10 best amusement parks around the world

10 best amusement parks around the world

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disneyland amusement park
Photo: Xcaret Amusement Park– Mexico

In every country around the globe amusement parks are big attractions and fun for kids and adults. Here are our top picks on where to get your ride on, be it roller coasters, water parks or retro spots. Do you agree with our list of 10 best amusement parks around the world?

1-Disneyland – California USA  

disneyland amusement park
Photo: Disneyland Amusement Park

This granddaddy of amusement parks was based on the vision of founder Walt Disney and was unveiled as a special telecast news event on ABC Television network on July 17, 1955.

The program was anchored by three of Walt Disney’s friends and giants from Hollywood: Art Linkletter, Bob Cummings and Ronald Reagan.

This was a huge national TV event that came to symbolize US postwar prosperity and national optimism about the future.

disneyland amusement park
Photo: Disneyland Amusement Park

One of Disneyland’s signature attractions is the monorail system which opened in Tomorrowland in 1959.

All of the rides and buildings took inspiration from Disney’s vast array of lovable cartoon characters and stories, from Mickey Mouse to Daffy Duck to Cinderella.

The park has naturally expanded since its original opening and many Disney Parks and Resorts have opened all over the world since, but Disneyland is the gold standard to which all other parks around the world are now measured.

2-Dreamworld and Whitewater World – Queensland, Australia

universal studios orlandoThere’s so much see and do and many thrill rides at this exciting park. There’s, ‘Tail Spin,’ Giant Drop, Tower of Terror and Buzz Saw and the classic rides like River Rapids and Log Ride.

Dreamworld also is home to two special worlds just for children, ‘Wiggles World,’ where families ride the ‘Big Red Car’ together and ‘Dreamworks Experience’ home to the animation characters from the movies Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and Puss In Boots.

amusement parks
Dreamworld and Whitewater World – Queensland, Australia

Wild encounters are a big part of Dreamworld and WhiteWater World both have innovative, hands-on curriculum based Education Programs for school children.

At the Tiger Walk Experience you take one of the big cats out for their morning stroll around the park. It’s hailed as an experience of a lifetime. And at the Croc Feeding Experience with the help of a long pole you can feed one of the crocodiles lunch.

The great thing about Dreamworld is it’s located in Queensland’s theme park belt where you could spend an entire week with the family doing a theme park crawl.

3-Europa-Park – Rust, Germany

amusement parksAfter Disneyland Paris, Europa-Park is the largest theme park in Europe and this year celebrates its 40th anniversary. The park is run by the Mack family, who’ve made circus wagons since 1880 and roller coasters since 1921.

The park has 12 roller coasters in total: the oldest being the Alpenexpress Mine Train which speeds through an imaginary diamond mine.

This year the park will be releasing a new 4D film based around the park mascot, Euromaus, and his friends.

amusement parks
Photo: Europa-Park

The park is also completing upgrades to existing attractions, including adding a dark ride portion to Whale Adventures, and a refurbishment of Columbus Dinghy.

Some exciting news is that a major additional water park will be built in the next few years.

3-Universal Studios Orlando – Florida, USA

disneyland amusement park
Photo: Universal Studios Orlando

Universal Resorts’ two spectacular theme parks offer over 50 of the world’s most amazing rides and attractions, from state-of-the-art 4-D attractions to exciting water rides to thrilling roller coasters.

disneyland amusement park
Photo: Universal Studios Orlando

The big attraction here is the movie-themed experience rides like the ‘Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey’ where you will enter the towering castle and enter the halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and do battle with villains.

You can blast off on the wild Incredible Hulk roller coaster or soar with Spiderman above the metropolis at the new high-definition animation ride that is sure to make you feel like the Marvel superhero.

For younger children, there’s the Cat and the Hat or Dr. Seuss’s ‘One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish’ ride. There’s something here to bring out the child in everyone.

4-Epcot – Florida, USA   

disneyland amusement park
Photo: Epcot Amusement Park

EPCOT is an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow and the dream child of Walt Disney who envisioned a utopian city of the future utilizing new technologies.

Epcot has become a celebration of international human achievement, and is often referred to as a ‘Permanent Worlds Fair’. The World Showcase has 11 pavilions from eleven different countries showcasing culture from Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, USA, Japan, Canada, Morocco, France, and the United Kingdom.

The Future World area consists of a variety of pavilions each exploring innovative applications of technology and science.

Future World contains the parks most iconic landmark known as Spaceship Earth, a large Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome sphere.

5-Atlantis Resort – Bahamas

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Photo: Atlantis Resort

Just off the shore of Nassau is Paradise Island home to the sprawling Atlantis Resort that features spectacular water park rides, pools, walk-in aquariums and casinos.

The Dig is a series of aquariums that is home to the world’s largest open air marine habitat containing, angelfish, sharks, manta rays and many kinds of jellyfish.

In the Predator Lagoon one can see sawfishes, barracudas, sharks and stingrays. A 30m plexiglass tunnel running underwater allows for amazing views of this marine environment.

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Photo: Atlantis Resort
disneyland amusement park
Photo: Atlantis Resort

Mayan Temple is an attraction of four major slides: Leap of Faith is the water slide where you plunged down into a tunnel at lightning speed through a shark tank before exiting at the bottom of a shallow pool.

The resort has a championship golf course, fabulous restaurants and the Crystal Palace Casino where they held the World Poker Championship.

6-Ocean Park – Hong Kong

disneyland amusement park
Photo: Ocean Park – Hong Kong
disneyland amusement park
Photo: Ocean Park – Hong Kong

Ocean Park is a marine amusement park opened in 1977 and located in the Southern District of Hong Kong.

The park spans 91ha separated by a large mountain into two areas. The park areas can be reached by a long cable car ride or by the Ocean Express funicular railway.

amusement parks
Photo: Ocean Park – Hong Kong

The amusement park currently has over 80 attractions and rides, including four roller coasters and many animal exhibits with different themes, such as a panda habitat, a jellyfish and sturgeon aquarium and the world’s largest aquarium dome that contains over 5,000 fish.

The theme park is committed to merging entertainment with education and conservancy.

This is done by operating observatories, laboratories, and an education department, which participates in the conservation of wildlife and habitats.

7-Xcaret – Mexico

disneyland-amusement-park-18Xcaret is a unique eco-archaeological park located in Mexico in the Riviera Maya near Cancun. Visitors to the park learn about the natural world by becoming immersed in an interactive jungle environment.

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Photo: Xcaret Amusement Park– Mexico

There are more than 40 exciting attractions at the park for family fun.

You can do the river swim drifting in inner tubes down a meandering jungle river, take the snorkelling tour, swim in the underground rivers, or swim with the dolphins.

You can also visit the Butterfly Pavilion or Jaguar Island, before stopping for a traditional Fiesta Charra lunch.

When night falls there’s a theatre presentation called, “Xcaret Mexico Espectacular,” which is a celebration of light and colour with over 300 performers.

The show traces the cultural heritage and history of Mexico. The highlight is a reenactment of the ancient Mayan ball game where the balls are actually lit on fire!

8-Tivoli Gardens

disneyland amusement park
Photo: Tivoli Gardens
disneyland amusement park
Photo: Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens opened in 1843 and is one of the most famous amusement parks and pleasure gardens in the world.

Located in Copenhagen, Demark it’s the most visited amusement park in Scandinavia, and the fourth most visited park in Europe.

Tivoli has a wide variety of attractions including exotic Oriental-style buildings, theatres, band stands, restaurants and cafés, flower gardens, amusement rides and it’s famous roller coaster called the Rutschebanen, which is the oldest wooden rollercoaster in the world still operating.

Today Tivoli Gardens is home to many new thrilling hi-tech rides. It also has the world’s second tallest carousel called, ‘The Star Flyer’ which is 80 meters tall and offers stunning panoramic views of the city.

During the evening the park is particularly spectacular as colored lights illuminate the gardens and fireworks reflect off Tivoli’s fantasy lake.

9-Carthageland Yasmine Hammamet – Tunisia

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Photo: Carthageland Yasmine Hammamet – Tunisia
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Photo: Carthageland Yasmine Hammamet – Tunisia

While not your typical theme park destination, Carthageland in Tunisia presents a world of lively entertainment for the whole family and is the only theme park in North Africa.

The park is not overwhelmingly large so can be easily navigated with small children.

It has many kid0friendly rides and wonderfully presented attractions, like the story of Hannibal which is everywhere and so is his elephants.

There’s a terrific recreation of an ancient medina, and the surrounding architecture in the park is stunning.

The park bases many of its rides on the history and culture of the region . So there is an educational theme to many of the attractions, though of course cartoon characters also abound, and that’s why it gets our full marks.

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