With the height of vacation season upon us, theme parks are easily a popular destination for those seeking a fun getaway. Along with the recognizable Disney and Universal, the US also offers plenty of other theme park gems promising equal amounts of entertainment. Whether you are seeking thrills or a family-friendly experience, these parks promise fun for all ages.
Read on to find out about the best theme parks in the USA:
1. Walt Disney World - Orlando, Florida
With four theme parks, two water parks, and plenty of shopping and dining to choose from, it is no mystery why Walt Disney World is a favorite vacation spot. Guests to this magical park can experience all of the iconic attractions which made Disney World a household name, such as The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and It’s A Small World. After experiencing the rides, guests can also capture a photo with their favorite Disney characters. With a variety of slow rides, high-tech thrills, and everything in between, Walt Disney World promises an exciting experience for guests of all ages. Prices range from 99 USD to 124 USD.
Walt Disney World
Address: Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, FL 32830
Website: Walt Disney World
2. Universal Studios Florida - Orlando, Florida
Those looking to experience the latest thrills will feel at home at Universal Studios. With two theme parks and a water park to explore, guests have a generous selection of attractions. One of the largest attractions, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, allows fans of all ages the chance to experience the magic of the Harry Potter universe with thrilling attractions, themed shopping, and dining experiences. Along with Harry Potter, guests also have a number of thrill rides, stage shows, and dining options to choose from around the park.
The newest addition, Volcano Bay, transports guests to a tropical water park filled with exciting water rides, relaxing pools, and an absence of lines with the new TapuTapu bands, which allow guests to join a virtual line for rides while they enjoy the rest of the park. Single day tickets for Universal or Islands of Adventure start at 110 USD and 67 USD for Volcano Bay. Park-to-park tickets start at 165 USD.
Universal Studios Florida
Address: 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819
Website: Universal Studios Florida
3. Knotts Berry Farm – Buena Park, California
Once a family owned berry farm, this theme park has risen to fame with its variety of thrill and family-friendly rides split into four themed sections: Ghost Town, Fiesta Village, The Boardwalk, and Camp Snoopy. Thrill seekers can race through 2,202 feet (671 meters) of track at 82 miles per hour (131 kilometers per hour) while families can cool off on the Bigfoot Rapids. Guests can also defend Ghost Town against futuristic robots in the fully-immersive VR Showdown in Ghost Town, one of the only full motion VR attractions in a US theme park. Prices start at 45 USD online and 75 USD at the gate.
Knotts Berry Farm
Address: 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620
Website: Knotts Berry Farm
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4. Disneyland – Anaheim, California
This iconic theme park is where the Disney theme park magic first began. Celebrating over 60 years, this park contains all of the traditional Disney attractions original to Walt’s vision, such as Peter Pan’s Flight, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and Snow White’s Scary Adventures. Guests can also visit the adjacent California Adventure Park for the top thrill rides, such as California Screamin’ and the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout. Prices for both Disneyland and California Adventure park start at 110 USD.
Address: 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802
5. Hershey Park - Hershey, Pennsylvannia
Once an exclusive park for Hersey Chocolate Company employees to unwind, this park now welcomes guests from all over the world. With over 70 rides to choose from, this park has become a favorite among families for its selection of kid-friendly rides. For older guests, Hershey Park also offers a selection of 13 exciting coasters to choose from. Guests can also experience a chocolate factory tour ride next door at Hershey’s Chocolate World. Prices start at 64 USD.
Address: 100 Hersheypark Dr, Hershey, PA 17033
Website: Hershey Park
6. Cedar Point - Sandusky, Ohio
The second oldest theme park in the US dating back to 1870, this park boasts a world record for most rides in a park, with 71 rides to choose from. Thrill seekers can test themselves on the popular coaster, Valravn, which drops guests 223 feet (67 meters) at 75 mph (120 kilometers per hour). Families and younger guests can also enjoy the Midway Carousel or get a bird’s eye view of the park on the Sky Ride. Prices start at 49 USD.
Address: 1 Cedar Point Dr, Sandusky, OH 44870
Website: Cedar Point
7. Knoebels Amusement Resort – Elysburg, Pennsylvannia
Those looking to experience a traditional theme park can visit Knoebels in Pennsylvania. With a selection of carnival rides and wooden roller coasters to choose from, this park has become a popular favorite due to its free admission and parking. Individual rides are priced separately and start at 1.75 USD.
Knoebels Amusement Resort
Address: 391 Knoebels Blvd, Elysburg, PA 17824
Website: Knoebels Amusement Resort
8. Six Flags Magic Mountain - Valencia, California
Boasting the world record for the most roller coasters in a single park, Six Flags Magic Mountain is a top destination for thrill seekers. Among the various intense thrills, guests can experience the unique The New Revolution Galactic Attack, a coaster enhanced with VR headsets. Prices start at 80 USD.
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Address: 26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia, CA 91355
Website: Six Flags Magic Mountain
Divided into several European-themed sections, Busch Gardens Williamsburg offers a top selection of thrill rides, attractions, and entertainment. After spiraling on the Loch Ness Monster coaster and taking in the views of a scenic nature park from the Rhine River Cruise, guests can shop through the Parisian streets, visit a Scottish village, and grab a beer in Germany. Prices start at 55 USD online and 90 USD at the gate.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Address: 1 Busch Gardens Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23185
10. Dollywood - Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Named and partly owned by famous country singer Dolly Parton, Dollywood prides itself on offering an array of unique attractions. Guests can free fall 20 stories (66 meters) on the new Drop Line, visit the 1890s Calico Falls school house, and view a number of Dolly Parton memorabilia, including her tour bus, at Chasing Rainbows. Prices start at 68 USD.
Address: 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
Exciting thrills and attractions await
From intense coasters to family-friendly attractions, these top rated theme parks offer exciting experiences for all ages. Visit these parks this upcoming vacation season.
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