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America's 7 best amusement parks

Newlywed, new mom and first-time home buyer, Sarah is currently playing out her exciting life in Phoenix, Arizona. She recently gave up her job in finance to stay at home with her baby girl, who between bath time and feeding time, keeps ...

The kids will love these!

Amusement parks are the perfect way to spend a day (or a few) running around like a kid again with your kids in tow. If you’re going to go to an amusement park, though, you’ve got to do it right! Let’s take a look at America’s best amusement parks to help with your decision.
1

Cedar Point – Sandusky, Ohio

Cedar Point
Photo credit: Intamin10 via Flickr

Cedar Point is the roller coaster capital of the world. In addition to the 17 thrilling roller coasters (the most of any theme park), Cedar Point has ten shows, 75 rides and its own waterpark! New in 2013 is their new Gatekeeper roller coaster — over 4,100 feet long and boasting the longest drop of any wing roller coaster in the world!

2

Universal Studios – Hollywood, California

Universal Studios
Photo credit: prayitno via Flickr

Universal Studios provides action-packed entertainment all day long. If you’re a movie buff, this is your spot! Featuring movie-themed rides such as The Simpsons, Shrek and Jurassic Park, you’re sure to feel like you’re inside some of the world’s best movies. Don’t forget to explore the Special Effects Stage to learn the secrets that go into making a movie and see where they’re all made on an unforgettable Studio Tour.

3

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom – Orlando, Florida

Magic Kingdom
Photo credit: Express Monorail via Flickr

Walt Disney World is the largest and most popular theme park in the world and is home to the Magic Kingdom. Here, you’ll go on rides, see fireworks and parades, dine with Disney’s favorite characters, cruise through an exotic jungle river and more! We recommend spending at least a few days in Orlando so you can visit the other three theme parks (Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom) as well.

4

Hershey Park – Hershey, Pennsylvania

Hershey Park
Photo credit: lostinmiami via Flickr

Hershey Park features more than just chocolate! It’s got 11 roller coasters and over 65 rides and attractions sitting on over 100 acres, making sure there’s something for everyone (and yes, they’ve got plenty of chocolate!). Hershey Park also boasts nine unique water rides during the summer, so be sure to wear your swimsuit.

5

Schlitterbahn Waterpark – New Braunfels, Texas

Schlitterbahn Waterpark – New Braunfels, Texas
Photo credit: CJTravelTips.com via Flickr

Texas is hot — so it’s no surprise they are home to the best waterpark in the U.S.! Schlitterbahn Waterpark first opened in 1979 with just a handful of waterslides, but now the park features dozens of slides and rides, along with miles of inner-tube excursions. Our only advice is to arrive early so you can experience it all, or purchase their two-day pass!

6

Six Flags Great America – Gurnee, Illinois

Six Flags Great America – Gurnee, Illinois
Photo credit: Roller Coaster Philosophy via Flickr

Six Flags Great America is your one-stop spot for amusement park fun. The 304-acre park is packed with nine themed sections, a waterpark and two areas geared specifically towards children. With 51 rides — including Batman, The Dark Knight and Wipeout — and 13 roller coasters, your day will be packed with fun!

7

Busch Gardens Williamsburg – Williamsburg, Virginia

Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Photo credit: Brandy Shaul via Flickr

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a park that’s both fun and beautiful. There are ten unique sections all inspired by countries of Europe — including France, Scotland, Germany and Italy. The park features the family-friendly attraction Sesame Street Forest of Fun, sure to delight the little ones. Also, don’t forget to shop and dine at one of your favorite country’s restaurants or visit their Food and Wine Festival from May 31 to June 23.

More on theme parks

Best theme parks in Florida
Best theme parks for toddlers
Best baby-friendly amusement parks

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