There are hundreds of highly enjoyable amusement parks across America that attract millions of families every year. Now that’s a vast number of parks to choose from! But which ones are the best?
Well, in order to save you time, I narrowed them down to the most exciting, thrilling, and fun amusement parks in the country. I’m talking everything from water slides, all the way to the magical world of Harry Potter.
There will be plenty of chances to make some magical memories with the whole family!
- DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM, BAY LAKE, FLORIDA
Looking for a theme park that combines the natural environment and wildlife conservation? Then the 580 acres of wildlife at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park will make you feel like you were magically transported to the heart of Africa.
Aside from walking across the jungle trails inspired by Africa and Asia, guests will encounter all sorts of wild animals, like gorillas, flamingos, rhinos, lions, tigers, and more!
But Animal Kingdom isn’t just a massive zoo. There are cool rides and attractions, too, like the Avatar Flight of Passage, which lets guests hop on the back of a mountain banshee to experience a 3D simulator ride over the out-of-this-world landscape of the land of Pandora. Guests will also get to travel back in time to the prehistoric past and watch dinosaurs in their prime in the chilling thrill ride “Dinosaur.”
- SIX FLAGS GREAT AMERICA, GURNEE, ILLINOIS
If water slides and rollercoasters are more your thing, then strap in and get ready to scream your lungs out at Six Flags Great America. Have a white-water river rafting experience with the family at Roaring Rapids and prepare to get splashed, or hop on board Superman: Ultimate Flight and experience the thrill of a lifetime on this epic roller coaster full of pretzel twirling loops and a 115-foot drop that will make you feel like you’re flying at super speed. But that’s only the beginning. The park has more than 15 roller coaster rides, which is perfect for thrill-seekers.
- UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, OR ORLANDO, FLORIDA
Whether you head to Universal Studios in Los Angeles, California, or Orlando, Florida, you and the whole family are guaranteed to have a magical time. These theme parks are home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where fans of the beloved franchise can walk through a magical town, buy a wand, or chug on butterbeer before boarding the Hogwarts Express.
Once you’re done, hop onto the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride on a broom and fly through Hogwarts Castle, where you’ll face the dreaded Dementors along the way. Of course, there are other thrilling adventures that are just as fun, like Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. This roller coaster takes guests through Harry Potter’s magical world and provides them with a one-on-one encounter with the franchise’s magical creatures.
- SEA WORLD, ORLANDO, FLORIDA
Come to SeaWorld and make friends with dolphins, killer whales, sea turtles, sharks, penguins, and mantas at this beautiful theme park, which has a lot more to offer than most people imagine. Did you know you can walk down Sesame Street and run into all of the famous characters from the show? After shaking hands with Big Bird and his gang, you can climb on a raft at Infinity Falls and brave some river rapids and plunge down one of Florida’s scariest drops. If you and the kids are looking for some chills and thrills, then make sure to hop aboard the Kraken, a steel floorless roller coaster ride that will rocket you through 150 feet of twists and turns at astonishing speeds.
- SANTA’S VILLAGE, JEFFERSON, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Why celebrate Christmas in December when you can celebrate all year round at Santa’s Village? Around here, riding on a Christmas train at The Great Humbug Adventure is an everyday thing, even in the summer. The ride gives passengers a chance to ride through Scrooge’s home, the iconic character from the beloved Charles Dickens’ story, “A Christmas Carol.” And although it’s not a scary ride, it’s still all kinds of fun. When you work up an appetite, head on down to the Doe-Nut Factory. They’re known for dishing out some of the most addictive fried mini donuts known to men!
- MAGIC KINGDOM, ORLANDO, FLORIDA
Florida’s Magic Kingdom is where characters from everyone’s favorite Disney storybooks and films come to life. Each year, visitors from all over the world cross into this enchanted realm where fairies, princesses, and evil queens roam free. Plus, there are lots of thrill rides that will make your heart skip a beat, such as Splash Mountain, a thrilling water ride that will take you through the interior of a mountain. Along the way, you’ll encounter a few small drops before it makes one final drop that’s definitely not for the faint-hearted.
- CEDAR POINT, SANDUSKY, OHIO
Are you heading to Sandusky, Ohio? Then make a pit stop at Cedar Point. Not only is the skyline and nearby Lake Eerie a sight to be seen, but it’s also known as The Roller Coaster Capital of the World. And it’s easy to see why with spine-chilling rides like the Iron Dragon, which swings over the park, dangerously close to the water at ridiculous speeds, and then leaves you hanging over the lagoon. There’s also the Valravn, which was dubbed the tallest, fastest, and longest dive coaster in America (and with good reason!) The coaster takes riders 223 feet up and then leaves them dangling over the edge before hurling down at a steep 90-degree angle.
- HERSHEY PARK, HERSHEY, PENNSYLVANIA
Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is every chocolate lover’s dream come true with 14 roller coasters, plenty of chocolatey treats to eat, and even characters dressed up as everyone’s favorite chocolate bar. But don’t worry about eating all those extra calories. You’ll quickly burn them off by getting scared out of your mind in the park’s ultimate coaster, Candymonium. You’ll hang on for dear life for the next two and a half minutes because this coaster hits speeds of up to 76 miles per hour along its milk-chocolate colored tracks. Be prepared to cringe as Candymonium crosses paths with Skyrush, another one of the park’s thrilling coaster rides. But don’t worry about the little ones. There are rides for different ages, including a mini pirate ride, which is definitely fun for the little ones in the family.
- GLENWOOD CAVERNS ADVENTURE PARK
Looking to make a family vacation extra EPIC? Then pack your bags and head to Colorado’s Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, the only mountain-top theme park in the United States. Nestled right in the middle of the breathtaking Rocky Mountains and elevated 7,000-feet above sea level, this park offers a wide array of thrill rides, activities, and special events for the whole family.
Thrill-seekers will enjoy hanging at the edge of their seat at the Haunted Mine Drop, a hair-raising thrill ride that takes passengers on a 110′ drop inside a mountain. Don’t leave before experiencing the Alpine Coaster, the Giant Canyon Swing, and the Glenwood Canyon Flyer. And for anyone seeking a true cave adventure, the Historic Fairy Cave and King’s Row tours in Iron Mountain are a total must.
Traveling with young children? No problem! The park offers family-friendly rides that aren’t scary, but they’re still lots of fun. Just gather the little ones and head to the Mine Wheel, a lovely Ferris wheel ride that boasts sensational views. Make sure to also check out Laser Tag Arena, where you can test your laser tag skills, or The Wild West Express, a super mild roller coaster that won’t give anyone nightmares.