With summer approaching, its time to plan a summer holiday for the family. What better way to engage in classic fun with family and friends than to visit an amusement park. Theme Parks are fun for the entire family and millions of visitors to the world's most popular theme parks agree that these rides, shows, and costumed characters are well worth the waits.
So, if you planning a family vacation to a theme park but aren’t really sure which one would be worth your time and money? We’ve listed the top 10 theme parks that are family friendly and are perfect summer trip ideas to fit every budget. From the world famous Disney parks to the surreal Window of the World Park in China, we’ve got it all covered.
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Florida (USA)
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park, even after four decades of its opening in 1971, is still the world’s No. 1 theme park, spreading its pixie-dust charm on over 17.5 million visitors annually! The Magic Kingdom is the second-built theme park of the five existing Disney theme parks. It is situated at Lake Buena Vista, Florida and spreads across 107 acres.
Once you enter the Magic Kingdom, you will walk through the Main Street USA and witness the beautiful Cinderella's Castle positioned at the center of the park. From there, you will notice six pathways reaching out, each of which will lead you to a themed “land”, namely Main Street USA, Frontierland, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Liberty Square, and Tomorrowland. To facilitate your journey, there is Walt Disney World Railroad that circumnavigates the park and makes stops at the Main Street, U.S.A., the Frontierland, and the Fantasyland.
This theme park houses something for everyone in your family from incredible rides, shows and character meetings to top class restaurants, hotels and Spas. In total there are thirty five rides that include the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, the Chevrolet Test Track, the Legend of Jack Sparrow, the Phineas and Ferb adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean, Enchanted Tiki Room, Jungle Cruise and the Wild Africa Trek.
If you and your little tots have always dreamt of meeting your favorite Disney characters in real life, then here your dreams can come true. You can easily spot the famous Disney characters like Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Woody, Jesse, Chipmunks, and many more walking around in the park. The astounding Disney parades that take place daily will thrill your little ones and will take you back to your childhood memories. Moreover, the Magic Kingdom’s Special events like Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will make your trip even more worth it.
Disneyland Anaheim, California, (USA)
“The Happiest Place on Earth”, that is Disneyland Park, the first and the only theme park built under the direct supervision of Walt Disney. Since its opening in 1955, Disneyland has been thrilling and delighting people of all ages. Disneyland is located just off Interstate 5 in Anaheim, California and is visited by over 14 million guests every year, ranking it as the second most visited theme park in the world. This park commenced the theme-park industry and set the standards for the theme parks that followed for over 50 years.
Once you step onto the grounds of Disneyland, you’ll experience nothing but sheer happiness and magic all day long. On entering the park, you’ll walk through the Main Street, U.S.A. and will come across the magnificent Sleeping Beauty castle. On exploring further, you’ll find that the park is divided into eight themed “lands” of “yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy”, which are a mix of themed adventures, favorite fairy tales and thrilling mountains. You will also come across several concealed backstage areas and ‘Hidden Mickeys’ in the park. Similar to the Magic Kingdom, there is a narrow gauge Disneyland Railroad that runs along the border of the park.
Even though Disneyland is relatively smaller than the Magic Kingdom, covering approximately 85 acres, it carries several more rides and shows in the theme park, including advanced versions of classics such as Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean and a 3-D simulator Star Tours ride. With all the fantastic attractions, 44 amazing rides, entertainment, scrumptious food, famous Disney characters strolling around the park, Disney Street parade, fireworks and much more available in the Disneyland, you and your family would definitely have the time of your life there.
Universal Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles (USA)
Far-famed as “The Entertainment Capital of LA”, Universal Studios Hollywood is one of the most unusual theme parks in the world. It is a movie studio cum theme park, located in the Universal City community of Los Angeles, California. The USP of the park is not any laser show, nightly fireworks, any carousel, flat rides or daily parade; it is the authentic experience of witnessing the actual movie sets of some of the world-famous classic Hollywood movies. No doubt there are certain startling rides in the park as well but movie making is the major theme of the park. In fact, Universal Studios is the pioneer of many fully fledged Universal Studios Theme Parks situated across the globe and it is worldwide renowned as one of the oldest Hollywood movie studios still in use.
As you explore the park, you will discover that it is divided into two major parts – an Upper Lot and a Lower Lot, connected via a series of long escalators known as Starway. Each lot hosts a collection of shows, rides and attractions besides food outlets and merchandise shops.
Universal Studios has a lot to offer and to make the best of your trip, begin your day with the most amazing almost 45 minutes long Studio Tour, which gives a ride through the Universal's Backlot, featuring sets of hundreds of TV shows and movies, like “The Grinch” and “Back to the Future”. It is this ride that initiated the idea of the theme park. Initially, there was just the studio tour, but now besides it there are several other rides and attractions that simply burst with spirit of Tinseltown like the latest King Kong 360 ride with 3-D experience.
Following it, go to the Lower Lot for the Revenge of the Mummy indoor rollercoaster, Jurassic Park and Transformers: The Ride 3D. Then return to the Upper Lot and let your kids experience the Simpsons Ride, Shrek 4-D, Special Effects Stage, and the Studio’s best show – Waterworld. This year, another ride – Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem will also be opening.
The park is open 365 days and to avoid lines at the gate and avail the best deals, you should buy your tickets online.
Universal Studios, Singapore
Universal Studios Singapore is the first Universal Studios theme park in Southeast Asia. It is located in Resorts World Sentosa on Sentosa Island, Singapore and spreads across 49 acres, taking up the easternmost part of the 120 acres Resorts World Sentosa. The park had its soft-opening on March 18, 2010 and was “officially” opened on May 28, 2011.
If you want to experience the joy and thrill of a true Hollywood theme park that is much closer to India, then Universal Studios Singapore is the place to be at. With 24 movie-themed attractions and rides based on blockbuster hits, 18 of which are unique to Singapore, the park proudly boasts “Ride The Movies” in its tagline.
The best part about the park is that it accommodates seven themed zones namely Hollywood, New York, Sci-Fi City, Ancient Egypt, The Lost World, The Lost World, Far Far Away and Madagascar in a small area compared to other major theme parks, each of which feature unique character appearances, attractions, shopping and dining areas.
If you are a thrill seeker then you will have the time of your life facing the warrior mummies in total darkness on Revenge of the Mummy ride and on the immersive 3D Transformers ride. Other exciting rides include Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure ride and Madagascar: A Crate Adventure ride. The park also features the world's tallest twin roller coaster themed on the popular television series, Battlestar Galactica. For your little tots’ entertainment, there is the incredible 4-D adventure in the world's first Far Far Away Castle from the world of Shrek and a live musical show, Monster Rock, featuring the Universal Monsters.
What’s more, once you are done screaming your lungs out on wild rides and roller coasters, you can relax on the beach, visit aquariums, and much more, on the Sentosa Island. Remember to buy your tickets online as they are sold for a specific day and they may not be available at the gate, on account of advanced booking.
Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is the world's largest indoor theme park, spreading across 2,152,782 sq ft area on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The park themed on the world famous Ferrari cars opened on November 4, 2010.
If you have a fetish for Ferrari cars and a soft spot for high speed roller coasters then this is the right place for you. Housing the world's fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa that runs and looks like Ferrari F1 car and reaches the speed of 240km/h in just 4.9 seconds, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is the largest attraction of its kind.
As you enter the Ferrari World, you will notice that the park narrates the authentic Ferrari story with excitement and passion through more than 20 Ferrari inspired educational and exhilarating rides and attractions in addition to the authentic Italian shopping and dining experiences.
Everyone in your family from young to the old will enjoy in the Ferrari World. Besides the high adrenaline rides like the Formula Rossa and the Speed of Magic, a fantastic 4-D adventure ride, the park also houses the world’s largest Ferrari gallery, Galleria Ferrari, situated outside Maranello, which has an invaluable collection of over 30 Ferraris dating from 1947 to the present.
So, next time you are in Abu Dhabi, don’t forget to visit the Ferrari World, the leading family entertainment center in the region.
Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland, opened on September 12, 2005 is Disney’s fifth theme park worldwide, located in Penny's Bay, Lantau Island within the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, covering around 68 acres area. It is owned and managed by the Hong Kong SAR Government and the Walt Disney Company and its uniqueness lies in its designing and construction, which was done in accordance to the Chinese customs, culture and traditions and strict devotion to the rules of feng shui.
Hong Kong Disneyland is the smallest Disney Park till date, however if you haven’t been to any other Disney theme park then you wouldn’t necessary find the park to be small, as it hosts seven themed “lands”, four of which are like the original theme parks, namely the Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and three latest ones namely the Mystic Point, Grizzly Gulch, and Toy Story Land.
The park possesses diverse range of magical rides and attractions and is a complete center of entertainment for your family. Like other Disney parks, Disney street parade and characters strolling around the park is a common site. There are in total 24 rides in the park, of which Space Mountain, Winnie the Pooh, Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine cars, Buzz Lightyear, Dumbo, Mickey's PhilharMagic and Festival of the Lion King are the most popular ones. If you want to enjoy your trip and avoid waiting in long lines, make Fastpass ride reservations. This way you can roam around the park until it’s time for your turn on the ride.
You can book your tickets from Hong Kong Disneyland's website, or can get them from Hong Kong Disneyland Ticket Express, situated at the MTR Hong Kong Station's Tung Chung Line Concourse.
Legoland Malaysia is Asia’s first Legoland theme park, opened on September 22, 2012, in Nusajaya, Johor, Malaysia. Spanning across 76 acres, this magnificent theme park is segmented into seven sections namely The Beginning, Imagination, Lego Technic, Lego Kingdoms, Land Of Adventure, Lego City and Miniland.
With over 2 million Lego bricks under a single roof and more than 40 interactive rides, attractions and shows, Legoland is the perfect family day out destination. While many of the amusement theme parks have height restrictions for the young ones, Legoland Malaysia is one theme park constructed keeping specifically the younger audience (ages 2-12) in mind. If you have small kids, then it is a dream place to be at. Your kids will enjoy their hearts out at the Lego Technic zone, riding Project X and Aquazone Wave Racers rides. In addition to these, there is Lego Mindstorms, which is a Lego robotics and computer games attraction. Besides this, your entire family can also build cars, houses, skyscrapers and anything that you desire in the Imagination zone, the Lego building area and can even test your creations on the earthquake table.
In the Lego Kingdoms zone, you and the kids can enjoy The Dragon coaster, the Forestmen's Hideout and the Royal Joust rides. What’s more you can take a train ride on one of the popular rides of the Park, Sky Cruiser, an aerial monorail, which you can pedal around the track over the paths of Legoland Malaysia and witness the amazing view of the city outside Legoland Park. Another major attraction at the park is the new LEGO Legends of Chima – 4D Movie experience.
To quench your eyes’ thirst for Legos, there are numerous immaculate Lego sculptures in MiniLand replicating some of the most iconic landmarks of the world like the Forbidden City (China), Petronas Towers (Malaysia), Singapore Flyer, Wat Arun (Bangkok), Taj Mahal (India) and many more.
Before you step out from the park, don’t forget to take a souvenir from ‘The Big Shop’, which has the largest collection of LEGO toy products in Asia.
You can buy Legoland Malaysia tickets and annual passes online from the official website and if you buy advance tickets, you save a few bucks as well.
Wet 'n' Wild Sydney (Australia)
Wet 'n' Wild Sydney, with its grand opening on December12, 2013, is the newly opened water theme park in Prospect, New South Wales, Australia. It is the fifth Wet 'n' Wild water park operated by Village Roadshow Theme Parks, after locations in Hawaii, Gold Coast, Las Vegas and Phoenix.
Wet 'n' Wild Sydney is the perfect place for your family outing on a hot summer day. This magnificent water park stretches across 62 acres and features one of the world’s biggest wave pools – Beach, with the only wave machine that can produce a 10-foot barrel wave; a single children's area and 11 water slides including the world's tallest double Sky Coaster and an eight lane rainbow-hued speed-racer water slide.
No matter, whether you’re there with your friends or your family, you will definitely have fun on a whole new level, with rides of all sorts available for people of all ages. If you are looking for rides to showcase your daredevilry skills then do ride the 360 Rush, which is an ultimate 40ft free fall ride. Following it, ride the Half Pipe to experience an exhilarating feeling of weightlessness as you surf around sharp bends of the slide tunnel and finally get spitted out into the daylight. Tropical Cyclone is another adrenaline pumping ride, in which you slip, slide and spiral down at the speed of up to 30km/h and get whipped around 360 degrees before finally being spat into the pool. If want to experience the thrill with your friends, then ride Double Bowlseye, a four person raft that drops through the chute into the bowls underneath, making 360 degree radical turns.
For the young ones in your family, there is an entire zone dedicated to them, Wet’n’Wild Junior, which features miniature versions of the exhilarating slides that would keeps the tots entertained all day long.
You can purchase Single Day tickets and Season Passes from the Wet 'n' Wild Sydney official website.
Dreamworld, Warner Bros Movie World & Sea World in Gold Coast, Australia
Dreamworld, Warner Bros Movie World and Sea World are some of the best theme parks located on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. If you are in Australia with your family, then there’s nothing better to do than to experience the best of theme parks all in one place.
spreading across 30 hectares, houses a unique collection of rides, attractions and shows. Some of the most thrilling rides are present here, including The Giant Drop where you freefall from 38 stories; The Tower of Terror 2, one of the world’s fastest and tallest thrill rides; and The Claw that pushes you 9 stories up, where you take a full 360 degrees spin while swinging at 64kmh.
Besides the rides, you can enjoy at The Australian Wildlife Experience, the Dreamworld’s zoo and Tiger Island, where dedicated wildlife handlers work with magnificent and rare Sumatran and Bengal tigers. At the Ocean Parade you can enjoy on Flowrider – the perfect combination of skateboarding surfing and bodyboarding. For the little ones, there is the Dreamworks Experience themed from the Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar and Shrek movies, featuring a family inverted roller coaster and numerous kids’ rides. In addition your kids can have wiggling good time at Wiggles World, featuring colorful small flat rides and a trackless Big Red Car ride.
Warner Bros. Movie World
spreading across 168 hectares, is the only movie related theme park in Australia, where you can have a fun-filled family experience with all the Hollywood glitz and glamour. Here you can meet your favourite super-heroes and stars, and experience the excitement of world-class movie attractions, adventure rides and stunning shows. Some of the heart-thumping thrill rides present here are the Batwing Spaceshot, Wild West Falls, Green Lantern Roller Coaster and Superman Escape. For your little ones there is WB! Fun Zone that incorporates all time favourite Looney Tunes Characters including Tweety and Bugs Bunny.
spreading across 25 hectares is an oceanarium, marine mammal park and theme park, which includes 15 family and thrill rides, animal exhibits and other attractions. The park also dedicatedly educates the masses about the variety of marine animals besides being fully committed to marine research and rescue.
Once you reach the Sea World, you will have a jam packed educational and fun day. Here you will be amazed and dazzled by viewing the delightful dolphin show; riding the adrenalin pumping Jet Rescue; experiencing the majestic heights of the Sky High Skyway; being close to the fearsome sharks, amazing Polar Bears and the agile penguins.
Make sure, as always pre-book your tickets before you go to any of these theme parks, from their official websites.
Window of the World, Shenzhen, China
Window of the World, spanning across 118 acres, is a theme park situated in the city of Shenzhen in the People's Republic of China. Here the world’s most iconic structures and sights are replicated in 1:1, 1:5 or 1:15 ratio. The park has around 130 replications of the world-renowned tourist attractions.
A visit to this park will certainly tick off the world tour option from your bucket list. Here you can tour ‘around the world’ in just 80 minutes in an electric cart ride! You will find the famous Eiffel Tower of 108m height, i.e., one-third the size of the original. Other famous structures found here are Niagara Falls, Angkor Wat, the Pyramids of Giza, Taj Mahal and the Statue of Liberty, to name a few.
You will definitely have a fun-filled day here with your family with various thematic events like the Japanese Cherry Festival happening round the year.
About Odyssey Travels
Odyssey Travels is a leading IATA accredited Travel Company, established in 1992. We specialize in planning customized holidays in India and abroad for our clients which includes air ticketing, worldwide hotel reservations, inclusive tours, sightseeing activities, visa assistance & travel insurance services. For further information or to make a booking contact 020-66442929 or visit http://www.odysseytravels.net/