An exciting day at the
Theme parks and amusement parks are another great way to spend a holiday, a weekend, or even a long weekend. Theme parks - as the name suggests - are built around a common theme that allows them to offer related rides, stalls and shows.
Most people associate theme and amusement parks with heart-stopping thrill rides - roller coasters, spinners, gravity drops. While this is mostly true, theme parks usually have something for the entire family. There are lots of food stalls, kiddie rides, animal shows and even entertainment shows for grown-ups. Many parks are open through the summer months only, but some are indoor and open all year-round.
Here is a comprehensive list of amusement parks in different states. This is just a listing, not a specific recommendation set:
Theme Park list for various states
And here are some tips to keep in mind while planning a visit to an amusement park:
- Take care choosing the theme park you want to visit, keeping in mind the time you have. If you're planning just a day trip, for instance, choose a smaller, 'focused' park. Good examples are Sesame Place (in Pennsylvania - NY metro area - great park for younger children) and Legoland (in Carlsbad, California). If you have a weekend, go for a park like Sea World. A Disneyland or Disneyworld requires a long weekend to do it justice. And if you're planning to go to say, Orlando, FL to cover more than one theme park, best to plan for a week-long vacation!
- Avoid buying entry tickets at the park. Most parks offer deals and promotions that are not hard to find. You can save a lot by purchasing tickets beforehand. One good idea is to check with the HR department of your company - many corporations have tie-ups with theme parks, especially in summers. Another resource is of course, the internet. Sites like
(which specializes in Disney theme parks, as the name suggests),
Theme Park Insider
are all good sites for researching packages and deals. Finally, look out for deals and coupons in the mail and in-store - often consumer products like Coke and Pepsi will run promotions offering discounts on local park entry tickets.
- If you're price-conscious, avoid staying at hotels and resorts within the theme park. Lodging outside the park is often cheaper. And if you yet want to enjoy the in-park resorts, nothing stops you from dining there, once you're inside. Conversely, if convenience is more important than price, always favor the hotels in the park. That way, you won't have to park and take out your car multiple times to travel the few miles it would take to reach your out-of-park hotel.
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