The Best Amusement Parks in the United States

 

Cedar Point: (Sandusky, Ohio) Located on the shores of Lake Eerie, Cedar Point is the roller coaster capital of the world, with close to twenty different adrenaline-pumping options sure to suit any thrill seeker! There are of course tamer options, such as the Blue Streak, a wooden coaster that has been in operation since 1964, or the Cedar Creek Mine Ride located in Frontier Town. What makes this place truly spectacular, however, is its large scale, impressive behemoth coasters, such as Raptor with its 100-foot vertical loop or one of the five giga-coasters in the entire world, Top Thrill Dragster! This ride is unlike anything you have ever experienced before, launching you from zero to 120 miles an hour in just under four seconds as you rocket up a 90-degree incline that climaxes at over four hundred feet in the air! This year, Cedar Point has upped the ante again by opening Steel Vengeance, the world’s first hyper-hybrid coaster. This monster is composed of both steel and wood and stands over 200 feet tall, featuring a 90-degree initial drop and over 30 full seconds of airtime!

Disneyland: (Anaheim, California) The original Magic Kingdom was founded by Walt Disney in 1955, and currently features eight different sections. You can stroll down Main Street, which features the original home of Walt Disney and his family, and is also the site of many fabulous parades before exploring all of the rides the place has to offer. This is the home of some of the most beloved theme rides in the world, including It’s a Small World After All, Alice in Wonderland, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain and of course, the ever- popular Pirates of the Caribbean! To get around the park quickly, be sure to take advantage of the monorail, which is heralded as the highway in the sky!

King’s Island: (King’s Island, Ohio) One of the most popular amusement parks in the US, averaging over 3 million visitors each year, this is the ultimate location for families. Planet Snoopy has been named the Best Kids Play Area for over seventeen years, and it is easy to understand why this playground delights children of all ages. With plenty of rides themed after the infamous Peanuts characters, your young ones can take the plunge on a mini log flume, chase after one another on bumper cars, visit animals at Snoopy’s Barnyard Friends plus much more! Of course, there are attractions here for grown ups and thrill seekers as well. This is the home of the Beast, the world’s longest wooden roller coaster, as well as the Diamondback, which stands 230 feet tall and features an initial drop of over 200 feet! Admission to this park also includes a pass to the adjacent Soak City Waterpark, which features over 30 different slides and other aquatic attractions to help you cool off on a hot day!

Knoebels Amusement Resort: (Elysburg, Pennsylvania) A short forty-five-mile drive from Williamsport, this place is not only wonderful for those seeking the nostalgic vibe that accompanies amusement parks from their childhood, it is also ideal for large families and those on a budget, as admission is absolutely free! A place that offers something for everyone, those with small children will be delighted with the variety of family-friendly rides and attractions, ranging from a gigantic ball pit to bumper cars and even a small-scale, toned-down kiddie roller coaster! Looking for something a little more exciting? There are roller coasters and thrill rides here as well to get your pulse pounding! The Black Diamond Mine Coaster takes you at a fast pace through a haunted coal mine, or take a spin on the only wooden bobsled coaster in the entire world, Flying Turns! There is also a log flume ride to cool off during hot summer days, as well as a haunted mansion for those who are brave enough to darken the door!

Schlitterbahn Water Park: (Galveston, Texas) Widely heralded as the best waterpark in the United States, this magnificent park is spread out over no less than 65 acres! The Bahnzai Pipeline offers three different slides that are perfect for kids and adults alike, while the Massiv Monster Blaster offers adrenaline junkies a chance to experience the world’s tallest water coaster, looming over 900 feet! Amongst countless other slide options, there is also a wonderful lazy river to drift around in, as well as areas for kids to play and splash to their hearts content! Adults can take advantage of the eighteen and up beaches and hot tubs, where you can grab a delicious frozen cocktail while relaxing in the sun!

Six Flags Magic Mountain: (Los Angeles, California) This place is in hot competition with Cedar Point for the title of Roller Coaster Capital of the World. With classics ranging from the Viper to the suspended Riddler to the ultimate classic wooden coaster Colossus, Magic Mountain also has some seriously fast and steep coasters under its belt! Climb aboard Full Throttle which is the tallest and fastest looping coaster in the world, or brave the park’s hypercoaster Goliath, which features a 255-foot drop at over 85 miles an hour! There are, of course, tamer options for families at this park as well. The Cyclone 500 is a classic go-cart set up sure to thrill the little ones, or take a spin on the Jet Stream, the classic flume ride with a refreshingly wet finish!

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom: (Orlando, Florida) You can’t talk about American amusement parks without delving into the wonder and magic that is Walt Disney World. This place is actually made up of four different parks. The Magic Kingdom is the original classic, complete with Cinderella’s iconic castle and your favorite childhood characters ranging from Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy to Chip and Dale roaming the pathways! Epcot Center is themed to represent the entire world, including different countries as well as outer space and the oceans that surround us. Marked by its most famous landmark, the Spaceship Earth Geosphere, you can visit your favorite friends from the hit move Frozen by taking a boat through Arendalle at Frozen Ever After, or while the Imageworks What If? Labs are an unparalleled interactive experience for kids and adults alike to exercise their brains! The Animal Kingdom Park will get you up close and personal with nature, including the chance to interact with elephants, exotic birds, butterflies, lions and cuddly creatures meant for children at the affection section petting zoo! There are also a number of fabulous rides here, including the Dinosaur Thrill Ride and the Na’Vi River Journey, which will immerse you in the world of the hit movie Avatar! Finally, Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park is themed around all things related to movie stars! Children will enjoy the Muppet 3-D experience or the spinning exhilaration of Toy Story Mania, while adults can get their kicks at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, which offers a thrilling ride on a haunted elevator themed excursion!

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