Top US Amusement Parks

Get your thrills at the country's finest amusement parks. Don't forget to check out our Complete Guide to US Amusement Parks for more summer fun!

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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

  

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

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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

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Butterbeer at Hog's Head Pub

Butterbeer at Hog's Head Pub

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Flight of the Hippogriff

Flight of the Hippogriff

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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

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Goliath
Goliath (Six Flags Great America - Gurnee, IL)

Goliath (Six Flags Great America - Gurnee, IL)

Following up Silver Dollar City's opening of Outlaw Run in 2013, Rocky Mountain Construction is building yet another world record-breaking, wooden roller coaster for Six Flags Great America. Goliath will be the world’s fastest, tallest and steepest wooden roller coaster, plunging 180 feet at 85 degrees and traveling at 72 mph. 960 1280

Six Flags Great America  

Banshee (Kings Island - Mason, OH)

Banshee (Kings Island - Mason, OH)

At just over 4,124 feet long, Banshee will be the world’s longest inverted roller coaster. Riders will hit 7 inversions, where the track will turn adrenaline junkies upside-down and then right-side up. This ride will reach top speeds of 68 mph. 960 1280

Kings Island  

Helix (Gothenburg, Sweden)

Helix (Gothenburg, Sweden)

Right in the heart of Gothenburg, Sweden, Liseberg amusement park will open the multi-launched roller coaster Helix in 2014. Riders will travel more than 4,530 feet of track and 7 different inversions. Mack Rides developed this coaster and built Blue Fire, featured on Insane Coaster Wars Season 2. 960 1280

Liseberg  

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Magic Kingdom - Orlando, FL)

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Magic Kingdom - Orlando, FL)

A new breed of family thrills opens at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in 2014. The masterminds behind this homage to the 1937 flick Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will offer a new element never before seen at any Disney park. The mine cars on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will swing and rock back and forth as the cars navigate the track to simulate being in a real mine shaft. 960 1280

Disney  

Kentucky Kingdom Reopening (Louisville, KY)

Kentucky Kingdom Reopening (Louisville, KY)

After several attempts to revive Louisville's Kentucky Kingdom, Ed Hart, the former operator of the amusement park, and a group of investors will reopen Kentucky Kingdom in 2014. A $7 million steel roller coaster and expanded Hurricane Bay waterpark will be added to the remodeled tourist attraction. 960 1280

Kentucky Kingdom  

Falcon's Fury (Busch Gardens - Tampa Bay, FL)

Falcon's Fury (Busch Gardens - Tampa Bay, FL)

It might just be the most terrifying drop tower ever created! Falcon’s Fury will lift riders 300 feet into the air, tilt them 90 degrees, and give them a clear view of the ground before dropping them at 60 mph. This ride is going to be absolutely insane! 960 1280

Busch Gardens  

FireChaser Express (Dollywood - Pigeon Forge, TN)

FireChaser Express (Dollywood - Pigeon Forge, TN)

Dollywood’s tagline for this family-friendly coaster is "Heroes come in all sizes!” FireChaser Express climbs nearly 80 feet and launches riders back and forth. With a height restriction of 39 inches, this thrill ride is where the entire family can scream together. 960 1280

Dollywood  

Medusa Steel Coaster (Six Flags - Mexico City)

Medusa Steel Coaster (Six Flags - Mexico City)

With the success of Iron Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in 2013, Rocky Mountain Construction will work its magic again, transforming the wooden coaster Medusa at Six Flags Mexico. The remodeled coaster, Medusa Steel Coaster, will be one of the tallest, fastest hybrid roller coasters in the world, showcasing elements like an inverted first drop -- a feature never seen on any hybrid coaster. 960 1280

Six Flags  

Ratatouille (Disneyland Paris)

Ratatouille (Disneyland Paris)

Like Pooh's Hunny Hunt at Tokyo Disneyland and Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland, Ratatouille is a newer breed of ride, using modern trackless vehicle technology. You won't see any track on the ground, and the maneuvers this ride is capable of doing are unbelievable! If this attraction turns out anything like “Pooh” or “Manor,” Disneyland Paris Resort will have its own popular ride for Disney fans! 960 1280

Disneyland Paris  

Flug der Dämonen (Heide Park - Soltau, Germany)

Flug der Dämonen (Heide Park - Soltau, Germany)

This new coaster is sure to become one of Europe's best steel coasters in 2014. Built in the Transsilvanien-themed section of Heide Park, Flug der Dämonen is expected to be one of the most impressive wing coasters built to date. Similar to X-Flight featured on Insane Coaster Wars Season 2, the ride has passengers sit on the outside of the track, while the train barrels through some impressive twists and turns. 960 1280

Heide Park  

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Studios - Osaka, Japan)

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Studios - Osaka, Japan)

Universal is keeping the details about this amusement park attraction quiet, but rumors are that a new theme park will open in Japan similar to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, including Hogwarts Castle and the Forbidden Journey. 960 1280

Universal Studios  

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley (Universal Studios - Orlando)

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley (Universal Studios - Orlando)

In what could be the most expansive theme park attraction ever, the new Harry Potter expansion will link Hogwarts at Islands of Adventure to Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida via the Hogwarts Express. The new development will feature an attraction with a Gringotts Bank theme, accompanied by new shops, restaurants and nearly everything any Harry Potter fan would want in a multi-destination theme park experience. 960 1280

Universal Studios  

Zumanjaro - Drop of Doom (Six Flags Great Adventure - Jackson, NJ)

Zumanjaro - Drop of Doom (Six Flags Great Adventure - Jackson, NJ)

Don’t hop on this ride if you have a weak stomach. When Zumanjaro opens this year, it will be the world's tallest drop tower at a record-breaking 415 feet. Built on the side of the world's tallest roller coaster, Kingda Ka, this new ride has riders pause at the top for a few seconds before plummeting to the ground at 90 mph. 960 1280

Six Flags Great Adventure  

Cinecitta World (Rome)

Cinecitta World (Rome)

A fascinating new $700 million theme park is rising just outside of Rome. Cinecitta World will be a beautifully detailed park featuring roller coasters, thrill rides, family rides and movie sets based on the 3,000 movies and television shows that have been produced by Italy's Cinecitta Studios to date. 960 1280

Cinecitta  


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