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Roller Coasters and Rides: 4 Theme Parks Your Family Will Enjoy

19th Sep 2013

When you’re looking for your next family theme park vacation, you have a lot of choices. You can go big and exciting, or small and relaxed. You can opt for thrilling roller coasters, or you might prefer a wet and wild water park. No matter what kind of theme park experience you prefer, there are great destinations all over the country for all-ages fun. Check out these family favorites.

1. Cedar Point


Image via Flickr by Craig Lloyd

If you and your family love roller coasters, you can do no better than Cedar Point. This park, in the wooded Lake Erie coast of Sandusky, Ohio has one of the widest selections of rides on tracks in the nation. Boasting 16 different coasters, there’s something for everyone. The Millennium Force is one of the world’s first magnet-aided roller coasters, achieving incredible speeds that put even the most hardened thrill-seeker to the test. Of course, for younger riders who need a gentler introduction to Cedar Point, the Jr. Gemini keeps things kid-friendly. Beyond the rides, the park has a lot of fun attractions like the new Dinosaur Alive area with life-size replicas of real prehistoric beasts.

2. Schlitterbahn Water Park

When it comes to fun in the water, nothing beats a trip to Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, Texas. A 16-acre water park on the road between San Antonio and Austin, Schlitterbahn is a place to get big thrills and relaxing rides that beat the heat like no place else. The Double Loop Body Slides send visitors sailings down slippery chutes that twist and turn for maximum excitement, or you can also test your surfing chops at Boogie Bahn. If you’re more interested in a low-key drift, Kristal River is a great place to hop in a tube and float along the current for as long as you want.

3. Dollywood

Dollywood is a friendly, welcoming park in the Smoky Mountains is the unique creation of music star Dolly Parton. It’s a great place to enjoy fun rides, delicious Southern cooking and, of course, lots of music. Dinner at the Dixie Stampede is a must and the lodgings at Dollywood Cabin are wonderfully luxurious. If you’re looking for more modest digs or just want a chance to explore the Smoky range in addition to your Dollywood trip, it’s easy to find cheap hotels close to the park.

4. Hersheypark

It sounds like a kid’s dream come true: a theme park full of rides, play spaces and shows, all dedicated to the subject of candy. That’s exactly what you’ll get at Hersheypark. Opened in 1905 as a place to have fun for workers at the first Hershey chocolate factory, today Hersheypark is an award-winning amusement park that attracts people from all over the world to Hershey, Pennsylvania. The Skyrush roller coaster is Hersheypark’s most thrilling ride, featuring 200-foot drops and tight turns. Kids and parents can hop in a car at Twin Turnpike and drive the track. There are also a variety of shows at the Hersheypark stage, featuring everything from clever critters to famous musicians, all dedicated to giving you a truly sweet experience.

Whether you’re looking for thrills, relaxation or just a unique setting, there’s a theme park to suit your tastes. Travel safe and have fun!

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