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11 of the Best Theme Parks in the United States

11 of the Best Theme Parks in the United States

Thrill-seekers and fun lovers read on!

Themes parks and amusement rides can be found all over the United States. But with an abundance to choose from, along with a desire to avoid wasting your time and hard-earned dollars, choosing the right ones to visit can be a pain in the butt.

But fear not, because here at the Kovol Blog we have done the much-needed research for you and compiled a list of some of the best amusement parks to visit in the U.S.A. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking for death-defying rides, or a family of 4 taking a short break, the one certain thing is that all of these parks will put a smile on your face.

So with that said, read on below to discover which theme parks we think are the ones most worth visiting.

Top 11 amusement parks in the United States:

#1 -- Cedar Point, Ohio

Cedar Point is regarded as the second-oldest amusement park the United States, and spans a staggering 364 acres. The self-described roller coaster capital of the world, features no less than 16 roller coasters and 16 thrill rides. It’s a playground for adrenaline junkies and is home to the third-highest number of roller coasters of any theme park in the world, and is the only theme park with 5 roller coasters above 200 feet in height. In addition to that, there are many other family and kiddie rides, as well as 3 water ride attractions. Many awards have been won over the years, including Amusement Today’s “Best Amusement Park in the World” for 16 consecutive years between 1997-2013, making this a must-visit location for theme park enthusiasts.

Entry cost for a one-day visit - $45.00*

#2 -- Magic Kingdom, Florida

When it comes to the magic of Disney, there isn’t much that beats the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort, Florida. Featuring classic attractions, enchanting fireworks, musical parades and Disney Characters, the Magic Kingdom really is the place where dreams come true. The Magic Kingdom is home to 6 themed lands, each with their own unique attractions, atmosphere and characters. Must-visit attractions include Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan's Flight, and Splash Mountain. And of course, no trip to Walt Disney World Resort would be complete without meeting Mickey Mouse, to make this the ultimate day out for all the family.

Entry cost for a one-day visit - $109.00*

#3 -- Dollywood, Tennessee

Dollywood attracts nearly 3 million visitors every year and is the biggest ticketed attraction in Tennessee. Having won many awards, Dollywood—in addition to the usual amusement park thrills—features traditional crafts and music of the Smokey Mountains region. The theme park features over 50 rides and attractions, including 9 roller coasters, and 2 water rides. That’s in addition to Dollywood’s Splash Country, a 35-acre water park that sits adjacent to the Dollywood theme park. Dollywood consistently ranks high on best theme park lists and has won many awards in recent years, including for best food, friendliest park, and best guest experience, among others.

Entry cost for a one-day visit - $84.00*

#4 -- California Adventure Park, California

Situated in Disneyland, California Adventure Park is home to plenty of fun-themed rides and fantasy worlds. Here, you’ll meet some of Disney’s most iconic characters, such as Anna and Elsa from Frozen, as well as the cast from Toy Story. Thrill-seekers will not be disappointed either, as California Adventure Park is home to the world’s longest inverting roller coaster that’s over 6,000-feet long and reaches a speed of 55mph. Daily shows and evening fireworks with light and music complement the park’s enjoyable atmosphere. All this excitement works up an appetite, so you’ll be pleased to know there are more than 40 dining options available.

Entry cost for a one-day visit - $104.00*

#5 -- Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Florida

Get transported into a magical universe where you can experience the wonders of fantasy worlds such as Hogwarts and Jurassic Park, as well as encounter super heroes like Spiderman and Captain America roaming the park. Ride the Hogwart’s Express or take-off on the Flight of the Hippogriff, or take a trip back in time on the Jurassic Park River Adventure. For those that like a more intense experience, then the Incredible Hulk roller coaster should be right up your street, which has been described as both “terrifying and exhilarating”. Additionally, in its debut year it was voted the No.1 roller coaster by Discovery Channel viewers.

Entry cost for a one-day visit - $109.00*

#6 -- Universal Studios Hollywood, California

This theme park, situated in Hollywood, operates not only as a theme park, but also a movie studio. Visitors can ride the many attractions, each designed to a theme, such as Harry Potter, Despicable Me, The Simpsons and Jurassic Park. Visitors can also watch live performances, or meet the studio’s animal actors. In addition to this, there are tours of the movie studios, where guests can learn more about how movies are made, visit some of the back drops and sets used in Universal movies, and see demonstrations of some of the special effects used in filming.

Entry cost for a one-day visit - $109.00*

#7 -- Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Florida

Florida is no stranger to amusement parks, but this time you get to go on a thrilling adventure into Africa. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay features a safari tour where you get to meet rhinos, lions, elephants, gorillas, cheetahs and more. Aside from this, there are of course all the thrilling rides, which includes many different types of roller coasters, such as dive, launch and inverted coasters. For those who are inclined to a tamer experience, there are cable car rides across the park. There are also many different shows and entertainment events throughout the day.

Entry cost for a one-day visit - $89.99*

#8 -- Six Flags Great Adventure, New Jersey

Packed with roller coasters, family rides, a water park, and 350-acre animal park, Six Flags Great Adventure will appeal to many. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or just a family looking for a bit of adventure, there appears to be something for everyone. The park features a massive Ferris wheel, a pirate ship ride, and plunging dare-devil dive. There are many forms of entertainment and music, and visitors can of course sign-up for the safari tour to meet some of the parks animals, which include tortoises, sea lions and alligators.

Entry cost for a one-day visit - from $29.99*

#9 -- Knoebels Amusement Resort, Pennsylvania

Knoebels is America’s largest free-admission theme park and features over 60 rides, and six roller coasters. Two of which, Phoenix and Twister, are wooden coasters which consistently rank in top ten lists. Among others, is a 1913 grand carousel that is one of the largest in the world with 63 horses, a 55-ft high log flume, and haunted house attraction that is ranked as one of the best traditional style rides. The park is home to various restaurants and eateries, which have in the past consistently won the Golden Ticket Award for best food.

Entry to park is FREE. Ride ticket books available to purchase at the park.

#10 -- Silver Dollar City, Missouri

Love the name of this one, it just has some charm about it. Roller coasters, family rides, live entertainment… and cow milking. What more could you possibly want for a fun-packed family outing? To top things off, there’s even an 19th-century schoolhouse where you can learn (again) about how school used to be back in the 1800s.  There are glass-blowing demonstrations among other things, and you even go on a tour of the national natural landmark, that is Marvel Cave. All-in-all, Silver Dollar City is a great day out for all the family. It has all the thrills you would expect from a major theme park, but with old-timey charm too. (The cow isn’t real by the way, but you can ‘milk’ it.)

Entry cost for a one-day visit - $92.00*

#11 -- Hersheypark, Pennsylvania

For lovers of the sweet brown stuff, this is the theme park for you. If the smell of chocolate in the air isn’t enough to tempt you to visitalong with all sorts of chocolate-related paraphernalia—then the rides at Hersheypark will surely convince you. Just take your pick of any of the 15 roller coasters or 16 water rides. If wild isn’t your thing, take a trip back in time on the 1919-built carousel, which features music from a 1926 Wurlitzer-style organ, and is the oldest ride in the park. In addition, the park features no less than 26 family rides and 20 kiddie rides—so it’s great for everyone—as well as the Coastline Plunge attraction featuring 6 different water slide experiences of varying intensity. There is also Zoomerica, the park’s zoo which houses more than 75 species and 200 individual animals. Hersheypark was originally created as a leisure park for employees of the Hershey Chocolate Company, it is now a major public attraction that’s open all-year round.

Entry cost for a one-day visit - $62.95*

*A quick note on prices: Many theme parks have complex price structures for season passes, multi-day passes and/or various add-ons or discounts. The price we have shown is for a standard adult entry ticket for one day, and may exclude taxes.

So, that’s 11 of the best theme parks you can visit in the United States. There are countless others too. Let us know in the comments if you have visited any of these and what you think of them.

We hope that whatever theme park you choose to visit this year, you have a thrilling and safe time.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to follow us here on the Kovol Blog and check out our other related posts, interesting articles and new releases posted here each and every week.

The Kovol Blog Team

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