12 American Theme Parks You Need to Check Out
Whether you're a diehard risk-taker, a sideline bystander, a Disney enthusiast, or a history aficianado, there's a park for you. Ranging from scary and thrilling to mellow and light to educational and compelling, the 12 theme parks here showcase America's greatest interests. Put them on your bucket list, because each has something unique to offer.
What it is: Nicknamed "The Roller Coaster Capital of the World," Cedar Point is a 365-acre amusement park located in Sandusky, OH.
Who it's for: Serious thrill seekers
Claim to fame: The park features 72 rides (a world record!). Check out the Top Thrill Dragster, which exceeds 400 feet in height and goes zero to 120 miles per hour in less than four seconds.
Six Flags Magic Mountain
What it is: Six Flags Magic Mountain is a 262-acre theme park located in Valencia, CA.
Who it's for: Thrill seekers
Claim to fame: Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom is one of the speediest and highest drop rides in the world. From the top, the view of the Santa Clarita Valley is unbeatable!
Busch Gardens Williamsburg
What it is: Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a 383-acre theme park located in Williamsburg, VA.
Who it's for: Travelers with an affinity for European style
Claim to fame: Busch Gardens' theme is classic European, with nine villages focused on six countries. Explore them all!
Worlds of Fun
What it is: Worlds of Fun is a 235-acre amusement park located in Kansas City, MO.
Who it's for: Thrill seekers and Jurassic Park fans
Claim to fame: Dinosaurs Alive! provides an immersive Mesozoic experience that appeals to all ages.
What it is: The only theme park built under the direct management of Walt Disney, Disneyland is an 85-acre park located at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA.
Who it's for: Disney fans who appreciate the magic of Walt and want to do the park in a day
Claim to fame: The Matterhorn Bobsleds is modeled after the Matterhorn, a mountain in the Swiss Alps, and is unique to Disneyland.
Schlitterbahn Water Parks
What it is: Schlitterbahn Water Parks is a water park resort with locations in Texas and Kansas City, KS.
Who it's for: Thrill seekers who enjoy the water
Claim to fame: In 2014, the Kansas City location opened the world's tallest and fastest waterslide. The initial drop is 17 stories.
What it is: America's oldest continuously operating amuseument park, Lake Compounce, is a 332-acre park located in Connecticut.
Who it's for: Beachgoers who want to try a mix of rides and attractions
Claim to fame: The Boulder Dash was voted the world's No. 1 wooden roller coaster, with speeds over 60 miles per hour.
What it is: Hersheypark is a family theme park located in Hershey, PA.
Who it's for: Chocolate-lovers looking for an adventure
Claim to fame: Hershey's Chocolate World is exactly what it sounds like — heaven. Take a free Chocolate Tour ride, or enjoy a free exclusive 3D experience.
Silver Dollar City
What it is: Silver Dollar City is a 55-acre, 1880s-themed park located in Branson, MO.
Who it's for: History buffs
Claim to fame: The park was built around the entrance of a great natural wonder, Marvel Cave. A tour of the cave is always included with your ticket!
What it is: Disney World is a 500-acre entertainment complex located in Orlando, FL.
Who it's for: Disney fans who are looking for a longer, more diverse experience
Claim to fame: The popular Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is both speedy and smooth, displaying characters from Snow White. Beware the 41-foot drop!
What it is: Kentucky Kingdom is a 63-acre amusement park in Louisville, KY.
Who it's for: Adventure seekers
Claim to fame: Take a tour of the Kentucky countryside in one of the park's classic Model A Roadsters.
Knott's Berry Farm
What it is: Knott's Berry Farm is a 160-acre amusement park in Buena Park, CA.
Who it's for: Foodies looking for a fun day
Claim to fame: Voyage to the Iron Reef is a new 4D interactive ride, in which you battle against the sea creatures emerging from beneath the boardwalk.