A caravan of metal carts rolls into the station in front of me, coming to a quick stop. The butterflies in my stomach start to grow as I stand up straight, re-securing my spot in line and wait for the metal gates to open. I run to the front and hop in with a friend beside me.
Attendants come around to make sure I’m buckled in and the bar across my chest is secure. Even though they’ve done this a million times, I check myself, just to be sure. I look at the track in front of me, the three loops and massive drop, clench my teeth and gulp.
“Are you ready for some fun?” an unknown voice says over the speaker.
“Yeaaaaah!” everyone on board screams.
“Launching in 3, 2…”
There’s no better place to catch a thrill this summer than one of the world’s most exciting theme parks. Whether it’s fast roller coasters, cotton candy, games or just the chance to enter an entirely made up world for the day, theme parks around the world have something for you. But not all theme parks are alike and a few stand out. These are our picks for the world’s most exciting theme parks.
Six Flags – USA, Canada and Mexico
Want to ride on some of the most talked about roller coasters in the world? Head to your nearest Six Flags. With 16 locations in the USA, one in Mexico and another in Canada, this North American adventure park chain always tries to top its best roller coaster from the previous year, often with a ride based on one of the summer’s biggest blockbusters. They especially find inspiration for their rides from super heroes, with roller coasters like SUPERMAN Ultimate Flight or BATMAN: The Ride. Then there’s the theme park’s record-breaking rides like Kingda Ka at Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ, which is the tallest roller coaster in the world and the fastest in North America.
A trip to any Six Flags will take you away to a world of super heroes and cartoons. They also have water parks called Hurricane Harbor and animal safaris if you want to see more than just rides.
Beach Park – Fortaleza, Brazil
If you prefer your summer thrills in the water, there is no better place in the world to visit than Beach Park near Fortaleza, Brazil. We’ll cut straight to the point, Beach Park is home to Insano, the world’s tallest water slide. Measuring as high as a 14-storey building, there’s no buckle or lap bar to hold you in as you drop up to 65 mph into the water.
But Insano isn’t the only thrill here, you’ll find other scream-worthy water slides, rapid rides and more in the water park. The park also has aquatic play areas to wonder around, resorts and seafood restaurants on their own beach.
Cedar Point – Sandusky, OH – USA
This classic amusement park has been named the world’s best amusement park by Amusement Today for the past 15 years. Operating since 1870, this is the park that really started it all and they embrace their roots. Cedar Point’s charm is that it’s one of those classic parks where families head to for the summer. It has live entertainment, themed weekends and more. It has that iconic log flume (Snake River Falls) and old wooden roller coaster (Cedar Creek Mine Ride).
Though Cedar Point embraces its past, they’re still trying to make the tallest, fastest and scariest rides of the planet. This massive park is the only in the world that has four roller coasters taller than 200 ft, which are Magnum XL-200, Millennium Force, Wicked Twister and Top Thrill Dragster. The latter accelerates to 120 mph in four seconds. Plus the park is located on Lake Erie, giving you an incredible view of one of America’s most popular natural wonders, every time you reach the top of one of these giants.
Ferrari World – Abu Dhabi
You can’t really go wrong when using one of the world’s fastest race cars as inspiration for a theme park. Ferrari World is yet another attempt by Abu Dhabi to be number one in absolutely every area of modern ingenuity. Not only is the region home to the world’s tallest building and largest shopping mall, but it also has the fastest roller coaster in the world. Formula Rossa is meant to recreate a Grand Prix driver’s experience. Accelerating from zero to 150 mph in under five seconds, this ride jolts thrill-seekers 177 feet into the sky.
Formula Rossa may be Ferrari World’s centerpiece, but it’s not the park’s only asset. Breaking another record, this is the world’s largest indoor theme park. The first Ferrari themed park will have you escaping Abu Dhabi for the tiny winding streets of Italy, features a gallery of race cars and so much more.
Disney – Worldwide
While other parks on this list may have the fastest and tallest in roller coasters, no theme park dominates the world quite like Disney. Why? Because no place does fairy tales quite like Disney and we all just want a happy ending, right?
Whether you want to visit the oldest (Anaheim), the biggest (Orlando) or a location that’s really located in a land of royalty (Paris), people actually collect visits to Disney Theme Parks around the world. No matter which park you visit, you’ll always find a towering castle at the center, Mickey and Minnie Mouse wandering around to take photos with you and a few timeless rides to get your thrills on. Get in touch with the spirits of Disney at the Haunted Mansion or launch into orbit at Space Mountain. Go around the world at Epcot in Orlando or actually go around on a cruise with the amusement giant. Families around the world can relate on one thing: the dream of visiting Disney as a child and that dream seems to pass from generation to generation.
Have you been to any of these theme parks? Is there another you think should be added to the list? Let us know with a comment below. We want to hear from you!