10 Best Theme Parks in the US Every Thrill Seeker Should Visit

Last Updated on March 29, 2024 by Nikki Jain

America has some of the World’s best theme parks, filled with all of the building blocks of fun and unadulterated joy. We love theme parks so much; there’s something for everyone to enjoy, even if you don’t like scary thrill rides or being soaked head to toe. Every kid grows up wanting to go to Disney, but there are plenty of other great amusement parks in the US.

As theme park aficionados, we’ve made a top ten checklist of all the must-go places for both adults and kids. These theme parks offer the best variety while providing world-class roller-coasters for the enthusiasts and adrenaline-junkies.

Best Theme Parks in the US

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1: Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
Flickr/Patrick McGarvey

You can’t call yourself a theme park expert without visiting the second-oldest park in the country. This is your daddy’s theme park, and probably your great grand daddy’s, but that doesn’t mean it is short on thrills. You’ll find no shortage of roller coasters; there are sixteen altogether. Four of them tower over 200 feet tall, as well. Not only are the coasters plentiful, but so is the view, giving you a great look over the beautiful Lake Erie.

Address: 1 Cedar Point Dr, Sandusky, OH 44870

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2: Walt Disney World, Florida

Walt Disney World, Florida

We can’t have a list without Disney’s greatest. While not the original Disney theme park, it is certainly the most famous and Disney World’s variety of experiences cannot be topped. From the great Magic Kingdom to Epcot, the Animal Kingdom, and the surrounding wildlife, this is one small city of a theme park that provides more than enough fun for multiple visits. Try to get in on their combo packages for maximum adventure.

Address: Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, FL 32830

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3: Six Flags Magic Mountain, California

Six Flags Magic Mountain, California
Flickr/Jeremy Thompson

There are a lot of great Six Flags resorts around the country, but California’s has to be the most exciting overall. You get amazing roller coasters and 40 different rides, wet, dry, fast, and slow; there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget to check out the one-of-a-kind Superman experience as you take flight and fight off evil.

Address: 26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia, CA 91355

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4: Knoebels, Pennsylvania

Knoebels, Pennsylvania
Flickr/Jim Pennucci

If you’re new to theme parks and happen to be in Pennsylvania, make a visit to this one. You’ve got nothing to lose, as this one is free. That’s right—step right in and pay no admission. That’s the way Knoebels has been doing business for nearly a century. They have two coasters and over 60 rides total, so they aren’t free because of a lack of attractions. They know they’ll get plenty of support through concessions and amazing word-of-mouth advertising.

Address: 391 Knoebels Blvd, Elysburg, PA 17824

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5: Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, Florida

Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, Florida
Flickr/Sonny Abesamis

Florida gets another spot on our list because, well, they’re the tourist capital of the country. Universal’s theme parks rival Disney in some aspects. There is definitely no short of exciting roller coasters here. Fly through the air like a superhero, a dragon, a comic villain, or maybe just frolic around in the different movie worlds of Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, or Dr. Seuss. Let your imagination run wild!

Address: 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819

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Also Read: Universal Studios Orlando Tips For The Best Vacation Ever

6: Schlitterbahn Water Park, Texas

Schlitterbahn Water Park, Texas
Facebook/Schlitterbahn New Braunfels

If you’re looking for a great place to cool off, head on down to Schlitterbahn. This German-named playground is always at the top of the country’s waterpark lists. You can get in and ride the waves all day at half the price of most major theme parks. Try out their huge slides or ride the elevator water attraction; you’ll cool down in no time.

Address: 400 N Liberty Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130

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Also Read: The Best Water Parks in Texas

7: Knott's Berry Farm, California

Knott's Berry Farm, California
Flickr/Brent Schmidt

Okay, don’t let the name fool you; this is just as much a theme park as it is a farm. Actually, it’s a theme park built on a farm, so you won’t find rows of crops in the middle of rollercoasters, but it really is a cool backdrop. You’ll find plenty of roller coasters and classic rides here, over 40 in total. They split up the farm with various settings: a haunted town, a party town, a seaside boardwalk, and a campground.

Address: 8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620

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8: Kings Island, Ohio

Kings Island, Ohio
Flickr/David Morton

This theme park is made famous by its signature roller coasters, namely the infamous Banshee. This one is made for the big boys and girls. It will test your mettle and probably scare the living stuffing out of you, thanks to its sharp turns, loops, and variances in speed to keep you guessing at every moment. Kings Island also has pretty great park food, to boot, just save for AFTER the rides.

Address: 6300 Kings Island Dr, Mason, OH 45040

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9: Dollywood, Tennessee

Dollywood, Tennessee
Flickr/Kristopher Harris

A quirky and unique theme park that is dedicated to the face of Southern Charm, Dolly Parton. This park is a family favorite in Tennessee; it is not what you would expect. The park is very fun but laid-back, clean, and entertaining. Of course, you can also expect to see some country favorites show up for your amusement. Don’t forget to check out the waterpark while you’re there.

Address: 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge, TN 3786

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10: Hersheypark, Pennsylvania

Hersheypark, Pennsylvania
Flickr/Martin Lewison

What’s better than chocolate and theme parks together? Don’t answer that question; there is no reason to torture yourself; just head over to Hershey Park to get the best of both worlds. You’ll get to have a front-row seat at their chocolate factory tour, as well as ride a number of awesome rides. They even have a zoo if you’re finished gorging on chocolate.

Address: 100 Hersheypark Dr, Hershey, PA 1703

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