Best theme parks in usa

Top 11 Amusement Parks

Aug 18,2022read

Amusement parks are magical places that combine rides, games, shows, and food into one wholesome package for kids to have the most action-packed theme park fun!

Amusement Parks Fun

If you’re looking for an excellent place to take your family this summer, check out our list of the Top 11 Amusement Parks in the USA. These amusement parks are guaranteed to keep you on your toes and leave you begging for more! An amusement park can be any company or organization that owns and operates outdoor attractions such as theme parks, water parks, or zoological gardens. The word “amusement” is used because these parks are meant to entertain visitors for a few hours with various activities other than just rides. And though some may think of them as being strictly for children or teenagers, there are plenty of amusement parks that offer something for practically everyone.

11. Islands of Adventure

Universal’s Islands of Adventure Theme Park, Orlando

In Orlando, the Islands of Adventure theme park is the perfect place for families to spend the day together. It’s part of the larger Universal Orlando Resort, so you can tack on a trip to CityWalk, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, or even SeaWorld if you want to extend your vacation even further. But if your family just wants to enjoy the Islands of Adventure, you won’t be disappointed. The park features two roller coasters, including the Incredible Hulk, which features a first drop that’s straight down, a gentle ride for younger kids, and an indoor Sesame Street-themed area to let parents finish their coffee while their kids play.

Address: 6000 Universal Boulevard Orlando, FL 32819

10. California’s Great America

California’s Great America

There are a ton of great theme parks on this list, but if there’s one that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, it’s California’s Great America. The park is located in the Bay Area and is a favorite among locals. What’s more, it’s just a short drive from The San Francisco Zoo, another one of our top ten picks that’s also worth visiting.

Great America has a nice variety of rides and attractions, including a wooden roller coaster, a steel roller coaster, a water park, and a Haunted House that’s open year-round. The park also hosts a number of events and concerts throughout the year, though you should still double check the website to make sure there isn’t something on when you want to go.

Address: 4701 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara, CA 95054, USA

9. San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego, United States

There’s a reason that the San Diego Zoo is one of the world’s most famous zoos. With more than 3,700 different plant and animal species, the zoo has something for everyone. And with more than 100 different attractions and activities, there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained. There are various themed areas throughout the zoo, including Butterfly Land, Pridelands, and the Tropical Rainforest. There’s also the Koala Conservation, Elephant Endangered Species Center, and Reptile Rock. The zoo also offers a number of daily events and activities, including feeding times and animal encounters.

Address: 2500 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101, USA

8. Busch Gardens

Kumba at Busch Gardens Tampa

Busch Gardens, located in Tampa Bay, Florida, is a mecca of family fun. It boasts more than 50 rides, shows, attractions, and themed areas. You’ll feel as if you’ve been whisked away to far-off realms. On any given day, you can experience the thrill of racing through the Nile River in a simulated dive boat, or be amazed by the acrobatic skills of the birds of the Serengeti. If you’re visiting with children, the park offers several areas that are dedicated to their enjoyment and have age-appropriate rides and activities.

Address: 3000 E Busch Blvd, Tampa, FL 33612, USA

7. Cedar Point

Cedar Point Theme Park

Cedar Point, located in Sandusky, Ohio, is the roller coaster capital of the world. If you want to experience the thrills of the fastest, tallest, longest roller coasters in the world, this is the place to go. Cedar Point has been acknowledged as having the “Best Roller Coaster in the World” for 17 years running. The park boasts over 100 rides and attractions, including 17 coasters. You’ll find something for everyone at Cedar Point, including a water park, several shows, and even a haunted house. This is a destination theme park, so be sure to plan on a full day of fun.

Address: 1 Cedar Point Dr, Sandusky, OH 44870, USA

6. Six Flags Great Escape

Six Flags Great Escape

Six Flags is a chain of amusement parks that are located in several different locations throughout the United States. While the company’s flagship location is in New York, there are also Six Flags parks in California, Texas, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Illinois, and New Jersey. The Six Flags chain is known for its “extreme” roller coasters; the parks have some of the tallest and fastest roller coasters on the planet. If your family likes to experience the thrill of a high-octane ride, a Six Flags park should be at the top of your list! Six Flags is a fantastic amusement park if you’ve got kids who are looking for a bit of adventure.

There are some really thrilling rides that are definitely not for the faint of heart. And if you’ve got younger kids who aren’t quite ready to take the plunge, there are plenty of other attractions to keep them busy. Six Flags parks are also great places to meet other people. If you’re traveling solo, you’re certain to find plenty of friendly folks to chat with — and maybe even make a new best friend!

Address: 1172 U.S. 9, Queensbury, NY 12804, USA

5. Disney World

Disney World

Disney World is a popular amusement park in Florida that’s owned and operated by the Disney Company. This massive park is split into four different “lands” that represent some of Disney’s most popular movies. For example, there’s Fantasy Land where you can find rides and attractions inspired by Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. There’s also Discovery Island, which is home to attractions like the Tree of Life. Disney World is a fun place to go for anyone — but it’s especially great for families.

If you’ve got little ones who are crazy about Disney characters, there are plenty of attractions that let them step into the world of their favorite characters. You can also enjoy some delicious (and relatively healthy) snacks at Disney World. Be sure to get some sweet and salty popcorn, a warm pretzel with cheese, or a refreshing lemon slush. Disney World is a one-of-a-kind amusement park that offers something for everyone.

Address: 3111 World Dr, Orlando, FL 32836, USA

Disney World Top Tips

  1. You must plan out your must-see rides and attractions, know when the parades and fireworks are scheduled and have an overall sense of how you want the day to proceed.
  2. It is true that Disney World food can be expensive, plus the lines at peak times can also take over an hour just to get food so make sure to plan ahead.
  3. Disney World opens at 9 a.m. Arrive at or before this time to avoid long lines.
  4. Reserve your Disney Fast Passes via the Disney App as early as possible.

4. Universal Studios

Universal Studios Plaza, Orlando, FL, USA

Universal Studios is an amusement park in California, Florida, and Japan. This theme park is famous for its thrilling rides and live shows. Universal Studios Hollywood is especially popular with people who like to be scared. There are some incredible rides at this park, including the famous King Kong ride that lets you step into the world of this scary monster. The Jurassic Park ride lets you get close to some very dangerous dinosaurs — but don’t worry, you’ll be safely inside a vehicle.

If you’re a fan of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you’ll be delighted to learn that Universal Studios Florida has an entire area that’s themed around this magical world. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, there’s no better amusement park to visit than Universal Studios. Be sure to catch a show while you’re there; Universal Studios hosts some truly spectacular live performances!

Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608, USA

Universal Studios Top Tips

  1. Keep an eye out for Universal Studios Orlando ticket deals and special offers, as the prices vary based on season and demand. It is therefore advisable to purchase them a few months in advance.
  2. Be sure to check the ride height requirements before you go. Find out which rides are appropriate for you and your family before you go.
  3. It's smart to buy your tickets online in advance to save money and avoid long lines at the ticket counter. Lines are often long at park opening, so purchase your tickets online to avoid standing in line at the ticket counter.
  4. Children under three are free. Remember that no park admission fee is charged for children under three.
  5. Always check the theme park's operating hours before you go.

3. SeaWorld

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld is a chain of marine parks that are famous for their killer whale shows. There are SeaWorld parks in several different states, including California, Florida, Texas, Virginia, and Georgia. The California and Florida parks are home to other marine life such as dolphins and penguins. SeaWorld is a fantastic place to take your family if you’re looking for a fun day trip that won’t cost you a fortune.

Tickets are very reasonably priced and there are lots of great ways to save a bit of money while you’re there. For example, you can save a few bucks by packing a meal or two in your bag. SeaWorld is a great amusement park if you want to enjoy yourself without breaking the bank.

Address: Sea World Dr, Orlando, FL 32821, USA

SeaWorld Top Tips

  1. Bring Quick drying clothes, being around sea creatures all day long, you are sure to get wet … or even drenched!
  2. Save time and money by purchasing your tickets in advance!
  3. Pick up a park map to ease your journey.
  4. Get there early because SeaWorld Orlando shows offer a limited number of showtimes and tend to fill up quickly, in order to ensure that the animals get the rest and playtime they deserve for performing such fantastic feats, some of them are restricted.

2. Legoland California

Legoland California

If you’re looking for an interesting twist on the standard amusement park, you might want to check out Legoland California. This park is designed to look like an actual Lego set. The rides, attractions, and even the staff at LegoLand are made out of Lego bricks! You can also get your hands on some Lego bricks at the park; there are plenty of opportunities to build with Lego bricks at Legoland, including the currently featured attraction called Lego World.

Here, you can build a model of whatever you like, or try your hand at one of the pre-built models. If you’re visiting Legoland during the winter, you can experience the Winter Holiday Bricktacular where the park is decorated with festive lights and decorations.

Address: 1 Legoland Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008, USA

Legoland California Top Tips

  1. A large number of people visit LEGOLAND California in the summer and during the holidays. It's obvious but the masses are typically light on off-peak times and school days.
  2. It's a good idea to bring your own water and snacks, as well as contactless payment.
  3. Once you've entered the park, you can use the app to check wait times.
  4. Buying your tickets in advance will save you time and money, as you can find great discounts and avoid standing in line.

1. Disneyland

Walt & Mickey at Disneyland

The Disneyland Resort is a picturesque park in California that’s home to two different amusement parks. You can visit Disneyland Park, which is the original park, or Walt Disney World, which opened in the late 90s. The Disneyland Resort is open year-round and hosts special events throughout the year such as the Halloween Time at Disneyland and the Christmas Celebration at both parks.

If you’re looking to take an out-of-this-world trip, you can visit the Star Wars Hotel at the Disneyland Resort. This futuristic hotel is decked out with tons of Star Wars memorabilia and themed rooms. You can even visit the hotel’s lounge where you can enjoy a Star Wars-themed cocktail!

Address: 209 Main Street U.S.A., Anaheim, CA 92802, USA

Disneyland Amusement Park Top Tips

  1. Save money on Disneyland tickets by purchasing them in advance. It's possible to save money and bypass the ticket counter by purchasing your Disneyland tickets in advance.
  2. You can purchase discount tickets and then upgrade them to Magic Keys and save big.
  3. It's a long day at Disneyland, so wear comfortable clothes and shoes. You will be walking and moving around constantly, so make sure your clothes and especially your footwear are comfortable.
  4. Be at the gate to Disneyland at least 30-45 minutes prior to opening. Many days the parks open prior to their scheduled opening time, and you want to be prepared to enter as soon as they do. Additionally, the queues to enter can be long once the official opening time has arrived.
  5. Rather than renting a stroller from Disneyland when visiting the theme park, bring your own. If you do not want to bring your own stroller on your trip, rent one from a company that can deliver it to your hotel rather than directly from Disneyland. Contact your hotel's front desk to see if they can arrange this for you.

Amusement Park Tips to Keep the Kiddos Happy!

When summer comes, the kids want to go to an amusement park. But with school out for the rest of the year, budgets are tighter than usual. How can you keep your kids happy and take them to an amusement park without breaking the bank? We have a few ideas. There are plenty of affordable amusement parks that don’t require a road trip to make it a day worth remembering. Here are some tips on how you can save money while still keeping your kids happy at an amusement park:

Find Free or Inexpensive Activities for Kids

Most amusement parks have plenty of free or cheap activities for kids. Disney’s Hollywood Studios, for example, offers a free Toy Story-themed virtual reality experience. It’s a way to get kids familiar with VR technology, which is expected to be a major player in the future of entertainment. Other parks offer free arts and crafts. It’s a way to keep the kids busy while you can take a break and rest your feet. And it gives you a chance to see what rides are appropriate for your kids. At many parks, you’ll find free shows. These can be a nice distraction while you’re waiting in line for a ride. Just make sure to sit in the back so you can still see the show as well as keep an eye on your kids.

Go Before the Parks Open

If you can, try to go to the amusement park before it opens. Most parks have an early entry time where you can go in before the gates open to the general public. Most parks allow guests who are staying at the hotel to enter early before the general public. You can usually go in as early as 7 a.m. If you’re not staying at the hotel, you can usually get in before the park opens to the public around 9 a.m. Other advantages to going before the park opens include not having to deal with crowds and getting a head start on your rides. During peak times, lines can be extremely long. By getting a jump on the crowds early, you can reduce your wait time for rides.

Check Groupon and Amusement Park Coupons

Check Groupon and other coupon sites for amusement parks in your area. Some parks offer special coupons on Groupon. Other times, the park offers coupons on its own website. When you click on the links, you’ll usually find a code that you can enter when booking your tickets online. You can also check the social media pages of amusement parks in the area. Sometimes they offer coupons.

Pack a Lunch and Snacks

If you’re not going to Disney or another park that gives you a meal plan, pack a lunch and snacks. This can save you a ton of money. Most parks will let you bring in your own food and drinks. Most parks have a wide variety of food choices, ranging in price from $10 to $20 or more. You can bring items to eat that will cost you a fraction of that. You can even bring your own ice cream and make it into a fun desert for your kids. Most parks allow you to bring in your own ice cream in a cooler. If you have little kids, you can let them color on paper plates and cups. When the day is over, throw everything away. Or, if you have a way to clean them, you can use the plates again for another day.

Be Strategic With Rides

If you have kids of various ages, you may want to create a ride strategy. Ride the most extreme rides with the oldest kids, who will have the most fun. While you may want to ride the most extreme rides too, ride the rides with the younger kids who might not be tall enough to ride the extreme rides. If you’re just visiting the park and don’t want to ride any extreme rides, don’t worry. Most parks have plenty of tame rides that are appropriate for all ages. If you have young kids who want to ride with you, you can sit with them on the kiddie rides. You’ll still be able to enjoy the park with the rest of your family.

Take the Commute-Time Turn-Around Rule

If you have young children, take the commute-time turnaround rule. This rule is for very young children who have little patience for long car rides. Take the kids on a short car ride, such as the trip to the park and back. While you’re at the park, let the kids know that they have a certain amount of time to play and enjoy themselves. When the time is up, turn around and go home. It’s a great way to keep the kids happy and occupied for an extended period of time.

Have an Exit Strategy

If you’re visiting an amusement park, you probably want to stay all day. But if you have little kids, you may not be able to. Keep an eye on your kids. If they start getting cranky or bored, it may be time to go. If you have to leave early, don’t worry. There will be plenty more days to visit the park again.

Amusement Park & Theme Park Round-Up

If you’re looking for a fun and exciting getaway, then the above list of amusement parks is a fantastic choice. Each one is unique and has something for everyone. From the thrill-seekers to the relaxed vacationers, there is something for everyone at these amazing amusement parks. You can ride roller coasters, explore new cultures, try out different foods, and learn about history, all in one trip. With so many amazing places to choose from, the hardest part might be deciding which park to visit first! If you’re looking for a fun and exciting getaway, check out one of these amusement parks. Each one is unique and has something for everyone. From the thrill-seekers to the relaxed vacationers, there is something for everyone at these amazing amusement parks. You can ride roller coasters, explore new cultures, try out different foods, and learn about history, all in one trip. With so many amazing places to choose from, the hardest part might be deciding which park to visit first!

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