Belmont Park is an amusement park built steps away from the sand and boardwalk in Mission Beach, California.
Its claim to fame is the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster which stands tall for all to see as you approach the entrance to the park. Built in 1925 this icon is a part of San Diego’s history and has been restored to give riders the thrills of an old fashioned roller coaster with its steep drops and fast turns. I didn’t ride it on the day we visited but our crew said it was actually pretty fast and a lot of fun. It doesn’t match up to the coasters of today with their elaborate twists and turns and their sole purpose to outdo each other. This is just a plain old fun coaster that is worth a try.
The amusement park has other adult thrill rides as well as old favorites such as the Tilt O’ Whirl. There is something for everyone including bumper cars, carousel, rock climbing, zip line, and a sizable arcade.
The arcade had all of the newest games with the exception of a few Pac Man and Skee Ball machines scattered about for you nostalgic types. It also houses the Lazer Tag room.
Lazer tag didn’t sound that appealing to me especially since I was under the weather and didn’t have much energy. So I choose to sit that one out. However, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to give it a try at the last minute. We entered into a room where you picked out a vest with a name on it like Ultra, Lightning, Atlas, etc. We formed two opposing teams and were led into the room to begin play. All of a sudden my adrenaline kicked in making me feel like middle aged Rambo. I stayed on the lower level and proceeded to dominate a Mom and her two small girls. I ran around the room hiding behind pillars until my prey came in sight, I’d shoot and then run off to the next area. Once in a while my vest squawked and I could feel myself being hit but no worries, I was getting in a lot of hits myself. Never mind if it was against the two young girls and Mom who were really just standing around and not doing much of anything. As the game wound to an end, I circled around a pillar and there they were again, the two kids just standing there! I pelted them with my imaginary laser power one last time and took off feeling like I was really good.
Stepping out the door the results are posted for all to see. To my dismay, I came in last on my team. I guess I wasn’t that good after all. Laser tag was surprisingly fun and I would definitely do it again. This time I would aim a little better. Buy their unlimited pass so you can go in all day and at any time. One time just wasn’t enough to get the feel for it. Also, watch out for sneaky 7 year olds, obviously they shot me more times than I thought.
The climbing wall, I left to my Nephew who attempted the hardest wall first. As he made his way up at least three quarters to the top I think it occurred to him that it was really hard. With only a few foot holds, you really had to work hard on that expert course. There were other levels that had more frequent holds and one that had huge round holds for the smaller kids. The zip line hovered above and traversed over a small area. It seemed like a good chance to at least try it before attempting the larger and scarier ones that are popping up all across the state.
Outside in the center of the park were your typical carnival skill games. I challenged my nephew to the water squirt game where you shoot water from a gun into a clown’s mouth to see who pops the balloon first. Again I thought I was dominating but the pop came from my nephew’s side, not mine. It must be my eyesight, yeah that’s it.
There were a few sit down restaurants as well as your typical snacks and snack bars along the way.
On one side of the park sits a sizable parking lot with a smaller one on the other side. Be careful, it can get packed in the summer so you might want to start off early.
I was impressed by the Wave House Beach club located just behind the park and nestled right up to the sidewalk and beach. Each table actually sits on sand giving you the ultimate beach bar and restaurant experience. Your view is that of the boardwalk, sand, and ocean beyond.
The Wave House is home to the Flowrider stationary wave which is a must see. This free standing wave breaks just like an ocean wave with one small exception, the water is only a few feet deep and when you wipeout you fall on padded cement. Unlike the soft landing you receive on an ocean wave, riding this wave can come with injuries and the reason you have to sign a waiver to ride.
One of two standing waves at the park, the larger wave has a built in lip where the water hits and gives the form of a breaking wave. On this day it was not in operation but I have seen it many times and you can sit for hours watching the skilled prone and stand up riders perform. This is not for the faint of heart as you do not want to try this one without some experience. The Wavehouse did develop a smaller wave that sits at the other end of the restaurant for beginners as well as advanced riders wanting to hone their skills.
We walked the boardwalk for awhile and only imagined how busy it must be on a summer day. Nearby you can find other restaurants as well as a rental shop where you rent bikes, bodyboards, surfboards, etc.
If you stay for the weekend, Mission Bay is close and Sea World is only a few miles away.
This qualifies for one of our weekend getaways because beside Belmont Park, there is so much more to do around the area.
If you are looking for something to do just for the day consider Belmont Park. The entrance and parking are free and you can also view the Flowrider wave for free.
Sounds like a perfect day. Oh and by the way, try the laser tag and see if you can beat my last place.
Again, Faces have been blurred out to protect privacy.