When you think “theme parks,” chances are your
brain automatically thinks “Florida,” right?
Hey, we totally get it. The likes of Disney World and Universal Studios are the undisputed kings of the theme park world to the general public for a reason.
Downsides of visiting the big parks
However, oftentimes what doesn’t get talked about is the downsides of visiting the big parks in Florida such as…
- The price tag: in the case of Disney especially, many families are being priced out as single day admission to any given park is going to going to run you $100+ per person (and that’s not even including insanely expensive food and hotel accommodations)
- Crazy crowds: part of the reason for Disney recently raising their prices even more (yes, you read that right) is because the parks are becoming so crowded, especially during the summer and holidays. Hour-plus lines are the norm in Florida.
- Panicked planning: it’s impossible to do everything (or even half of everything) at any given park, and doing so requires tedious planning and timing if you want to avoid insane lines or see the shows you want to see.
As a result, many families are looking elsewhere
for theme park fun and rightfully so.
The good news? You’re absolutely spoiled for choice with so many awesome theme parks sprinkled throughout the U.S.A.
If you’re looking for a potential theme park
destination to make part of your future travel plans, look no further than the
Busch Gardens Europe (Williamsburg, VA)
The one-of-a-kind Europe theme for this branch
of Busch Gardens takes visitors across the continent to experience some of the
country’s top coasters including Apollo’s Chariot and Griffon.
As an added bonus, the park is just a stone’s throw from Colonial Williamsburg and many of Virginia’s marvelous historic sites. You can find a find a premade vacation package from Vacations Made Easy if you’re interested in seeing the best of what the state has to offer.
Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson, NJ)
When it comes to the theme park experience, Six
Flags never disappoints and their New Jersey location is no exception. With the
rights to properties such as DC Comics and Looney Tunes, there are a ton
of themed attractions and familiar faces that your kiddos will love.
Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, TN)
Located smack dab near the Smoky Mountains, this
park is a perfect spot to visit for families looking for a little break from
their outdoor adventures. Beyond its southern-themed attractions, Dollywood is
cited as having some of the best park fare around including dumplings and
Of course, there are plenty of other things to do near Pigeon Forge including Great Smoky Mountain National Park, rafting on Pigeon River and the famed Forbidden Caverns.
Knott’s Berry Farm (Buena Park, California)
Although California is home to the likes of
Disneyland, California Adventures and Universal Studios Hollywood, visitors to
the Golden State should consider showing local Knott’s Berry Farm some love.
Why, though? Consider some key reasons to visit Knott’s Berry Farm including…
- Affordability, with park tickets around the $50 range which is a far cry from Disney prices
- A variety of up-to-date thrill rides as well as memorable areas such as the signature Ghost Town
- Fantastic food options, all which should come at no surprise given the park’s namesake
Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH)
Ohio and roller coasters go hand in hand. It
should come as no surprise that Cedar Point boasts some of the biggest thrills
and steepest drops. In fact, many of the park’s signature coasters have broken
speed and height records with new coasts constantly popping up every few years.
Some of the the best coasters at Cedar Point include…
- Maverick, with a top speed of 70 miles per hour)
- Millennium Force, which is over 300 feet high)
- Top Thrill Dragster, which reaches a staggering 120 miles per hour at its faster point
Morgan’s Wonderland (San Antonio, TX)
And finally, something completely different.
The story of Morgan’s Wonderland is absolutely fascinating, with the park representing a totally friendly and accessible place for those with disabilities. The Wonderland can be enjoyed by guests of all shapes and sizes, including water rides and a variety of shows. That said, guests with special needs actually get into the park for free while family members and caretakers pay admission.
If you think theme park fun can only be found in the Sunshine State, think again! No matter where you are in the country, chances are there’s a park near you that can make for a perfect play day during your next family vacation. – Travel Feeder
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