You may not have heard of El Dorado Frontier in Long Beach or realized that Long Beach has it’s own mini-theme park! We hadn’t either, so we were thrilled to try out the updated El Dorado Frontier!
Located in the heart of El Dorado Regional Park East, El Dorado Frontier will take you and your kids back to the wild west. From panning for gold to a train ride through history, El Dorado Frontier is a not to be missed hidden gem in Long Beach.
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Planning a Visit
El Dorado Frontier is located inside El Dorado Regional Park East. You enter the park off of Spring Streed and follow the “Train Ride” signs to El Dorado Frontier.
El Dorado Park
7550 E. Spring St
Long Beach, CA 90808
Currently, El Dorado Frontier is open on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 4:00pm by reservation only. You can reserve your time slot here. Give yourself a few extra minutes to get to the El Dorado Frontier as it can take several minutes to get from the entrance to El Dorado Park to the parking area.
How much does El Dorado Frontier cost?
El Dorado Frontier costs $15 for each member of your group over 12 months old. Ticket includes entrance to the frontier, one carousel ride and one train ride per guest. Children under 12 months can ride the carousel and train with an adult free of charge.
Additional attractions and activities are available at an additional cost and can be purchased on site.
EXPERT TIP: Don’t miss Panning for Treasure – and don’t be put off by the price! You can pay for one panning and all your kids can participate!
What is the parking situation at El Dorado Frontier?
There is parking just outside the entrance to El Dorado Frontier. It is not technically dedicated parking for El Dorado Frontier, but there is plenty within a very short walking distance.
However, there is a vehicle entrance fee to enter El Dorado East Regional Park ranging from $6 on weekdays, up to $9 on holidays. (There is no charge for bicyclists and pedestrians.) For a full current price list, visit the El Dorado East Regional Park website here.
You can also purchase an annual parking pass that grants you access to El Dorado East Regional Park, including the El Dorado Frontier and El Dorado Nature Center. This pass is $60 and is good from the date of purchase through the month purchased the following year.
EXPERT TIP: Purchase your parking pass at the beginning of the month for maximum benefit! A pass purchased July 1 or a pass purchased July 30 will both expire June 30 of the following year!
What is the best age range for El Dorado Frontier?
El Dorado Frontier is great for toddlers through elementary school age children. We have visited with children 9 months to 8 years and it was fun for everyone.
Can you bring food into the El Dorado Frontier?
There are several picnic tables directly outside of El Dorado Frontier, so if you would like to have a snack or picnic there is lots of available space. Of course, we always recommend bringing a water bottle for the kids (we grabbed a 3 pack of these Zulu water bottles which are amazing!)
If you forgot to bring refreshments, there are a few beverages and snack items (and ice cream – yum!) available for purchase at the ticket booth.
El Dorado Frontier also has plans to expand to include a full concession stand, so stay tuned for updates!
Does El Dorado Frontier have bathrooms?
Unfortunately there are not dedicated bathrooms inside of El Dorado Frontier. However, El Dorado Park has several bathrooms and one of their restroom facilities is just outside of El Dorado Frontier.
Can I take a bunch of kids?
El Dorado Frontier is a great place to take several children. It’s small enough that you can keep an eye on kids that run in several directions! And with only one entrance – that is manned by an El Dorado Frontier employee – there’s a low possibility of escapees. Some of the rides, like the carousel, may require an adult for smaller riders, so you’ll want to check height requirements.
How long should you expect to stay?
Currently, reservations are considered to be for a one hour block of time at El Dorado Frontier. We found that one hour was the exact amount of time that it took for us to do every activity, though on a more crowded day it could be up to an hour and a half.
However, if you’re visiting El Dorado Frontier, you may also want to consider enjoying the rest of what El Dorado Regional Park East has to offer. Bring a picnic, play at one of the several playgrounds, or head over to the El Dorado Nature Center to make a day of it!
What Shouldn’t We Miss?
One of the things we loved about the El Dorado Frontier is that there were several different attractions to enjoy, but we never felt rushed or like we couldn’t do everything. So our expert opinion: make sure you don’t miss anything!
The signature attraction at El Dorado Frontier is the train ride. Hop on at Ruvulo Valley Train Station for a roundtrip train ride that takes you outside of El Dorado Frontier and through El Dorado Park itself.
This fully narrated train ride tells you a little bit about life on the frontier, as well as the history of the train car you’re riding in. Learn a bit about El Dorado Regional Park East, all while chugging along!
Warning: There is a tunnel that boasts an “explosion,” and while it’s our kids’ favorite part of the ride, smaller riders may need to be prepared for loud noises and flashing lights!
Crystal Corral Carousel
Hop on a very unique, old carousel for a classic good time. This is a carousel unlike any other with it’s vintage horses and two mining cars and locomotive to ride on. If you’re a train or carousel enthusiast, this attraction alone is worth the visit!
While children under 1 ride free, be prepared to have a paid adult ride along younger (and smaller) riders!
Note: The belt loops aren’t attached to the horse, so even riders that don’t need an adult supervisor may need help buckling in.
Panning for Treasure
The highlight, for my kids, was Panning for Treasure. This blast from the past was truly exciting for all three children. One bag of “treasure” was plenty to split among a few kids and each took a turn panning through the dirt.
Ask for two pans (or more!) and share your bag of sand and rocks between your kids. We shared one bag between our three kids and let everyone get a turn. One bag yielded about a dozen rocks so there’s definitely enough for everyone to have a few.
Protector’s Journey Handcart Ride
My kids LOVE a ride where they are in charge and get to make it move on their own. The handcart ride at El Dorado Frontier is a fun new take on an old classic. Spin the wheels to make your car go around this very cute thematic track!
Should I bring a stroller?
The El Dorado Frontier is very small, so it’s unlikely that you would need to bring a stroller, even for the littlest legs. However, you may have a little walk to do from your car, or may be exploring the rest of El Dorado park. So if you do bring a stroller, you can park it near the entrance while you explore the El Dorado Frontier.
Would El Dorado Frontier be a good place for a party?
El Dorado Frontier has three dedicated areas that are beautiful spaces for parties of 40-50 attendees. Natural tree shade or canopy covered space is available. There are also two larger sites available outside the grounds of El Dorado Frontier. These are also available to reserve and can accommodate up to 100 guests.
For more information on party reservations, visit El Dorado Frontier’s website here.
Why we love El Dorado Frontier
El Dorado Frontier was such a special place to find nestled in Long Beach. It was a great way to have a miniature theme park experience without spending a ton of money and when you don’t have a ton of time. It didn’t take a lot of planning to decide to go and our kids had an absolute blast.
We also loved that we could combine the visit to with one of our favorite places in Long Beach, the El Dorado Nature Center.
We hope that with these tips for visiting El Dorado Frontier with kids you’ll love it too!