Your Guide To The Best Theme Parks In The United States

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Theme parks and amusement parks are large outdoor venues that often consist of fun rides, activities, games, and entertainment. Most parents love taking their children to theme parks while they are on summer or winter vacation. Whether you’re thinking about taking a trip to a small independent park, or you’d like to venture to a Disney resort in Florida, there is a large array of amusement parks in the United States from which to choose. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the best theme parks in the United States, so you can find the perfect getaway for your family.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure™

Formally known as Universal Studios Islands of Adventures, Universal’s Islands of Adventures is a well known theme park in Orlando, Florida, that opened its doors on May 28th, 1999. The park sits on 100 acres, including a man-made lagoon situated in the middle of the park, and it cost over one billion dollars to construct. This large theme park is separated into seven different islands, including: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™-Hogsmeade™, Marvel Superhero Island®, The Lost Continent®, Port of Entry®, Toon Lagoon®, Jurassic Park®, and Seuss Landing™.

Cedar Point

Also called the roller coaster capital of the world, Cedar Point park is located in the heart of Sandusky, Ohio. This 364-acre amusement park opened its doors in 1870, making it the second oldest amusement park in the nation. With 71 rides, including 17 roller coasters, it is the only amusement park in the world that has six roller coasters taller than 200 feet. Popular attractions at Cedar Point include:

  • Blue Streak – Cedar Point’s oldest and most classic roller coaster is the Blue Streak. This ride lasts one minute and 30 seconds and features a 78-foot climb and a drop that can reach speeds up to 40 miles per hour.
  • Charlie Brown’s Wind-Up – Charlie and the entire PEANUTS™ gang come to life in this attraction. Sit on the free-handing swings as you fly through the air, rounding bases just like professional baseball players do.
  • Gatekeeper – The Gatekeeper has broken seven world records! On this theme park ride, you’ll take flight on a golden griffon as it dive-bombs its way through obstacles. This ride can reach up to 67 miles per hour and lasts about two minutes.

Magic Kingdom

One of the biggest Disney attractions in Orlando, Florida, is The Magic Kingdom. Divided into six unique lands, including Main Street U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, and Adventureland, each land has its very own theme and activities. The Magic Kingdom consists of an impressive underground tunnel system that connects each section of The Magic Kingdom together. This helps prevent guests and visitors from seeing any behind-the-scenes operations, while also preventing cast members from walking from one land to another. Some popular Magic Kingdom Rides are listed below.

Astro Orbiter
Have you always wanted to pilot your very own spacecraft? If so, the Astro Orbiter is a must-try Disney ride for you. When you arrive at this theme park attraction, you’ll board an elevator with a few more cadets before you are brought to a loading platform. On the loading platform, you will find your way to a two-passenger spaceship of your choice where you’ll prepare for launch.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Another fun attraction at Magic Mountain is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. On this exhilarating ride, you and your child will dash in and out of desert caverns in a haunted mine train. As you swoop around corners and chug across rickety tracks, you may even catch glimpses of local critters like bats and a goat.

Universal Studios Florida

Universal Studios Florida is a theme park and production studio in the heart of Orlando, Florida. The park opened its doors on June 7, 1990, allowing guests and visitors to go behind the scenes into some of their favorite films and television shows. At this theme park, you’ll find plenty of rides, shows, and entertainment options. Some popular attractions to check out have been listed below.

MEN IN BLACK™ Alien Attack™
In this awesome attraction, New York has been hit by an epidemic of aliens, and it’s up to you to blast them into outer space. You’ll have to keep a steady hand on your laser gun, but be warned: the aliens zap back! During this attraction, you’ll encounter up to 120 different aliens, not to mention there are multiple endings, so you’ll never experience the same ride twice.

The Simpsons Ride™
Step aboard a virtual reality roller coaster ride with The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios Florida. When you first enter this attraction, you’ll quickly learn that someone has been sabotaging Krustyland (Krusty the Clown’s theme park). Throughout the ride, you’ll blast through the theme park with Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie, encountering several other Simpsons’ characters along the way.

Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl
Another Simpson-themed attraction worth checking out is Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl. During this ride, Kang and Kodos, the drooling aliens from the Simpsons, will launch you into the sky in your very own private flying saucer. As you spin and twirl in the air, you’ll be greeted by other Simpson characters that you can fry with lasers.

Knott’s Berry Farm

Located in Buena Park, California, Knott’s Berry Farm is a 57-acre theme park with dozens of rides, shows, and roller coasters. You and your family will be able to stroll the streets of an Old West Ghost Town where you’ll meet various residents, and even bandits. Some popular attractions at this family-friendly theme park are listed below.

Calico Mine Ride
Take a ride through dimly lit tunnels of a working gold mine with the Calico Mine Ride. You’ll travel down winding tracks to underground lakes, waterfalls, and caverns. As the first major ride to open at Knott’s Berry Farm in 1960, this legendary attraction offers visitors a unique view into the rich mining history of the 1850s.

Charlie Brown’s Kite Flyer
If your child loves Charlie Brown, this is a must-see attraction at Knott’s Berry Farm. Charlie Brown’s Kite Flyer ride lets kids and adults soar high above the Sierra Mountains of Camp Snoopy.

Linus Launcher
Fly like a bird on the Linus Launcher! This Charlie Brown themed ride features Snoopy and Linus. As Snoopy grabs Linus’ beloved blanket, he propels Linus on a wild ride. Soar among the birds and get a Woodstock’s-eye view of other attractions, including the Flying Ace and Balloon Race.

Supreme Scream
Get ready to scream on this exhilarating ride! The Supreme Scream transports riders straight up, 252-feet, before power-blasting them straight down in three seconds. Enjoy up to 50 mile per hour speeds with this thrilling ride.

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Six Flags Magic Mountain is a 262-acre theme park that sits in beautiful Santa Clarita, California. The theme park opened its doors on May 30, 1971, and features a variety of rides and entertainment options for the whole family.

BATMAN The Ride
Experience what it feels like to be BATMAN on this awesome roller coaster. With a 105-foot lift to the top, you’ll do a full 360-degree loop right from the start. This exhilarating ride can reach speeds up to 50 miles per hour, reaching an elevation of 10.5 stories.

Dive Devil
If you’ve ever wanted to skydive, hang-glide, or bungee jump, the Dive Devil is for you. Once you reach the top of the 152-foot tower, you’ll take a flying leap into the sky, reaching speeds up to 60 miles per hour. After your freefall, the steel cables will catch your fall, swinging you forward, as you soar through the sky.

Gold Rusher
Time travel back to the days of the California Gold rush on this fun ride. Strap yourself into an old mining car for an exciting ride of hills and curves. The very first lift will take you 70 feet into the air before it plummets you down into the wilderness.

Viper
As one of the tallest and fastest looping roller coasters in the world, the Viper roller coaster is not for the faint of heart. Made from red and white steel, this roller coaster rises to 188 feet, speeding down a track at 70 miles per hour.

If you plan on visiting a theme park this year and you will be flying out of the Denver International Airport, park your vehicle with ParkDIA. We offer convenient and affordable near-airport parking near DIA. Check out our airport parking rates and options online.