TripAdvisor’s family travel site Family Vacation Critic has released their 10 Best Amusement Parks for Families in 2015, and the results might just surprise you. Specifically taking into account how family friendly the parks are, these represent the creme de la creme of family holiday entertainment. Ticket savings and affordable accommodation were both high on the list of criteria, but the quality of each park was also of paramount importance - every place that made it to the top 10 is on the up and up this year, with new rides and more.
Making it in to the top 10 for 2015 are these fun-filled, family friendly establishments:
You’ll always find something new when you visit Cedar Point. 2015 sees the addition of Rougarou, a floorless roller coaster ride set right on Lake Eerie and a major overhaul of Hotel Breakers, a nearby affiliate hotel that now features onsite dining, indoor and outdoor pools and free WiFi. Check with the hotel to find out how you can save big on admissions to Cedar Point.
This year Carowinds has introduced the tallest and fastest giga coaster in the world, the Fury 325, but there’s a lot more to be found here that’s not quite so terrifying. Kid friendly fare includes Dinosaurs Alive, where animatronic dinos delight young and old, and the Boomerang Bay water park. Families can choose from several affordable onsite accommodation options including a campsite and a hotel - both offer admission discounts.
This old fashioned amusement park set in the woods is ideal for the budget conscious family as it allows you to pay per ride, with some attractions costing as little as one dollar! There are campsites and cottages onsite to allay your accommodation worries and although their most famous ride is the Phoenix, a classic wooden roller coaster, Knoebels has plans to erect a steel tower coaster in 2015.
Originally founded as an amusement park for the employees of the Hershey Chocolate Company, Hersheypark now has 13 roller coasters on offer, the latest of which is the first indoor, spinning glow-coaster in the U.S. Those looking to save can stay at Hersheypark Camping Resort, and there are several hotels in the area which offer admission discounts to guests. The park is also just around the corner from Hershey’s Chocolate World, an irresistible attraction for young and old alike.
Dollywood, owned by country singer Dolly Parton, combines theme park, water park and show spectacular - an onsite hotel is opening this year which includes a spa, pools and a kids club. Dollywood has also added DreamMore Resort alongside its water park this year.
Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson, New Jersey)
While there are Six Flags amusement parks dotted all over the country, Great Adventure has to be one of the best. Hosting both the fastest roller coaster in the United States and the highest drop tower on Earth, this park certainly knows how to provide world-leading thrills. Try booking online as you can save up to $25, or take a look into one of the Stay-and-Play packages at nearby affiliate hotels.
Discounted admission for preschoolers is a fantastic feature if you’ve got young ones in tow, while those who are a bit older can try out the recently launched Tempesto - a roller coaster that hurls riders several times at speeds of 63 mph, and swirls them around a 154 foot loop-de-loop. If you’re travelling with a larger group, you can also book meals ahead of time and save up to 30%.
Silver Dollar City (Branson, Missouri)
Rides that cater specifically to families are something of a specialty for Silver Dollar City - in fact, they’re launching 10 family oriented attractions at Fireman’s Landing, including an eight story drop ride and a water spray area. There are a wide range of package deals and discounts on offer - plus, if you enter the park after 3pm, you can come back the next day for free!
Knott’s Berry Farm (Anaheim, California)
Located just 15 minutes away from Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm is often unjustly passed over for its famous neighbor. They’ve just opened a new 4D ride called Iron Reef, and if you choose to stay their onsite hotel, there is a broad range of packages including admission, accommodation and breakfast - plus, kids eat free! This is another park that allows you to save by booking online - slash your admission by up to $25.
Combining thrill rides with family rides, Fiesta Texas also includes a water park. Their new roller coaster features 4D elements and two hair raising 90 degree vertical drops! Book online and save up to $20 on admission - plus if you live in the area and are planning to return, you can pick up a season dining pass to save on food.
Generally accommodation is included nearby for these major amusement parks but getting around can still be still be an issue. Consider picking up a car rental
to make sure you have the freedom to enjoy your family holiday to the fullest!
Those 10 parks should give adventurous families more than enough to keep them occupied for some time, but if there are other great amusement parks that you know of which cater to families, we’d love to hear about them - let us know in the comments below.