47 Best Theme Parks in the USA

America’s theme parks don’t just offer thrills – they sell pure, unfiltered fun. You’ll find coasters that shatter speed records and themed lands so immersive you’ll swear you’ve stepped into another world. Some parks are sprawling, others are charming. But one outdoes them all with a truly astonishing attraction.

This park boasts the world’s longest roller coaster. That’s a lot of track, drops, and twists! Want to know the ultimate way to experience this monster ride? Sit in the very back car. You’ll get extra whiplash on those crazy turns.

So, the question is… which park is hiding this colossal coaster? It may not be the one you expect. Keep reading, and we’ll reveal the secret. Let’s explore why America’s theme parks are a must-visit!

Magic Kingdom Park

Magic Kingdom Park in Florida

Magic Kingdom is where the Disney magic started. Expect those classic rides you remember as a kid, smiling cast members, and the kind of happy chaos that only Disney can pull off. If you have little ones obsessed with princesses or want to see that iconic castle in person, this is the place.

LocationOrlando, Florida
Cost Range$$$
Main AttractionsSpace Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
MapMagic Kingdom Park Map

Insider tip: Don’t be fooled by the short wait times posted for Peter Pan’s Flight. That ride moves SLOWLY, so even a “short” line can take forever! And for a unique experience, try riding the Haunted Mansion when it’s totally dark outside. Way spookier!

Word of warning: Magic Kingdom gets PACKED. Like, shoulder-to-shoulder crowded. Be prepared for some waiting, even if you go during the “off-season”. And obviously, Disney isn’t cheap… factor that into your planning.

Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood in California

Universal Studios Hollywood is a movie lover’s playground! You’ll find thrilling rides based on your favorite films, working sets where real movies get made, and enough screaming (both yours and from the actors on the Studio Tour) to last a lifetime.

LocationLos Angeles, California
Cost Range$$$
Main AttractionsThe Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Walking Dead Attraction, Jurassic World – The Ride, WaterWorld, Transformers: The Ride-3D
MapUniversal Studios Hollywood Map

Insider tip: The WaterWorld show is surprisingly awesome…and you WILL get soaked if you sit in the front. And hey, even if you’re not a huge Simpsons fan, those themed shops and restaurants are worth checking out.

Fair warning: Some rides are showing their age a little bit. And the Studio Tour – while fun – can be slow if you’re into constant thrills. Universal also gets seriously crowded, especially on weekends and holidays.


Funland in Rehoboth Beach is where time stands still and your inner kid takes over. Think classic boardwalk rides, flashing lights, and the kind of happy chaos that only comes with sticky cotton candy and screaming kids. Perfect for families with little ones obsessed with carousels or anyone yearning for a blast of old-fashioned seaside fun.

LocationRehoboth Beach, Delaware
Cost Range$
Main AttractionsSuperflip 360, Freefall, Paratrooper, Bumper Cars, Carousel
MapFunland Map

Insider tip: Games cost extra, so budget accordingly if you’ve got competitive kiddos. But hey, the Haunted Mansion? It’s so hilariously cheesy, it’s worth the price of admission.

Let’s be honest: Funland isn’t the fanciest park out there. And it gets SWAMPED in the summer. But if you’re looking for a place to let loose, embrace a little nostalgia, and make some boardwalk memories, this spot delivers.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park in Florida

Animal Kingdom isn’t your typical Disney experience. Think lush rainforests, close encounters with giraffes, and thrill rides that are actually intense. It’s a cool change of pace for Disney fans, especially if you love animals.

LocationOrlando, Florida
Cost Range$$$
Main AttractionsKilimanjaro Safaris, Pandora – The World of Avatar, Expedition Everest, the Tree of Life
MapDisney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park Map

Insider tip: Kilimanjaro Safaris is best early in the morning or at dusk when the animals are more active. And don’t skip the Maharajah Jungle Trek – you might spot tigers!

But be warned: Florida weather is unpredictable. Be prepared for both scorching sun and sudden downpours. And those animal encounters? Sometimes they mean unexpected ride closures.

Like all Disney parks, Animal Kingdom gets SWAMPED. Visiting during the off-season is key for shorter lines. If you’re ready for a dash of adventure in your Disney trip, this park is a must. Let’s dive into how to get the most out of your Animal Kingdom experience!

Disneyland Park

Disneyland Park Map 2022

Disneyland: it’s the classic, the legend, the place where your wallet goes to die. But you know what? You’ll probably still have a blast, especially if you’re traveling with kids who lose their minds over meeting princesses.

LocationAnaheim, California
Cost Range$$$
Main AttractionsStar Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disneyland Park’s Cinderella Castle, Indiana Jones Adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean
MapDisneyland Park Map

Insider tip: Don’t miss the fireworks show – grab a spot early and snag a churro for the full experience. Lines can get long, so be prepared for some waiting, especially on popular rides. But hey, the magic is worth it, right?

Best time to visit? Aim for weekdays in the off-season (think fall or spring) when things are a little less hectic. But any time you’re ready for a dose of Disney magic, Disneyland delivers!

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida

Hollywood Studios is where movie magic gets amped up with a dose of adrenaline. Expect thrilling rides, shows based on your favorite flicks, and enough screaming (both yours and from the actors) to last a lifetime. It’s the perfect spot for anyone who loves a good blockbuster…and doesn’t mind rollercoasters.

LocationOrlando, Florida
Cost Range$$$
Main AttractionsTower of Terror, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
MapDisney’s Hollywood Studios Map

Insider tip: Toy Story Land is adorable, but those rides get CRAZY lines. For a hidden gem, try the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. It’s cheesy, but honestly kind of awesome.

Heads up: Some parts of Hollywood Studios feel a little dated. And like pretty much all theme parks, expect crowds and long waits for those big rides.

Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Resort in California

Disneyland Resort is pure Disney magic, packed with history and nostalgia. It’s the place where you can meet Mickey, ride the spinning teacups, and lose yourself in that classic Disney atmosphere. Perfect for families and anyone who wants a big dose of Disney charm.

LocationAnaheim, California
Cost Range$$$
Main AttractionsSpace Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Disneyland Monorail, Mickey’s Mix Magic, Sleeping Beauty Castle
MapDisneyland Resort Map

Insider tip: Don’t miss the fireworks show – grab a spot early and snag a churro for the full experience. Lines can get long, so be prepared for some waiting, especially on popular rides. But hey, the magic is worth it, right?

Best time to visit? Aim for weekdays in the off-season (think fall or spring) when things are a little less hectic. But any time you’re ready for a dose of Disney magic, Disneyland Resort delivers!

Cedar Point

Cedar Point in Ohio

Cedar Point is a coaster lover’s paradise. With more coasters than you could ride in a day, this park is all about the adrenaline rush. They’ve got record-breakers for serious thrill-seekers, plus tamer rides and classic coasters that still pack a punch.

LocationSandusky, Ohio
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsSteel Vengeance, Top Thrill Dragster, Maverick, Millennium Force, GateKeeper
MapCedar Point Map

Pro tip: Head straight to the back of the park at opening. Most people hit the front-gate coasters first, giving you a chance to snag shorter waits on the big rides further in!

Cedar Point isn’t about fancy theming or cutting-edge tech. It’s about the raw thrill of speed and drops. Lines can be brutal, especially on weekends and during peak season. Best time to go? Weekdays in the off-season (think May or September) for slightly shorter waits.

Universal Islands of Adventure

Universal Islands of Adventure in Florida

Islands of Adventure is where movie magic explodes! This park is all about jumping into the action, whether you’re soaring with Harry Potter, facing down giant raptors, or blasting through the world of superheroes. It’s a must-visit if you love blockbuster thrills and immersive experiences.

LocationOrlando, Florida
Cost Range$$$
Main AttractionsThe Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic Park River Adventure, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Skull Island: Reign of Kong
MapUniversal Islands of Adventure Map

Insider tip: The Incredible Hulk Coaster relaunch is INSANE. Even if you’ve ridden it before, it’s worth checking out! And for pure fun, the Jurassic Park River Adventure is a blast (you WILL get soaked).

Just a heads-up: Islands of Adventure gets seriously crowded (especially the Wizarding World). If you hate lines, consider upgrading to an Express Pass. And honestly, theme park food is pricey. I always bring snacks to save a few bucks.


Hersheypark in Pennsylvania

Hersheypark is a chocolate-lover’s paradise…with a side of serious roller coasters! Expect a fun mix of rides, from gentle kiddie coasters to ones that’ll make even grown-ups scream. Plus, you get a waterpark AND a zoo thrown in for good measure. Perfect place to bring the family if you’ve got a mix of ages.

LocationHershey, Pennsylvania
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsCandymonium, Skyrush, Hershey’s Chocolate World, ZooAmerica, The Boardwalk
MapHersheypark Map

Insider tip: If slightly damp log flumes are your jam, the Coal Cracker is a must! And the Storm Runner? That launch is no joke. Definitely not for those of us prone to motion sickness (ahem, speaking from experience).

Look, Hersheypark isn’t about cutting-edge tech or fancy themes. It’s about reliving a bit of that childhood nostalgia while getting your adrenaline fix. Plus, where else can you ride a coaster and then gorge on chocolate samples?

Disney California Adventure Park

Disney California Adventure Park in California

Look, Disneyland is cool and all with the castles and princesses… but California Adventure? That’s where the real party’s at. This park is all about modern thrills and a dash of California cool.

LocationAnaheim, California
Cost Range$$$
Main AttractionsGuardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!, Incredicoaster, Radiator Springs Racers, Pixar Pier, Soarin’ Around the World
MapDisney California Adventure Park Map

Forget waiting for a fireworks show. You can be zooming through space with the Guardians of the Galaxy, or dive into the world of Cars. And the food? Forget those boring theme-park hotdogs! This place has flavor that’ll make you want to come back for seconds.

Okay, one downside: those lines can be a nightmare. But here’s a secret weapon – the single-rider line at Incredicoaster. You’ll skip the wait and get your adrenaline rush way faster.

So, ready to swap the fairy dust for some serious fun? California Adventure is waiting!

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in Florida

Listen, I love a good carousel as much as the next person… but sometimes, you just need something more. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is that place. It’s where you go when you crave a rush that’ll make you feel truly alive.

LocationTampa, Florida
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsCheetah Hunt, Cobra’s Curse, Falcon’s Fury, Jungala, Serengeti Plain
MapBusch Gardens Tampa Bay Map

Imagine facing down a coaster so insane, your knees go weak. Or staring a tiger right in the eye. This isn’t about princesses and parades – it’s about pure, heart-pounding exhilaration. And trust me, the food here actually kicks some serious flavor too.

Okay, one downside – this place gets crowded. But hey, I’ve got you covered. See that monster coaster, Iron Gwazi? The single-rider line is your best friend. You’ll cut your wait time and get straight to the action.

So, are you ready to step up your theme park game? Busch Gardens Tampa Bay won’t disappoint.


Dollywood in Tennessee

Look, I love a good thrill ride as much as anyone, but sometimes those giant theme parks can feel a little…soulless. Dollywood is different. It’s got heart, it’s got the Smoky Mountains, and it’s got that down-home Southern spirit you won’t find anywhere else.

LocationPigeon Forge, Tennessee
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsWild Eagle, Lightning Rod, Dollywood Express, Mystery Mine, Dolly Parton’s Stampede
MapDollywood Map

You want coasters that actually make you scream? Check. Food that’ll make you want seconds (and maybe thirds)? Absolutely. Live music and shows that feel like a warm welcome? You bet.

Okay, fair warning – this place gets packed on peak days. That’s the price you pay for something this special. But here’s a secret weapon: try the single-rider line for FireChaser Express. You’ll cut your wait time and get your thrills much faster.

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando in Florida

Okay, theme parks with talking mice and princesses are cute, but SeaWorld Orlando is on another level. This place connects you to the ocean in a way you won’t find anywhere else.

LocationOrlando, Florida
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsKraken Unleashed, Mako, Infinity Falls, Dolphin Days Show, Orca Encounter
MapSeaWorld Orlando Map

Imagine the awe of watching a majestic orca in action. Feel the thrill of a coaster that takes you on a high-speed ocean adventure. And hey, let’s not forget the animal encounters – get ready for some unforgettable moments with dolphins, sea turtles, and more.

Fair warning: Those big shows fill up fast. Here’s the inside scoop – head for the smaller exhibits and presentations. You’ll get a more intimate experience and learn some seriously cool stuff about marine life.

Ready for a theme park that’s as awe-inspiring as it is thrilling? SeaWorld Orlando awaits!

LEGOLAND California

LEGOLAND California in California

Okay, I’ll admit it – sometimes those mega-resorts with movie characters can feel a bit…overwhelming. LEGOLAND California is the perfect escape. It’s bright, it’s colorful, and it’s all about unleashing your playful side.

LocationCarlsbad, California
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsMiniland USA, Castle Hill, Imagination Zone, Water Park, SEA LIFE Aquarium
MapLEGOLAND California Map

Picture this: You’re piloting a LEGO boat, blasting water cannons at pirates. Or maybe you’re building your own LEGO race car and testing it out on the track. This park isn’t just about rides – it’s about hands-on fun the whole family can get behind.

Heads up: Those LEGO creations aren’t just for looking at! Many of them have interactive surprises – think buttons, levers, and sound effects. Keep an eye out for those hidden details.

Nickelodeon Universe

Nickelodeon Universe in Minnesota

Okay, let’s get real: some theme parks can feel a little… sterile. Not Nickelodeon Universe. This place is pure childhood energy bottled up and ready to explode in a shower of slime! Picture yourself dodging water blasts on a Rugrats-themed log ride or meeting your favorite Nicktoons characters face-to-face.

LocationBloomington, Minnesota
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsFairly Odd Coaster, Avatar Airbender, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shell Shock, Dora’s Adventure
MapNickelodeon Universe Map

Look, I won’t lie – the rides aren’t gonna break any speed records. But that’s not the point here. This park is about reliving those Saturday morning cartoon marathons and letting loose with some seriously silly fun.

Insider tip: Don’t just rush from ride to ride! Poke around and look for the hidden Nickelodeon Easter eggs scattered throughout the park. You might find some hilarious surprises.

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Six Flags Magic Mountain in California

If you crave coasters that’ll make your heart race and your voice crack, Six Flags Magic Mountain is calling your name. Forget those polished parks with fluffy themes. This place is all about the adrenaline, the kind that pumps raw and unapologetic. Think stomach-churning drops, loops that make you dizzy, and speeds that blur your vision.

LocationValencia, California
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsX2, Goliath, Superman: Escape from Krypton, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis, Twisted Colossus
MapSix Flags Magic Mountain Map

Sure, the lines are maddening, and finding a quiet corner is a fool’s errand. But Magic Mountain is the kind of place where you ditch the expectations and embrace the thrilling chaos. It’s a testament to the crazy, impossible rides most parks wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.

Insider tip: Twisted Colossus isn’t your average wooden coaster. This revamped classic has a wicked surprise – moments of zero-gravity airtime that’ll send you flying out of your seat.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia

Want a theme park with a dash of European charm? Busch Gardens Williamsburg delivers a combo of thrills and Old World vibes you won’t find anywhere else. Think screaming down a massive coaster one minute, strolling cobblestone streets with a pretzel in hand the next. This park throws some serious curveballs.

LocationWilliamsburg, Virginia
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsGriffon, Verbolten, Alpengeist, Apollo’s Chariot, Oktoberfest, Sesame Street Forest of Fun
MapBusch Gardens Williamsburg Map

But let’s keep it real – those crowds can swarm the villages, turning the charm into a chaotic mess. And while Busch Gardens boasts some awesome rides, it lacks the high-tech polish of other mega-parks.

Insider tip: Tempesto might look tame, but don’t underestimate it! This launched coaster packs a surprising punch. Get ready for insane twists and an upside-down loop that’ll leave you breathless.

Camden Park

Camden Park in West Virginia

Step away from the polished theme park world and into Camden Park. It’s the kind of place where time slows down. Where chipped paint and creaking floorboards tell stories of laughter from decades past. This isn’t about pristine rides or high-tech thrills. It’s about that feeling you get when a simple carousel ride makes your inner child grin.

LocationHuntington, West Virginia
Cost Range$
Main AttractionsBig Dipper, Haunted House, Carousel, The Whip, Log Flume
MapCamden Park Map

Camden Park might not always be picture-perfect. Sometimes it’s a bit crowded, a bit chaotic. But that’s part of the fun! It’s a place where you embrace the imperfections, the unexpected quirks, and the pure joy of unfiltered amusement.

Insider tip: The Paratrooper looks innocent enough, but watch out! This spinning ride delivers surprising thrills and offers a unique, bird’s-eye view of the park.

Knoebels Amusement Resort

Knoebels Amusement Resort in Pennsylvania

Want to ditch the theme park frenzy for something with a little more soul? Knoebels Amusement Resort delivers! Forget manicured perfection or the latest tech craze. This place celebrates the simple joys of amusement parks – think classic wooden coasters, the smell of cotton candy, and an undeniably nostalgic vibe.

LocationElysburg, Pennsylvania
Cost Range$
Main AttractionsThe Phoenix, Twister, Knoebels Carousel, Haunted Mansion, Cosmotron
MapKnoebels Amusement Resort Map

Sure, it gets crowded, and the lines can sometimes feel endless. But if you’re ready to trade those polished facades for a park with heart, Knoebels is like a warm hug from an old friend – familiar, a little bit messy, and totally joyful.

Insider Tip: The Flyers are an absolute must! This deceptively simple ride swings you high out over the park. Prepare for stunning views and a surprising rush of adrenaline.

Six Flags Great Adventure

Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey

Six Flags Great Adventure is a New Jersey legend. This place is all about big thrills, unexpected adventures, and just letting loose for a day. It’s a quick escape from NYC or Philly – perfect for when you need that adrenaline fix.

LocationJackson, New Jersey
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsKingda Ka, El Toro, The Jersey Devil
MapSix Flags Great Adventure Map

Thrill-seekers, brace yourselves! Coasters like Kingda Ka will push your limits and then some. But hey, it’s not just about the heart-pounding drops. There’s a surprising mix of family-friendly rides and the safari drive-through is a unique way to experience wildlife.

Summer is peak season, so expect those crowds and be ready to embrace the buzzing energy. If you want a more chill experience, weekdays in the spring or fall are ideal – plus, you’ll get to enjoy the park’s festive decorations.

Insider Tip: Seek out the “Bizarro” coaster for a surprisingly wild ride! This floorless steel coaster is packed with inversions, twists, and unexpected surprises. It’s one of the park’s unsung heroes.


Walt Disney World Epcot Map 2023

Okay, let’s be real. Epcot isn’t about heart-pounding drops or cutting-edge tech. It’s a little slower, a little more…cultured. Think strolling with a crepe in “France,” sipping sake in “Japan,” and learning about Norwegian trolls all in one day.

LocationOrlando, Florida
Cost Range$$$
Main AttractionsSpaceship Earth, Test Track, Soarin’, Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
MapEpcot Map

Foodies, this is your paradise. Epcot’s festivals (there’s almost always one happening!) bring even more incredible eats and drinks to the park. Craving German beer and pretzels? Got you covered.

Want a dash of excitement? Head to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. It’s one of Disney’s newest coasters and honestly, a total blast.

Insider Tip: Find the hidden Mickey formed by three bubbles in The Seas with Nemo & Friends ride. It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment!

Knott’s Berry Farm

Knott's Berry Farm in California

Knott’s Berry Farm: It’s Not Fancy, But It IS Fun

Forget sprawling resorts and high-tech attractions. Knott’s Berry Farm delivers a different kind of theme park magic. Expect classic coasters with a side of unexpected intensity and a whole lot of fried food goodness.

LocationBuena Park, California
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsGhostRider, HangTime, Calico River Rapids, Camp Snoopy, Mystery Lodge
MapKnott’s Berry Farm Map

This park is all about embracing the old-school charm and embracing a little bit of chaos. It’s the perfect escape if you want to let loose and have a blast without all the fuss.

Insider tip: Voyage to the Iron Reef is more than just a dark ride. Score extra points by shooting targets throughout – bragging rights included!

SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego in California

SeaWorld’s reputation is complicated. The focus on animal welfare is important, and if that’s a dealbreaker for you, there might be better park options. However, if you’re fascinated by marine life, SeaWorld has some incredible encounters.

LocationSan Diego, California
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsTidal Twister, Electric Eel, Orca Encounter, Dolphin Days, Sea Lion Live
MapSeaWorld San Diego Map

Expect a mix of thrilling coasters, classic shows, and up-close animal experiences. Don’t expect glitz and glamour – this park focuses on the animals first and foremost.

Insider Tip: Seek out the “Ocean Explorer” area. It’s got cool interactive exhibits, aquariums teeming with weird and wonderful creatures, and usually smaller crowds!

Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari in Indiana

Holiday World: Old-School Thrills, Quirky Charm, & FREE Drinks If you like your theme parks slick and cutting-edge, Holiday World might not be your jam. But if you like your coasters intense and your parks brimming with personality, this place could surprise you.

LocationSanta Claus, Indiana
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsVoyage roller coaster, Wildebeest Water Coaster, Mammoth Water Coaster, Pilgrims Plunge, Thunderbird
MapHoliday World & Splashin’ Safari Map

This family-owned park is ALL about the rides – think award-winning wooden coasters and seriously fun water slides. Plus, they’ve got that unlimited free soda thing going on. It’s a little rough around the edges, but the friendly staff and festive vibe make up for it.

Insider Tip: The Voyage coaster is legendary, but Thunderbird (a steel launched coaster) is a hidden gem! Shorter lines and a super smooth ride.

LEGOLAND® Florida Resort

LEGOLAND® Florida Resort in Florida

Think LEGOLAND is just brightly-colored rides and building blocks? Think again! This park has a surprising amount to offer visitors of all ages. Sure, little kids will find paradise here, but there’s plenty to keep adults entertained too.

LocationWinter Haven, Florida
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsThe Dragon Coaster, MINILAND USA, LEGO® Ninjago The Ride, DUPLO® Valley, LEGO® City
MapLEGOLAND® Florida Resort Map

Get ready for creative attractions, stunning LEGO sculptures, and even a few decent thrills. Yes, it’s geared toward families, so expect some of the usual theme park chaos.

Insider Tip: Skip the long water park lines by renting a cabana. You’ll get a shady retreat, a dedicated server, and a minifigure souvenir – well worth it on hot Florida days!

Universal Studios Florida

Universal Studios Florida in Florida

Universal does an amazing job bringing your favorite movies to life. The rides are top-notch, and the immersive theming is next-level. But be warned: this park can feel a little chaotic, and those crowds are no joke.

LocationOrlando, Florida
Cost Range$$$
Main AttractionsHarry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, The Simpsons Ride, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Revenge of the Mummy, King Kong 360 3-D
MapUniversal Studios Florida Map

Ready to escape with Harry Potter, face down velociraptors, and maybe snag a Butterbeer? Universal Studios delivers the thrills and spills.

Insider Tip: Seek out the hidden wand-interactive spots scattered throughout the Wizarding World. A flick of your wrist can make fountains dance and shop windows come alive!


Carowinds in North Carolina

Craving coasters but strapped for cash? Carowinds might be your sweet spot. This park packs a serious punch for thrill-seekers, with some of the tallest and fastest coasters on the East Coast.

LocationCharlotte, North Carolina
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsFury 325, Copperhead Strike, Carolina Harbor Waterpark, Camp Snoopy
MapCarowinds Map

Don’t expect Disney-level frills – Carowinds keeps things fun and casual. Think classic fairgrounds meets heart-pounding drops.

Insider Tip: The Vortex might not look like much, but it throws some seriously mind-bending loops. Don’t miss this hidden gem for coaster enthusiasts!

Kings Island

Kings Island in Ohio

Love a good old-fashioned scream on a wooden coaster? How about facing down insanely tall record-breaking rides? Kings Island delivers a satisfying mix for all thrill levels.

LocationMason, Ohio
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsBanshee, The Beast, Soak City Water Park, Kings Island and Miami Valley Railroad, Dinosaurs Alive!
MapKings Island Map

This park’s got history, with iconic coasters like The Beast. But they’re not afraid to innovate – Orion, their newest giga coaster, has insane speed. Just watch out for those sometimes uneven crowds and that ’90s era park charm.

Insider Tip: Want to experience The Beast at its wildest? Ride at night, preferably in the back seat, for the full untamed experience.

Silverwood Theme Park

Silverwood Theme Park in Idaho

Need a break from the mega-park madness? Silverwood Theme Park in Idaho might be your perfect escape. It’s a place where classic rides reign supreme, and the focus is on pure, unfiltered fun.

Don’t come expecting cutting-edge tech or fancy theming. This park throws back to the simpler thrills of yesteryear.

LocationAthol, Idaho
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsCorkscrew Coaster, Avalanche Mountain, Thunder Canyon, Panic Plunge, Boulder Beach Water Park
MapSilverwood Theme Park Map

If you crave coasters, Silverwood has those in spades. Plus, water park excitement awaits in Boulder Beach. But be warned – the lines can get long, especially on weekends.

Insider tip: Corkscrew, that old-school looping coaster? The back row offers the WILDEST ride.

Canobie Lake Park

Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire

Craving a dose of classic theme park fun? Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire delivers a blast from the past. It’s a place where time-tested rides and a sprinkle of New England charm come together. Don’t expect high-tech thrills or polished theming – this park embraces its slightly worn-in feel.

LocationSalem, New Hampshire
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsUntamed, The Yankee Cannonball, Skater, Starblaster, Boston Tea Party
MapCanobie Lake Park Map

Think sprawling wooden coasters, twirling flat rides, and all the carnival games you can handle.

Pro tip: Hunt down the Turkish Twist ride. It looks innocent enough, but that spin cycle gets surprisingly intense!

Atlantic Beach Park

Atlantic Beach Park in Westerly, Rhode Island

Craving classic thrills and no-frills fun? Atlantic Beach Park in Westerly, Rhode Island, might be your perfect match. This historic park delivers a nostalgic experience, minus the hefty price tag of newer parks. Expect a charmingly retro vibe, with a wooden roller coaster and a wave pool that’ll have you reminiscing about childhood summers.

LocationWesterly, Rhode Island
Cost Range$
Main AttractionsCarousel, Bumper Cars, Atlantic Beach Park Speedway
MapAtlantic Beach Park Map

Don’t think old-school means boring! Atlantic Beach Park packs in the kind of laid-back, beachfront excitement that’s tough to find at those mega-parks.

It’s got the heart of a classic boardwalk amusement park, so you won’t find cutting-edge tech or flashy theming. But hey, who needs that when you’ve got the salty Atlantic breeze in your hair?

Insider tip: The Flume ride, a boat adventure through a dark tunnel, features a surprise drop that isn’t advertised – so brace yourself!

Six Flags America

Six Flags America in Maryland

Ready to ditch the sugar-coated theme park hype? This park ain’t about fancy parades or spotless sidewalks. It’s got character – some might even call it a bit rough around the edges. But hey, if jaw-dropping rides and a dose of no-nonsense fun sound good, you’re in the right place.

LocationBowie, Maryland
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsBatman: The Ride, Roar, Wild One, Hurricane Harbor, Superman – Ride of Steel, The Battle for Metropolis
MapSix Flags America Map

You’ll face crowds and maybe even a grumpy ride operator or two. The food? Classic theme park fare – nothing gourmet here. But that just means lower prices, right? It’s the perfect spot for a group of friends craving heart-pounding thrills and the freedom to be a little loud and messy.

Insider Tip: Want an old-school challenge? The scrambler ride at the far end of the park is a classic. Rumor has it, the operator sometimes cranks up the speed if the crowd’s energy is high. Can your stomach handle it?

Six Flags Great America

Six Flags Great America in Illinois

Looking for that raw, adrenaline-pumping theme park fix? Six Flags Great America might be your spot. This park throws down with some seriously intense coasters.

LocationGurnee, Illinois
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsGoliath, X Flight, BATMAN: The Ride, Buccaneer Battle, V2: Vertical Velocity
MapSix Flags Great America Map

But it’s not all sunshine and cotton candy. Don’t expect perfectly manicured grounds or elaborate storylines here. Six Flags Great America is stripped-down fun – big thrills, greasy snacks, and a side of chaos. Think of it as the rebellious cousin to the polished theme park experience.

If you’re a coaster fiend, you’ve come to the right place. Goliath, Raging Bull, X-Flight – the lineup is stacked. Looking for the top dog? Maxx Force takes the cake. This monster accelerates faster than a Formula 1 race car. Hold on to your lunch.

Insider Tip: Don’t waste your morning fighting the crowds for Maxx Force. The lines thin out significantly in the evening.


Valleyfair in Minnesota

Forget the shiny, polished parks – Valleyfair, in Shakopee, Minnesota, is where the real ride fanatics get their fix.

Sure, it’s got that old-school theme park vibe (long lines and overpriced snacks included). But who cares when you’re hurtling down Steel Venom’s insane drops or getting whipped around on the Wild Thing?

This place dishes out serious thrills with its eight crazy coasters.

LocationShakopee, Minnesota
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsRoller Coasters, Water Parks, Live Entertainment, Dining
MapValleyfair Map

Families, there’s something for you too! Planet Snoopy keeps the little ones grinning, and the Soak City water park is a blast on hot days.

Feeling a bit fried? Live shows and music offer a chill break.

Insider Tip: The Corkscrew looks innocent enough, but that classic coaster still delivers a surprisingly intense double loop.

Summer is prime Valleyfair time. Expect crowds, but also warm weather perfect for water rides and those long park hours mean you can squeeze in every last thrill.

Lagoon Amusement Park

Lagoon Amusement Park in Utah

Ready to ditch the predictable theme park scene? Lagoon Amusement Park in Farmington, Utah, might be your weird and wonderful escape. This isn’t the place for cutting-edge tech or polished perfection. It’s where wooden coasters rattle your bones in the best possible way, and the dark rides are delightfully cheesy.

LocationFarmington, Utah
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsCannibal Roller Coaster, Lagoon-A-Beach, Pioneer Village, Terroride, Jet Star 2, Roller Coaster
MapLagoon Amusement Park Map

Think of it as a time-traveling adventure with a healthy dose of quirk. Forget about breaking the bank on tickets – Lagoon keeps the thrills real and the prices (somewhat) reasonable.

Insider Tip: The classic Pioneer Village isn’t just for strolling. Keep an eye out for hidden buttons and levers scattered throughout the buildings – they trigger hilarious surprises!

Family Kingdom Amusement Park

Family Kingdom Amusement Park in South Carolina

Craving a blast from the past with your seaside thrills? Family Kingdom Amusement Park in Myrtle Beach delivers a delightful dose of nostalgia. Picture classic wooden coasters, a splash-tastic log flume, and an arcade that’ll transport you back to childhood.

LocationMyrtle Beach, South Carolina
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsSwamp Fox Roller Coaster, Giant Wheel, Log Flume Water Ride, Bumper Cars
MapFamily Kingdom Amusement Park Map

This isn’t about cutting-edge rides or flashy designs. It’s about that carefree feeling you only get from a good old-fashioned amusement park. Plus, a day of fun won’t leave your wallet in tears.

Insider Tip: Want to cool off with a unique view? Take a spin on the Giant Wheel Ferris wheel. Wait until you’re near the top, and check beneath your seat – you might find a surprise stash of water guns for a playful battle with riders below!

Silver Dollar City

Silver Dollar City in Missouri

Ready to ditch the predictable theme park experience? Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, might surprise you. Forget about flashy rides and mind-bending tech. This place is a blast from the past, where wooden coasters rattle your bones and the smell of fresh-baked treats fills the air.

LocationBranson, Missouri
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsTime Traveller, Outlaw Run, PowderKeg, Fire in the Hole, Marvel Cave
MapSilver Dollar City Map

Step back in time and watch craftspeople work their magic. Maybe even try your hand at a traditional skill. Best of all, you won’t break the bank for a day of down-home fun.

Insider Tip: Want to cool off with a unique view? Take a spin on the Giant Wheel. Wait until you’re near the top, and check beneath your seat – you might find a stash of water guns for a playful battle with riders below!

Santa’s Village

Santa's Village in New Hampshire

Need a break from giant coasters and flashy tech? Santa’s Village in Jefferson, New Hampshire, is a delightful throwback to simpler times. This charming park is all about Christmas cheer, classic kiddie rides, and a sprinkle of North Pole magic.

LocationJefferson, New Hampshire
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsRudy’s Rapid Transit Coaster, The Skyway Sleigh Monorail, Santa’s Express Train, The Great Humbug Adventure
MapSanta’s Village Map

Don’t expect cutting-edge thrills, but do prepare for smiles galore. Think spinning teacups, a gentle train ride, and a chance to whisper wishes directly to Santa himself. Plus, it’s surprisingly budget-friendly for families.

Insider Tip: The Reindeer Carousel looks sweet, but it hides a secret! Keep an eye out for the one reindeer wearing a bell – it’s the fastest on the carousel, offering a surprisingly thrilling spin!

Six Flags Over Georgia

Six Flags Over Georgia in Georgia

Craving no-nonsense thrills and a splash of Southern hospitality? Six Flags Over Georgia in Austell might be your jam! Don’t expect manicured gardens or high-tech coasters with fancy storylines. This park is all about the raw power of its iconic rides.

LocationAustell, Georgia
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsTwisted Cyclone, Goliath, Wonder Woman Flight School, DC Super Friends, Bugs Bunny Boomtown
MapSix Flags Over Georgia Map

Picture towering steel coasters, heart-stopping drops, and that classic theme park buzz. Sure, it can get a bit crowded, and the prices aren’t exactly pocket change, but if pure adrenaline is your goal, you’ve found your happy place.

Insider Tip: Want an extra dash of excitement on the Goliath coaster? Ask for a seat facing backward! You’ll experience all those twists and turns with a whole new perspective.

Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park

Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park in Pennsylvania

Need a break from mega-parks and their mega-prices? Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, offers a refreshingly relaxed experience. Think classic kiddie rides, splashy fun, and shows that’ll have the little ones giggling.

LocationLancaster, Pennsylvania
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsKingdom Coaster, Merlin’s Mayhem, Aquablast, Wiggle Racers
MapDutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park Map

Forget cutting-edge thrills and mind-bending technology. This park is about simple pleasures that create lasting memories. Plus, it won’t leave you wondering how you’ll pay next month’s rent.

Insider Tip: Ready to get soaked? The log flume has a surprise in store! Keep an eye out for a hidden off-ride water cannon – it’s the perfect way to playfully ambush unsuspecting riders below.

Santa’s Village

Santa's Village in California

Craving a dose of simpler times with a sprinkle of Christmas magic? Santa’s Village in Skyforest, California, is a true hidden gem. This isn’t the place for cutting-edge rides or dazzling light shows. Instead, think cozy train rides, charming puppet shows, and the chance to whisper your wishes to Santa himself.

LocationSkyforest, California
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsSkyPark Adventure Park, Santa’s House, Ice Skating Rink, Silver Bells Skating Pond, Blitzen’s Bungee, Little Linville Miniature Golf
MapSanta’s Village Map

Picture a Christmas storybook come to life. The pace is gentle, and the prices won’t make your eyes pop. It’s all about the joy of the season and those heartwarming moments that stick with you long after you leave.

Insider Tip: After visiting Santa, stroll through the North Pole workshop. Keep a close eye on the busy elves – rumor has it, one of them hides a secret button that triggers a sprinkle of “snow” indoors!

Seabreeze Amusement Park

Seabreeze Amusement Park in New York

Tired of the same old mega-parks with their endless lines and inflated prices? Seabreeze Amusement Park offers a totally different vibe. It has a welcoming, old-school charm that’s impossible to fake. Think classic roller coasters, a vintage carousel, and a whole lot of unpretentious fun.

LocationRochester, New York
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsJack Rabbit, Whirlwind, Screamin’ Eagle, Seabreeze Carousel, Waterpark
MapSeabreeze Amusement Park Map

Don’t expect glitz and glamour here. Seabreeze is all about the simple joy of amusement parks. But hey, the slightly worn-in look adds to the character, right? Plus, who doesn’t love the nostalgia of a park with real history?

Insider tip: Skip the lines and head straight for the Whirlwind coaster when the park opens. This hidden gem often gets overlooked in the initial rush, but it packs a seriously fun and spinny punch!

Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove in Florida

Theme park fatigue got you down? Discovery Cove is the ultimate antidote. This isn’t your average amusement park – it’s a carefully curated escape to a world of tropical wonders and unforgettable animal encounters.

LocationOrlando, Florida
Cost Range$$$
Main AttractionsDolphin Swim, SeaVenture, Freshwater Oasis, The Grand Reef, Explorer’s Aviary
MapDiscovery Cove Map

Understandably, the price might make you pause. However, Discovery Cove is all about quality over quantity. They limit guest numbers, ensuring an intimate experience where you won’t fight for a spot by the dolphin pool. Every detail is designed for your comfort and enjoyment.

Insider Tip: Want a secret slice of paradise? Head to the Explorer’s Aviary. Hundreds of exotic birds will land right on you for a feeding – it’s a magical experience that feels far removed from the typical theme park rush.

Bay Beach Amusement Park

Bay Beach Amusement Park in Wisconsin

Forget the cookie-cutter theme parks with their endless lines and inflated prices. Bay Beach Amusement Park is a true original. Step inside and discover old-school rides, a touch of vintage charm, and prices that feel like a throwback to a simpler era.

LocationGreen Bay, Wisconsin
Cost Range$
Main AttractionsZippin Pippin Roller Coaster, The Sea Dragon, Eli’s Wheel, Bumper Cars, Train Ride
MapBay Beach Amusement Park Map

This isn’t a place about glitz and glamour. Bay Beach is all about pure, unpretentious fun. You’ll find time-tested rides that deliver thrills and spills, all with a friendly, small-town feel.

Insider Tip: Head straight for the Bay Beach Train! This scenic ride offers a relaxing tour of the park, perfect for catching your breath and spotting your next adventure. Plus, the little ones will absolutely adore it.

Luna Park in Coney Island

Luna Park in Coney Island in New York

Looking for a dose of raw, unfiltered amusement? Luna Park in Coney Island is your ticket to ride. Expect a dash of retro chaos and a whole lot of classic charm. This is where the iconic Cyclone roller coaster rumbles, a testament to the timeless power of a good scream.

Sure, it might lack modern polish, but the Cyclone’s heart-pounding drops and whiplash turns deliver thrills that fancy coasters can’t replicate.

LocationBrooklyn, New York
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsCyclone Roller Coaster, Thunderbolt, Zenobio, Luna 360, Electro Spin, Brooklyn Flyer
MapLuna Park in Coney Island Map

Insider Tip: Head to the Thunderbolt coaster and snag a seat in the last car. The surprise airtime on that first drop is legendary – you’ll be laughing and yelling all the way to the finish.

Fun-Plex Waterpark & Rides

Fun-Plex Waterpark & Rides in Nebraska

Need a waterpark fix without the mega-resort price tag? Fun-Plex in Omaha might be your jam. It delivers that old-school waterpark vibe with plenty of slides, pools, and splash zones to keep the whole crew entertained. Don’t come expecting cutting-edge rides or gourmet snacks – here, it’s all about the simple joy of getting soaked.

LocationOmaha, Nebraska
Cost Range$$
Main AttractionsMotion Ocean Wave Pool, Typhoon Falls, Fun-Plex Speedway, Makana Splash, Clipper Cove
MapFun-Plex Waterpark & Rides Map

Fun-Plex Waterpark & Rides is best suited for families, offering a variety of attractions for all ages.

For adrenaline junkies, the park boasts high-speed slides like Typhoon Falls. The little ones aren’t left out either, having various interactive play areas, such as Makana Splash which features smaller slides, tipping buckets and more. And for the laid-back folk, there’s a lazy river to float down and a pool to just dip in and relax.

Insider Tip: The park’s real gem is the lazy river. Grab a double tube, bring a friend, and prepare for the most relaxing float of your life. Bonus – there’s often a hidden waterfall along the route!

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