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Take the Rides of Your Life

No matter what thrills you — roller coasters, giant swings, carnival games, drop towers, carousels, log flumes — you’ll be squealing with joy (or fear!) all day at an amusement park. There’s plenty of fun to be found at big attractions, such as Disney, Universal and Six Flags, or at smaller parks close to home.

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Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Based on the Harry Potter books and films, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a $200-million theme-park at Universal Orlando that had its grand opening on June 18, 2010.  The park includes rides like the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Dragon Challenge and Flight of the Hippogriff.  Diagon Alley, a new section of the theme park, opens July 8, 2014. 960 1280

Universal Orlando Resorts  

Gringotts Bank in Diagon Alley

Gringotts Bank in Diagon Alley

In the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Diagon Alley is the newest theme-park feature, which includes the thrill ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. This attraction combines 360-degree themed sets, high-definition animation, state-of-the-art 3-D projection systems and live effects with characters and moments form the final Harry Potter book and film. And make sure you visit Gringotts Bank (pictured) -- it?s the only bank in the Wizarding World owned and operated by goblins. 960 1280

Universal Orlando Resort  

Triple-Decker Knight Bus

Triple-Decker Knight Bus

Hop aboard the Knight Bus if you?re a stranded member of the wizarding community. To hail the bus, a witch or wizard can just stick their wand up in the air in the same manner that a muggle would do to hail a taxi. It is possible to book tickets for travel on the bus in advance. 960 1280

Universal Orlando Resort  

Tour with the Harry Potter

Tour with the Harry Potter

Actor Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter in the films, leads a group of enthusiastic fans through the park. 960 1280

Universal Orlando Resorts  

Hogsmeade Village

Hogsmeade Village

The Harry Potter theme park re-creates the picturesque Hogsmeade village with shops and restaurants based on the books. 960 1280

Universal Orlando Resorts  

Hogwarts School

Hogwarts School

Hogwarts school majestically towers over the theme park, bringing the tales of Harry and friends to life. 960 1280

Universal Orlando Resorts  

Hogwartz Portrait Gallery

Hogwartz Portrait Gallery

The Hogwarts portrait gallery is just as described in the books with talking portraits of wizards decorating the walls. 960 1280

Universal Orlando Resorts  

Dumbledore's Office

Dumbledore's Office

Guests get a peek at Dumbledore's office tucked inside Hogwarts castle where the magic happens. 960 1280

Universal Orlando Resorts  

Hogwarts Express

Hogwarts Express

The Hogwarts Express waits to transport young wizards at Hogsmeade Station at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. 960 1280

Universal Orlando Resorts  

Hagrid's Hut

Hagrid's Hut

Guests can view a re-creation of Hagrid's Hut on their way to ride the Flight of the Hippogriff. 960 1280

Universal Orlando Resorts  

Butterbeer at Hog's Head Pub

Butterbeer at Hog's Head Pub

Harry Potter stars, including Emma Watson, enjoy a pint of frothy Butterbeer at the Hog's Head Pub. 960 1280

Universal Orlando Resorts  

Flight of the Hippogriff

Flight of the Hippogriff

Harry Potter himself (actor Daniel Radcliffe) takes a spin on the family-friendly coaster the Flight of the Hippogriff. 960 1280

Universal Orlando Resorts  

Dragon Challenge

Dragon Challenge

Guests make their way to Dragon Challenge, 2 dueling roller coasters that twist, turn and careen toward each other. 960 1280

Universal Orlando Resorts  

Champion's Tent

Champion's Tent

Harry Potter fanatics will swoon for a glimpse of the Goblet of Fire and Twiwizard Cup housed in the champion's tent. 960 1280

Universal Orlando Resorts  

Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods

Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods

Upon leaving Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, guests can browse at Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods. 960 1280

Universal Orlando Resorts  

The Owlery

The Owlery

Visitors can rest their legs and observe the roosting owls at the Owlery across from the Three Broomsticks. 960 1280

Universal Orlando Resorts  

EPCOT
EPCOT

EPCOT

Travel around the world without leaving Orlando in EPCOT Center's World Showcase. You can also take a ride through the future as imagined decades ago in the famous golf-ball shaped dome, Spaceship Earth. 960 1280

Courtesy of Disney.  

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

The purported happiest place on Earth, Disney's Magic Kingdom is sure to entertain the kids - whether with one of their parades or classic rides like Space Mountain. 960 1280

Courtest of Disney  

Holy Land Experience

Holy Land Experience

Orlando's Holy Land Experience is surely a unique Florida attraction: visitors can have the Last Supper with Jesus and disciples (actors, of course). 960 1280

Courtesy of Holy Land Experience  

Universal Studios Orlando

Universal Studios Orlando

Universal Studios Orlando, next door to its roller-coaster-laden cousin, Islands of Adventure, is a must for movie fans. Where else can you experience an attack from Jaws, save New York from aliens along with the Men in Black, or hang out with Beetlejuice? 960 1280

Courtesy of Universal Studios  

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom

Disney's Animal Kingdom features more than 500 acres of grounds where animals can roam freely. Guests can roam in open safari vehicles, watching out for giraffes, hippos, lions, and more. 960 1280

Courtesy of Disney  

Islands of Adventure

Islands of Adventure

Universal's Islands of Adventure is the go-to place for those with a need for speed. Thrill seekers will especially enjoy Dr. Doom's Fearfall and the Incredible Hulk Coaster. 960 1280

Courtesy of Universal Studios  

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Of course, the newest and most popular attraction at Universal's Islands of Adventure is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Fans will be treated to plenty of performances, a dragon-themed roller coaster, and even (non-alcoholic) butterbeer. 960 1280

Universal Orlando Resort  

Silver Springs

Silver Springs

The glass bottom boats at Silver Springs allow you to get up close and personal with local wildlife, like alligators, turtles, and if you're lucky, a manatee or two. 960 1280

Courtesy of Silver Springs  

See all your favorite aquatic animals in one place ' SeaWorld Orlando. See interactive shows with killer whales and experience thrilling roller coasters and water rides. 960 1280

SeaWorld  

Located in Orlando and partnered with SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive getaway where visitors get up-close and personal with the park's animals. Take a day or 2 to swim with dolphins, experience an underwater tropical reef and visit Explorer's Aviary to see and hear tropical birds from all over the world. 960 1280

Discovery Cove  

Spend the day at one of the biggest water parks in Florida. Wet `n' Wild has over 30 acres of slides, flumes, surfing and more. Founded by Sea World creator George Millay in 1977, the park was honored by Aquatics International as being the first true water park in America. 960 1280

Wet 'n' Wild  

Also in Daytona, NASCAR fans can enjoy the Daytona International Speedway All Access Tour. Here, fans photograph the 2010 Daytona 500 winning car. 960 1280

Daytona International Speedway  

About a 2-hour drive from downtown Orlando, Tampa Bay is home to Bush Gardens. Featured here is SheiKra, a roller coaster with "floorless" cars giving the riders a unique view at 70 mph. 960 1280

Busch Gardens  

A boy plays in the fountain in the Rocket Garden at the John F. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, just outside of Cape Canaveral, FL. Visitors can stand under the massive rockets that first put NASA astronauts into space and much more. If you spend an entire day at the Kennedy Space Center and there happens to be a night launch, stick around ' it's a must-see. 960 1280

Reuters/Mark Wallheiser MW/DY  

Florida's Everglades are known to many as the place to see alligators and ride airboats. This National Park is home to thousands of species of birds, reptiles, mammals and, best of all, beautiful Florida sunsets. 960 1280

iStock  

The southern-most tip of the US main land, the Florida Keys are known for beautiful beaches, boating, fishing, Key Lime Pie and Margaritaville. The Keys were also the onetime home to Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemmingway. Pictured here is Mallory Square, the center of Key West's historic waterfront. 960 1280

iStock  

Diamonback rollercoaster at King's Island
Diamondback

Diamondback

Diamondback, a 5,282-foot long rollercoaster, sends its riders 235 feet into the air, with an adrenaline rushing 220-foot drop. Ride Diamondback at King’s Island in Mason, OH.

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Intimidator

Intimidator

The Intimidator is the tallest, longest and fastest roller coaster in the Southeastern United States. Intimidator sends its riders through the air at 75 miles per hour. Ride Intimidator at Carowinds in York, SC.

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Kingda Ka

Kingda Ka

Kingda Ka reaches a speed of up to 128 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds at its peak! At the end of the launch track, the train climbs the main top hat tower, reaching a height of 456 feet! Ride Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township, NJ.

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Millennium Force

Millennium Force

It is the 2nd-longest roller coaster in North America after The Beast at Kings Island. The ride has a 300-foot drop! Ride Millennium Force at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH.

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Bizarro

Bizarro

Situated in the back of the park, Bizarro cruises to a cool 77 miles per hour, riding in upwards of 208 feet in the air. Ride Bizarro at Six Flags New England.

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Top Thrill Dragster

Top Thrill Dragster

Top Thrill Dragster is a steel, accelerator roller coaster, over 400 feet tall. The Dragster is the second tallest roller coaster in the world, only behind Kingda Ka. Ride Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH.

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Xcelerator

Xcelerator

After launch, Xcelerator crests to 205 feet in the air, and then soars to 82 miles per hour. Ride Xcelerator at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA.

Don't miss the new episode of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Desperado

Desperado

Desperado features a 60-degree, 225-foot drop, a 209-foot lift hill, and top speeds around 80 miles per hour. Ride Desperado at Buffalo Bill’s in Primm, NV.

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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The Voyage

The Voyage

Get ready for some serious air-time. At 67 miles per the hour, The Voyage is the 2nd second fastest wooden coaster in the world. Ride The Voyage at Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN.

Don't miss the new episode of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Holiday World, Santa Claus, Indiana  

El Toro

El Toro

El Toro is a giant at 188 feet tall, with a record- breaking 76- degree drop! 
Ride El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township, NJ.

Don't miss the new episode of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Ron Wyatt  

Thunderhead

Thunderhead

Named after a peak within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Thunderhead speeds up to 55 miles per hour at 100 feet in the air. Ride Thunderhead at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN.

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Dollywood, Steven Bridges  

Kraken

Kraken

This steel, floorless rollercoaster loops its riders up and around to 119 feet into the air! Ride Kraken at Sea World in Orlando, FL.

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Flickr Creative Commons, by Hyku  

Hydra the Revenge

Hydra the Revenge

Hydra the Revenge takes its passengers on a constant twisting and turning adrenaline rush, reaching speeds of 53 miles per hour. Ride Hydra the Revenge at Dorney Park in Allentown, PA.

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom  

Vortex

Vortex

Vortex is the first rollercoaster with 6 inversions. It’s currently tied for fourth place for having the most inversions in the world! Ride Vortex at King’s Island in Mason, OH.

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Wikimedia Creative Commons  

Wild Eagle

Wild Eagle

The Wild Eagle is the first of its kind in the US, flying in to heights of 210 feet, with a 135- foot drop and reaching a max speed at of 61 miles per hour. Ride the Wild Eagle at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN.

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Dollywood, Steven Bridges  

SheiKra

SheiKra

This floorless rollercoaster takes its riders 200 feet in the air for a 90-degree heart- pounding dive at 70 miles per hour. Enjoy loops, dives into dark tunnels and a finale with a splash!

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Thinkstock  

Medusa Serpent Roll

Medusa Serpent Roll

Medusa is 150 feet tall and boasts a 128-foot loop that's the largest in the world! Medusa was also one of the first floorless coasters in the world.

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Wikimedia Commons  

Afterburn

Afterburn

Standing 114 feet tall, Afterburn jolts passengers through the air at 62 miles per hour.

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Coasterman1234 at en.wikipedia  

Apollo's Chariot

Apollo's Chariot

If you can imagine -- and can handle -- a drop of 210 feet, then Apollo's Chariot is your ticket to pure adrenaline.

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Wikimedia Commons, Work owned by Douglas Whitaker  

Montu

Montu

A rollercoaster with 2 and 3 loops is heart-racing enough. But can you imagine 7 hair- raising loops? Imagine and believe in Montu.

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Suedepop  

Aftershock

Aftershock

Zipping and looping around at 65 miles per hour, Aftershock is a crowd-pleaser.

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Silverwood Theme Park  

Alpengeist

Alpengeist

Ascend 195 feet in the air, and descend 170 feet down but not before hearing, "Thank you and enjoy your avalanche of adventure on Alpengeist!"

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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Coasterman1234  

Manta

Manta

Manta is much more than your traditional coaster. Riders drop, nose first, and get up-close and personal with the local sea life. A sharp side turn skims the water’s surface, leaving riders wet and cool.

Don't miss the new season of Insane Coaster Wars: World Domination.
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WillMcC  

Castle Park (Riverside, CA)
Castle Park (Riverside, California)

Castle Park (Riverside, California)

In Southern California, head to Castle Park. You’ll love the park’s medieval castle, mini golf course and 21 amusement rides, such as Merlin’s Revenge and Dragon Flyer (pictured).

More California Amusement Parks:
Adventure City -- Anaheim, CA
Belmont Park -- San Diego
California's Great America -- Santa Clara, CA
Castle Park -- Riverside, CA
Children's Fairyland -- Oakland, CA
Funderland Amusement Park -- Sacramento, CA
Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park -- Gilroy, CA
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Castle Park  

Disneyland (Anaheim, California)

Disneyland (Anaheim, California)

Mickey and Minnie say hi. Beyond Disneyland’s entrance, the wonder of childhood dreams await: Step inside Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, take a ride through Splash Mountain, and hop aboard a carriage as you take in the sights of Main Street, in the “happiest place on Earth.”

More California Amusement Parks:
Knott's Berry Farm -- Buena Park, CA
Pacific Park -- Santa Monica, CA
Pixieland Amusement Park -- Concord, CA
Rotary Storyland & Playland -- Fresno, CA
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk -- Santa Cruz, CA
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Disney  

Legoland (Carlsbad, California)

Legoland (Carlsbad, California)

Love Legos? You got to visit this Legoland -- the first one outside of Europe. Spread across 128 acres in Carlsbad, CA, Legoland California greets the kids with a welcoming dinosaur right by the entrance. Lie inside a life-sized dinosaur footprint on Dino Island, venture into the wilds of Africa in Duplo Village and get soaked with 350 gallons of water at the waterpark.

More California Amusement Parks:
Scandia Amusement Park -- Sacramento, CA
Scandia Amusement Park -- Victorville, CA
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Legoland  

SeaWorld San Diego (California)

SeaWorld San Diego (California)

A San Diego attraction since 1964, SeaWorld San Diego upped the ante in summer 2012 when it launched Manta, the mega-coaster that showcases 2 launches of up to 43 mph. Manta joins park mainstays like the Dolphin Point exhibit, the Bayside Skyride gondola ride and the Sky Tower, a 320-foot-high panoramic tower.

More California Amusement Parks:
Six Flags Magic Mountain -- Valencia, CA
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom -- Vallejo, CA
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SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment   

Universal Studios Hollywood (California)

Universal Studios Hollywood (California)

Don’t panic! That guy going up in smithereens is part of the moviemaking magic at <a title="Universal Studios Hollywood" href=" http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com" target="_blank">Universal Studios Hollywood</a>. The movie studio is one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood movie studios still in operation. One of its theme park highlights is Transformers: The Ride, which opened in 2012 featuring 3-D technology, fight simulation and more!
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Universal Studios Hollywood  

Elitch Gardens Theme Park (Denver)

Elitch Gardens Theme Park (Denver)

From late April through Halloween, this seasonal, 70-acre park in Denver is worth a family’s visit. With 30 rides, including 9 roller coasters, Elitch Gardens’ attractions include Half Pipe, a snowboard ride that will have you thrashing and spinning around … and around. Plus, cool off in Elitch’s waterpark. 960 1280

Elitch Gardens  

Lake Compounce (Bristol, Connecticut)

Lake Compounce (Bristol, Connecticut)

You’re looking at the oldest continuously-operating amusement park in the US. Lake Compounce first opened its doors in 1846. Today, the amusement park spans 332 acres, with more than 40 rides, including Thunder n' Lightning (pictured). The park also has a beach and waterpark.

More Connecticut Amusement Parks:
Quassy Amusement Park -- Middlebury, CT
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Lake Compounce  

Funland (Rehoboth, Delaware)

Funland (Rehoboth, Delaware)

There’s something for the whole family at Funland. Choose from among 19 rides -- everything from the carousel to the more fast-paced Sea Dragon thrill ride. The kids and you can also enjoy games, from Ring Fling to amusement-park fave Whac-a-Mole. Perhaps the coolest part about Funland: Many of the rides are decades old, so adults can enjoy a walk down memory lane while the kids discover rides for the first time. 960 1280

Chris Darr  

Aquatica Orlando (Florida)

Aquatica Orlando (Florida)

There’s a reason this is the ninth-most visited amusement park in the US: Spanning 200 acres, Aquatica Orlando showcases live shows (see Shamu!) and animal exhibits -- stingrays, turtles, flamingos and more -- plus rides like Dolphin Plunge, the most popular ride in the park. This pic shows why!

More Florida Amusement Parks:
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay -- Tampa, FL
Fun Spot -- Kissimmee, FL
Fun Spot -- Orlando, FL
Legoland Florida -- Winter Haven, FL
Old Town -- Kissimmee, FL
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SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment  

Discovery Cove (Orlando, Florida)

Discovery Cove (Orlando, Florida)

What kid wouldn’t love swimming with (and smooching!) a bottlenose dolphin? Interactive fun is yours at Discovery Cove. Also snorkel alongside rays in the Grand Reef and wade through water in the Freshwater Oasis, where a face-to-face encounter with an otter awaits.

More Florida Amusement Parks:
Sam's Fun City -- Pensacola, FL
Silver Springs -- Ocala, FL
Weeki Wachee Springs -- Spring Hill, FL
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Discovery Cove  

SeaWorld Orlando (Florida)

SeaWorld Orlando (Florida)

Along with Discovery Cove and Aquatica, this massive theme park is part of the SeaWorld Parks and Resorts entertainment complex. You could spend days in this one alone: Spanning 200 acres, SeaWorld Orlando boasts 4 roller coasters, including the fierce Manta and Kraken. 960 1280

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment  

Walt Disney World (Orlando, FL)

Walt Disney World (Orlando, FL)

It’s a small world after all … except at Walt Disney World! As the largest vacation resort in the world -- and the most visited -- this legendary entertainment complex is pretty darn big: over 30,000 acres, with 24 themed resorts, 4 theme parks and 2 waterparks. 960 1280

Disney  

Six Flags Over Georgia (Austell, Georgia)

Six Flags Over Georgia (Austell, Georgia)

Just west of Atlanta, <a title="Six Flags Over Georgia" href="http://www.sixflags.com/overGeorgia/index.aspx" target="_blank">Six Flags Over Georgia</a> spans 290 acres, with more than 40 rides -- including Batman: The Ride (pictured). In 2013, the park added its newest attraction: SkyScreamer. Twirl in a 98-foot-wide circle -- as your feet dangle 24 stories above ground and wind blows in your face at 40 mph. You just might scream.<br><br><b>More Georgia Amusement Parks:</b><br>Lake Winnepesaukah -- Rossville, GA<br>Wild Adventures -- Valdosta, GA
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Six Flags Over Georgia  

Silverwood (Athol, Idaho)

Silverwood (Athol, Idaho)

Live in the Northwest? You’ll want to check out Silverwood. Spread across 413 acres, the amusement park is the largest theme and waterpark in the region. Silverwood has more than 65 rides, slides and other attractions. Top draws include Silverwood’s Aftershock, the champion of inverted coasters! 960 1280

Silverwood  

Six Flags Great America (Gurnee, Illinois)

Six Flags Great America (Gurnee, Illinois)

Another reason Chicago is our kind of town: Six Flags Great America. Located in Chi-town’s metro area, this theme park boasts 51 rides (including 13 roller coasters and 4 water rides) spread across 304 acres. Hop aboard Columbia Carousel, the world’s tallest carousel, and Raging Bull, the park’s tallest, longest and fastest coaster.

More Illinois Amusement Parks:
Santa's Village Azoosment Park -- East Dundee, Illinois
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Six Flags Theme Park  

Holiday World (Santa Claus, Indiana)

Holiday World (Santa Claus, Indiana)

This combo theme park-waterpark in southern Indiana celebrates the holiday spirit year-round; Holiday World is divided into 4 themes: Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving and July Fourth. Lest you start thinking this is some folksy traditional hangout, Holiday World’s Voyage coaster will set you straight.

More Indiana Amusement Parks:
Indiana Beach -- Monticello, IN
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Holiday World & Splashin' Safari   

Adventureland (Altoona, Iowa)

Adventureland (Altoona, Iowa)

This family-owned amusement park has you covered, with more than 100 rides, shows and attractions. Adventureland spans 180 acres, making it the biggest family resort in all of Iowa. Don’t miss the Giant Skywheel, the largest open-gondola wheel built in the US since the 1800s. Plus, take a dip in Adventure Bay waterpark.

More Iowa Amusement Parks:
Arnolds Park Amusement Park -- Arnolds Park, IA
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Adventureland Park  

Beech Bend Park (Bowling Green, Kentucky)

Beech Bend Park (Bowling Green, Kentucky)

If you’re in Kentucky with the kids, Beech Bend is the place to go. Take a ride on one of 3 coasters (Kentucky Rumbler is the star, with a 96-foot drop). Enjoy Granny Jones’ Petting Farm (sheep, goats and more); and ride Sea Dragon, which was purchased from Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.

More Kentucky Amusement Parks:
Guntown Mountain -- Cave City, KY
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Beech Bend Park  

Carousel Gardens (New Orleans)

Carousel Gardens (New Orleans)

The 15 rides at this seasonally operated amusement park will have your kids smiling. Hop aboard the antique coaster -- one of only 100 carousels of its kind in the US -- that’s been a fixture of Carousel Gardens for more than a century. Take a ride on the Miniature Train, or cool off with a trip down the Fun Slide.

More Louisiana Amusement Parks:
Dixie Landin' -- Baton Rouge, LA
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New Orleans City Park  

Funtown Splashtown USA (Saco, Maine)

Funtown Splashtown USA (Saco, Maine)

This family-owned amusement park features Excalibur, the only wooden roller coaster in Maine; it’s also the tallest and longest roller coaster in northern New England. Funtown’s other attractions include Dragon’s Descent (a 220-foot-tall drop tower) and Splashtown waterpark, with 18 waterslides and pools.

More Maine Amusement Parks:
Palace Playland -- Old Orchard Beach, ME
York's Wild Kingdom -- York Beach, ME
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Funtown  

Six Flags America (Mitchellville, Maryland)

Six Flags America (Mitchellville, Maryland)

Just 15 miles from DC, and 30 miles southwest of Baltimore, Maryland’s only theme park goes all out, with more than 100 rides, slides and shows. Of them all, Six Flags America’s top attraction is Superman: Ride of Steel, one of the tallest coasters on the East Coast.

More MD Amusement Parks:
Frontier Town -- Berlin, MD
Jolly Ranger -- Ocean City, MD
Trimper Rides -- Ocean City, MD
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Six Flags Theme Park  

Six Flags New England (Agawam, Massachusetts)

Six Flags New England (Agawam, Massachusetts)

Visiting Connecticut or Massachusetts this summer? Take the kids to Six Flags New England. Less than a mile from the Connecticut border, and 3 miles from Springfield, MA, this Six Flags boasts Bizarro, one of the world’s top coasters.

More MA Amusement Parks:
Edaville USA -- Carver, MA
Salem Willows -- Salem, MA
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Six Flags Theme Park   

Michigan’s Adventure (Muskegon, Michigan)

Michigan’s Adventure (Muskegon, Michigan)

You want adventure? You’ve come to the right place! Spanning 250 acres, Michigan’s Adventure is the largest amusement park in the state, with 53 rides -- including Shivering Timbers roller coaster -- as well as WildWater Adventure, an outdoor waterpark.

More Michigan Amusement Parks:
Crossroads Village -- Crossroads Village, MI
Deer Acres Storybook Amusement Park -- Pinconning, MI
Dutch Village -- Holland, MI
Stagecoach Shop USA -- Irish Hills, MI
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Michigan's Adventure  

Valleyfair Amusement Park (Shakopee, Minnesota)

Valleyfair Amusement Park (Shakopee, Minnesota)

This 125-acre playground is your ticket to fun! At Valleyfair Amusement Park, choose from among 48 rides, including 8 roller coasters -- try Wild Thing, a steel beast that’s currently the tallest coaster in the park.

More Minnesota Amusement Parks:
Como Town -- St. Paul, MN
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Valleyfair Amusement Park  

Six Flags St. Louis

Six Flags St. Louis

Home to nearly 10 roller coasters, Six Flags St. Louis added Boomerang to its lineup in 2013. The steel roller coaster leads you on a pulsating vertical loop ride reaching speeds of 47 mph -- in just under 2 minutes. Keep the adrenaline pumping at Six Flag’s Hurricane Harbor water park, home to Bonzai Pipeline, the looping waterslide.

More Missouri Amusement Parks:
Route 66 Carousel Park -- Joplin, MO
Silver Dollar City -- Branson, MO
Worlds of Fun -- Kansas City, MO
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Six Flags Theme Park  

Fun-Plex (Omaha, Nebraska)

Fun-Plex (Omaha, Nebraska)

Take the family to the largest amusement park in Nebraska. Fun-Plex is also home to the Big Ohhhhhh!!! -- the only roller coaster in the state. Also enjoy a “Putt-Terrific” 18-hole golf course, a twisty ride down a 5-story waterslide and slip-and-slide fun in a speedy go-kart. 960 1280

Fun-Plex  

The Roller Coaster (Las Vegas)

The Roller Coaster (Las Vegas)

Head to the New York-New York Hotel & Casino on the Strip for the ride of your life: a 203-foot lift, then a 144-foot drop -- that’s just the start of what awaits aboard The Roller Coaster. The rest? An exhilarating ride at 67 mph.

More Nevada Amusement Parks:
Buffalo Bill's Hotel and Casino -- Primm, NV
Stratosphere Tower Thrill Rides -- Las Vegas
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MGM Resorts International  

Santa’s Village (Jefferson, New Hampshire)

Santa’s Village (Jefferson, New Hampshire)

Since 1953 <a title="Santa’s Village" href="http://www.santasvillage.com" target="_blank">Santa’s Village</a> has entertained the whole family with holiday magic. Ride above the trees in Santa’s Skyway Sleigh, hop aboard Rudolph on the Reindeer Carousel and get behind the wheel of a Santa’s Smackers bumper car -- they’re among the 16 rides the kids will enjoy at this Christmas-themed amusement park.<br><br><b>More New Hampshire Amusement Parks:</b><br>Canobie Lake Park -- Salem, NH<br>Clark's Trading Post -- North Woodstock, NH<br>Hampton Beach -- Hampton Beach, NH<br>Six Gun City -- Jefferson, NH<br>Story Land -- Glen, NH 960 1280

Santa’s Village  

Luna Park (Coney Island, New York)

Luna Park (Coney Island, New York)

Ride the granddaddy of all roller coasters: <a title="Coney Island’s Cyclone" href="http://www.travelchannel.com/video/the-cyclone" target="_blank">Coney Island’s Cyclone</a>. <a title="Luna Park" href="http://www.lunaparknyc.com" target="_blank">Luna Park</a>’s other thrill rides include Elctro Spin and Sling Shot -- who wouldn’t want to get shot up over 150 feet in the air … at 90 mph?<br><br><b>More NY Amusement Parks:</b><br>Adventureland -- Farmingdale, NY<br>Darien Lake -- Darien Center, NY<br>Deno's Wonder Wheel -- Coney Island<br>Enchanted Forest -- Old Forge, NY<br>The Great Escape -- Queensbury, NY 960 1280

Luna Park  

Carowinds (Charlotte, North Carolina)

Carowinds (Charlotte, North Carolina)

See the Thrill Capital of the Southeast! The 398-acre <a title="Carowinds" href="https://www.carowinds.com" target="_blank">Carowinds</a> is home to 13 roller coasters -- can you brave <a title="Afterburn" href="http://www.travelchannel.com/video/carowinds-afterburn" target="_blank">Afterburn</a> and <a title="Intimidator" href="http://www.travelchannel.com/video/carowinds-intimidator" target="_blank">Intimidator</a>?<br><br><b>More NC Amusement Parks:</b><br>Ghost Town in the Sky -- Maggie, NC<br>Gold City -- Franklin, NC<br>Santa's Land -- Cherokee, NC<br>Tweetsie Railroad -- Bowling Rock, NC                              
960 1280

Carowinds  

Cedar Point (Sandusky, Ohio)

Cedar Point (Sandusky, Ohio)

Explore the second-oldest amusement park in the US (behind Connecticut’s Lake Compounce). Opened in 1870, Cedar Point spans total 72 rides, including stars like Millennium Force!

More OH Amusement Parks:
Coney Island -- Cincinnati
Jungle Jack's Landing -- Powell, OH
King's Island -- Mason, OH
Memphis Kiddie Park -- Brooklyn, OH
Stricker's Grove -- Hamilton, OH
960 1280

Cedar Point  

Oaks Amusement Park (Portland, Oregon)

Oaks Amusement Park (Portland, Oregon)

A short way’s from downtown Portland is Oaks Amusement Park. Spread across 44 acres, the park includes Looping Thunder, a steel looping roller coaster; Disk-O, a pulsating flat ride; and the Rock-O-Plane, kind of like a Ferris wheel, only these seats rock and roll!

More Oregon Amusement Parks:
Enchanted Forest -- Salem, OR
960 1280

  

Dorney Park (Allentown, PA)

Dorney Park (Allentown, PA)

“Two Great Parks for the Price of One” is no exaggeration: Located between NYC and Philadelphia, Dorney Park is also home to Wildwater Kingdom waterpark. Try braving Steel Force, the world’s ninth-longest steel roller coaster. Or kick back in a cabana rental within the waterpark.

More PA Amusement Parks:
Bushkill Park -- Easton, PA
DelGrosso Amusement Park -- Tipton, PA
Dutch Wonderland -- Lancaster, PA
Idlewild and Story Book Forest -- Ligonier, PA
Kennywood -- West Mifflin, PA
Knoebels Amusement Resort -- Elysburg, PA
960 1280

Dorney Park  

Hersheypark (Hershey, PA)

Hersheypark (Hershey, PA)

More than 65 rides and other attractions await at this oh-so-sweet family theme park. Head to Hersheypark for a mix of high-adrenaline thrill rides and more laid-back fun, from the extreme coaster Skyrush, to the more leisurely Intercoastal Waterway water ride.

More PA Amusement Parks:
Lakemont Park -- Altoona, PA
Sesame Place -- Langhorne, PA
Waldemeer Park -- Erie, PA
960 1280

Hersheypark  

Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, TN)

Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, TN)

Head to the biggest ticketed tourist attraction in Tennessee: Spread across 150 acres, Dollywood showcases 27 rides, including 6 roller coasters: You owe it to yourself to try Dollywood’s Thunderbird -- our own Bert Kreischer calls it the best wooden coaster he’s ridden!

More TN Amusement Parks:
Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park -- Chattanooga, TN
Fun Mountain -- Gatlinburg, TN
Ober Gatlinburg -- Gatlinburg, TN
960 1280

Dollywood  

Schlitterbahn (New Braunfels, Texas)

Schlitterbahn (New Braunfels, Texas)

“Slippery road” is what this waterpark’s name literally translates to -- and with 3 locations in Texas, Schlitterbahn delivers with tube chutes, kiddie pools and water coasters. Brave the Downhill Race -- we dare you not to scream.

More Texas Amusement Parks:
Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier -- Galveston, TX
Joyland -- Lubbock, TX
Kemah Boardwalk -- Kemah, TX
Kiddie Acres -- Austin, TX
Kiddie Park -- San Antonio, TX
Six Flags Over Texas -- Arlington, TX
960 1280

Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts  

SeaWorld San Antonio (Texas)

SeaWorld San Antonio (Texas)

One of the largest of the 3 parks in the SeaWorld chain, SeaWorld San Antonio spans 250 acres, with a marine mammal park, oceanarium and theme park. See One Ocean (the newest Shamu show), explore aviary habitats, and ride on The Great Ride, the park’s first coaster, which reaches speeds of 50 mph.

More Texas Amusement Parks:
Six Flags Fiesta Texas -- San Antonio, TX
960 1280

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment  

Lagoon (Farmington, Utah)

Lagoon (Farmington, Utah)

Head 17 miles north of Salt Lake City to Lagoon. Its star attraction is Wicked, which speeds up to 55 mph across more than 2,000 feet. Also step back in time at Pioneer Village, a reconstruction of a late 1800s frontier community. 960 1280

Lagoon Park  

Busch Gardens (Williamsburg, Virginia)

Busch Gardens (Williamsburg, Virginia)

Head to Busch Gardens for an edge-of-your-seat ride on coasters Montu, Sheikra and Apollo’s Chariot.

More VA Amusement Parks:
Dinosaur Land -- White Post, VA
King's Dominion -- Doswell, VA
960 1280

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment  

Riverfront Park (Spokane, Washington)

Riverfront Park (Spokane, Washington)

Every spring and summer, Spokane’s 100-acre Riverfront Park sees its Pavilion transformed into an amusement park wonderland: Enjoy rides like the Sizzler, which speeds up to 70 mph, and the Spider, which, you guessed it, will have you spinning and twirling.

More Washington Amusement Parks:
Wild Waves -- Federal Way
Fun Forest -- Seattle
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Riverfront Park  

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