There are plenty of theme parks in America that offer all kinds of roller coasters, rides, thrills and spills. Visiting an American theme park is a full (or perhaps two) day out and can be quite costly. Make sure you make the most of your time wherever you go and choose your theme park wisely. Check out some of the best US theme parks chosen by the USA Summer Camp Team.
A place where you leave the ego at the door and embrace everything from your childhood. A place where it’s really ok to fangirl over Cinderella or Captain Jack Sparrow, regardless of how old you are. Any tears will go unnoticed amongst all the wacky, psychedelic happenings that take over the Main Street on a daily basis.
You have 78 rides to choose from in the four sections that belong to Disney. A lot of these will not try to bring up your lunch and are more family-friendly, but this certainly doesn’t mean that you’ll be bored. The most impressive part about Disney is the attention to detail and the commitment to keeping the magic for everyone to experience – no matter what your age is.
When it comes to the crowd favourites, you still have all the classics like Space Mountain, A Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean that are worth a revisit. Although aimed at youngsters, an undeniable favourite has to be Peter Pan’s flight where you fly through the sky to Neverland witnessing the adventures that Pan faces in the story.
The one thing you’ll have to get used to is the sheer amount of people that will be there too. The queues will test your patience but the theme park does help make the time pass with interactive entertainment and food stands along the way. Upgrade to a fast pass so that you know you can get around everything in one day.
The fireworks that light up the Magical Cinderella Castle is the best way to end a day of nostalgia fuelled emotion.
Universal Studios is a park dedicated to transforming all the epic animated movies into a reality. They specialise in some of the most adrenaline-pumping rides that go up to record speeds and include an insane amount of spine rattling corkscrews, loop to loops and big drops.
Universal Studios has two main sites – Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, It’s recommended that you spend a day at each of them as both will be incredibly busy in the summer months. The two sections of the park will offer you both the big show stopper rides and also the entertainment of behind the scenes with history, tours and walkthroughs. Don’t let the long waits for each individual ride become a dampener on the experiences as each ride you queue for will be 100% worth it. Some of the most-loved attractions include Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit, Revenge of the Mummy and The Simpsons Ride. The broad spectrum of movie references, types of rides and entertainment will mean that everyone can get something out of the day.
The top ride recommendation has to be Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk Coaster. It had a total of 7 inversions and reaches speeds of 67 mph making you feel like your face is going to melt. A typical rollercoaster is made to be so much more with its dedicated storyline taking you through Dr Bruce Banner’s laboratories. Although only 2 minutes long, this ride will leave you feeling pumped and ready to go again.
The most recent extension to Universal Orlando, Harry Potter world has to be one of the most impressive so far in terms of attention to detail, the selection of rides and the never-ending theme that lets your imagination run away with you.
Explore Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, and Hogsmeade. Fight dragons, find Horcruxes and try real butterbeer. The park has gone to huge efforts to recreate sections of every book. You can meet the characters, learn what went on behind the scenes and stock up on wizarding wands, sweets and books. The best ride must be the Dragon Challenge where you choose to challenge one of the ferocious dragons that feature in The Goblet of Fire. The ride includes several inversions with a zero-gravity roll, a cobra roll, two corkscrews and two vertical loops.
Hershey Park gives you more than chocolate. A park filled to the brim with 13 incredible coasters – both old school and the latest must-do rides.
The park offers you a glimpse into the world of Hershey and all the chocolate you could want. It has a broad selection of attractions including a zip, water park and rides for both thrill-seekers and ‘just about make it on riders’. Admittedly, it’s well up there on the cheesiness scale but at a level with Disney, so it’s nothing you can’t handle and enjoy. If you can’t make it down to Florida, it’s a great alternative for a top-end theme park.
The most high-speed adrenaline-pumping ride has to be the SideWinder based in the Pioneer Frontier Region with its exhilarating boomerang style. It’s a fast-paced, rapid, loop to loop ride that starts backwards and throws you forward and then backwards (again) at speeds up to 60 mph.
If you are a white knuckle rider then one of the brands you need to add into your vocabulary right away is ‘Six Flags’. Six Flags operate 16 full-scale theme parks in the US (and even 1 each in Canada and Mexico if that is where your travels take you!) and they expertly cater towards each type of theme park-goer.
You can expect to see all the big superhero names featured such as Batman The Ride, Dare Devil Dive, Superman: Ultimate Flight, and The Green Lantern for the ultimate thrill-seekers. There is also a selection of family and kid rides too that can please the more cautious rider and the many also have their own dedicated water park for you to cool off in.
These great parks are located in California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Texas. Be sure to check-in and see if they have any special events happening and what the latest entertainment features are – some have animal displays, music festivals and various other cultural experiences not to be missed!
If water parks are your idea of a great time then a trip to the Wisconsin Dells is a must as they are true ‘The water park capital of the world!’
The Dells have nearly 100 attractions that include indoor and outdoor waterparks, amusement rides, spas, golf courses, boat tours, zip-lining, bowling, jet-skiing, horse riding and much, much more! You could easily lose a week of travel time here and be perfectly content with every minute of every day. If this sounds like your perfect way to unwind then check yourself into one of the many lodging options there to complete your water adventure!