The allure of theme parks is never-ending, with some of the world’s leading attractions bringing in up to 20 million annual visitors. The outright escapist fun, thrills, and spills they provide is unmatchable – not even the biggest blockbuster Hollywood film or the latest video game can match a rollercoaster ride for sheer outright visceral enjoyment.
With so many amusement parks to choose from across the world, where should you head to in order to ensure you have the absolute time of your life? The following 10 options should certainly provide some impetus to get out there and enjoy them and the wonderful nations where they’re located, but don’t be afraid to do additional research to discover some new venues if these aren’t quite your thing.
- Blackpool Pleasure Beach
In the UK, there are many famous theme parks which provoke excitement amongst the population. Arguably the biggest two are Alton Towers and Blackpool Pleasure Beach. I’ve gone for the latter as it’s something of a national treasure, offering spectacular rides like the Big One, shows, and food, as well as being one of the ideal days out with the kids. It’s also great value for money and sits adjacent to one of the UK’s most famous beaches.
- Chimelong Ocean Kingdom
Set on Hengqin Island in China, this venue opened in early 2014 and has since been a big hit. Divided into several sections, each one represents a different part of the world’s oceans (as the theme park’s name suggests!), such as Ocean Avenue, Amazing Amazon, and Polar Horizon. With plenty of wildlife to visit, there are also many amazing rides such as the spectacular Parrot Coaster which dominates the skyline.
You can visit the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom site to see what the fuss is about!
- Everland, South Korea
Located in Yongin and opened in 1976, this theme park opens its doors to over seven million visitors a year. There are numerous themed areas, such as Magic Land, to get your inspiration going, and with five awe-inspiring rollercoasters to choose from this isn’t very difficult to manage. Of course, it’s location in South Korea also makes for a wonderful all round holiday.
- Compagnie des Alpes, France
Not your traditional theme park as such, but this French company offers contemporary ski resorts across France which are an absolute joy to visit. It’s also the leading ski resort company in the world.
With spectacular scenery and many other activities besides taking to the slopes, guests are guaranteed an invigorating experience. There are more than a dozen locations to choose from, so take your pick for a different type of thrill seeking: Compagnie des Alpes.
- Disneyland Hong Kong
This amusement park was built on reclaimed land and is located in Penny’s Bay, Lantau Island. It incorporates a lot of Chinese cultural traits, so this makes for a unique take on the standard Disneyland experience.
It has over half a dozen action packed lands to visit, there are shows, parades, and remarkable fireworks displays. Then there are rides such as Mystic Manor, Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars, Fantasy Gardens, and the UFO Zone to keep thrill seekers entertained.
- Disneyland Paris
The combination of a spectacular theme park and one of the most remarkable cities in the world has been a winning combination since 1992.
Disneyland Paris offers the Disney experience you’d expect, along with a wonderful setting and a location which is easy to get to. Plus, with rides like the Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril thrill seekers are going to be more than entertained, although all ages are certainly catered for.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Florida
With unique architecture, wonderful rides, and multiple areas to visit such as Echo Lake, Pixar Place, and the famous Sunset Boulevard, this is a film fan’s dream resort. When combined with a trip to the ever sunny America, it’s a most for any theme park aficionado.
- Epcot, Florida
Part of the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, this ride intensive amusement park features the iconic Spaceship Earth structure (it looks like an enormous bauble). With rides such as the Test Track and Mission: Space, along with its iconic setting, visitors are guaranteed a memorable trip as there is simply so much to do!
- Universal Studios, Japan
Situated in Osaka, this theme park features a Harry Potter motif with rides such as the Forbidden Journey and Wand Magic. However, this aside there are attractions you’ll recognise fro around the world such as Jaws and Jurassic Park, but there are venues such as Hello Kitty Fashion Avenue which represent Japan’s kawaii (“cute”) culture effectively.
The biggest appeal has to be that it is set in Japan, of course, which means a trip to this theme park will bring with it much more than an assortment of spectacular rides. You can get used to the local culture and indulge in traditional Japanese ceremonies to experience a unique theme park resort.
- Disneyland, America
Not wishing to seem too predictable, but this is arguably the most famous theme park in the world. Disneyland is usually the resort people think of when theme parks are mentioned, with Disney’s numerous charming characters conjuring up a sense of wonder (particularly for children).
Based in sunny California, it opened in 1955 under the guidance of Walt Disney, who said at in July ‘55: “To all who come to this happy place: Welcome.” Since then, it has evolved into an increasingly spectacular venue, with multiple lands to visit (including the upcoming Star Wars Land – this is sure to be a massive hit). There are many and varied rides to try out and it is, simply put, possibly the ultimate experience for any Disney loving child.