Bullet yet, and probably won't until Haunt.
I voted for Knotts Berry Farm probably only for sentimental reasons. When we would travel from Sacramento down here to Disneyland we would go to Knotts on the first night and then spend the next full day at Disneyland and then return home. Knotts has changed a lot though and some things aren't for the better but it still has many fond memories for me. Now that I live 25 miles from Disneyland the other SoCal parks don't get much of my $$$ any more.
Its true the only time I go Knotts is for the Haunt, except on the rare occasion i get in for free for a company picnic or someone pays for me. I do agree the Haunt doesnt change enough. I was just thinking that I dont think I will go this year cause its all the same. Ive been going since 1996 and the novelty of it has worn-off. If I hear good things and they come up with some new stuff Ill give it a shot again. The best and most favorite part is "the hanging" but even that isnt worth the money....
Knott's : sentimental reasons but I prefer it prior to Cedar Fair taking over. The general and ride maintenance staff is one of the best around (but basing this on 5 years ago) and they were greatest bunch of guys around and they do work hard considering the circumstances. And for Haunt. Yes it did get old for me but it attracts many others year after year. The Hanging was always enjoyable and I hope that Cedar Fair will keep what works as well as make changes for the better.
Sea World: I enjoy going there each year. I have kids and they love the play area over there so I could see myself going once a week if I lived down there for the playground. But I also enjoy the shows and what Sea World represents and how they help beached animals...etc.
Knott's all the way. Really, there is just something about that park's charm that I can't get enough of. Cedar Fair needs to make it's next attraction one that is NOT a roller coaster. There once was a time when Knott's introduced rides other than coasters and midway rides. Remember KoD and Berry Tales and Haunted Shack and... well anyway, they need a new dark ride or two.
For my money, Mystery Lodge is one of the best attractions in all of southern California, Disney included. It really is top notch!
I prefer Sea World as I like the sea life. SD Wild Animal Park/Zoo would be second. I also like how it's much cooler there then the other parks in the summer. Plus my little one enjoys the park too espically the water area. I'm not a fan of MM at all since I don't really care for coasters and all of the problems that park has too. I do like Ghost Rider at Knotts though. 1 of these days I will get to Legoland, but I don't know when yet.
I had to go with knotts on this one. but i would say im in a minority that thinks things are changing for the better since cedar fair took over. the concrete all over the park has been redone and it generally looks a lot cleaner than it used to. the addition of the thrill rides has made it way fun to visit but their next step should be moredark/family rides to keep the youngens entertained. I also LOVE the atmosphere of the whole old western section of the park. gun fights in the streets, can can dancers in the salloon, snake oil salesmen... If they added more of this sort of live entertainment i would visit the park a lot more often... and i was just there last saturday! haha.
I spent the day at Knott's on Sunday and my opinion is that it is well run. While I do think that Silver Bullet is a good roller coaster and a nice addition, it was probably a mistake to put it in the middle of the park. I was impressed by the staff and their, dare I say, almost Disney like professionalism. My only complaint was that the off-stage area between Jaguar (hate that ride!) and Montezuma's Revenge was being used as a storage area despite the fact that it can clearly be seen from the loading dock of Jaguar. If Cedar Point wants to go head to head with Six Flags, more power to them. Maybe it will inspire the management at Magic Mountain to kick it up a notch!
Well, let me put it this way. My niece (bad news) applied at Disneyland, and they turned her down because of an attitude problem (they actually said that, too! Apparently she said something during the interview.) So she applied at Knotts and they made her a ride operator, even though she said she doesn't like working with people, and has the filthiest mouth...nuff said.
I love universal because it's so laid back, and the food is cheap!!