You can visit either coast and hit one of the Disney parks in Florida and California. In the mid-west, you have Cedar Point, Kings Island, Hersheypark as well as Six Flags. Instead, you can head south and visit Dollywood or Busch Gardens.
Where ever you call home in America, there is sure to be a park nearby with a host of rides for you and your family to enjoy. Take a closer peek at some of the best amusement parks in the USA.
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Cedar Point tops the list of best amusement parks in the US, and for good reasons! The park is called the Roller Coaster Capital of the World due to having roller coasters that go 120 mph and have 80-degree drops! Plus, it has other thrill rides, family rides, live entertainment and shows, as well as water rides and great places to eat. Entry fees vary depending on age, and groups of 15 or more can get special deals and discounts on rides and food packages.
Accomodation: Where to stay in Sandusky
Address: 1 Cedar Point Dr, Sandusky, OH 44870
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Families can have the thrill of a lifetime with a choice of six different magical lands in this Orlando dream theme park. There are plenty of rides for all ages, as well as characters from Disney movies and books, attractions like Adventure Land, Tomorrow Land, Main Street, or Fantasy Land, as well as parades, fireworks, night events, food and drinks, and more. Park hours depend on the time of year, and single-day tickets are $89 for adults and $83 for kids three to nine.
Accomodation: Where to stay in Lake Buena Vista
Address: 1180 Seven Seas Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
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Kings Island Theme Park offers families over 80 different exciting rides and attractions that will make all ages happy. It's the biggest amusement and water park in this part of the US, featuring the famous Diamondback Roller Coaster that goes 80mph, as well as the Vortex, the Beast and Windseeker thrill rides. Plus, there is Planet Snoopy for the little kids. The water slide area features slides and wave pools.
Accomodation: Where to stay in Mason
Address: 6300 Kings Island Dr, Mason, OH 45040
Hersheypark is owned by Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, which is devoted to preserving Milton S. Hershey's legacy. It is a fun place for singles, couples or families and offers activities like Hersheypark in the Dark, rides such as roller coasters, water rides, family and kiddie rides, as well as entertainment, food, drink and more. Children 2 and under are free, 3-9 and seniors over 54 are $23 and 9-54 are $34 for day tickets.
Accomodation: Where to stay in Hershey
Address: 100 W Hersheypark Dr, Hershey, PA 17033
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Six Flags Magic Mountain is another one of the best amusement parks in the US that the whole family will love. The fun begins with the famous Batman the Ride' roller coaster and the Apocalypse roller coaster with its 52mph drops to less scary rides for the little ones, as well as live entertainment like meet and greets with the Justice League, a hypnotist show and the Loony Tunes Kid's Show. Plus there is food, drink, souvenirs, and special events like Holiday in the Park and Fright Fest.
Accomodation: Where to stay in Valencia
Address: 26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia, CA 91355
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Busch Gardens is among the best amusement parks in the United States. It offers something for everyone, such as rides, entertainment, animal encounters, and picturesque places to explore. The kids can sing with Emo, pet a wild lorikeet bird, ride a roller coaster, or learn about bald eagles.
It has been voted as the world's most beautiful theme park for the past 23 years. There are also annual events like the Food and Wine Festival in summer, Christmas Town in winter and the Howl O Scream Halloween adventure in the autumn.
Accomodation: Where to stay in Williamsburg
Address: 1 Busch Gardens Boulevard, Williamsburg, VA 23185
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Knott's Berry Farm offers visitors more than 165 rides, attractions and entertaining shows. It also features one of the largest Halloween events called Knott's Scary Farm, with 13 mazes, live shows, and plenty of monsters walking around. For less scary fare, the kids can enjoy Camp Snoopy. The older kids and adults can have fun riding the thrill rides like the Silver Bullet roller coaster, a horseback relay ride called the Pony Express, Ghost Town, and dozens of other exciting and fun activities.
Accomodation: Where to stay in Buena Park
Address: 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620
Dollywood is an award-winning amusement park in the Great Smokey Mountain region. It is 150 acres of everything from shows and demonstrations to rides and attractions. It's named after country-western legend Dolly Pardon. There are 5 different festivals throughout the year, so every visit offers something different for the whole family. There's also a water park, cabins for those who wish to stay overnight, and a 300 room hotel luxury resort.
Accomodation: Where to stay in Pigeon Forge
Address: 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
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Six Flags Great America is a mix of a water park and thrill ride amusement park for the whole family between Chicago and Milwaukee. It features 14 roller coasters, as well as 3 areas for little kids and a 20-acre water park. There are also live shows, food and even childcare options. Admission is $45 for children and $65 for adults, but they also offer a $72 season pass, which is the best deal if you plan to go more than once.
Accomodation: Where to stay in Gurnee
Address: 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee, IL 60031
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Legoland needs no introduction as one of the best amusement parks in the US. Legoland California Resort is only a half-hour from San Diego, making it easy to access. There are over 60 rides, exciting shows and other attractions. It is a fun, hands-on experience for families and kids ages 2 to 12 years old. Plus, there is a Legoland Water Park, as well as a special themed Legoland hotel resort near the beach and a sea life aquarium.
Accomodation: Where to stay in Carlsbad
Address: 1 Legoland Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008
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Since its opening in 1960, Silver Dollar City has remained an amusement park to create lasting traditions for multiple generations. Adults who visited the park when they were younger can now bring their kids to experience the same fun.
Silver Dollar City is a historical theme park known for its wooden rides. It’s a place where thrill-seekers can find exciting roller coasters, and families can enjoy a mix of other rides and attractions.
You’ll enjoy the 1880s theme, where you’ll see many retro-style buildings and live reenactments of craftsmen from the late 19th century, such as glassblowing and blacksmithing.
Accomodation: Where to stay in Branson
Address: 399 Silver Dollar City Pkwy, Branson, MO 65616
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You can’t make a list of America’s best amusement parks without including one of the Disney properties. And one that always tops the list of amusement park enthusiasts is the Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim.
As soon as you enter Disney California Adventure Park, you’re transported into the fantasy world of your favorite movies. It features multiple themed sections based on popular movies from Disney and Pixar.
Explore the world of Cars by getting in the driver’s seat at Radiator Springs Racers or take a walk down Buena Vista Street for shops and restaurants reimagined as California in the 1920s.
Accomodation: Where to stay in Anaheim
Address: 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802
It’s hard to imagine that Bay Beach Amusement Park has been around for more than a century, but it continues to be one of the best amusement parks in the USA. It’s a scenic park located right on the Bay of Green Bay.
Bay Beach Amusement Park is a popular vacation spot for families in the Midwest. There are two dozen rides, including a high-speed roller coaster and the Big Wheel, which has unbelievable views of the bay from the top.
Accomodation: Where to stay in Green Bay
Address: 1313 Bay Beach Rd, Green Bay, WI 54302
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Knoebels Amusement Resort is one of the biggest amusement parks in the US, offering free admission. It's the main draw to the park, and those who come are in for lots of surprising fun.
Knoebels has something for all ages. Adrenaline-seeking adults can find exciting roller coasters while the kids enjoy rides designed for them. There are even two water rides for those hot summer days.
You can easily spend a day at the park with plenty of places to grab a bite to eat. In between rides, check out some of the recreational activities like swimming and golfing.
Address: 391 Knoebels Boulevard, PA-487, Elysburg, PA 17824
At Santa’s Village theme park, it’s Christmas all year round – at least May until December, when the park is open. Now, you can save yourself a trip to the North Pole to see Santa because you’ll get it all and more at this Christman-themed park in New Hampshire.
Santa’s Village is a place where families can have fun together. It has 20 family-friendly rides and is constantly adding new attractions to the lineup.
Eat gingerbread cookies while walking to the next attraction. It hosts many events throughout the season, so you’re sure to see Santa make an appearance at some point during your visit.
Address: 528 Presidential Hwy, Jefferson, NH 03583
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If you need a break from your beach day at Rehoboth Beach, head over to the boardwalk for a bit of excitement in Funland. Don’t be fooled by its size- you’ll be surprised by how much fun you’ll have – there are lots of things to do in the park.
Funland has several kids rides to experience flying in a helicopter or driving a boat. And for the brave adults, go for a ride on the Superflip 360 to see the beach while upside down. There are also arcade games to win prizes.
Accomodation: Where to stay in Rehoboth Beach
Address: 6 Delaware Ave, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
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There's a reason why the Kentucky Kingdom gets well over half a million visitors every year. It was a former Six Flags theme park but is now under new management with the same great fun.
Kentuck Kingdom is one of the best amusement parks in the USA, with over 70 rides. Its popular roller coasters like the Kentucky Flyer and Storm Chaser are sure to get your hearts racing.
Hurricane Bay is a large water park located inside of the Kentucky Kingdom that features a wave pool, waterslides, and much more.
Accomodation: Where to stay in Louisville
Address: 937 Phillips Ln, Louisville, KY 40209
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While the ladies are out shopping in the Mall of America in Minnesota, exploring the Nickelodeon Universe theme park is a better option than just sitting on the bench waiting.
It’s one of the best theme parks in the US based on your beloved cartoons from the Nickelodeon franchise.
Nickelodeon Universe has 27 diverse rides – from thrill rides to kid-friendly attractions and even a water ride. So, hang out with your favorite Nicktoons, like flipping Krabby patties with Spongebob or a magical ride with the Fairly Odd Parents.
Accomodation: Where to stay in Bloomington
Address: 5000 Center Ct, Bloomington, MN 55425
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Six Flags Great Adventure is one of the top Six Flags amusement parks in the chain. It’s a large park covering 510 acres and packed with fun.
Roller coaster enthusiasts are already very familiar, thanks to the famous Jersey Devil Coaster and Kingda Ka. These are just two of the 14 roller coasters. The park also features the Hurricane Harbor Water Park, where there are plenty of rides to get you soaking wet on hot days.
One of the best parts about Six Flags Great Adventure is the long season from March to January.
Address: 1 Six Flags Blvd, Jackson Township, NJ 08527
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If you’re a marine animal lover, you’ll easily consider SeaWorld San Diego as one of the best theme parks in the US. The entire park is themed after the rich marine life found off near the Pacific Coast and beyond.
SeaWorld San Diego is located in Mission Bay Park. The goal is to give visitors immersive fun with their favorite marine animals. You can enjoy thrill rides appropriately named Manta and Electric Eel. Also, you can get an up-close look at whales, dolphins, and sharks swimming majestically.
Accomodation: Where to stay in San Diego
Address: 500 Sea World Dr., San Diego, CA 92109
Plan for at least two days in Busch Gardens because you’ll want to see everything that it has to offer. It’s a major park in Tampa Bay with an African safari theme – it puts you right in the heart of the Serengeti!
Busch Gardens is one of the best roller coaster parks in the US. Its safari-themed rides include the new Iron Gwazi, which is already on track to be one of the top roller coasters in the country. And other coaster favorites like Cheetah Hunt and SheiKra.
Visitors can also check out the Busch Garden, the largest zoo in Tampa with lions, cheetahs, giraffes, zebra, and hundreds of other species.
Pro Tip: Buy Skip-the-Line Entrance or Tampa CityPass.
Accomodation: Where to stay in Tampa
Address: 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612
Did you know that SeaWorld Orlando is one of the most visited theme parks in the country? While SeaWorld San Diego spotlights the animals, SeaWorld Orlando is better known for its thrill rides.
SeaWorld Orlando has several rides that you won’t mind waiting for. It creates a fun wait experience such as a giant manta ray aquarium tank before getting on the Manta roller coaster or the polar-themed exhibits to see polar bears and whales after you get off the Wild Arctic Ride.
The live animal events are also a popular attraction at SeaWorld Orlando – it’s home to Shamu!
Accomodation: Where to stay in Orlando
Address: 7007 Sea World Dr, Orlando, FL 32821
Want to see where Hollywood gets all of its glamour? Universal Studios Hollywood got started due to the demand for tours of the studio lots. It’s now developed into one of the best theme parks in the US.
Universal Studios Hollywood gives you an inside look at your favorite movies from the big screen. Explore both of the studio lots. One lot offers visitors access to see the famous studio lots still in use. Another lot has fun rides themed after Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, and more.
You might even see your beloved characters walking around the park.
Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608
Families visiting Holiday World theme park get a two-for-one experience thanks to the Splashin’ Safari Water Park located in the park. What more could you ask from one of the best amusement parks in America?
Holiday World has several rides themed after major US holidays – 4th of July, Christmas, and Thanksgiving. Two of its notable rides are the fast-accelerating Thunderbird roller coaster and The Voyager, one of the longest wooden roller coasters in the world.
Accomodation: Where to stay in Santa Claus
Address: 452 E Christmas Blvd, Santa Claus, IN 47579
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As you approach the entrance to Carowinds, the towering roller coasters will make you that much more excited to experience the thrill of the park. It’s one of the best roller coaster parks in the US and coveted by thrill-ride enthusiasts.
Carowinds has 14 roller coasters spaced across its 407-acres. You’ll have hours of fun full of twists, turns, and massive drops. Some of the famous rides are the Fury 325, the Copperhead Strike, and the Intimidator.
Get ready to scream at the top of your lungs!
Accomodation: Where to stay in Charlotte
Address: 14523 Carowinds Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28273
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Other amusement parks in the USA that are not mentioned above but are worth checking out:
Amusement parks remain one of the top attractions to visit in America. Every year, millions of people explore the parks for thrilling rides, family fun, and an overall good time. But with over 400 theme parks, how do you choose?
These are the best amusement parks in the United States that give you the best experience. Whether you’re looking for high-speed rides with jaw-dropping roller coasters or fun rides you can enjoy with the entire family, you’ll find all of that and more at these parks.
It’s easy to see why the USA is one of the top theme park destinations in the world. There’s plenty of places to choose from – many ranked as the top parks globally.