As summer starts in full swing, it’s time to head out on vacation. Theme parks are a popular attraction for a reason—many include on-site resorts and additional amenities that make it easy for large and small groups to travel with minimal stress.
With everything from thrilling roller coasters to live shows, these 10 amusement parks are the best in the world. So, whether you’re planning to travel around the world or stay closer to home, you can’t go wrong!
Grona Lund is one of the world’s oldest theme parks and has been operating since 1883. If you’re an adventure enthusiast, make sure to put this one on your list. Each season (running late spring through September) offers approximately 50 concerts at the park to complement the long list of rides (with plenty that are family-friendly). The Pentathlon area features competitive games, like slingshots and boxing, if you’re looking for fun beyond the roller coasters.
Frequently cited as the best theme park in the world, Tokyo DisneySEA is unique in the Disney family. With attractions that you won’t find anywhere else and more merchandise and dining options than many other parks, DisneySEA is an amazing destination for the whole family. Stay at the property resort for guaranteed entry to this park that almost always reaches capacity.
A theme park where fairytales come alive, Efteling is a traditional European experience featuring immersive experiences and characters (like a magical forest with friends to meet along the way). A wooden roller coaster, river rapids ride, and museum are just a few of the options for visitors of all ages.
Tivoli Gardens is a long-standing amusement park that served as an inspiration for Walt Disney that combines the beauty of community gardens with thrilling rides and attractions. Visit the aquarium, bamboo forest, or the many water fountains. A wooden roller coaster from 1914 is one of just a few in the world with a brakeman still on board the train. As a bonus, the famous Little Mermaid statue depicting the classic fairytale is just a short walk away.
For a great coastal adventure spot, head to Port Aventura outside Barcelona in Spain. With six themed parks that mirror various cultures (like Polynesia and the Mediterranean) along with a Sesame Street area for kids, this amusement park has over 40 rides and new live shows every season. As one of the most-visited parks in Europe, Port Aventura has perfected summer fun!
Alton Towers is on the grounds of a private estate (complete with a castle) in England. It includes plenty of thrill rides for adventure-seekers alongside a spa and other luxurious amenities on the property for those who want to relax. Try the superhero coaster, where you “ride” on your stomach or the water coaster for a bit more splash!
Photo: Skyhobo via gettyimages.com
There are several different theme parks within this complex in Orlando, making it the top destination within the United States. Animal Kingdom is a particularly special park where visitors can go on safari and interact with real animals in a peaceful environment. There’s also an animation demonstration in the park! The Magic Kingdom is iconic and features all the Disney characters mingling with guests as they wait in line for rides, from thrilling roller coasters to relaxing boat journeys.
If Disney isn’t your destination in the U.S., head instead to Universal Islands in Orlando. You’ll see areas devoted to many other famous characters and stories, including Harry Potter, the Avengers, and Jurassic Park. Immersive shows and dining experiences round out your visit, and the park constantly adds new attractions.
For a Disney experience on the west coast, Disneyland is your destination. Housing both Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure, this area gives you several days of attractions to explore. With many original rides that launched the Disney image alongside new features like Star Wars, there’s always something new to see. For Pixar fans, the California Adventure area is where you’ll find the rides and characters from these fan-favourite films.
The self-proclaimed capital of roller coasters, Cedar Point boasts 18 world-class coasters, including several with traditional wooden structures. Even if roller coasters aren’t your first choice, this beachside property has waterpark features, live shows, and plenty of family-friendly amenities as well.
Wherever your travels take you, these theme parks are sure to provide fun and lifelong memories for your whole family.