Top Ten Amusement Parks

Amusements parks have the beauty of being appealing to both children and adults and so make for excellent family holidays. Whether you prefer rollercoasters or water slides, there are a number of amusements parks across the world which constantly seek to outdo each other in terms of thrills and spills.
Posted on: June 01, 2012 by Robert Frische
1. Cedar Point, Ohio, USA
The daddy of all amusements parks, Cedar Point is consistently voted the world’s best theme park. This park in Ohio has more rides than any of its competitors and is the only amusement park to have four roller coasters with drops of more than 60 metres. The park combines these white-knuckle rides with indoor and outdoor water parks. Its position in the Midwest gives Cedar Point an exciting natural location overlooking Lake Eerie and visitors can even enjoy a long strip of white sandy beach. 

2. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, Florida, USA
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter may be a new addition to the list, but with the worldwide success of J.K Rowling’s books this is one of the most appealing. While there are dazzling rollercoasters which take in all the magical sights of Hogwarts, one of the most inventive aspects are the recreated Wizard shops where you can buy gifts that your loved ones will recognise from the books.

3. Six Flags Mountain Magic, California, USA
Within driving distance of Los Angeles vast rollercoasters sit smoldering under clear blue skies. Welcoming more than two and a half visitors on an annual basis, Six Flags Mountain Magic has plenty of that great Californian commodity - space -  while being constantly at the forefront of amusement park innovation. As far back as 1976 Magic Mountain introduced the world’s first steel looping rollercoaster. One of the most recent rides was Terminator Salvation, now re-themed as Apocalypse.

4. Alton Towers, Staffordshire, UK
Alton Towers is the best and most popular UK theme park and it also attracts a number of Europeans. They get a real taste of traditional England as the park is centred on an old Gothic Manor House. With nearly three million visitors per year a whole entertainment industry has sprung up around Alton Towers including numerous hotels to accommodate all tastes and budgets. Alton Towers is most famous nowadays for the Nemesis, which is Europe’s first inverted rollercoaster and sure to make you crave the safety of steady land again.

5. Legoland, Billund, Denmark
While there are a chain of Legoland amusement parks around the world in California, Windsor UK and Gunzburg Germany, the original was in Denmark. Most kids love Lego and the chance to see their fantasy enacted out on a giant scale is really worthwhile. But this is the kind of thoughtful and educational park that adults can appreciate too. In fact Legoland has been the main Danish tourist attraction outside of the capital Copenhagen for over forty years and more than 40 million visitors have been to Legoland since it opened in 1968.

6. Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida, USA
The massive Universal Studios Parks in worldwide locations such as Los Angeles, Florida and Singapore draw millions of visitors every year to film-themed rides. Orlando is one of the most popular locations, because it is also close to the Walt Disney World Resort, which makes this a Mecca for amusement parks in America. Enjoy six water rides and seven rollercoasters with themes such as Shrek 4D, Revenge of the Mummy and Jurassic Park.

7. Duinrell, Wassenar, the Netherlands
Holland may be a small country but Duinrell, with its famous Tikibad, has an amusement park to rival those in much bigger nations. The park offers an excellent range of attractions for small children as well as amazing rides for adults. The water spouts are absolutely fearsome as you experience what feels like massive vertical drops, though in fact you are actually floating on a jet-fast plume of water.

8. Siam Park, Bangkok, Thailand
As the largest water theme park in Asia, Siam Park is so impressive that even Michael Jackson took time out of a busy tour to come and enjoy the rides here. One of the most amazing attractions is the world’s largest wave pool, according to the Guinness Book of Records. The five loop and 765 metre Vortex rollercoaster is the largest suspended looping rollercoaster in the world and there are many themed areas including the Twin Dragon and the Africa Adventure with its King Kong animatronics.

9. Parc Asterix, Roissy, France
Why visit the American-inspired Disney Land in Paris when you can go to an amusement park which is more relevant to French culture? Chances are when you were growing up you will have read the Asterix books by Uderzo and Goscinny which depict the fight of the Gauls against the Roman Empire. Now, only 22 miles north of Paris, you can relive the adventure on a number of large rollercoasters which have Gaul, Roman and Greek themes. 

10. Wild Wadi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Amidst a famously harsh desert Dubai has created a number of world class attractions to keep tourists entertained including seven star hotels and a number of amusement parks. The Wild Wadi (Wadi is an Arab word for valley) is the best of them as it gives a chance to escape the heat of the city in an exciting water park. Wild Wadi has some of the tallest free slide waterfalls in the world.

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