10 Best Amusement Parks in America
There are hundreds of amusement parks in America to choose from, which is why we narrowed our list down to ten of the best. From Universal Orlando Resort in Florida to Disneyland in California; discover ten incredible amusement parks in the USA.
Consisting of two iconic theme parks, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort in California is an enchanting destination that captivates visitors of all ages. From classic attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain to immersive worlds like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, there’s something for everyone. The attention to detail, beloved characters, and fantastic shows make it a dream for Disney fans and anyone seeking some nostalgic fun.
LEGOLAND is an extraordinary theme park where imagination and inspiration meet through life-sized LEGO figures, thrilling attractions, and interactive activities. Explore the worlds of LEGO Star Wars or Miniland USA, where you can see the Las Vegas Strip and the skyline of New York City entirely made of LEGO bricks! With over 60 attractions and shows, as well as a water park, it’s the perfect place to spend a few days – just over an hour’s drive from Los Angeles.
Six Flags Magic Mountain in California boasts some impressive records. It holds the world record for the most roller coasters in one park, with over 19 heart-pounding attractions to choose from. Visitors flock to the park for rides like Wonder Woman Flight of Courage and X2. With its renowned reputation for extreme thrills, Six Flags Magic Mountain is a haven for roller-coaster enthusiasts. The continuous innovation and new additions make it a must-see.
Get swept away by the stars of Hollywood at Universal Studios, another fascinating amusement park that transports you to new worlds. Some favorites include the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where you can immerse yourself in Hogwarts. And of course we have to mention Fast & Furious-Supercharged, where you can go on an exciting chase with the iconic cast, at speeds of over 118mph! Don’t miss the new SUPER NINTENDO WORLD™ as well; a colorful themed area featuring the high-tech attraction Mario Kart™: Bowser’s Challenge.
About an hour and a half drive from New York City, lies another top-notch Six Flags amusement park: Great Adventure. Along with tons of great rides for all ages – including the iconic Kingda Ka roller coaster – the park offers lovely shopping areas. It also has a fantastic safari adventure, featuring 1200 animals and overnight camping in the safari park. If you visit during the summer, don’t miss out on the refreshing water slides and attractions at Hurricane Harbor.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has an intriguing history as both an amusement park and a zoo. It’s inspired by the African continent and offers a blend of thrilling attractions and encounters with exotic animals. Some top attractions include the heart-pounding and brand-new Serengeti Flyer and the lightning-fast Cheetah Hunt. In the Serengeti Safari and Jungala, you can get up close to fascinating animals. With its thrilling rides, immersive animal experiences and captivating shows, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a must for animal lovers and thrill-seekers.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas, located in San Antonio, Texas, was originally an abandoned limestone quarry, before it was transformed into the exciting amusement park we know today. The unique setting and thrilling attractions make it a must-see. The park offers a variety of rides, including epic roller coasters like Iron Rattler and Superman: Krypton Coaster. Dubbed the ‘Thrill Capital of the World,’ you can expect some of the best roller coasters in the country, including a fantastic water park to cool off in!
Disney magic is all around in the land of Mickey and Minnie Mouse! Part of the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Magic Kingdom is a fantastic amusement park that will enchant everyone. With exciting and interactive rides for kids of all ages (including big kids like yourself), spend your days meeting Cinderella, Ariel and the family of The Incredibles, or exploring the amazing alien world of Avatar in the Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Speed enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the TRON coaster, opening in the spring of 2023.
Knott’s Berry Farm in California literally began as a berry farm in the 1920s and has since become a famous amusement park. It attracts visitors seeking excitement with historic charm. The park has nearly 50 attractions, offering something for everyone. Roller coaster enthusiasts will get a thrill from GhostRider and HangTime, while families will enjoy the kid-friendly adventures in Camp Snoopy. Don’t miss the immersive experience of Ghost Town, either. With its rich heritage, diverse attractions and thrilling experiences, Knott’s Berry Farm promises an unforgettable adventure.
The Universal Orlando Resort consists of three amusement parks: Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and the water park Universal’s Volcano Bay. Immerse yourself in the magical and exotic worlds of iconic films like Despicable Me, Harry Potter and Jurassic Park. Visit the Goblins at Gringotts Bank, make like the young wizards and witches by shopping for your wand in Diagon Alley or get up close and personal with a T-Rex on the thrilling Jurassic Park River Adventure water ride! Starting from summer 2023, you can also experience the delightful world of the Minions in Illumination’s Minion Land. With so much to discover, the kids won’t want to leave…and neither will you.
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The Ultimate Guide to Orlando's Halloween Celebrations and Theme Park Events
Orlando, Florida—sometimes called the "Halloween Vacation Capital"—invites visitors to celebrate the spooky season with a full lineup of frightful and family-friendly experiences throughout the destination. Visitors can enjoy hair-raising, spooktacular events, such as horror movie brunches, paranormal-themed escape rooms, haunted botanical gardens, kid-friendly trick-or-treat trails, and an adults-only vampire bar. “Orlando lives up to its reputation as the Halloween Vacation Capital with nearly three months of festive celebrations for all ages,” said Casandra Matej, president and CEO of Visit Orlando. “Halloween fanatics, horror movie enthusiasts and costume-loving families can enjoy the multitude of special events across our theme parks, attractions and beyond.” While many of the events are focused around special theme park celebrations, there are plenty of other attractions happening beyond DisneyWorld and Universal that are equally amazing. Below are some of the top highlights for this fall season. Spooky Theme Park Events Howl-o-Scream at SeaWorld - courtesy of Visit OrlandoMickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World Resort (select nights, now through Nov. 1) makes a frightfully fun return at Magic Kingdom Park. The family-friendly, all-ages event features eerie entertainment that includes the “Hocus Pocus” Villain Spelltacular! at Cinderella Castle, Disney's Not-So-Spooky Spectacular, Disney Junior Jam for young partygoers, Mickey's Boo-to-You Halloween Parade, the Trick-or-Treat Trail, Disney Characters in costume, and more than 20 favorite attractions with a Halloween twist. Guests are also invited to wear costumes, with some restrictions. Universal Orlando Resort's Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida (Sept. 1 – Nov. 4) returns for a record-breaking 48 nights featuring 10 new, movie-quality haunted houses featuring “The Exorcist: Believer”, “Stranger Things 4” and “The Last of Us” along with five scare zones filled with creatures lunging from the shadows, and two live shows. At SeaWorld Orlando, guests can experience two Halloween-themed events: Howl-O-Scream (select nights, Sept. 8 - Oct. 31) returns to terrorize guests at SeaWorld Orlando. Offering 24 nights of fully immersive fear, the event will feature fright-inducing haunted houses and scare zones; thrilling nighttime coaster rides and experiences; an interactive bar; and an electrifying live show. Additionally, little ones can dress up in their favorite costumes to trick-or-treat and meet colorful Halloween characters at the SeaWorld Spooktacular (weekends, Sept. 16 - Oct. 29), a family-friendly daytime event included with regular theme park admission.Brick or Treat Presents Monster Party at LEGOLAND Florida Resort (weekends, Sept. 16 – Oct. 29), a signature Halloween event included with theme park admission, will feature a trick or treat trail with candy, live entertainment and shows, never-before-seen exclusive LEGO characters and an all-new cinematic experience to create the ultimate family Halloween celebration. Family-Friendly Frights Beyond the Theme Parks Gatorland's Halloween events - courtesy of Visit Orlando The centerpiece of many Orlando trips will often be one of their popular theme parks, but that doesn't mean you have to limit the fun there. There are many more unique, kids-friendly events happening in September and October to experience. Screamin' Green Hauntoween at Crayola Experience (Sept. 24 – Oct. 31) celebrates the Halloween season with a lineup of spooky happenings included with admission, such as a themed scavenger hunt, spook-tastic crafts, character photo ops, trick-or-treating on the weekends and more. Guests craving more can add-on activities like pumpkin decorating and slime making. Gatorland's “Gators, Ghosts and Goblins” Halloween event (weekends, Oct. 14–29) returns for its fifth year of family fun and fright. The all-ages daytime event, included with regular admission, will feature an all-new haunt zone and exhibit, interactive characters, animal meet-and-greets, candy giveaways, a children's Halloween costume parade and more. Pirates Dinner Adventure will offer “Vampirates: When the Blood Moon Rises” (Sept. 19 – Oct. 31), a limited time Halloween-themed dinner show suitable for all ages. Guests will Embark on a spooktacular journey filled with aerial artistry, swordplay, death-defying stunts and dynamic duels. Happy Frights at Harry P. Leu Gardens (Sept. 29 – Oct. 31) is an all-ages, family-friendly trick-or-treat adventure through 12 immersive worlds. The event will give guests an opportunity to meet a dancing bridge-troll, walk through a garden of sunflowers, explore a neon-light maze, climb up a giant hay-pyramid, celebrate Dia de Muertos and so much more - all while visiting eight trick-or-treat stations along the way. The German American Society of Central Florida will host Halloween Oktoberfest (Oct. 28), a combination of the well-renowned German autumn festival and a Halloween celebration. The family-friendly event will feature authentic German food, a Biergarten, live musical entertainment, a kids play area, a traditional flag parade and more. Lake Nona Town Center will host the family-friendly Lake Nona Graveyard Smash event (Oct. 28). Mortals will be able to party with ghosts and ghouls; participate in trick-or-treat stations; experience live music; and take a journey through inflatable courses. This event is free and open to the public with no ticket required. Gaylord Palms Resort's annual Goblins & Giggles weekends (Sept.9 – Oct. 29) features family-friendly events including a spooky scavenger hunt; live shows; dance and costume parties; a haunted escape room; character experiences; pumpkins; movies and more. The resort will feature a “Fall Into Family Fun” vacation package, which includes an overnight stay with premium views, $50 nightly resort credit, one scavenger hunt booklet and two Halloween-themed crafts in the Adventure Kids' Clubhouse. Thrilling, Adults-Only Experiences Cocktails & Screams - courtesy of Visit Orlando While Orlando is known for being a fabulous family destination, there are plenty of events for date nights and adults-only crowds. For Halloween fun all year long, The Bureau features Possession at Haddon Heights, a paranormal themed escape room that forces guests to confront an evil entity at an abandoned school. Renaissance Theatre Company will present the return of “Nosferatu" (Sept. 15 – Nov. 5) at the Ren. The re-vamped, 90-minute adults-only horror experience offers an entirely new concept from last year's event, where each patron has a unique experience as the cast of 32 vampires lead the audience into hidden corners of the building playing out engaging scenarios. Later in the evening, “VBar”, the elevated Vampire-nightclub, opens its doors to guests with separate admission. Harry P. Leu Gardens will host Haunting Nights (Sept. 29 – Oct. 31), an artful, elevated Halloween event, brought to life by Creative City Project, featuring thrilling surprises for guests 13 and older. The immersive event will feature jump scares as guests encounter several characters throughout the journey that will provide a heightened level of thrill. Teatro Martini, the Vegas-inspired adult dinner show, will host its annual Halloween Revue (Sept. 29 – Oct. 31) this fall. The show will feature lyrical pole dancers, comedians, magicians, jugglers and limited-edition themed cocktails throughout the season. Scream n' Stream Drive-Thru Halloween Experience, a haunted Halloween drive-thru event, will return for its third year featuring seven horrifying zones to drive through complete with monsters, music, lighting and special effects Friday through Sunday from Oct. 6-29. Cocktails & Screams in Downtown Orlando is an only Halloween-themed bar, featuring live music and an extensive list of creative cocktails. On Sundays this fall, guests can experience the Cereal Killer Brunch from noon to 5 p.m., among other themed events throughout the season. And on Oct. 31, new cocktails and entertainment will debut during the HallowEMO Night event, featuring a complete lineup of local bands to celebrate Halloween. Vampires, ghastly revenants, and banshees come to life in Phantasmagoria XIV: “Tales of the Undead” (Oct. 26-28). For three nights only at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, guests can experience the original tales of the critically acclaimed Victorian Horror Troupe “PHANTASMAGORIA” and the haunting stories of world-famous authors including Edgar Allen Poe, H.G. Wells, Penny Dreadfuls and more. The Halloween Pub Crawl (Oct. 27) returns to downtown Orlando for another year of killer-drink specials and a chance for guests to show off their hauntingly best costumes. From 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., Halloween fans will have access to all participating venues, four complimentary drinks, drink specials and more.
From north to south and from coast to coast, America is packed with diverse landscapes that are worth exploring for every type of traveler. Each state has its own culture and landmarks that make them unique. Courtesy of musement Outdoor enthusiasts have a plethora of places to choose from. National parks and outdoor attractions make up almost one third of the most popular attractions in the United States. From the greats like The Grand Canyon (Arizona) and the urban oasis Central Park (New York) to lesser-known gems like Blackwater Falls State Park (West Virginia) or the Gulf Islands National Seashore (Mississippi) and its beaches, you can get a taste of cultural activities while enjoying Mother Nature. Hersheypark: Hershey, Pennsylvania - Istock/ gsheldon Thrill seekers and families with young ones will be glad to see that ten states across the country have amusement/theme parks as their number one attraction. Snap pictures with Mickey and your favorite Disney characters at Walt Disney World (Florida) or Disneyland Park (California). Otherwise, you can escape to the east to Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Virginia). Got a craving for chocolate? Head to Hersheypark (Pennsylvania) and see what the hype is all about. The Alamo - San Antonio, Texas History buffs will be able to turn the clocks back at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation (Michigan) where they can witness some of America’s most historical items, discover what life was like in the 1830s at The Alamo (Texas), or jump on board the World War II battleship turned museum at the USS Alabama (Alabama). Jellyfish at the Georgia Aquarium: Atlanta,Georgia - Istock/Gau Souza Animal lovers across the states have the opportunity to visit some of the world’s best zoos and aquariums. From Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium (Nebraska) and its one-of-a-kind exhibits to the world-renowned Georgia Aquarium (Georgia), one of the largest in the world, to the west coast’s Oregon Zoo, the United States offers plenty to admire. Research done by Musement, the digital discovery and booking platform for travel activities and experiences around the world. To see the full list of all 50 attractions click here.
Ready for things to cool down and autumn colors to appear? Start planning your outdoor adventure to the East Coast. Spacious Skies Campgrounds is offering an easy-to-follow campground-to-campground Fall Color Trail that highlights peak fall color as it progresses from the North to the South. The first location on the 15-stop trail is the northernmost campground in the collection, Balsam Woods in north central Maine, where fall color can be viewed starting in early September. The final stop along the meandering trail is Savannah Oaks in Savannah, Georgia where fall color lasts well into November. The Fall Color Trail was first offered last year, too, but new additions to the trail this year include Savannah Oaks and Bear Den in Spruce Pine, North Carolina near Asheville. Mileage from Maine to Georgia by way of the campgrounds is just shy of 2,500 miles. Travelers who are members of the Spacious Skies Loyalty Program, called Cosmic Campers, receive a 12 percent discount on all RV site, cabin and glamping reservations. The annual fee to join the program is $31.90; members also receive exclusive releases of Cosmic Camper merchandise and regular updates about Spacious Skies locations and programs. Complete details about the trail are available online with campground-by-campground details about when the fall color begins and ends in each location, regional trees and the colors visitors can expect to see. Although only a lucky few people might be able to take nearly three months to visit all 15 locations during the peak color in each location, there are many ways regional RVers and glampers can enjoy partial trail fun. The trail is especially popular among snowbirds from Canada and northern states who want to get an early start on their warm-weather winter-season adventures. “Fall-color enthusiasts will find abundant places along the trail to enjoy the color no matter when in the season they are traveling,” said Ali Rasmussen, co-founder of Spacious Skies Campgrounds. “In September, the maples, birches and oaks at campgrounds in Maine and New Hampshire are bursting with color. And by late October and November, the oak and hickory forests in the Carolinas, Tennessee and Georgia have turned stunning shades of red, copper and yellow.” Beyond the stunning color, there are plenty of other reasons to follow the fall along the Spacious Skies Campgrounds Fall Color Trail. Here are some of the highlights along the trail: Walnut Grove (Maine) Fall foliage on a hazy mountain in Maine by Zac Durant - Unsplash Trees to see: Maples, birches and oaksColors: Yellow, red, brown and purpleFall foliage timing: mid-September through mid-October Campers at Spacious Skies Walnut Grove in southern Maine can visit the famous Old Orchard Beach Pier and enjoy live music, great food and retro beach-y entertainment like arcade games and rides. Fall color here begins in mid-September and lasts through about mid-October. Adirondack Peaks (New York) Saranac Lake in the fall by Kurt Von - Unsplash Trees to see: Gums, oaks, hickories, maples and elmsColors: Yellow, red and orangeFall foliage timing: Mid-September through mid-October There’s an authentic, almost retro, vibe at two New York state campgrounds - Spacious Skies Adirondack Peaks and Spacious Skies Woodland Hills. Both have fun amenities like gem mining, a jumping pillow, playgrounds and an arcade. Woodland Hills offers fishing, paddleboat rentals, an open-air pavilion and volleyball, while Adirondack Peaks has miniature golf, a gaga ball pit and two pools for extra fun. There are a variety of lodging choices for non-RVers too. Woodland Hills features retro RV rentals and a pond-side cottage, while Adirondack Peaks has glamping yurts and a selection of cabins. Shenandoah Views (Virginia) Leaves fall in Shenandoah National Park by Becky Winner - Unsplash Trees to see: Oaks, chestnut, maples, ashes, birches and basswoodsColors: Red, orange and yellowFall foliage timing: Early- to late-October Blue Ridge Parkway fans will find three campgrounds within striking distance of the famous 469-mile route. Just beyond the northern edge of the parkway is Spacious Skies Shenandoah Views in Luray, Virginia, near Shenandoah National Park, where fall color typically lasts until mid-October. Here, visitors can book yurts and cabins as well as a variety of RV sites. Bear Den (North Carolina) Fall colors on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina by Alex Diaz - Unsplash Trees to see: Oaks, hickories, maples, gum and cypressColors: Orange, red, goldFall foliage timing: Early October to early November Set right off the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 324.8, among the breathtaking Blue Ridge and Black Mountains and nestled in the Pisgah National Forest, Spacious Skies Bear Den is your mountain adventure destination! Bear Den features a private fishing lake (in addition to the other many nearby fishing spots) an arcade, gem mining, and other family games and activities on-site. It's also quite close to Asheville, North Carolina as well as another Fall Colors trail stop at Spacious Skies Hidden Creek in Marion. At both of these stunning North Carolina campgrounds, guests may see fall color as late as mid-November. Belle Ridge (Tennessee) Bright red foliage by Jeremy Thomas - Unsplash Trees to see: Oaks, maples, dogwoods, poplarsColors: Red, orange and yellowFall foliage timing: Mid-October to mid-November At Spacious Skies Belle Ridge in Monterey, Tennessee, there’s a natural fishing hole where campers can spend long, lazy days savoring the season. Located just west of the Appalachian Mountains in central Tennessee, campers at this 500-acre destination can also hike to waterfalls at the campground and at nearby state parks. Located just off I-40, the campground feels secluded but is easily accessible from the highway.
Most people with travel plans to North Carolina this fall have the incredible, sunset-colored foliage and fresh mountain air on their minds—but, this year, travelers to the state might want to add something a little more whimsical to their itinerary. A unique theme park exists in Beech Mountain, North Carolina inspired by the classic movie The Wizard of Oz. This year, the Land of Oz celebrates its 30th anniversary with the Autumn at Oz festival. The Land of Oz isn't your typical theme park. After a successful opening in the 1970s, the park unfortunately fell into troubles in the 1980s. During that time, much of the original theme park was demolished due to decay or vandalism—however, the most emblematic features were preserved, including the Gale farmhouse, barn, and yellow brick road. A reunion of the park’s original employees, the “Ozzies”, in 1988 sparked the idea of public visits. This led to the inception of the Autumn at Oz Festival in 1993, an annual event in September that drew thousands of nostalgic visitors. Currently, while Land of Oz is not a fully functioning theme park, it offers many public events that celebrate the magic and legacy of all things Oz! Celebrate Autumn at Oz Skipping down the Yellow Brick Road - courtesy of the Land of Oz Autumn at Oz is a one-of-a-kind event that combines your typical festival atmosphere with an interactive, immersive theatrical experience. Guests walk onto the Gale’s Kansas farm, visit Aunt Em and Uncle Henry’s Home, escape into our newly renovated Tornado Storm Cellar, and walk out on the Yellow Brick Road into the world of Oz. Along the way, you meet all your favorite characters, see them sing and dance, and enjoy the natural scenery of this magical place that sits over one mile high atop Beech Mountain. The stunning Blue Ridge Mountains provide a picturesque background for an unforgettable adventure Over The Rainbow.Inside the park, the Judy Garland Over the Rainbow Observation Deck (the second highest elevation along the East Coast) boasts one of the most beautiful views in the South East granting a hundred miles radius view of North Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee. One can also find food & craft vendors, official Land of Oz souvenirs and Wizard of Oz Memorabilia for sale, face painting & much more! At Oz, you don’t just watch it – you live it! Guests wander through the Land of Oz - courtesy fo the Land of Oz Sean Barrett, Artistic Director of the Land of Oz Theme Park, describes the excitement leading up to this year's event: "We are thrilled to be celebrating 30 years of the Autumn at Oz Festival! We've come a long way over the years with renovations and adding to this event each year. Now with 8 theatrical vignette shows, food and craft vendors, character meet-n-greets, and a few surprises along the way, Oz has grown into something extremely special and magical. If you haven't come in recent years, now is the time! We cannot wait to skip down the Yellow Brick Road with everyone while celebrating this milestone year." Stay nearby in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains With a convenient location near Boone, North Carolina and close access to the Blue Ridge Parkway, visitors will find they have a number of amazing options when it comes to lodging. Everything from affordable hotel chains and local inns, to quaint bed and breakfasts and cozy cabins can be found. Plenty of hiking trails and outdoor activities abound to make your trip magical.