Send in your reviews of amusement parks and they'll be included on this page! I'm especially looking for reviews of parks that haven't been covered up to this point, but any reviews are welcome. It's best if your review includes some basic information about the park, and both positive and negative comments as they apply your experience while you were there. Feel free to comment about not only coasters, but other rides, food, the park staff... The intent is to provide coverage for more parks and to have a variety of opinions available. Please refrain from using offensive language as it will be edited out of the review anyway. Also, include a name, nickname, or initials which will be listed at the end of your review. Click here to send in your review now!
All reviews unless otherwise noted are written by Nightcoaster. Feel free to quote the reviews you find here, just be sure to credit the reviewer by name or nickname and list "Nightcoaster's Amusement Park Guide" as the source.
ADVENTURE CITY (CA)
Seventeen rides in this small, but friendly family amusement park. The staff is helpful and it's easy to see that they really care about the kids they cater to here. There's a fun magic show and the food prices are affordable which is a welcome change from most parks. Sometimes a park doesn't need to be large, and this is one that's found a niche and is doing a nice job providing a fun time for the kids.
For 2009... Not much has changed here, but it's still well worth a visit. Small and family friendly neighborhood park that is moments away from a couple of larger amusment parks and a good deal of other entertainment. But the atmosphere and pace here are much more relaxed, which is a nice change!
For 2015... Rewind Racers is a great new coaster for the park. The friendly and helpful staff continue to make this a very nice park, and well worth a visit if you're in the area.
ADVENTURE LANDING (FL) Featuring the only roller coaster in northeastern Florida, this small go-kart and arcade park also has a friendly staff and they keep things clean as well. If you're in the area, it's a nice little park to visit.
ADVENTURE PARK USA (MD)
Nice arcade park with party rooms and they've done a great job with the western theming. The outside area has a steel wildcat coaster, go-karts, miniature golf and a few smaller rides.
For 2015, the park has expanded nicely over the past few years, adding two new coasters this year, one for the smaller crowd, and the other for older thrillseekers. The very helpful and friendly staff make this a great place to visit. Maybe a dark ride or a train could be added in the future?
THE ADVENTUREDOME AMUSEMENT PARK (NV) Beautiful little park that is entirely enclosed and located in the Circus Circus Hotel and Casino. That does mean that the top of the lift hill gets a little warm... The coaster is a standard corkscrew, but with all the elaborate "stonework" it weaves through, you might find it hard to tell. Prices here are a little higher than they should be, but it's a nice, clean little park and provides some variety to the entertainment options in the area. Formerly known as Grand Slam Canyon.
ADVENTURELAND (IN) I'm not sure how this little park has lasted for so long except that there isn't much else to do in this area if you don't have a boat! They offer putt-putt golf, trampolines, a pinball/video game area, and they have a small steel kiddie coaster. Note: the amusement rides were sold in 2001 and the company now operates a paddle-wheel boat that cruises around the lake.
ADVENTURELAND (IA) The best coaster here is The Outlaw, a very nice wooden coaster with plenty of punch. They also have The Tornado (wooden), The Dragon (steel looping), and a steel zyklon coaster. The newest ride is The Underground, which is very well-themed on the inside. The shows are really starting to improve in this park. They have a very polished magic act and a great comical western "showdown" near The Outlaw coaster. The Rootin' Tootin' Wild West Review still needs some work, but it wasn't bad.
This place is Awesome! The top 5 rides are : 1.Tornado 2.The Sidewinder 3.Outlaw 4. Dragon 5.Space Shot - It's a great park for something that started as only a couple of shows and rides and only one street.Other good rides are The Mixer, Falling Star, and The Inverter. I haven't even been to the whole place yet but it's still awesome. I recommend u go there if u live close to it but if you shouldn't waste an airplane trip here. (They do have good hotels though.) (Review by Curt Carpenter)
ADVENTURELAND (NY) The long and narrow layout of this park makes it easy to find your way around. And despite the fact that there isn't really much room to grow, there are plenty of attractions here, and new rides regularly replace older ones. This is the last year for the Hurricane coaster, but another coaster will be arriving next year. Most of the rides and games here are for the 6-12 crowd, but there are a few rides for older teens and adults.
ADVENTURER'S FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT CENTER (NY) Known for forty years as Nellie Bly Park, this Brooklyn amusement park, renamed in 2006, has a very nice colleciton of smaller rides, and a very relaxed atmosphere. There isn't much room to grow, but the collection of rides continues to change so that there's always something new and fun when you come back.
ALL STAR ADVENTURES (KS) The arcade area in this park is very noisy, but there's lots to do and it tends to stay busy most of the time. Outside, there are around a dozen rides, including two small coasters, miniature golf, go-karts, and a batting cage. It's a very clean park and there's still a little room to grow.
AMUSEMENT PARK AT HERITAGE SQUARE (CO) There's a wonderful, casual, relaxed atmosphere at this amusement park. It's part of a larger entertainment complex called Heritage Square Family Entertainment Village, which includes a music hall, alpine slides, a church, a daycare center, and a number of shops and small restaurants and shops. The amusement park is fairly small, but does offer a number of rides for the younger crowd, and as part of the larger complex, it works very well.
ANDRETTI THRILL PARK (FL) Go-karts, miniature golf, a roller coaster, several other amusement rides, a very nice arcade with a restauruant, bowling, and a small ropes course, there is plenty for everyone to do. A very clean park with lots of room to grow!
ARNOLDS PARK (IA) You might not think of northern Iowa as a resort area, but Lake Okoboji and three small towns make this a nice little area. And it's also in this area that you'll find Arnolds Park. The gondola wheel offers a wonderful view of the lake, and just a few feet away is the legendary... Legend. A very nice wooden coaster that offers plenty of airtime as it zips you around most of the park. There's a Toboggan coaster and a kiddie coaster and lost of room for the park to expand. It does look like the main focus is rides for kids, but we've all got a little bit of that in us anyway. The Tilted House could use some work. I've seen it done very nicely with props and a host who takes you through, telling a story along the way. The way it is now, kids just run through it. A magic show would be a nice addition too, especially for the beautiful newer area toward the rear of the park.
ASTROLAND (NY) Mix New York, the beach, and a carnival together and what do you get? Complete with all the old sideshows and the original Cyclone roller coaster, it's the magic of the old Coney Island. Astroland is also home to a Jumbo Jet coaster and the old Thunderbolt coaster rests a couple of blocks away. It isn't running now, but there has been talk about either restoring or rebuilding this classic old coaster.
Confusing layout, though this is the standard for Six Flags parks, lots of dead ends. The staff is helpful though, and always seems to be eager to assist you in finding your way around. Greezed Lightnin' (a shuttle loop coaster) was great fun, as was the Texas Cyclone (a copy of the New York original). The Ultra Twister was a unique experience that was too short, but loads of fun. The best part of the park were the live shows. They are simply the best of any park I've ever seen. The Batman stunt show takes place over water which allows them to do some amazing falls with their stunts. Miss Lillie's Red Garter revue was also quite good. Their script was paced well and mixed music, dance, and comedy in a style that keeps you entertained
the whole way through. They make good use of audience members and it was easy to see that they were having fun performing and that they were a very talented group.
Update for 2002: There has been some effort here to give the park a little bit of a facelift, with several buildings and coaster loading stations having received new coats of paint. The problem is that ALL of the coasters themselves are in desperate need of new paint. With coasters being such visually striking constructions, their bland and drab appearance tends to affect the look of the whole park. The performance arenas are nice and the Mapapa African Acrobat troupe put on a very nice show. The staff here was pleasant, but not as friendly as that of the other two Texas parks to which it is so easily compared.
ATLANTIC BEACH PARK (RI) This little park has been around for quite awhile, though many of the rides are stored somewhere during the off-season. With the right developer, this park could expand to something more substantial and permanent, but it hasn't happened yet. The same could actually be said of the surrounding area, which could be a wonderful resort. The food is wonderful, so if you're in the area during the summer, take a break from your travels and stop by!
ATTITASH MOUNTAIN RESORT (NH) Nicely developed ski resort area with quite a few activities in the summer, including a very nice mountain coaster that's a little longer than the one at nearby Cranmore. The summer attractions are a little spread out here, so there may be plans to add a few more as the years go by.
AUSTIN'S PARK N PIZZA (TX) Winner of a Brass Ring Award from the IAAPA in 2013, this park has a very attractive indoor area, with lots of large arcade games, party rooms, a couple of smaller rides, and great food. The outdoor part of the park features miniature golf, go-karts, and a few more amusement rides. Everything here is very clean and well-maintained, and the staff do a great job of making this a very fun park to visit.
BAJA AMUSEMENTS (MD) It's mostly about the go-karts here, with six tracks, including some very nice ones. There is also a small arcade, a frog hopper ride, a small carousel, and a wacky worm coaster. It's a nice place to stop and visit, especially if you're on the way to Ocean City and frustrated with how long it's taking to get there. Take a break and enjoy yourself!
BAY BEACH AMUSEMENT PARK (WI) Attractive beachfront park that lies near the mouth of the Fox River as it empties into Green Bay. Plenty of space for a family picnic here, and a couple of baseball fields too! The Zippin Pippin wooden roller coaster is a great new addition to what the park has to offer. Another of the great rides here is a the beachside train. This park takes great pride in all of its rides, as each has a sign that explains when the ride was acquired and who is was purchased from. There's plenty of room to grow for this pleasant little park. Stop by and enjoy the casual atmosphere as the pleasant and helpful staff show you a bit of northern hospitality.
BEECH BEND PARK (KY) If you're interested in a smaller amusement park with a relaxed atmosphere, plenty of rides for the smaller kids and a few for the teens, this is the ideal place! Open since 1898, this park has a neighboring campground, and is very well maintained, with most everything looking new and clean. The staff is friendly and helpful and the family friendly atmosphere is evident among the the rest of the people around as well. The Kentucky Rumbler is a wonderful addition to the park, a great new wooden coaster with lots of tight turns and plenty of speed. The only things lacking are a little bit more shade and perhaps some landscaping work around Fountain Lake, which could then be a really attractive centerpiece to the one half of the park.
BELL'S AMUSEMENT PARK (OK) Located on part of the fairgrounds, this park has limited space and can't really grow much at all. They do have a medium-size wooden coaster and a steel zyklon coaster that sits back in one corner. There is also a dark ride with a few good effects toward the end. They've been through a number of troubles lately, and may be in danger of closing if their business doesn't pick up soon. (Note: As a result of some of the troubles, the steel zyklon coaster was closed.)
BELMONT PARK (CA) Very small boardwalk style park whose centerpiece is the old Giant Dipper wooden coaster. It's a wonderful old coaster and manages to create just enough interest to keep the park running. It's a clean little park with a polite and helpful staff. They also have a carousel and a few other smaller rides as well as a one-room coaster museum that provides a nice history of the Giant Dipper and its restoration.
BLACKBEARD'S CAVE (NJ) A collection of smaller and mostly older rides in one area with batting cages, miniature golf and archery as well as a separate arcade building with party rooms. It makes for a nice variety of options to keep everyone entertained. A bigger and brighter sign out front would help draw in more people to this entertaining location.
BLACKBEARD'S FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT CENTER (CA) Although fairly sizeable, most of this entertainment center is devoted to the two go-cart tracks, the putt-putt golf course, and the six water slides. There is a small arcade and a few rides in a small section of the park. The staff are friendly and helpful and the park is clean.
BOARDWALK AMUSEMENTS (FL) A small collecton of rides, including a roller coaster along with a go-kart track sit next to the beach. The beach itself is the main attraction as this is Daytona after all, with many activities on both the boardwalk and the beach for several months of the year. The staff are friendly, and the lines aren;t usually too long.
BOOMERS (El Cajon, CA) If you love arcade games but are tired of how crowded most of them are, this is the place for you. The arcade games here are housed inside a two-story building with lots of open space and several party rooms. There's also plenty of action outside, with the Kids County Fair ride area, miniature golf, batting cages, and go-karts. It's a great space, with lots of different activities and a very helpful staff.
BOOMERS (Fountain Valley, CA) Of the several small parks in this chain, this particular one appears to be the most poorly run. It is clean, but understaffed with inexperienced workers. When some of my displeasured showed on my face, another person waiting in line told me they'd just grown accustomed to the poor service here. That's unfortunate, as they havea reasonble selection of rides and games and could be a nice little arcade park.
BOOMERS (Upland, CA) Nice little arcade park with room to grow. Formerly the home of a small coaster, that area is currently vacant. The staff here are very friendly and helpful and keep the area very clean. Maybe another small coaster will be added in the future...
BOOMERS (Dania Beach, FL) Wow! An excellent wooden coaster in a very small park. By far the best of the Boomers parks I've been to. In addition to the great coaster, there's a great miniature golf course and a huge arcade. The friendly and helpful staff here will be happy to welcome you to this great little park in southern Florida!
BOOMERS (Medford, NY) As is typical for parks in this chain, the arcade area is very nice, with a wide varety of games. This particular park also has quite a few attractions outside, including a coaster, train, miniature golf, go-karts, batting cages, and several rides for the younger customers. There are two carousels here as well. One inside and one outside. A small ferris wheel would be a nice addition here. A great staff that are friendly and helpful and enjoy being here.
BOONDOCKS (SD) A few miles south of the picturesque little tourist town of Deadwood, South Dakota, at a bend in the road, lies Boondocks. While this is primarily a '50s diner and a nostalgia museum and gift shop, they have recently added some amusement rides for the younger crowd. It's fairly small, but nice to have a little something different in the area!
BOWCRAFT (NJ) Very nice park, with a focus on atttracting the younger crowd, though there are a few rides for those who are a little older and more daring. Two coasters here, one of which is a nice, medium-size steel coaster. The train ride around the park is also quite good. It's a very clean park with room to grow. A ferris wheel and a dark ride would be nice additions, and a bigger sign out front would help draw some well-deserved attention to this parl.
BRECKENRIDGE PEAK 8 FUN PARK (CO) Breckenridge is one of the more well-recognized skiing areas in Colorado. Offering so many challenging slopes, it's one of the "hot spots" for skiers. On Peak 8, as you might expect from the name, there's also a little something else available in the off-season. This small amusement park features a number of alpine slides, along with an alpine coaster and a handful of other rides. The area isn't well-developed as an amusement park, and most of the off-season business for Breckenridge remains at the bottom of the mountain. Lowering the prices just a little, or offering a package deal might help attract a few more visitors.
BUFFALO BILL'S HOTEL AND CASINO (NV) Much like the Magnum XL200 at Cedar Point, the biggest thrill on the Desperado coaster is the first drop. (Especially with an additional 15-20 mph wind blowing!) Otherwise, it just sort of cruises all the way around the property, which is mostly desert. They also have a motion simulator ride with a choice of short movies.
BUSCH GARDENS AFRICA (FL)
Combination zoo and amusement park with lots to do. The new Montu coaster almost manages to outdo Cedar Point's Raptor! The new Egypt area is stunning, with a replica of King Tut's Tomb, a marketplace, and much more. The incredible Kumba and the smaller Python and Scorpion coasters are still here, each in their own, specially themed areas. This is also one of the top four zoos in the country, with over 350 species to see. On the entertainment side, there is the dolphin show, a wonderful Akishin show with Russian acrobats, jugglers, and clowns, and the Hollywood Live on Ice show that was the best I've ever seen at any park! Sets and costumes for this show were worthy of a full-scale
Broadway production. It was so good, I watched it twice!
For 2002, Gwazi was a very nice addition (opened in 1999), a wooden coaaster that is fast and reasonably smooth. The shows are still some of the best you'll see and the zoo is worth a look all by itself. This continues to be one of the more attractive parks in the country and also has a very wide variety of gift shops. Do make use of the park map as this is a large park with many side paths. Lots of interesting things to do, but it's easy to get turned around.
For 2011, The brand new Cheetah Hunt coaster is a very nice, and quite fast coaster that will zip you out through part of the Serengeti Plain, though you probably won't see any animals up close. Sheikra is a great addition as well, with a first drop that hesitates, adding an extra thrill to the beginning of the ride. Rides and attractions are still very spread out here with lots of room for new attractions. (How about a drop ride and a dark ride?) It's also still one of the best zoos in the area with educational and entertaining animals shows.
I have been to Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay, Fl. many times and I think it has some of the best roller coasters I've ever been on. It has the new dueling wooden roller coaster Gwazi. It's excellent. Montu is wonderful. I've been on Montu and Kumba 35 times each. I just went in February and I am going back in April. I am a pass member. I love that park. I think their roller coasters are wonderful. (Review by SUN657)
I LOVE Busch Gardens!!! Not only are the rides awesome but the BEST thing about Busch Gardens is the Akishin Show. Me and my sister have gone to the Akishin Show 10 times!!!!! The act is great and the music is cool and one guy in the show is really really really cute! The people are all really friendly and I love Busch Gardens for giving me the chance to meet the people of the Akishin show! (Review by Jeanette Fahari)
I have been to Busch Gardens many times and I LOVE it soooooooooooo much! I love riding the rollercoasters. My favorite rollercoaster is Montu, and my second favorite rollercoaster is Kumba. They are the BEST. When my dad gets in the line for the Congo River Rapids, I go and jump on Kumba about three times, then I come back and get in the line with my dad. Busch Gardens Rules!!!!!!!!!(Review by S. Slater)
BUSCH GARDENS WILLIAMSBURG (VA)
I wholeheartedly agree with those who have called this "the most beautiful large theme park in the country". Four terrific coasters here as well... Drachen Fire, a large steel looping coaster that is very fast, the Loch Ness Monster, another steel looping coaster with interlocking loops which frequently takes you out over the water, the Big Bad Wolf, which is the best suspended coaster I've ever ridden, and the newest, Alpengeist, with a snowbeast theme set in a ski resort.
For 2004, Drachen Fire is gone, but Apollo's Chariot and Alpengeist more than make up for it. This remains one of the most beautiful parks you'll find and it's very clean as well. Not only could you spend all day here just shopping in the incredible array of stores, but there are an amazing number of very unique places to eat, themed around the six different country areas within the park. High quality shows are here too, including the Irish Thunder dance show. If you don't mind staying late, the lines for the rides get dramatically shorter after dark, with the exception of Apollo's Chariot which is close to the front of the park.
For 2011... The name has changed back to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, which is actually more fitting, though there is definitely a European theme throughout the park. Big Bad Wolf is gone, and much lamented, but the new Griffon coaster is wonderful, with a first drop that is defniitely a thriller. The Irish dance show is now Celtic Fyre, but still just as good. The Cruse of Darkastle is a fun dark ride near the back of the park, and the new Mach Tower will be a nice addition. A new coaster is coming in 2012, so be sure to stop by this gorgeous park and spend at least a full day if not more.
For 2013, the Verbolten coaster and the Mach Tower are very nice additions to the park. It's still a little tricky navigating the park in a few spots, and at night, at least when I was there, it was horrible, as there were very few lights on to help with finding your way around. The locals seem to be aware of this practice, as many of them had flashlights. It's something to think about, but I've never had a park do that before. This continues to be one of the more beautiful parks as far as landscaping. Now if they'll just get a coaster in the Ireland area...
For 2015, the park is celebrating it's 40th anniversary with lots of events and signage throughout the park that tell the history of various rides and areas. My day started a little late, and after a brief rainshower at the front gate had passed, I made my way to the new coaster, Tempesto... which was closed for repairs. Making my way over to Apollo's Chariot, it's almost my turn to ride when a severe thunderstorm cuts loose. Three hours later, the crowds have thinned out and I manage to get front seat rides on all seven coasters in four hours, finishing up with three front seat rides on Griffon! Tempesto is a fun addition, though a little disappointing that it's designed for only one train. This is still one of the most beautiful parks, with extraordinary landscaping, and the food is fantastic!
CAMDEN PARK (WV)
Small park with quite a few historical items, including the Big Dipper coaster from 1912, badly in need of paint, but still running and still fun. Also home to a shuttle loop coaster formerly at Paramount's Kings Island that is now known as Thunderbolt Express.
For 2012... This traditional style old amusement park has been around since 1903. A few of the buildings are showing their age, but there's a nice collection of rides and attractions here. Thunderbolt Express has been gone for a few years now, but there are still the two older coasters, a train that takes you around a pond with swan boats, a haunted house, and several other attractions.
CANOBIE LAKE PARK (NH)
Open since 1902, this amusment park remains a classic, and it's still quite affordable! The collection of rides offers a nice variety that will appeal to most everyone in the family. What is missing here is much in the way of organization to the rides, though that is often typical of older parks. Just relax and wander the many paths, taking your time to explore what the park has to offer, and you're sure to be pleased. The atmosphere is relaxed and the staff are friendly and willing to help. The park also has a wonderful variety of food to offer, so you're not likely to go hungry here!
For 2014, not many changes, but still plenty of attractions in a park that has a little something for everyone to enjoy. The Untamed coaster is a great addition for those who enjoy the more extreme thrills.
CAROUSEL GARDENS AMUSEMENT PARK (LA) A beautiful city park with various attractions including a small amusement park nestled between some of the larger trees in the park. It's a quiet and relaxed park, though there are family picnics especially around the holidays that can make it a little more difficult to find parking.
Located on the state line, this park is actually located in both North Carolina and South Carolina, an interesting bit of trivia that they should really take advantage of. The Borg Assimilator (formerly Stealth at Paramount's Great America) is a great ride, but get rid of that "no fanny pack" rule! Several other nice coasters and other rides here as well. Though it may be the smallest of the Paramount parks, there is still quite a bit here. The older rides do need some care, and having some shows for a variety of entertainment would be nice. The two major recommendations would be to get rid of the back entrance to the park, and to clean up the area just outside the park grounds. Inside the park is clean, but the maintenance areas just outside are easily visible when you're on the larger rides and look really bad.
For 2011 - A few new rides since my last visit, including the Intimidator hyper-coaster, which is quite nice. The biggest change is the renaming of many of the attractions to fit with Cedar Fair's management after they purchased the park from Paramount. For some reason, they still don't take advantage of the fun they could have with the park sitting on the border of two states. I did notice more dead ends in the park this time, which is a problem at times when you're trying to get from one place to another. Some of the areas outside the park have been cleaned, and inside the park is quite clean. The park could use a couple of live entertainment attractions, and perhaps a ferris wheel.
For 2015, the brand new Fury 325 is a great coaster, and hopefully after this first season people will be able to wait for the seat they want instead of being told where they have to sit. It does not make the line go faster, and I heard complaints not only from people who wanted to sit in the front and couldn't, but from those who had to sit in the front when they didn't want to. That said, one of the great aspects of this new coaster is that it opens up part of the park that wasn't being used, and at the same time adds a very impressive look for the front of the park. Nicely done!
Paramount's Carowinds, smaller than any of its sister parks hosts a pretty good selection of rides. Top Gun an inverted coaster is about the smoothest ride I have ever ridden. Landscaping around this ride is breathtaking and the lines to ride are usually very short. The best thing about this ride is the tunnel of mist near the end of the ride. It really cools you down. And the super saturator inverted coaster fills up with water at the station so you can dump it on the crowds below during your ride. The only thing about this park that has setbacks is that there are more shops in the place where alot more improvment for future rides could be. Overall the park is small in size but for a days getaway its pretty relaxing. (Review by Jodi Jackson)
Paramounts Carowinds is the smallest theme park out of all it's sister parks, though it has some tight rides. The newest coaster the park has is Top Gun, a steel inverted jet coaster, has to be one of my favorite coasters! Also the park includes Vortex, the stand up steel coaster, Thunder Road, the big wooden coaster (this is a cool ride because it has a backward and forward train, I like backward best.) The park also has Carolina Cyclone, an old steel coaster, and Hurler, another smooth wooden coaster. Carowinds also has a tight water park with the one of a kind Flying Super Saturator. On this ride your car comes with about a half a gallon of water. While you are riding you can dump it on the crowd. (This ride always has a huge line!) Carowinds is a great park but is dirty, and a little expensive. Carowinds is great for people who like action- packed roller coasters or for people who like nice gentle rides!!!! (Review by Will Horner)
Carowinds is a great park. The best ride is Top Gun. Going 117 feet in the air, and with 6 inversions it ROCKS! The newest ride is the Ricochet. It's a wild mouse coaster that makes you feel like you're going off the tracks. There is a racing coaster called Thunder Road. (Backwards is best) The Goldrush is a jerky ride, they need to tune it up so it's a smoother ride.There are other great rides like Vortex, Carolinia Cyclone, Hurler, and even a haunted house called Scooby's Haunted Mansion. By far the best non-coaster ride is the Drop Zone. Dropping 180 feet at speeds of 50 MPH, you get an adrenalin rush.There are lots of kiddy rides too. (Review by Ryan Dye)
CASINO PIER (NJ) Rebuilding after the devastating hurricane has been slow, but is going well with lots of new rides and room to continue to grow. Very clean with a friendly and helpful staff, lots of great food, and enough attractions nearby to keep you busy for at least a full day.
CASTLE AMUSEMENT PARK (CA)
This friendly little family park has lots of room to grow and they've already managed to pick up several older rides and props from nearby Knotts' Berry Farm as a less expensive way to expand. As far as coasters, there's a steel family coaster and a kiddie coaster, but there are a number of other small rides and games and a nice carousel. There's a very nice putt-putt golf course with a sizeable arcade next to it. Ghost Blaster has been added to the inside of the arcade, adding to the fun of earning points for arcade prizes. A steel zyklon or boomerang coaster would be a great addition here.
For 2008, not much has changed here in the past few years. It's still a great little family amusmement park. They continue to add smaller rides and focus on appeal to younger children with the exception of the putt-putt golf course and arcade.
For 2009, they've added a wild mouse spinning coaster, which is a great fit for the park! This fun park is a great alternative to the higher-priced parks that are nearby. Plenty of fun for everyone in the family, without the longer lines and higher prices!
CASTLES AND COASTERS (AZ) Make sure it isn't the middle of summer when you visit Arizona's premier amusement park! The word "hot" may take on a new meaning! There are four putt-putt courses laid out here, weaving their way through a maze of castles and palm trees. This is the most attractive section of the park and well-worth a look even if you don't play. Desert Storm is a nice, looping steel coaster and Patriot is the counterpart for the younger set. Not too many other rides, but a large (air conditioned) arcade area is available too.
CEDAR POINT (OH) This is my favorite amusement park! The best collection of coasters in the smallest amount of space... Millenium Force, Mantis, and Raptor is still my favorite. There are loads of coasters here, but they also have live shows, a laser light show at night, a museum, and a great staff. If you love coasters and have never been here, you simply MUST find a way to get to this park. You won't regret it! For more info about my yearly excursions to this park, click on the year you are interested in. 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
I was blown away by this park. The coaster experience was unbelievable. We stayed in the park for a week. The drive in was thrilling. You go under around and by nothing but coasters it really gets you in the mood to have fun. I recommend that if you like coasters you try this at least once in your lifetime. The park was clean well managed. Any time I saw popcorn on the ground or an area where any service was lacking, in came the people with clipboards to rectify the problem. This was the first week of July and you know they must have a lot of people there, but the park just absorbed them. Lines were not bad, service was good and the place was clean... real clean. I really liked the fact that they had antibacterial wash stations outside each bathroom. This is like a liquid soap that you use to kill germs but don't need to use water. You rub it in and it dries and your hands feel clean dry and not tacky. Real cool since thousands of people will be handling the same rails, lap bars and seatbelts that you will. They also have a museum of the parks history that's pretty good. There is a petting zoo that I was not too impressed with. It needed to be upgraded and put in a quite area . This is one thing I would of liked to see greatly improved. My wife is an animal nut, and who doesn't like animals. There are lots of rides other than coasters and we tried to do them all, but we still after a week at a slow pace, did not. Over all it was the best time of my life and will be hard to top. If anyone knows a better park I would like to try it. (Review by Brian Aroniss)
Cedar Point in Ohio is the best place to go and ride rollar coasters. The Raptor was the best, it had so many turns, twisted, up side down, drops, and loops that you had the time of your life on it. They have the best rollar coasters there, but whatever you do, don't go there in May! It is so cold, especially if you go on the water rides when it's like 30 degress outside! (Review by NW)
This Is about Cedar Point... 16 Coasters! If you already know the thrill rides are great, you can't even pass on the gentle rides! They have go karts and lots of shops and stalls. There's a water park and a little kiddy park. Here are what the rides are like... First, THE IRON DRAGON - Great warm up ride with lots of turns. Then, the WILD CAT roller coaster, like IRON DRAGON, great warm up ride. Now on to Blue Streak, old but very fun. Now to my favorite, THE MAGNUM XL200 - not much to say, but if you TLC, Magnum won first place for steel rollar coastar! MEAN STREAK - one word to describe it - jerky! Now, THE MANTIS very fun, you stand up, huge loops, long line, but its worth it! GEMINI race to the finish! THE MILLENNIUM FORCE - Can you feel the force? Well, you will if you ride it! And many more! Cedar Point is the best! (Review by T. Frederick)
I've been to Disney World, Universal Studios, EPCOT, Islands of Adventure, and a few other small parks (in case you want to know what I'm comparing this to). Cedar Point is not a theme park, but an amusement park. I am convinced Cedar Point is the best park in the world for thrill, which is why it never loses its appeal to repeat visitors. Disney is charming, but this is thrilling making it ideal for teenagers and young adults (although I have been going ever since the 5th grade). Because of the quantity of rides, it's difficult to hit them all, so that's why they're arranged like this. I'm not including content you can find on the cedar point website! It might be useful to have it open at the same time. Reviews of major rides: DON'T MISS ::Millenium Force:: Arguably the BEST coaster in the park (and hence, the world). It's my favorite, it's a close tie with the next two. The semi-quick ascent is terrifying as you wonder just when the train will stop climbing into the sky. The anticipation and thrill is there, and the first hill (310 feet) is exhilarating and long. The ride is smooth, fast, not painful, and leaves everyone with a huge smile on their face. It's difficult to do it justice with this review. The rush leaves everyone with all adrenaline and no headache. ::Raptor:: This ride is thrilling with less of a fear factor. It's smooth and easy to feel safe in, comfortable and fast. This ride is easily loved by everyone, and probably the most FUN ride in the park. I like the format of this ride alot, you ride underneath the track sitting down, and your feet dangle. ::Top Thrill Dragster:: This ride is the BEST THRILL in the park. Even though I went on it last year, I was still terrified this year. It's hard to watch the coaster as a spectator, it's hard to make your EYES move that fast. From the roaring engines right before the blast-off to the acceleration up to 120 mph, soaring up 420 feet into the air, you literally don't have time to think. All that your body is capable of at this point is pure, unadulterated thrill. Afterwards, all you wanna do is ride again, just to get that thrill. Tallest and fastest coaster in the world. ::Magnum:: This is like a smaller, older version of the Millenium. Same thrills, on a smaller scale. Worth it for the next to nothing amount of time you'll have to wait to get on it. Still scary. ::Snake River Falls:: Steep water ride with a huge splash. You are guaranteed to get soaked on this, great for a hot day. Thrilling and cooling. ::Thunder Canyon:: A fun waterfall, "who's gonna get wet?" ride. You get soaked if you're lucky. Definitely useful on a hot summer Ohio day. DEFINITELY CHECK OUT ::Mantis:: Thrilling stand-up coaster, although the position is a bit painful. Your head might hit your harness and the blood rushes to your feet, so it produces a slight headache. Still fun, though. Fast and loopy. ::Gemini:: Dual coasters. This ride is smoother than its wooden counterpart, the Mean Streak. Expect to never wait in line for this ride. Fun and thrilling. You can race your friends! ::MaxAir:: The new ride for 2005 is not as lame as it looks! You never really can tell where you're headed for next, and I saw the sky from positions I never have before. It really was fun. ::Wicked Twister:: It's fun, but not terribly thrilling. It's interesting to try. ::Disaster Transport:: This indoor coaster looks like a manufacturing plant from the outside. The wait line is air-conditioned and blacklit, but the ride is old, with cheesy design. This short ride is worth the dark scare and the air-conditioning. ::The Iron Dragon:: Relaxing ride. Good way to break in the day, comfy, smooth, with nice scenery and refreshing mist. No lines. Not scary. ONLY IF YOU HAVE TIME ::Mean Streak:: This rickety, old wooden coaster is a Cedar Point classic, but pretty painful. You probably wanna skip it if you have a bad back. Thrilling, but almost not worth the pain. ::White Water Landing:: Every water ride is worth it. Another way to cool down, minimal splash. Log Flume. Like I said, nothing special, only if time permits. ::Power Tower:: Some love this ride, but I say that it's not as fun as it is really scary, especially for the terrified of heights. I rode the Dragster, and the Power Tower is difficult to handle. I had to close my eyes and say a prayer. You can go Up or Down, I chose down, but Up's just as bad.... sitting there on the launch pad, there's not much of a warning as to when you'll go soaring into the air. ::Corkscrew:: A CP classic, some think its twists and turns are fun, but I think it gives me a headache. ::The Mine Ride:: A good kiddie ride disguised as a roller coaster, it even slows on the descent so you can hear the high-pitched screams behind you. Nonetheless, a fun ride. ::Demon Drop:: A shorter, older version of the Power Tower. Right next to the entrance, it's a classic. (Review by Natalie)
CELEBRATION STATION (FL) An indoor arcade, with outdoor amusement park rides, a go-kart track, and miniature golf, and there's still a little room to grow! The staff here are very friendly and helpful, ready to make your stop at the station a fun time. Most of the rides are for the younger crowd, but there's plenty here for everyone.
CELEBRATION STATION (LA) The emphasis here is on the miniature golf and go-karts with batting cages, an arcade, and three small amusement rides. With so few of them, there isn't much draw, and the space might be better used to have another go-kart track.
CENTRAL PARK FUNLAND (VA) This arcade park has quite a few rides as well as a party area and plenty of arcade games. With the mall right next door, it's a great place to stop by before or after the shopping trip to keep the little ones happy. It does get a little noisy here, but the staff are helpful and friendly.
CHEROKEE FUN PARK (NC) Small amusement park near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There's a very nice multi-tiered go-kart track, putt-putt golf, a small arcade and a few rides for children. Very clean, but definitely needs more rides to help draw in more people.
CLEMENTON AMUSEMENT PARK (NJ)
Home of a 1919 Jack Rabbit coaster, this is a park that has a unique mix of old and new. Taking the train around the park gives you a good idea of this. The location is a little odd, but like several other older parks, the town has simply grown around the park, which leaves it in a neighborhood sort of area. It's a fun little park and the staff love to talk about amusement parks and coasters.
For 2008... Clementon Amusement Park looks quite a bit different than it did a few years ago, but much of the small-town appeal is still present. Jack Rabbit is gone, though you can still see it's footprint, and a little train will take you on part of the old course. A clean park with a friendly staff that is a bit more commercial than it used to be, but still a nice park.
I live right around the corner from Clementon Park. Me and my step brother both have season passes and go there as often as possible. The food there is pretty good, for being simple stuff such as pizza, fries, hot dogs, hamburgers and of course cotton candy and funnel cake. The rides there are original, some of them have been there since the early 1900's. The famous Jack Rabbit is still in service after the accident a summer or so ago. The Clementon Belle, is one of the lighter rides at the park. The electric powered ferry boat takes you for a tour of the historic lake. This year they have added four new rides. The best being Inverter, which is the first upside down ride in the park. If you did not know already, inverter is like the Falling Star, except it tips more and more as it goes up until it is completly upside down. Besides the thrill rides they also have a kiddie section set aside, along with a petting zoo. Company picnics are a real big thing at the park too. They get a private picnic site with free food and private basket ball, and volleyball courts. If you take a ride on the parks mini train, you can see this all. Another big thing in the park is the water park. Recently built, Clementon Park also has two sets of water slides. One is a wide slide that you go down in a tube, then sudden drops and turns along with the over head sprayers at the end. The other set are two side by side enclosed slides that again, you go down in a tube. The complete darkness adds to the excitement as you take sudden turns and go off small drops. If water slides aren't your thing, they also have a concrete river about 3 feet deep that goes around the whole water park. You float around slowly in an oversized tube, giving you a tour of the whole water park. (Review by AJ Labinski)
CLIFF'S AMUSEMENT PARK (NM) Taking advantage of every square foot of space, this park is packed with rides! I managed to get the first ride of the day on the New Maxico Rattler, a very nice coaster, and the staff here are helpful, have fun working here, and want you to have fun too. It's a very clean park, and growing nicely, with the new Water Mania this year, and plans for a new coaster in the adjacent lot next year.
COMO TOWN (MN) Downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota is home to a beautiful and very large park called Como Park. The park itself offers a number of wonderful opportunities for families, including a small amusement park next to a zoo. The staff are friendly and helpful and the park is very clean, even on a busy day. The collection of rides is focused on the younger crowd, but especially with the zoo so close, makes a nice mix of quiet and noisy activities for families.
CONEY ISLAND AMUSEMENT PARK (OH)
Right next to River Downs and the Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati is the old Coney Island Amusment Park. Speaking of "river", the 1997 flood in this area almost completely submerged the park. It has recovered quite nicely though and is a pretty and clean little park with a large picnic area, a friendly staff, and a nice collection of rides for the younger crowd. A nice addition here would be a dark ride. I was also able to watch one of the shows while I was here, a medley of Broadway showtunes performed by the Showbiz Kids of Lousiville, Kentucky - nice job!
For 2009... The big new addition here is the huge four chute waterslide, Twister. As with many parks, the water section seems to be growing quite a bit. It's a wonderful look into the past and a tribute to the spirit of the area that this park is still going strong. Well worth a visit if you're in the area.
CONNEAUT LAKE PARK (PA)
Tucked back into a nearly forgotton corner of Pennsylvania, this is a pretty and friendly little park that offers quite a bit for a remarkably low price. There is an extra charge for their mini-zoo and it is rather inconvenient to need tokens to pay for food instead of cash. The Blue Streak is a rough coaster, but with plenty of energy. Filled with typical small park rides, this is definitely worth a look. The locals are really hoping the park makes it as it went bankrupt in 1994 and didn't open again until late in the 1996 season.
For 2011... Conneaut continues to struggle to stay open. Money was raised during 2010 to do some much needed repair to the Blue Streak, but once grand park now has many rides that are silent and many building that are rapidly deteriorating. The staff are friendly, and while the park is definitely not dirty, it's age gives it a dingy appearance that will take more than a fresh coat of paint to deal with. It would be a shame to lose this park, so stop by, donate, and enjoy it now.
CRANMORE MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE PARK (NH) In the beautiful mountains on New Hampshire, this park is a fairly new addition, but has already established itself with a number of attractions. As well as a nice mountain coaster, there is a zip line, giant swing, climbing towers, a bungy trampoline, and more. There's plenty of room to grow, and a new resort hotel is already underway.
CYPRESS GARDENS (FL)
This was the first theme park for Florida, established in 1936. A relaxed and peaceful pace permeate the park. The botanical garden area is too beautiful for words to express. The water ski show that has been entertaining people for decades is still here, as are the boat cruises around the lake. There are also areas for a butterfly conservatory, bird, reptile and mammal
display areas, some of which offer opportunities to interact with the animals and their keepers. There is also a museum of Cypress Gardens' history and one with a large number of antique radios. Cypress Junction is here too, billed as the nation's most elaborate model railroad exhibit. The Moscow on Ice figure skating show was a little disappointing, but the jugglers, clowns and other entertainers of Variete Internationale made
up for it. They also have a small ride area for children.
This beautiful and historic park closed in April 2003, although there is talk that the state of Florida is interested in purchasing it.
For 2007, the ride area has been expanded to help draw in business, though the success of that approach is hard to determine at this point. Most of the park's beautiful scenery remains, though the ride expansion did remove some of it. The real treat is still the ski show, a part of Cypress Gardens that is still known around the world.
DARIEN LAKE (NY) A clean and well-organized park, though the map isnt very helpful. The Mind Eraser inverted coaster is similar to other two-seat inverted coasters, but has added the elements of a mist spray and swinging riders out over water... nice additions! The wooden Predator coaster really needs tuning up as it rattles and beats one up throughout the whole ride. The park is home to an absolutely huge Giant Wheel that gives a great view of the park (and quite a bit around it) including the various little lakes in the park that make it a very scenic park.
DEADWOOD (NC) This little park out in the country near the coast of North Carolina is known more for being a local nightlife hotspot and for it's restaurant, which serves VERY good food at VERY reasonable prices. The staff are friendly here, and the atmosphere is relaxed and casual. There are only a few smaller rides, but there is a nice miniature golf course, and a train, both with a wild west theme, as the name of the park suggests.
DEER FOREST FUN PARK (MI) This park opened in 1949 and is for the most part a petting zoo and wooded picnic area. There are only four rides, including a train ride around the park. Most of the animals are quite friendly and tend to follow you around as much as they can. The atmosphere is very casual here and it's a peaceful and relaxing park in a quite community.
DELGROSSO'S AMUSEMENT PARK (PA)
Small, family-style park that began as a farm where a carnival would entertain the local populace in 1907. It has slowly grown over the years into a pleasant little park that still offers a variety of entertainment options. Great food, a steel zyklon coaster and lots of rides for the younger ones. The real highlight here is the carousel that dates back to 1924, complete with a Wurlitzer organ that was restored in 1977-78. My visit to this park was while it was still known as Bland's Park, but
I hope to visit again soon.
For 2012... Now with a waterpark, go-kart track, and miniature golf on one side of the highway and the main park on the other, there's quite a bit to do here. Many of the old rides are still here, but there are new ones as well. It's a very clean and brightly decorated park, and the mix of old and new works well. The park does seem a little crowded in a few spots, but there's lots of room to grow on the waterpark side.
For 2013, Nothing new, but I needed to stop by and catch a ride on the Crazy Mouse coaster that was down for maintenance when I was here last year. Even for a quick stop, this is a great little park, with a nice, relaxed atmosphere and a helpful and friendly staff that made my brief stop a pleasure.
DENO'S WONDER WHEEL PARK (NY)
Situated next to Astroland, this doesn't really feel like it's a different park. The two sort of just blend together in the carnival atmosphere of the area. The centerpiece of Deno's is the ferris wheel which gives a wonderful view of the surrounding area. You can almost see those old rides that made this one of the world's best known amusement areas.
For 2012... While Deno's has been around for quite awhile, it now finds itself sandwiched between two parts of Luna Park. It's a little confusing at first, as you need different tickets for the different parks, but there are plenty of fun rides, and several ticket booths around. There's also a very nice section for the littlest riders in the crowd. The Wonder Wheel still gives a great look at the area, which is much more active now.
Don't let anyone tell you that Disneyland is just for kids, it just isn't true! There are a variety of rides that will appeal to all ages, including four roller coasters. Several dark rides are present as well, though most aren't scary. The Haunted Mansion is terrific, and it's great to see so many of the older attractions that still remain. Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Matterhorn Bobsleds... so many classic rides that have been around for ages. All are well maintained and worth riding, and the newer rides like the Indiana Jones Adventure and Splash Mountain are loads of fun too. The park is amazingly clean and the staff are definitely among the most friendly and helpful that you'll find anywhere. Plenty of shops and places to eat are scattered throughout the park, and you're bound to bump into some costumed Disney characters as you walk around. And there's a parade or two through the park almost every day! For 2001... the rocket cars are gone, but otherwise, things remain the same. The real focus this year was on the new California Adventure park next door. For 2002... rather strange that with the Country Bears movie out, the attraction is closed. With this being the 100th anniversary of Walt Disney's birth (December 5, 1901), I would have expected a major new attraction, but no such luck. They really do need to add a couple of rides to add to the variety for returning visitors. The FastPass system is clearly a benefit in a park like this that stays so busy. For 2003... Space Mountain is closed until 2005, but this area needs at least one more new ride in addition to that. The new Winnie the Pooh ride is nice, and was much needed. Sure would be nice of the food places were actually marked on the map, but at least the staff are all very friendly and helpful.
For 2008...Not much has changed here in the last few years. In some ways that's disappointing, but they do it so well, that it's hard to find fault with it. Good luck finding a day when the park isn't busy! The only thing that made the lines shorter during my last visit was an earthquake... and even then, a couple of hours later, the lines were back to their original length!
DISNEY'S CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE (CA) Right across from the entrance to Disneyland is Disney's California Adventure. It's interesting that the publicity for this park focuses on the attractions for the older crowd of amusement park visitors. Both parks have much that appeals to all ages, though there is definitely less for the younger crowd here. There is Bug's Land, although the live show "It's Tough to Be a Bug" is a bit intense for the younger ones. The Muppets 3D is a better option for them. Soaring Over California is definitely fun, though the editing of the film that is used is somewhat rough. The Paradise Pier area is where most of the action is, with the California Screamin' and Mulholland Madness coasters and lots of other rides, games, and stores in the area. At the other end of the park, and a great way to finish the day... the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror! And it wouldn't be Disney without the parade that marks the end of the day. With acres and acres of growth space, this park has plenty of potential for more fun attractions to come our way.
DIXIE LANDIN' (LA)
Very clean and attractive little amusement park with nice landscaping although it's still fairly new and many of the plants are still small. The rides are spaced very well. making it easy to get around and leaving plenty of room for future growth. Standard boomerang and steel zyklon coasters are here, along with an assortment of other rides and games and a train ride that takes you around the park. There's also a magic show and live music from time to time as well. A family-size wooden coaster would make a great addition...
For 2013, although there's no wooden coaster yet, the park has grown quite a bit, and two new steel coasters are here as well as the Blue Bayou Water Park area. It's a very relaxing park to walk around, and even with the additional rides, there's still room to grow. Maybe a dark ride lies in the future...
Beautiful amusement park nestled in the hills of Tennessee, with a wide assortment of rides that will offer something for everyone's pleasure. The surrounding area offers quite a bit of top quality entertainment for families, but Dollywood has plenty to compete with that as well. With some of the most elaborately staged productions for any amusement park, and plenty of industry awards for their efforts, the shows here are not to be missed! It's also great to see a multi-generational staff that have so much fun working together. The staff do a great job keeping the place clean, and offering a great variety of fabulous food as well. Another wooden coaster would be a great addition!
For 2012, the brand new Wild Eagle wing coaster is a great addition to the park, as is the very fun and very different Gazillion Bubble show! The train ride is a very nice way to get a look at quite a bit of the park and hear lots of history about it too. Dolly's Museum is full of memoribilia and provides an interesting look at the life of a country music legend. The wonderful staff here, make any trip to this beautiful park a pleasure!
For 2014, Firechaser Express is the new coaster, and great new addition to the park! The Dreamland Drive-In show has been reworked a little and is not the better for it. Gazillion Bubbles is still quite fun, though with a different bubble artist. The park continues to be very clean and the employees are among the most friendly you'll find.
Get wild in the woods with rides and entertainment in Tennessee's fun packed 118 acres of smoky mountain fun. Thrilling rides include the Tennessee Tornado, a steel coaster with a 110 foot high spiro loop, Daredevil falls, America's highest waterfall ride, The Mountain Slidewinder, rated the #1 non-coaster ride in America, and the Blazing Fury indoor rollercoaster, my all time favorate ride. Dollywood also offers a showcase of stars, eight spectacular shows, old fashoned master craftsmen , an eagle sanctuary, Dolly Parton museum, southern gospel museum, a 5 mile scenic steam train and one of the best bumper cars in the nation. Dollywood is one of America's most beautiful parks and offers a lot of nice shows for the seniors. (Review by Dr. Michael E. Schmidt)
DORNEY PARK (PA)
Although this park opened in 1884, it retains little of that look. Since Cedarfair assumed ownership in 1997 and installed the "Steel Force" coaster, this park will be one to watch. They have plenty of room to grow and there are lots of staff talking about hopes for an inverted or stand-up coaster in the park's near future. The staff is very friendly here too, and the park is kept quite clean. It's also one of the few parks that has maintained a price that gives you a great value... and therefore, a desire to return soon.
For 2013, this park has grown quite a bit since my last visit and there are so many more fun things to do! The food service seems to be struggling with how to keep up with how much busier the park is now, and the paint could use some attention in several areas. As part of the great collection of rides here, this is one of the very few parks where you'll find not one, but two trains, both quite fun.
DUTCH WONDERLAND FAMILY FUN PARK (PA) Nice, small, and very family friendly park. There are quite a variety of rides here and the staff is very helpful and friendly. My favorite, of course, was the Sky Princess roller coaster, a nice, moderate wooden coaster that is definitely one of the feature attractions. There is also a fun diving show and a monorail and a beautiful garden area with boat rides available. The food here is very nice and not too expensive. The park has been rated as one of the top five children's parks in the country. Another kiddie coaster would easily move them up even farther on the list.
This park is in Lancaster, PA and it's part owned by Hershey Park (which is not to far from here). The souvenir shop which is the entrance is shaped like a castle! It's a great family park with adult and kiddie rides. The ticket prices are reasonable and you can have a chose of wearing a little paper wrist band as an all day pass or buying a bunch of tickets for each ride you get on. Go for the all day passes (it's not expensive), so if you get there early enough you can ride a cool little wooden coaster over and over again, I recommend the front seat! It's the only coaster in the park besides a kiddie coaster that swings you in a little circle (fun for the kids hint the Family park). The chair lift, sort of like a ski lift, is really cool it takes you from one side of the park to the other, even though the walk isn't that hard of a hike, and you can look down to see the animals that are fenced in around the park. If your not into having your feet dangle while being carried to the other side of the park, they also have a monorail which is pretty cool but it goes around the parking lot more then the park, i must say i like the chairlift. Oh, they have a Garden across the bridges that is beautiful, while your over there hop on one of the paddle boats. Live entertainment too, they have a diving act in the middle of the park very neat to see, and you might get splashed if you sit close enough! There is the typical amusement water tube rides and for very little kids they have a small splash park, this is a new addition so it's not one of the more exciting things to do in this quiet park. If you do decide on visiting this park you must have the funnel cake with the powdered sugar (if you never heard or tasted funnel cake you'll see signs and this is the place to try some it's very good), as your eating you can walk along the riverside maybe even see the fair boat (which you can ride), also plenty of trees, and neat carved statues, but be careful there are geese along the river! Enjoy and have fun! (Review by Jenn D)
ELITCH GARDENS (CO)
One of the prettiest little parks I've seen, and it's doing well in the new location, just outside downtown Denver. Be sure to catch the old carousel and the new Twister II coaster which serve as bookends to the park. The best part of the park is the live entertainment. There are several shows here, the best of which was the lumberjack show that was so much fun I watched it twice! In fact, it has been popular enough that they've
continued to keep it around. It's a unique and very entertaining show!
For 2001, more rides and less scenery. The lumberjack show is gone now, and the park seems very full, almost to the point of congestion. The Gotham City Carnival of Chaos show is less interesting than most Batman shows at Six Flags parks, but the Broadway Rhythm show was nice.
For 2012, other than the new Half Pipe coaster, not a great deal has changed here, and a number of the coasters could use a fresh coat of paint. The park is very clean, which isn't always easy for a downtown park to do, and the kids section is very good, with quite a few rides. The Cirque Innosta Verano show is a wonderful addition, with each act better than the one preceeding it and a very entertaining mix of acrobatics and comedy.
(This review is of Elitch Gardens in its original location and before it was a Six Flags park)
Now defunct and moved into downtown Denver, this was considered one of the best amusement parks in Colorado.Home to the world famous John Allen masterpiece, the outstanding "Mister Twister" and also home to the Herbert Shmeck "Wildcat". Both of these coasters are now down along with the amusement park. This was a very traditional amusement park with lights and some art deco, like its once biggest rival, Lakeside Amusement Park. Elitch's, with its famous carousel built in 1925 was moved to the new location. Unfortunetly, the only coaster Elitch's brought with them to their new location was the sidewinder shuttle loop coaster. October 1st 1994 was the last day of operation for this 104 year old amusement park as the Mister Twister and Wildcat trains left the station and lifted patrons into the sky for one last time. Over 1200 people jammed into the Gardens that day to say goodbye to the 104 year old park, and John Allens famous Twister and Herbert Shmecks wonderful Wildcat. Besides its sister, the outstanding TwisterII at the new Elitch site, there is a new coaster where Twister fans can twist again on the Knoebals Twister in Elysburg Pennsylvania. (Review by Chris Smith)
ENCHANTED FOREST (IL) Not just an indoor arcade and amusement park, Enchanted Forest also includes a fairly large number of inflatable rides and activities in a section just outside the building. Inside the building, the theme is more evident, though it also means that it's rather dark. It's also rather noisy, which isn't like a forest. This is primarily a companion piece to Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort next door, and works well as a place to take the kids for an afternoon.
THE ENCHANTED FOREST (OR) Beautiful little park with lots of old growth trees. The park has lots of hills, though most of the walkways do have railings to hold onto, which helps. There's a very fun fairytale and nursery rhyme area for the younger crowd, and a unique logride/roller coaster as well as the Ice Mountain Bobsled. It's not really a bobsled ride, but it's very different and fun. The staff enjoy working here and are very friendly and helpful.
FAMILY KINGDOM AMUSEMENT PARK (SC)
Home of the Swamp Fox wooden roller coaster, a very nice coaster with a great name as well! The staff here are very friendly and used to dealing with the large number of tourists that come to this area. There are quite a few rides here, including a nice double-decker carousel, but there's still plenty of room for growth. Across the street is the Family Kingdom Water Park, which you might need to visit on some of those really hot days.
For 2013, this continues to be a great place to bring the family and spend a few hours. The staff are very friendly, and the park continues to be very clean. The new Pistolero Roundup is a great dark ride target shoot ride with a western theme, and the new Twist and Shout coaster is a nice addition as well.
FANTASY FOREST (NY) In a wooded section of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which is New York City's 2nd largest park, and homw to two World's Fairs, lies Fantasy Forest. A small park with a focus on the younger set, featuring a carousel and a small coaster along with a few other rides. It's an interesting mix of NYC's past and present, and a nice place to get away from the rest of the crowded city.
FANTASY ISLAND AMUSEMENT PARK (NJ) Small, but very fun park with a focus on the younger crowd. A nice collecton of rides, including a ferris wheel, rolelr coaster, and a train, as well as some fun games. Unlike most amusment parks near the beach, there is plenty of free parking nearby. And the tokens here? Take a trip back to days of amusment parks in years past, with metal tokens rather than paper tickets! It's a nice touch that older adults are perhaps more likely to appreciate than the rest.
FORT JEFFERSON FUN PARK (NH) Recently renamed, this was formerly known as Six Gun City. Even with the new name, it seems that there should be more western-themed rides and gun or target shooting games of chance. The staff are friendly and helpful, and the food is wonderful. Hopefully the new management will help this park grow.
FRONTIER CITY (OK)
The Wildcat coaster was moved here from a park in Kansas some time ago and has seen its better days. In fact, the crew had to push the train out of the station to get it going! Talk about a little extra thrill to your ride... it made you wonder what would happen on those hills out in the distance! It's wonderful that the coaster is still around, but one hopes that they'll be able to tune it up a little and rekindle the spark the old girl had so many years ago. The Treasure Mountain haunted house ride is pretty good with several nice effects. The Wild West stunt show was horrible, full of bad jokes and poor performances by the stunt men, in contrast, the Gilded Garter Revue was quite good and located inside with refreshments nearby, made for a nice part of my visit here.
For 2001, not much has changed here as far as the rides, though the Wildcat has been computerized and seems to be running a little better, though it is sad to see the old handbrake go. The Gun Fight Street Show was a little better, which makes the shows here a nice part of your visit to the park.
For 2013, several new rides here now, including the fun Steel Lasso coaster and the little Wild Kitty coaster for the little ones. Quite a bit of great new landscaping here too, which is nice as it adds some shade and comfort to the park which definitely gets hot in the summer. It's great to see the western stunt show is still here, and just as much fun as ever. And if the heat gets to be too much, and you can't find enough shade, there's a new Wild West Waterworks area that should help! A laser tag dark ride would be a fun addition here.
THE FUN CENTER AT PAIGE'S CROSSING (IN) Small park in rural Indiana with miniature golf, go-karts, batting cages, an arcade, and several smaller rides for the younger crowd. The layout of the park is a bit unusual, with parts overlapping others and the place to purchase tickets not well marked. Still, there's plenty of fun to be had here, including a small coaster and it's a very clean park.
FUN FORE ALL (PA) Nice indoor arcade and play area with a half dozen smaller amusement park rides outside. There's also a very nice two-course miniature golf course and a go-kart track. The staff are very friendly and helpful here, and the park prides itself on keeping clean and being family friendly, and they do a graet job on both counts.
FUN FOREST (WA)
Wrapped around the Space Needle and the monorail, this park mostly consists of kiddie rides. There is a steel zyklon coaster that has a twist similar to the Hurricane of Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and there's a nice gondola wheel too. Lots of eateries nearby, an arcade area, and a small park which is occasionally the site of concerts. So, even though the park itself is geared toward the younger crowd, it's a nice area with something that will interest most everyone.
For 2007, there's been some renovation work and the park has grown a little, adding a few more rides for the teenage crowd. There has also been quite a bit of growth related to other attractions around the Space Needle. It's an interesting mix of carnival and tourist attraction that has a little something for everyone.
FUN JUNCTION USA (GA) Formerly known as Dixieland Fun Park, and with a few of the old Dixieland signs still around, this park has one of the largest arcade and party room areas I've ever seen! There are also go-kart tracks, miniature golf, a coaster, and a zip line that's included in the price of an all day pass, as is one go-kart ride. There's plenty of room to grow, with the park actually looking a little bare in a few spots, and they could use some "greening up" as there is quite a bit of bare concrete for a park of this size.
FUN-PLEX (NE) Most of the rides in this park are for the younger family members, though there is a steel zyklon coaster that has a few thrills in store for those who want to try it. The waterpark area offers some relief from the heat of summer, and there's also a go-kart track, and miniature golf as well as a small arcade and a party room. The staff are very friendly and happy to help make sure you have a great time.
FUN SPOT AMERICA (Kissimmee, FL)
Adjacent to Old Town in Kissimmee is this rapidly growing park. With a small lake as a centerpiece, there's a multi-level go-kart track, two coasters, a sizeable arcade, and a number of other rides. The staff are very friendly and helpful and everything looks almost brand new, even though the park has been here for awhile.
For 2015, the park drops the name Fun Spot USA in favor of Fun Spot America and becomes a sister park to the one in Orlando. This one is slightly smaller, but just as clean and well-maintained. It's a very nice, and quite affordable alternative to some of those huge parks with long lines and over-priced everything.
FUN SPOT AMERICA (Orlando, FL) Originally called Fun Spot Action Park, this is now a sister park to the Fun Spot America in Kissimmee. For the moment (in 2015), they can boast that they are home to the only wooden coaster in Orlando. It's a very nice GCI out and back and well worth the stop. There are two other coasters here, and quite a few other rides. This is no mega-park, but it's affordable, fun, and the lines are quite a bit shorter! Very clean, and the staff are friendly and helpful.
FUN SPOT AMUSEMENT PARK (IN) This combination amusement park and zoo may be small, but there's quite a bit here. Lots of rides for the smaller kids, two coasters that run quite well, though they could use some paint, lots of games, and a nice variety of animals. It's a favorite spot for local groups to gather and there's quite a bit of land nearby that would allow for expansion at some point.
FUN STOP FAMILY ACTION PARK (TN) The traffic along Parkview, where this park is located in Pigeon Forge, moves very slowly because there are so many different things to do. Museums, performances, restaurants, go-kart tacks, arcades... and Fun Stop, with a ride area that's called Fun Spot. There are go-kart tracks here too, and a handful of amusement park rides, mostly for the younger crowd, including a small coaster. It's a very clean little park, and if you're in the area, make sure this is one of your stops... or spots.
FUN TOWN AT MICKE GROVE (CA) Next to the Micke Grove Regional Zoo is Fun Town, a small amusement park with around a dozen rides for the younger crowd. There's quite a bit of picnic area nearby as well, and some playground equipment too. It makes for a fairly good variety of entertainment options for the day, and the staff are friendly and helpful too.
FUN WORLD (NH) Quite a few fun attractions here, not the least of which is the absolutely huge arcade area. There's also a very nice carousel, a small coaster, and a himalaya ride. With several bowling lanes and a nice restaurant, it's easy to spend several hours here having lots of fun. Very clean, though it does get rather noisy when it gets busy.
FUNLAND (DE) This little park in Delaware may not have a coaster, but it has one of the best haunted house rides in the country. Located near the downtown area, this is a fun little park that is very popular with the residents and makes for a nice place to stop if you're in the area.
FUNPLEX (NJ) It's easy to see why this park took top honors in 2011 with the IAPAA for Family Entertainment Centers. It's clean, and friendly with lots of activities for everyone. There are several mid-size rides here inlcuing a crazy mouse coaster, miniature golf, go-karts, an arcae with great high-end prizes, and twelve lanes of bowling! Several nice party rooms are available, and there are water rides when you want to cool off. Very nice!
FUNTASTICKS (AZ) This arcade park also features laser tag, which is a nice variation. There are a nice variety of smaller rides for children outside, so as long as the weather is nice, which it usually is in New Mexico, there's plenty to keep everyone interested for awhile.
FUNTOWN USA (ME)
Nice, clean, friendly smaller amusement park in southern Maine. In 1998, they expanded the park and added a very nice section with a medieval theme and the very nice wooden coaster, Excalibur. There's a good deal of picnic area included in the park and Splashtown, a small waterpark can easily be included in the admission. This is the only park I'm aware of that not only includes a free game of putt-putt golf, but also two rides on their Grand Prix Racers. Perhaps more parks could learn from this and offer a free ride or two on their go-cart tracks. Live entertainment is available most days on a stage area near the front of the park as well. Also of note here is that the food is very reasonably priced and there's a nice variety of food considering the size of the park. There's still a good bit of room to grow here and it would be nice to see a large ferris wheel and either a mid-size steel coaster or another wooden one.
For 2014, the park has grown a little since my last visit, and continues to have a nice variety of rides with room to have more. Excalibur still delivers a very fun ride, and the park not only has a friendly staff who keep it clean, but there's a relaxed atmosphere that makes it quite enjoyable.
GALVESTON ISLAND HISTORIC PLEASURE PIER (TX) Very clean and well-maintained pier park that offers a nice variety of rides and food. There's a great concert stage here which offers some great concerts throughout the season. It would be great to see this park either extend the pier or expand on the shore side to be able to offer even more entertainment options.
GATLINBURG MOUNTAIN COASTER (TN) Gatlinburg is an area of Tennessee with quite a number of attractions to keep you busy for days or even weeks. Many of these attractions are single activity locations, and this is one of those. One of the niceer aspects of this particular mountain coaster is that part of it is very visible from the road, which helps draw attention to it. One of four in the area, and a nice addition to the variety of attractions.
GEAUGA LAKE (OH)
Across the lake from Sea World of Ohio lies Geauga Lake, a beautiful old park with two classic coasters from the 1920s. "Raging Wolf Bobs" and "Big Dipper" still provide plenty of thrills, though the brand new inverted "Serial Thriller" tends to draw more of the younger crowd. Most of the water rides are situated next to the lake, but there are plenty of dry rides here too. A classic old carousel with wooden horses still thrills the younger crowd, and the staff are very friendly and helpful. Take a couple of days and spend them at the parks on either side of the lake named Geauga, Sea World of Ohio, and the classic Geauga Lake.
It's 2000 and the park has not only taken the Six Flags name, but added four new coasters, several other new rides, and the bright and colorful Looney Tunes Boomtown! Batman Knight Flight is an amazing "floorless" coaster that manages to have speed, smoothness, airtime, and plenty of kick. And the Superman Ultimate Escape is a real treat for coaster and thrill ride fans too - much more fun than its California counterpart. The Villain, a steel-framed wooden coaster and Roadrunner Express, a smaller family coaster round out the list of new coasters, but the park has plenty of other rides and games too. What with Sea World across the lake and Cedar Point just an hour away, this is a great area to spend a few days!
Six Flags Worlds of Adventure is one of the greatest amusement parks in Ohio, next to the Point (Cedar Point). Only 3 years ago it was Geauga Lake and had 5 coasters. Now it has 10, including the new X-Flight, Batman, Superman, and Serial Thriller. Batman is the longest floorless coaster that sits above the track, lasting 4:03. The Superman is one of a kind. It shoots you out of the station at 70 mph and then you go straight up and twist, then back down through the station and back up another tower till you're facing straight down and then back through the station and up again and repeat the process. Then, on the brand new X-Flight you are laying down going up the hill, then you flip over and fly like Superman. This park is a 10 on a scale of 1 to 5! (Review by Bballjones)
This is by far the worst amusement park I have ever visited. Most of the rides were not operating. I was really looking forward to riding X-flight, however that never happened. (After standing in line for 45 minutes the ride broke down and was closed.) Superman wasn't running and hadn't all day. Serial Thriller and Batman were excellent (after spending 3 and a half hours in line). Sea World was the best part of the experience. The Batman show was fantastic. The whole park was laid out in a confusing manner (several times we became stuck at a dead end.) The food was rather expensive and certainly not worth the price. I felt very disappointed that we drove two hours away from home to experience rides that were not operating and tremendously long lines on the rides that were operational. If you ever visit this park I hope you have a bettter experience than I did! (Review by Bubbles)
GILROY GARDENS THEME PARK (CA)
Absolutely beautiful little theme park that is doing a great job of appealing to the whole family! There are a nice variety of rides and attractions including a couple of small coasters, a train that runs the perimeter of the park, and a stone maze. The themed gardens are a delight and the "Circus trees", spliced and grafted curiosities, are fascinating. Two very nice performance areas are available for entertainment, with one using the lake in the center of the park as its backdrop. The staff are helpful and friendly, adding that extra special touch that makes a visit to this park a real pleasure.
For 2009, the park has matured quite a bit since 2001. I say that rather then grown, because it's not that much has been added, but the gardens have developed beautifully, and the circus trees are a little more difficult to see now that other foliage has grown up and around them. A wonderful and relaxing park that is well worth a visit!
GLENWOOD CAVERNS ADVENTURE PARK (CO) Skiing isn't the only activity around here! In fact, when the snow isn't around, this is a great amusement park that is growing fairly quickly. Two brand new coasters in 2012 make a nice addition to the alpine coaster, zip ride and giant canyon swing. There are a few smaller rides and games for the younger adventurers, as well as the cave tour. It's very clean and the staff are very helpful and friendly. The individual ride prices are a little high, so buy the package deal and take the time to enjoy everything they have to offer.
GO BANANAS (IL) Plenty of arcade games here, along with a climbing maze and several smaller amusement park rides. There are also bowling lanes and a nice eating area that's great for birthday parties! The staff are friendly and helpful and the colorful decorations and theming are sure to make this a fun place to spend the afternoon.
GO-KARTS PLUS (VA) Just like it's name says, this is a go-kart park with a few other smaller rides. Go-kart fans should definitely stop by. There's also an outdoor Python Pit coaster, which is less common as most of these are located inside with lost of theming. The employees here are very nice and happy to help you enjoy the park.
GRADY'S FAMILY FUN PARK (IL) This small amusement park in central Illinois has been around for quite awhile. With miniature golf, batting cages, bumper boats, an arcade and several carnival rides, there's a little something here for most everyone. The park is quite clean and the staff are friendly and ready to help.
GRAND PRIX FAMILY THRILL PARK (SC) Small amusement park divided into two basic areas. There's an area for the younger crowd with a few smaller rides including a nice little coaster and a small arcade, and an area for the slightly older crowd with a Crazy Mouse coaster and a larger arcade. They are connected by the parking lot and a go-kart track at the back of the park. They could definitely use some shade here, but the staff are helpful and friendly and the park is very clean.
GREAT AMERICA (CA)
Sister park to Six Flags Great America, there are some great
coasters here! The inverted Top Gun is similar to many of the
Batman coasters, the Demon is a steel looping coaster, and
Tidal Wave, a steel shuttle loop. There is also the Grizzly,
a nice wooden coaster, and Vortex, a great stand-up steel
coaster. And of course we can't forget the ice skating show
and the animal show. All-in-all, a great park and a must-see
if you're anywhere nearby. For 1997... the skating and animal
shows are gone and the new Lost in Cyberspace show is really bad.
The park is in bad need of cleaning (especially the water) and
could really use a new coaster. One hopes that things will
take a turn for the better, but this is obviously a park that
Paramount has been ignoring. For 2000... Things have been cleaned up and the shows have been improved. There's an emphasis on shows for families and children, which is nice to see. Stealth, the new "flying" coaster is quite nice, though far too short. It's definitely one you'll want to ride twice, because it takes one ride to get used to the idea. They've also added Invertigo, a suspended boomerang coaster which is a nice variation.
For 2009, Stealth is gone, and so is Greased Lightnin', replaced by Psycho Mouse. The larger change here is the shift from ownership by Paramount to Cedar Fair. A number of rides have new names and new looks. This park continues to look better and the shows are far better than they have been for awhile. The ice skating show has returned, along with a comedy magic show and a BMX and skateboarding show.
GREAT ESCAPE (NY) Beginning as Storytown USA in 1954, this park has continued to grow over the years. Part of the Six Flags chain for a number of years now, you'll see similarities with other Six Flags parks, but clearly some unique offerings as well. The most striking of these is The Comet, and grand old wooden coaster that used to reside at Crystal Beach in Ontario. Navigating the park can be a little tricky, with limited signage and several dead ends. There's room to grow here, and new rides in the right locations would open up those areas and improve the flow of foot traffic.
HAMEL'S PARK (LA) This facility actually started as a diary that offered a train ride around the grounds. Since then, this has blossomed into a beautiful little park that has maintained an emphasis on dry rides. They do plan for a small water ride in the near future, and they have plenty of room for growth. The staff at Hamel's was extremely friendly and helpful and made my visit there a real pleasure. This is definitely one of the more overlooked small parks, despite their high level of quality and cleanliness.
HAPPY HOLLOW PARK AND ZOO (CA) Beautiful little park and zoo, with a focus on the zoo, and on the younger people who visit. One of the highlights here is a wonderful zoo animal carousel - very nice! This is a wonderful place to take the family, with a friendly and helpful staff that do a great job of keeping the park and the zoo very clean!
HAUNTED TRAILS (Burbank, IL) With spooky theming that fits its name, Haunted Trails has a very nice miniature golf course, an indoor arcade, two go-kart tracks, and a few small amusement rides. A clean park, with staff that are both friendly and helpful, this is a great place to spend an afternoon!
HAUNTED TRAILS (Joliet, IL) Friendly staff make this a very pleasant small park to visit. A sister park to the one in Burbank, Illinois, with go-karts, miniature golf, batting cages, an arcade, and a dragon coaster. There's room to grow at this fun park. Visit them both!
The entry area to this park rivals Busch Gardens in Williamsburg in its beauty and design. Once inside the park, it's a little less thematically detailed though. The new Midway America area still has plenty of room for growth, just opening up this year. The park isn't laid out very well, in part because of how it has grown over the years, but the maps are helpful and signposts are on every corner to help as well. A friendly staff person always seems to be nearby, and the sweet smell of cocoa is evident in most areas of the park. Six coasters reside here, with the newest being "Great Bear", an inverted steel coaster which I found to be a bit too drawn out to be exciting. The live entertainment was fun, with a dolphin and sea lion show, a Broadway dance show, and a juggling act as well. Don't miss the observation tower with its Hershey Kiss-shaped windows and take time to sample some of the delicious food that is found all over the park. For 2005... Still a very beautiful and clean amusement park that continues to do a nice job of building around old trees instead of cutting them down. Several more rides and attractions have been added since my last visit. One of the best of these is the Lightning Racer, a wooden coaster that twists and turns and offers an exciting race between the two trains. It's actually become even more difficult to get around this park because there are so many paths that its easy to take the wrong one and find yourself in another area. More specific signage is needed, though park employees are very helpful and happy to help you find what you need. The food here is wonderful and not too expensive either, and there's also free candy when you enter the park and sometimes at other locations throughout the park.
For 2015, Roller Soaker may be gone, but Skyrush and Laff Trak and Cocoa Cruiser have been added since my last visit, along with the brand new Laff Trak! Signage and food are both areas that need some work. In some areas, there's almost too much signage, while in others, it's difficult to tell where things are. As for the food, there is some truly amazing and wonderful food, but also some that is just not very good. There are quite a few options, though the map won't help you find all of it. The monorail ride through the zoo area is one of the few left in an amusement park, and is a very nice attraction. And just outside the park, there are even more things to do with Hershey's Chocolate World and a concert stadium.
I must admit that I was rather timid about trying the roller coasters at Hersheypark, simply because they were my first roller coaster riding experiences, but after sampling the various coasters in Midway America, I was quite impressed! While each coaster at Hershey has its own personality, I can easily say that the Lightning Racer, a duel-car racing coaster, and the Wildcat, which was built in 1996, are my favorites. Though I have not yet worked up the courage to try the Great Bear, that is somewhere in the near future. Overall, I am very impressed with the park's welcoming layout. The park has a lot of trees, which is good for shade, and its friendly staff make your visit very pleasant. Being a season ticket holder, I look forward to going back every week to try out something new each time I visit. The fact that the park has a kareoke booth where you can make your own video and cd adds a special dimension and sets Hersheypark apart from most other parks I've visited. In addition, the shuttle tram, which takes you from the parking lot to the park, is nice and is something I have not found at other parks. The diversity in the coasters at Hershey (they now have 10 coasters) makes Hershepark an excellent place to visit. Not only are their coasters outstanding, but the overrall friendly service and beautiful layout make it one of the nicest parks I 've ever visited. Hershey is a great find for any coaster enthusiast or thrill seeker! S.L.
HOFFMAN'S PLAYLAND (NY) Nice collection of mostly smaller carnival type rides that are very well-maintained by a friendly and helpful staff. The train ride around the park provides a very nice look at the park and all it has to offer. It's a busy park, and much of that is due to its location, which is quickly developing into a retail and residential area. In fact, my visit here was only a couple of months before the owners closed the park after 60 years of operation.
HOLIDAY WORLD (IN)
This is the nation's first theme park, though others have inaccurately laid claim to the title. It opened as Santa Claus Land in 1946 and changed to its present name in 1984, when they added the Halloween and Fourth of July sections. Though they only have two coasters, The Raven is a world-class wooden coaster that fits the terrain perfectly. Friendly and helpful staff abound and the park is laid out very well. A terrific small theme park whose biggest problem is that there isn't a particularly easy way to get there.
For 2005... since my last visit, they've removed the smaller zyklon coaster and put in a steel kiddie coaster, and added the very nice wooden coaster, The Legend, which is a great addition to the Halloween section of the park. The staff is still quite friendly and helpful and make this park a pleasure to visit. Indiana's largest waterpark is included with your admission, including the new Bahari wave pool. And next year, there will be yet another coaster for the park!
For 2010... The Voyage is the third wooden coaster for Holiday World, though with a steel frame. It's a great ride, and nice to see another area of the park developing some large scale attractions. The water park area continues to grow as well, with Wildebeest, the world's longest water "coaster". The staff are still among the most friendly you'll find at any park, which makes this a great place for a family getaway!
For 2015... As they will often remind you... free parking, free soft drinks, and free sunscreen, which is a great deal, especially for a park of this size that has more than enough to offer without giving anything away. The new Thunderbird coaster is a very nice addition and takes the thrill up another notch. As they continue to develop along the holiday theme, perhaps there could be a birthday area? This park also has some great food available, and the friendly staff do an excellent job of keeping the park clean.
THE HOLLYWOOD CONNECTION FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT CENTER(UT) A multiplex movie theatre to the right, and a small, indoor amusement park to the left. With several smaller rides for the younger crowd, a coaster, plenty of arcade games, a very nice putt-putt golf course, roller skating, and laser tag, this place has something for everyone. Very clean, with a helpful staff, don't let the fairly plain exterior fool you... this is an exciting place!
IDLEWILD PARK (PA) A beautiful Pennsylvania park with a sizeable number of very old and very large trees. There's quite a bit to do here, but the park isn't laid out particularly well and the map is of little help. Good live entertainment though the crowd didn't seem that interested. The Storybook Forest area is not to be missed, no matter how old you are, with a mix of statuary and real people depicting all your favorite nursery rhymes and childhood stories. The two roller coasters aren't much to speak of, but the old train is a good ride and Confusion Hill is a fun diversion too.
INDIANA BEACH (IN)
Lots of rides, shops, and food are packed into a small area here. It makes for plenty to do, but traffic flow can be a problem as you try to get from one ride to the next. Staff are friendly, but it's hard for them to keep things clean with high volume of traffic. They have two zyklon coasters and the very nice wooden Hoosier Hurricane coaster which dips almost into the lake at one point. This is the only boardwalk park I'm aware
of that isn't on the east or west coast and very much captures the same feel of those parks.
For 2003, two new coasters since I was last here, the very nice Cornball Express, like Hoosier Hurricane, it's a wooden track, steel frame coaster. The difference is that it's shorter, but it also has more air-time. The Lost Coaster of Superstition Mine is the other newer coaster here, also wooden track, steel frame and full of very tight twists and turns. Despite the addition of these and a few other smaller rides, the park has managed to stay relatively clean and the staff are still very friendly and helpful. It's definitely worth stopping by if you're anywhere close.
For 2011, Steel Hawg is the newest coaster now, and a very nice addition, though in a rather strange location, off behind most of the park. But with another ride soon to open next to it, this looks like property that Indiana Beach is going to continue to develop. There are lots of ways to get around this park, so most everything is easily accessible, but a few more signs to help direct people might be a good idea. A fresh coat of paint would also be nice, along with a thorough cleaning, as there is a good deal of old dirt quite evident in a number of places. This park always seems to have a high energy level as the entertainment focus of Lake Shafer. The park map and brochure has a very nice history of the park, which would be fun to see for other parks.
For 2015, open since 1926, the park is definitely showing some wear and tear, though there are new attractions. Staffing seems to be an issue, with some rides not open all of the time and trash piling up by the end of the day. The staff who are working are very pleasant and helpful, but hopefully the park can get past this rough spot and recapture the energy and excitement it had just a couple of years ago.
INDIANA STATE FAIR (IN) I hadn't been to a state fair in a long time, and don't really anticipate trying to get to very many different ones, but they are usually worth checking out for a variety of entertaining events. The Indiana State Fair has dramatically increased the size of the Midway from years past, and it includes not only plenty of rides (3 coasters), but lots of food as well. Ride tickets are available in a number of locations around the midway area and depending on the day, there are pay-one-price tickets as well as individual ride tickets for sale.
IT'Z FAMILY FOOD & FUN (NM) Clean and friendly arcade park with pizza and party rooms. There's no coaster here anymore, but there are a few other smaller rides and a rock climbing wall.
I-X INDOOR AMUSEMENT PARK (OH) Open for one month each year in the spring, this amusement park has thrilled the area with a collection of rides and games. Since it's inside a convention center facility, it's very noisy, which isn't pleasant for the animals, and a human talent show (magician, gymnastic, juggling, etc.) would be more appropriate. The staff are very friend;y, and it's very clean and safe.
JEEPERS (Auburn Hills, MI) Located inside the very large and incredibly popular Great Lakes Crossing Outlet Mall, this is the busiest Jeepers or similar style amusement park I've seen. Despite that, the decorations are standard and relatively plain. The atmosphere is quite exciting though, because with so many people having fun, it's contagious!
JEEPERS (Clinton Township, MI) This Jeepers is located in the Regional Shopping Center, which is a sort of strip mall. Jeepers is next to the Star Theatre, and this is one of the larger ones, though there appear to be fewer decorations inside. Still, if you want to have a birthday party for a larger group of children, this would be the place to go.
JEEPERS (Southfield, MI) The Northland Shopping Center is home to this Jeepers, which sits across from the food court inside the mall. The staff are very nice and the decorations have a fun, spooky feeling around the coaster, with skeletons ready to greet you as you circle around the track.
JEEPERS (NC) Mostly arcade games, with an area for food and small parties. Clean, with a very friendly and helpful staff. The coaster here has a sort of tunnel as it goes into a small room without lights.
JEEPERS (OH) Mostly arcade games, but there is a small area for food and a few rides including a small coaster. Clean, with a very friendly and helpful staff. Also very noisy because of the space and how much is packed into it.
JENKINSON'S BOARDWALK (NJ) This boardwalk amusement park is PACKED with rides! There's even a train... does any other boardwalk park have a train? The friendly and helpful staff also keep this park very clean, which is not an easy task with so many people around. The only rides that seem to be missing are a wooden coaster and a haunted house. A great park, and one that is not to be missed if you're in the New Jersey area.
JIMINY PEAK MOUNTAIN RESORT (MA) Very nice mountain resort with plenty of activities in the summer. A mountain coaster, alpine slide, giant swing, climbing wall, ropes courses, mountain biking, and much more. The staff are helpful and friendly, and with so much to do, this is definitely a fun place to spend the day.
JOHN'S INCREDIBLE PIZZA (Riverside, CA) It's a pizza palace with an amusement park for the younger kids! Be aware that admission to the park is only available with the purchase of a buffet, but the food is great and the line will be long, so come early! The ride and eating areas are both very clean and the staff is friendly, helpful, and easy to find. A great way to spend an afternoon with the younger children!
JOLLY ROGER AMUSEMENT PARK (MD)
An all outdoor park (no enclosed rides) with an emphasis on go-carts. The walkways are gravel, which can cause a problem for some folks, but they manage to keep it fairly clean, which is undoubtedly somewhat difficult for them. There is one small steel zyklon coaster here, but most of the rides are aimed at the younger crowd. It's a pretty area of the country though, so if you are interested in a small, outdoor park, you might want to stop by.
For 2011... at the other end of the pier from Jolly Roger at the Pier, and a couple of blocks away, this is a nice companion parkwith a great miniature golf course and quite a few rides, including a couple of coasters. It's grown a little bit over the last few years, but not too much.
For 2015, The park is growing quite nicely, and the addition of the Wildcat coaster was a very good choice. A very clean park, though it could use a little more shade.
JOLLY ROGER AT THE PIER (MD)
One of the small parks that populate the Ocean City, Maryland
area. Like Nickel's, there isn't a great deal here, but it's
clean and the staff are friendly. This actually started out as
a ballroom dancing pavilion, with rides coming a little later
in the life of the park. One of the more unique aspects is the
area that has been set aside for fishing.
For 2011... A new name and a new look have turned this small park into a fairly typical pier park, with plenty of fun rides, though still not as elaborately developed as some of the pier parks a little farther to the north. But with Trimper's nearby, and with the ability to buy ride tickets here that are also good for the Jolly Roger Amusement Park at the other end of the pier, it's a great deal if you're going to be in the area for a couple of days.
KEANSBURG AMUSEMENT PARK (NJ) Carnival style park by the beach, though not really a boardwalk park, that has been around since 1904. There are lots of rides for the younger crowd and a few for the teens and there are some water rides across the street as well.
KEMAH BOARDWALK (TX) There's a little bit of everything at Kemah Boardwalk, with rides, restaurants, live music, and lots of attractions. It's an exciting and busy place that the staff do a great job of keeping clean and appealing, which takes quite a bit of work! Much of the park was rebuilt after Hurricane Ike in 2008, and it looks great!
This park has its fans, but I'm NOT one of them! I did love the Steel Phantom coaster, which was on my top ten list for awhile, and I thoroughly enjoyed the area they have created to honor the old Luna parks. There were 13 of these parks in Allegheny County at one time and Kennywood is the only survivor. These were the good points. The staff were the most rude of any I have dealt with, including a person in management to whom I wrote at the encouragement of someone in ACE. I would've discounted it somewhat as people just having a bad day except for the rudeness of the management in the letter I received. The Jack Rabbit, Racer, and Thunderbolt are all fine old wooden coasters. However, they would not allow single riders on any of these. The city jet coaster in Lagoon Park wouldn't allow single riders and another city jet coaster at Worlds of Fun wouldn't permit single riders in the front seat, but for Kennywood to not allow it on three coasters all in one park is a very discouraging for groups that don't have an even number of people. If you make a stop here, I do hope you have a better experience than I did.
For 2005... my long overdue return to this park was a real pleasure! Not only were the staff both friendly and helpful, but only the Thunderbolt now presents a problem for single riders. Even there, the staff were willing to work to help me find someone else to ride with. The park continues to do a nice job of preserving older rides and structures and has done some very nice groundskeeping work as well. Phantom's revenge feels faster and more intense than its predecessor, but it's the old wooden coasters that are still the main attraction here. I'm thrilled to have been able to return and have such a good experience at this classic park.
For 2012... This park continues to have a great mix of older rides and newer ones, giving it a unique mix of traditional and modern amusement parks. The "Lost Kennywood" area no longer feels like the primary area where the proud history of days gone by is appreciated, it's evident throughout the park. Perhaps the area should be renamed or redesigned. The most surprising piece that seems to be missing in a park that does such a wonderful job of celebrating the past is a museum. If you take a ride on the train, there is historical narration and there are a few small billboards with historical info, but a museum could be a really nice attraction here.
Kennywood is a great park. I've been there many times and have never been dissapointed, and I've never witnessed any rude employees. All of their coasters are 10's, except for maybe the Racer, which is still a cool coaster. Kennywood is what a lot of parks try to be and imitate, but Kennywood is genuine. (Review by Paul Yerk)
I have been there so many times and Love it!!! I have NEVER had a bad experience there. I have been on every single ride. Kennywood is my absolute favorite!! Even Disney World doesn't come close. Kennywood is a wonderful park, voted best thrill park, best coasters, and of course, America's Favorite Fries. America's favorite fries are sold at the potato patch. You haven't had good fries unless you've had these fries!! I hope everybody gets to experience Kennywood at least once during their lifetime. On a scale from 1-10, I give Kennywood a 15!! ~Kennywood's #1 fan!! (Review by Alex Ciminaro)
Kennywood is one of the few remaining "trolly parks" from the early twentieth century. It is located in beautiful West Mifflin, PA. You can enjoy a variety of rides, not only the 5 rollar coasters, whether your preference is steel or wooden. You can ride the underground 'Exterminator' or the infamous 'Phantom's Revenge' (AWESOME!!) if you enjoy steel coasters more than wooden, but... if you would rather jar your bones on the good 'ol wooden coasters, you have your choice of the 'Racer,' 'Jack Rabbit' or 'Thunderbolt'. Why not head out towards Pittsburgh, and try 'em all?! (Review by E. Thompson-Green)
KENTUCKY KINGDOM (KY)
Located on the State Fairgrounds and across the highway where the former is the location of the rides for the younger crowd. The other side of the park hosts T2, an inverted and very rough coaster, though the wooden Thunder Run is also quite rough. In fact, the Giant Wheel (ferris wheel) is about the only gentle ride on this side of the park! On the fairgrounds side, they've taken a steel zyklon coaster, enclosed it, and called it Starchaser. As a dark ride, it's actually pretty nice.
The boomerang coaster here is caled The Vampire, appropriately painted red and black... a nice touch! Not only the staff, but just about everyone in the park is quite friendly. For 1997, the new stand-up coaster Chang is wonderful! Slower and more drawn out than it's sister, Mantis at Cedar Point, but still a very nice ride. Starchaser is gone, replaced by a motion simulator ride. For 1999, Twisted Sisters adds some nice variety to the coaster selection here, being a wooden coaster with a steel frame structure. Two trains "race" each other in non-parallel tracks. The Batman stunt show is pretty good here too.
For 2003, there have been a few changes... Twisted Sisters in now Twisted Twins, there's the Road Runner Express wild mouse style coaster, and the Greezed Lightnin' shuttle loop that used to be at Six Flags Over Georgia. Still, this park has a long way to go. The condition of most of the rides has deteriorated quite a bit over the last few years. There's lots of potential here, but it isn't being developed. For 2004... nothing new this year, including the much needed repainting. Staff and customers are all friendly here and the collection of rides for a park of this size is quite nice. There's still room for more, but the repainting needs to be taken care of first. For 2005... the only new ride this year is the Tornado funnel/tunnel for the Hurricane Bay part of the park. There's plenty of room to grow here, but this park seems to be low on the Six Flags priority list. New paint for several of the rides is desperately needed, and a few smaller rides would help fill in some of the blank spots in the park. For 2006... Chang has a new paint job, but nothing else has changed. Fewer shows at the moment too. A Looney Tunes show and a couple of music shows, but nothing else. Perhaps with some of the other cutbacks Six Flags has been doing, there will be some improvements here next year.
For 2007... the new Deluge Water Coaster is a nice new addition, and the Hellevator has been renamed the Superman Tower of Power. New paint is still needed throughout the park. Kudos to the crew of Twisted Twins, who keep their coaster running smoothly and have fun while doing it!
For 2008... Mega Wedgie is the only new ride this year, another addition to the water park area. New paint is still needed throughout the park. Twisted Twins is now closed with no word on what will happen in that area of the park. Kudos to the crew of T2, who knew just what to do during a heat related medical emergency.
For 2009... Not much new here this year. A motion simulator ride, but even that isn't publicized well. Twisted Twins, and the section of the park it's in are still closed, which is unfortunate. One wonders if they'll ever get around to adding another coaster to this park.
For 2014... It's nice to see the park open again after closing at the end of the 2009 season. There are quite a few new smaller rides and food places. Where Chang used to sit, there is now the very nice Hurricane Bay Beach Club. A new steel coaster, Lightning Run takes the place of Greezed Lightning, The layout of the park is still confusing, when it would be so easy to keep all of the smaller rides on the state fair side and the water park and larger thrill rides on the other. T2 and Twisted Twins still aren't open, but the plan is to open them up over the next few years.
KIDDIELAND (IL) Wonderful little amusement park for the younger crowd, as the name suggests, but with plenty of fun for all ages. After 81 years, it was decided by the land owners to not renew the lease and the park closed at the end of the summer in 2009. It was a pleasure to be able to experience this fun park that provided so many people with so much fun over the years.
KIDDIELAND (KS) Lincoln Park in Pittsburg, Kansas has a number of things to offer the community, including a meeting facility, aquatic center, miniature golf course, playground and picnic areas, and a small children's amusement area with a few carnival rides. The staff are friendly and helpful, and their park has been around for quite a long time.
KIDS 'N ACTION (NY) Although this indoor park focuses mostly on birthday parties for the little adventurers, there are a number of rides and games for them to enjoy along with the food and festivities. Parents aren't allowed on most of the rides here, so you can sit back and relax while they ride again and again.
KIDSTAR PARK (FL) Small park with only a few rides, but there's still quite a bit to do here and nearby. There's a very nice restaurant near the arcade and there's also a go-cart track, a 3D movie motion ride and a flea market next door. Nicely maintained.
KING RICHARD'S FAMILY FUN PARK (FL) Small park, but very clean and a very nicely themed arcade building. Also located on the property are a go-kart track, a few amusement rides, and a small waterpark for the younger crowd. Not much room to grow, but a nice little park.
KINGS DOMINION (VA)
A little smaller than Paramount's Kings Island and therefore
a little easier to get around in. There are many similarities
between the two parks... Rebel Yell is a little longer than
The Racer, The Grizzly is a little shorter than The Beast, and
Shockwave is almost identical to King Cobra. The Hurler is a
small wooden coaster themed (most excellently) around the
Wayne's World movies. Avalanche (a bobsled ride) is also quite
fun. My favorite here is Anaconda, a steel coaster that twists
and turns almost 100 percent over a small lake, even dipping
down into a concrete tank in the water at one point. Don't
forget to check out the ice skating and variety shows too!
For 2004, a few new coasters since my last visit... the best of these is Volcano, the Blast Coaster. The park is still easy to get around, but the coasters are primarily in two areas of the park. It would be nice to see things spread more evenly and it might help with the crowds that tend to gather in some areas. There are two areas for the kids here, right next to each other, but they could use a nice, larger coaster in one of them. And, although the park wasn't particularly clean, the staff were friendly and helpful which made for a very pleasant visit.
For 2011, it's been quite awhile since I've been here, and the park has grown quite nicely. The Back Lot Stunt coaster, Dominator, and Intimidator 305 are very nice additions, with Intimidator 305 being a bit better than its sister at Carowinds. Fresh paint on Shockwave and Rebel Yell indicate that they are taking care of their older rides too. There are a few spots where some wasted space is visible, and perhaps some smaller attractions are planned. Another possibility would be for them to put in a small train, which could easily take advantage of these areas and be a fun and different ride for this park.
I think Kings Dominion is great! Their new ride hypersonic XLC is the best I've every ridden. This park has something for everyone. It has wooden & steel coasters. Anaconda is also a very, very good coaster too. The grizzly is probably the best wooden coaster they have. (Review by Trentin Morgan)
Kings Dominion is my favorite amusement park that I have been to yet. They have rides for everyone of all ages. My favorite ride there is definitely the Hypersonic XLC. It's a ride experience like no other! The Volcano is also one of my favorites. It shoots you up the volcano at very high speeds and is a fun experience. The wooden coasters and the rest of Kings Dominion were also a lot of fun. My favorite wooden coaster is The Grizzly. It's my favorite wooden coaster because you have a lot of air time in that ride! I would recommend going to Kings Dominion because it is a lot of fun and you'll have a blast!! (Review by Cute Thang)
KINGS ISLAND (OH)
Home of two of my favorite coasters, the Vortex and The Beast!
Incredible, very different from each other, and not to be missed! Adventure Express, King Cobra, The Racer, and The Beastie are still here and Top Gun rides a lot better since they quit using the brake so much. The new Outer Limits coaster isn't usually much fun the first time you ride it. You have to learn how to sit so that you don't get beaten to death, but with some work, this style of coaster will do well. I still miss the ferris wheel and the monorail through the wild animal park, but this is a great park. I highly recommend the International Restaurant for those who would like a little quiet time for their meal in a beautiful setting at only moderate expense. The ice skating show continues to improve, I just wish they had a bigger stage. This park also has the absolute best selection of T-shirts of any amusement park I've been to! For 1997... the skating show and the International Restaurant are gone now, but the water park has doubled in size. For 1999... the boomerang coaster Face-Off makes a nice addition to the park, as does the huge Drop Zone tower. They could still use a nice haunted house though.
For 2000... the new Son of Beast wooden coaster has been having a good deal of trouble, though it's a very nice coaster. I expect most of the problems to be taken care of by next season. Little else about the park has changed, but next year's plans include something big for Rivertown. This remains a great park with a wide variety of rides.
For 2001... the changes ended up being to the Nickelodeon area instead of Rivertown, with the addition of the Rugrats Runaway Repter, a suspended coaster for kids, and the Wild Thornberrys River Adventure, a reworking of the old Kenton Cove's Keelboat Canal ride which was removed from its original site to make room for the new Tomb Raider ride scheduled to open next summer.
For 2002... The only real change this year is the absence of the King Cobra coaster. To recap some of the nicer points of the park... the kids' area is amazing, a Golden Ticket award winner for the last two years, and the Action Zone area has developed nicely. The new Tomb Raider ride hasn't generated as much enthusiasm as anticipated and the additional trim brakes on The Beast are a real disappointment. However, the replacement of the shoulder harnesses on Outer Limits with lap bars was a major improvement. What's missing? A ferris wheel, a haunted house, and more quality live entertainment.
For 2003... Not much in the way of additions this year. Delirium went in to replace the old King Cobra coaster, and there's the new Scooby-Doo and the Haunted Castle that's nice. Having now had the chance to ride the Tomb Raider Ride, I understand why it hasn't generated much enthusiasm. It isn't a bad ride, but it's not worth the typical one to two hour wait. Still badly in need of the same things I mentioned for last year...
For 2004... nothing new this year unless you count the Waterworks area becoming Crocodile Dundee's Boomerang Bay. The news for next year is that the old car ride will be removed or at least moved, to make room for the new Italian Job coaster. From the description I heard, it promises to be a very different and exciting experience. The kid's area here remains one of the best in the industry, and most of the staff are very friendly and helpful. Be aware... the food prices are different in different areas of the park for the exact same food... I don't know why.
For 2005... at long last, the center area of the park that had been occupied by the old cars is now home to a new coaster! Not sure why they chose this one though. The thrills are pretty tame compared to some of the other rides here. If you didn't get in a ride on Scooby's Ghoster Coaster, you missed your chance as it will be leaving to make room for better things in the kid's area. Still waiting for that ferris wheel and haunted house...
For 2006... new this year is the completion of the Nickelodeon themed area for the little ones. Gone is everything that wasn't Nickelodeon, including The Beastie, now repainted and renamed as the Fairly Odd Coaster. It's a great area, but I still mourn the loss of Beastie. Nothing else has really changed, and it remains to be seen how the effect of Cedar Fair's purchase of the Paramount chain of amusement parks will affect the way things go.
For 2007... Finally, a flying coaster at Kings Island! Formerly X-Flight at Geauga Lake, it's new home is next to The Outer Limits: Flight of Fear coaster and it's a great addition to the park. Also new this year is the return of an ice skating show, and three other musical shows. Son of Beast may have lost its loop, but the new trains work well and it's still a nice wooden coaster. Cedar Fair definitely seems to be interested in continuing to advance this park as one of the largest and best amusement parks. Another coaster may be making its way here next year.
For 2008... New this year are three musical shows and a Cinnabon shop. Not very exciting, but they're saving up for a huge new hyper-coaster for next summer. Holding the record for the seventh year in a row, Kings Island's Nickelodeon Universe is the best kids area in the world. That said, they could still use another coaster in this part of the park. The park could use some cleaning, as there is clearly quite a bit of "old dirt" that seems to have been overlooked by the staff. Still, kudos to the ride-ops of The Racer, and The Beast who did their jobs extremely well. And finally, my favorite ride of the day... The Beast... in the dark... a crystal clear sky... with a full moon... that's pretty hard to beat!
For 2009... Finally! King's Island is now home to a beautiful new hyper-coaster - Diamondback! It's a great addition and fits well into the Rivertown area. Son of Beast may have had its last run, continuing to struggle with complaints from riders as well as maintenance issues. The Nickelodeon Universe area wins the best kids area for the eighth year in a row. The crews have been hard at work cleaning, and the park looks a little better this year. Kudos to them and to the ride-ops of Diamondback and The Beast for excellent work!
For 2010... The only new additions to the park this year are the musical shows, which tend to be updated each year. They are, and always have been, good shows, just not exceptional. The other new piece here is the re-theming of the award-winning (9 years in a row) children's area. Now with a Peanuts theme to match other parks in the Cedar Fair chain, most of the rides have been renamed (again), and given some new paint in some cases. The cleaning crews are still doing a great job, and are carrying maps around with them and interacting with customers a little more this year, so kudos to them for a second year in a row!
For 2011... Windseeker is the new ride this year, offering an impressive view of the park, and its lights look great at night! There's also some new paint here and there, but not on the Racer, which could really use it. Some repair work was done on The Beast during the off-season, which tightens the ride up a bit. Too bad we still have to have those trim brakes though. The skaters in Snoopy Rocks on Ice do a nice job, and the lighting and costumes are nice too. But why not more Snoopy in a show that features his name? Dinosaurs Alive is the new attraction that's getting lots of advertisement, but it's really not worth the price (yes, it's extra) except maybe for 5 to 8-year-olds. The dinosaurs are too staged in separate spaces as you stroll down a path, and they are already showing signs of not doing well in the heat. One can only imagine what will happen once they also experience a few cold Ohio winters as well. Kudos to the ride-ops of The Beast and The Racer for having fun and making it more fun for those of us riding!
For 2012... Nothing new to celebrate Kings Island's 40th anniversary except a retheming of the waterpark area. The children's area is still the best, winning that title for the 10th year in a row. The staff also do a wonderful job of keeping the place clean. What seems to have become a problem are line-jumpers. Considering how over-managed the cue lines have become, perhaps the same people who are doing that could switch a do a better job of controlling the crowd farther away from the loading platforms. It's also a little disappointing to note how late in the season the live shows begin and how early they stop. Kudos to the ride-ops of Adventure Express and (for the second year on a row) The Racer!
For 2013... Aside from a couple of new shows and a new coat of paint on Invertigo, this is a quiet year for Kings Island. The big expense was the removal of Son of Beast. The station remained after the demolition though, which was a sure sign that something else was in the works. Sure enough, late in the season, there was an announcement for a brand new coaster, Banshee! Looking forward to it!
For 2014... The brand new Banshee coaster is a record breaker, and a great addition to liven up the Action Zone area of the park. Nice to see the ground that Son of Beast formerly occupied put to such good use. Flight Deck has been renamed as The Bat, which adds a touch of the creepy and sinister to this section of the park. Line cue management is getting out of hand, with the Fast Lane program allowing unlimited rides for those who pay for the privilege. Six Flags definitely does this better, giving people a privilege without upsetting the rest of the people in the park. Nice, new video screens throughout the park with fun videos and games. Planet Snoopy, the current name for the children's area continues to hold the title for best children's area, for 12 years now, but another small coaster here would be a real gem! Kudos to the ride-ops on The Beast and Diamnodback!
For 2015... Despite my numerous visits to this park, I'd never actually been on opening day. It was quite an exciting experience, with a different kind of energy that was clearly evident. There were still a few rough edges here and there, but those should be worked out with a few days of practice by the staff. Not really much in the way of new rides this year except for a couple of new ones in the already stellar children's area that received the Golden Ticket award for the 13th year in a row! And in the main part of the park, kudos to the ride-ops of The Bat and Banshee!
Kings Island is the best park I have ever been to. It has 12 roller coasters including the world's longest wooden roller coaster, the world's fastest wooden roller coaster, the world's loopiest steel coaster, and the only wooden roller coaster with a loop. It also offers stores and games for the non-thrill seeker. Go to this park.You will be glad you did. (Review by Andrew Perkins)
Kings Island is cool. The best ride there is the Vortex!!! It does bang your head around though. Another fun roller coaster is the Son of Beast!!!! A lot of the roller coasters here really bang you up but it is so cool how they make those roller coaster go. I love everything about this park!!! One of my other favorites is the Beastie! It is so fun to try to pose for the camera as you're going down one of the hills. This is a fun roller coaster to go on if you are just getting started. Kings' Island is my favorite place to shop. There are tons of stores and millions of things to buy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Review by Betty Jo Buckingham)
KNOEBELS AMUSEMENT RESORT (PA) This small family-style park has had three major floods, one occuring about every 20 years, otherwise it might have a few more things to offer. Still, they have a wonderful carousel and an extensive and impressive carousel museum. There's also a rather nice haunted house available for a small additional charge. Last, but not least, is the restored Phoenix roller coaster. Purchased from a park in Texas and relocated, this is a classic wooden coaster that still has plenty of spark left. I count it a privilege to have ridden it on one of its best days when it was flying over every hill, lifting me off the seat every time, even in the front!
Knoebels was a very family-fun amusement park. They had ride for all ages, young and old. The bumpers cars were great, along with the wooden roller coasters. They are known for many things, such as their bumper cars and being the amusement park to have a roller coaster with the most crossovers. I definitely recommend this amusement park to any family looking of a great family park. (Review by Frank Petersen)
KNOTT'S BERRY FARM (CA)
The most entertaining section here is the Ghost Town, which is modeled after nearby Calico. There's a log ride, train ride, stagecoach ride, and a mine ride. The stunt show and comedy/music show are nice too. The shuttle loop and boomerang coasters are standard and the Jaguar steel coaster is no big thrill. However, the Windjammer racing steel coaster with tracks that intertwine is a nice change from the normal steel coasters one is used to finding. There are a few interesting items in the Kingdom of the Dinosaurs haunted house ride, though maintenance has taken a back seat. The most interesting stop was the
Mystery Lodge "show" based on Native American tradition and myth. The park is a bit overpriced, so make sure you do everything while you're here.
For 2002... Windjammer is gone, but Ghostrider and Xcelerator more than make up for it. It's also a pleasant surprise that the prices here haven't gone up very much. There's been a real effort to make this park appeal to families, which is nice. They can be a bit overzealous about the ride restrictions though, so be aware that the signs really do mean what they say here. The Ghost Town area is still the nicest, and it would be great for this park to add a Ferris Wheel and another smaller wooden coaster.
For 2007... the additions of the Silver Bullet and Sierra Sidewinder coasters definitely add some appeal for the teenage crowd, making this very much a park with something for everyone. The staff are very friendly and helpful, though the ride restrictions are still fairly tight for several rides. And, while prices continue to rise, the variety and quality of food both inside and just outside the park is quite good.
For 2010... Pony Express makes a very nice addition to the park's collection of coasters, but it comes complete with more ride restrictions. Nothing else has changed much at all, but the restrictions make having a fun time very difficult for some.
For 2013... the new Coast Rider and Boardwalk area are very nice additions to the park and ride restrictions have changed to match what other parks have in place. Thank you! The appeal to families is still very strong here with attractions for all ages scattered throughout the park. And the staff are very courteous and helpful, doing their best to make your day a fun one!
KNUCKLEHEAD'S BOWLING & INDOOR AMUSEMENT PARK (WI) Bowling and arcade games are the highlights here, but there's also a motion simulator theater experience and a few smaller amusement park rides including a nice little coaster.
KOKOMO'S FAMILY FUN CENTER (MI) This amusement park features the only roller coaster in central Michigan (at least for now). There's also miniature golf, and a fw other rides and games outside, with an arcade and food inside and an inflated dome next door that houses an indoor golf driving range. This space is also available for rental for other indoor sports games and practices. It's a nice variety of activities, and well taken care of.
LAGOON PARK (UT)
Utah's only park is hard to find from above, nestled at the base of a mountain and filled with trees, the ferris wheel and sky rides don't let you see much of the park. There's a fun wild west show here and a musical show with terrific singers. The staff are very friendly and helpful, but aside from Kennywood, this is the only park I've been to where single riders are not treated fairly on the roller coasters. There are also TWO dark rides here, though Dracula's Castle wasn't quite as good as the other, it's the only park I've seen have two haunted houses. It's a beautiful little park, and well worth stopping by if you're in the area.
For 2009... twice as many coasters here as the last time I visited! It's still just as beautiful as before, but quite a few more rides are nestled in among the trees. Don't forget to check out the Pioneer Village area at the back of the park for a relaxing look at history. The park staff are very friendly and helpful, and it's a very clean park as well. Unfortunately, the restrictions for single riders here have grown, making the experience quite unpleasant unless you have a partner to ride with.
LAKE COMPOUNCE (CT) Lake Compounce is the oldest continuously operating amusement park in North America. Nestled among the trees at the base of Compounce Mountain, with a fun variety of rides including two wonderful wooden roller coasters. History is a big part of the experience here, with signage and information throughout the park that highlights much of the park's past. A "must-visit" for anyone who appreciates the history of amusement parks!
LAKE WINNEPESAUKAH (GA) This wonderful, historic amusement park offers a very nice collection of older rides. There's room for growth, but with the other rides here, perhaps the addition of older rides would be more fitting than some new thrill ride. The feel of the park is very relaxed, and the friendly staff work to keep it that way, making it easy for you to just wander through the park, imagining days gone by. The musuem here offers a glimpse of that, but could use lots more room to show us even more.
Lake Winnie is an old fashoned family oriented amusement park with the charm of days gone by. Lake Winnie features the Cannon Ball, a nostalgic out and back woodie, a majestic 1916 top rated carrousel with 68 handcarved horses, a 1930's boat chute that has a tunnel of love, a classic train that circles a beautiful lake and an old fashoned haunted house ride with pretzel style seats. Lake Winnie is a great place to bring the kids, but not a good park for modern thrill seekers. (Review by Dr. Michael E. Schmidt)
LAKEMONT PARK (PA)
Not much shade available at this very old park, founded in 1894, but its the home of the classic "Leap-the-Dips" coaster. Still being restored, "Leap-the-Dips" is the oldest coaster in the country and it's a real tribute that this park is dedicated to saving it. The "Skyline" coaster is a nice old wooden coaster as well, complete with a grave visible in the center area. (It's the caretaker's dog, by the way.) There's a small train off to one side, and two go-kart tracks as well. Stop by and lend this park your support as they restore a classic coaster.
For 2012... Finally made another trip to this park to ride the now restored "Leap-the-Dips" coaster. There is a small additional fee to ride, but it's well worth it to have the opportunity to ride such an amazing piece of history. Mine was the first ride of the day, and I felt like I'd travelled back in time! There's quite a bit of room to grow here, and it would be nice to see some corporate sponsors offer to bring in some additional historic amusement park rides for restoration. The staff are friendly and helpful, though none remembered the now missing grave in the center of the "Skyline" coaster.
LAKESIDE AMUSEMENT PARK (CO) A few miles away from Elitch Gardens, this park still resides in the same location where it began in 1908. Unfortunately, much of this park is run down and there were three rides that haven't operated in a number of years but are still sitting around, slowly rusting away. There are a couple of nice rides and a train that goes all the way around the lake, which offers a beautiful view of the park at night when all the lights are on. They have also managed to offer some very good food at much more reasonable prices than most parks.
LAND OF MAKE BELIEVE (NJ) Nestled in a heavily wooded area of Hope, NJ, this small park has quite a bit to offer. A sizeable water park area, and a good number of smaller rides are available throughout the park. Plenty of family appeal here, with a nice train ride, a small coaster, and lots of picnic space. There's room for the park to grow, and a second coaster or a dark ride would be a great next step.
LAS VEGAS MINI GRAND PRIX (NV) Las Vegas has so much entertainment to offer, and this is a fun place to visit, though its a few miles away from the strip. But if you have a way to get here, this fun arcade park has two go-kart tracks, a small coaster, and a few other rides as well as a sizeable party room area and lots of arcade games. It's a very clean park and the staff are happy to help.
LEGOLAND (CA) What a wonderful idea for an amusement park! They've had Legoland parks in Europe for a number of years, and it's nice to have one here in the United States. The park is beautifully landscaped and full of amazing lego buildings and characters. Miniland USA is a must see, with dozens of city scenes made with legos. You can watch master builders at work or build your own creations. And, of course, there are the rides as well. There are keys hidden in the adventurers club for you to find, as well as shows to watch. Summer 2001 adds the fun of the Bionicle Tribal Quest, with an opportunity to search the park for six masks of power and earn a special prize. And you can finish off you evening with the Bionicle Tribal Jam, a fun song and dance presentation that also explains the background of the Bionicle Lego sensation. For 2007, the focus is on "Heroes Wanted". Not a great deal has changed though the miniland section does have a wonderful new section on Las Vegas. It's a wonderful park for the young and young at heart!
LEGOLAND (FL) As a Legoland park, this is very nice. Four years into the Lego theming, there are still a few spots that could really use more lego brick decorations, in particular, around the Flying School coaster. As the second largest Lego park in the world, this still has some growing to do to make that title more impressive. Because this was formerly the site of another magnificent park, there is definitely a little more to be said. The Lego brick southern belles cannot replace the real young women who used to walk through the botanical gardens area of Cypress Gardens (the original name of this park). The botanical gardens are still here, but in a sad state of disrepair as they are now apparently considered a less important part of the park. The world-renowned ski show is no more. Instead there is a lego ski show that almost seems like a parody of the old show. The new owners even removed all of the old photos of legendary water skiers that used to grace the stadium. At the very least, with such a remarkable history to the park, there should be a museum for park attendees to visit. If you've never been to a Legoland park, this is a very nice park. If you've been to another Legoland park, this is still a pretty good park. If you visited Cypress Gardens in years past, this is a disappointment. Anytime a different company takes over, there are changes, not all of which will be viewed favorably by those who knew it from before. Some companies handle those changes better than others.
Home to the Zippin Pippin, the oldest operating coaster in the US. Built before 1912, it stood in another part of Memphis before it was moved to Libertyland in 1976, and was the favorite ride of Elvis Presley. The only other coaster here is Revolution, a small steel looping coaster. One of the more unique features of the park is the beautifully landscaped play area for children in the middle of the park called Tom Sawyer's Island.
This park is like an a old fair. It has the oldest operating wooden rollar coaster in the U.S.A.! It has your basic everyday log flume where you go through a tunnel, up a ramp and down the flume. It has a ride called the Camikazze which is a blast. It also has a metal rollar coaster with two corkscrews and an upside down loop. It is not like Busch Gardens with the coolest roller coasters, but I guarantee that you will have a good time. One thing I forgot to tell you is that this theme park is located in Memphis, Tennesee. (Review by Thevolsboy)
LIBERTYLAND FUN CENTER (UT)
Smaller park with both indoor and outdoor rides, a number of arcade games, a few rides for the very young, and a small, but very nicely designed putt-putt golf course featuring U.S. historic monuments. The staff is friendly and helpful and the coaster has a replica of Mt. Rushmore as part of it's structure.
LITTLE AMERRICKA (WI)
This wonderful little park may be out in the middle of "nowhere", but it's well worth the trip! The Meteor wooden coaster makes a great centerpiece for the park, with it's collection of mostly smaller rides. There are clearly some unique items here... a toboggan coaster, a monorail, and a train ride that lasts for 15 minutes! The atmosphere is friendly and casual, making you feel right at home.
LUNA PARK (NY)
At the same time the old Astroland park was beginning to struggle, the city was setting about revitalizing the area and making sure that the Coney Island area would still be home to a great amusement park. So, on the grounds of the old Astroland park, and in the spirit of the long lost Luna Park that closed in 1944, this new park is thriving! It's a little confusing with Deno's tucked into the middle of the area, but great to see that the old Cyclone coaster is available as part of Luna Park's ride package. The employees are very friend;y and helpful, and there's more than enough to keep you busy here all day, with all of the rides, the boardwalk, and world famous Nathan's all right here.
MAGIC SPRINGS & CRYSTAL FALLS (AR)
Nestled in the beautiful hills of Arkansas, Magic Springs and Crystal Falls has plenty to offer. The park has a very comfortable, family atmosphere, and the hills within the park make it important to take your time and enjoy things at a slower pace. Water rides are scattered throughout the park, as are the coasters, and there seems to be something for most everyone as you walk through the park. The Timberwood Amphitheatre offers some amazing concerts as well! There's plenty of room to grow, so keep visiting and see what exciting new attractions they have to offer.
MARINER'S LANDING (NJ)
Sister park to Morey's Pier, this is a fantastic boardwalk amusement park. Situated right next to the Atlantic Ocean, we are treated to a couple of nice coasters and plenty of other treats waiting for us on the pier and on the boardwalk between the parks. The entire area is clean and even those who don't work in the park itself, but in the nearby boardwalk shops are very helpful and friendly.
MARTIN'S FANTASY ISLAND (NY)
This mid-size park has one of the most balanced collections of rides, games, shops, and shows I've ever seen! The layout of the park is a little unusual, mostly because the main ride section of the park is behind (or through) another entrance facade that is opposite the children's section. Otherwise, the park is very easy to navigate, and while there's plenty to see and do, there's still room for this park to grow. The staff have fun here, and it makes it fun for everyone. Rides that would be great for them to add here would be a dark ride, a kiddie coaster, and a reverse free-fall or drop ride.
MEMPHIS KIDDIE PARK (OH)
As the name says, this is a park for the younger crowd and most rides are strictly for them. It's a wonderful experience for them with so many rides that are just their size! Adults can ride the coaster, and there is an arcade and a miniature golf course to enjoy as well.
MGM GRAND ADVENTURES (NV)
Not too much that's grand here right now, but there's a lot of
potential. The only coaster is at the back of the park and isn't much to speak of although the ride operators were friendly and entertaining. In fact, the staff for this park were all polite, helpful, and seemed to be enjoying themselves. Be sure to catch the pirate stunt show, which is one of the most enjoyable parts of the park. Attractions seem to change here on a rather frequent basis, but nothing dramatic seems to be changing as far as the general size and appeal. Update: MGM chose to close this park in 2000 rather than make the additions that would have been needed to make it a more viable park.
MICHIGAN'S ADVENTURE (MI)
Although this park isn't very large, it serves as home to three roller coasters. A fourth is planned for the 1998 season and construction has just recently finished. Most of the rides here have lots of space between them, as though more will be added. It's a very clean park, with many areas that look very new. Lot's of potential for growth that could turn this into a really top notch mid-size park.
MIDWAY PARK (NY)
As part of the Midway State Park, this small collection of around a dozen older carnival rides offers something different for the younger members of the family. Among the attractions here are two small coasters, a train, a Tilt-a-Whirl, and a small putt-putt golf course. Enjoy the rides for a bit, and then head off to other areas of the park to enjoy the natural beauty of western New York State.
MILE HIGH FLEA MARKET (CO)
This huge flea market in Henderson, Colorado is also home to a small amusement ride area, which is tucked away almost in the middle of the 80 acres of vendor booths. The rides are definitely for the younger members of the crowd, but there are a couple of small performance areas here too, and it works well as something different to keep everyone happy.
MINER MIKE'S ADVENTURE TOWN (MO)
Two story arcade park with a coaster and play center on the second level. Mini-bumper cars and the arcade are on the lower level. Neon lights highlight this clean little amusement park.
MOREY'S PIER (NJ)
Sister park to Mariner's Landing, much of the same can be said
about this park. The Nor'Easter inverted coaster is impressive
here as it winds around a log flume ride, which actually had to
be disassembled to put the Nor'Easter together. The parks are close
enough that you really should visit them both, and there are
tickets available to grant access to both of the parks.
MT. OLYMPUS WATER & THEME PARK (WI)
My family recently visited the Libertlyland in Memphis, Tennessee. We have two small children so it is hard to find places that have rides for small kids. There were lots of things for them to ride and we all enjoyed ourselves alot.. The layout of the park was a little confusing, they need signs to tell people where everything is. They had roller coasters... one was an old roller coaster and it was made with wood and the other was an all metal roller coaster and there was a water ride rollar coaster. It was a blast. I hope everyone gets to enjoy Libertlyland (Review by Amy Hembree)
For 2009... this park has really grown over the last few years. Now with seven coasters, it's a great mid-size park! The lake now serves as a centerpiece, with rides surrounding it, though there is still room for more. It's a wonderful family park. What seems to be missing at the moment is a dark ride of some sort... a haunted house... a laser target ride...
For 2008... no one knows how to run a pier park like Morey's. Now including four piers, though one has very little on it except near the boardwalk. Each of the piers, Surfside, Mariner's Landing, and Adventure have so much to offer that you could easily spend the better part of a day on each pier. There are coasters on each pier, for a total of six, and each pier has a dark ride, with Dante's Dungeon being one of the scariest dark rides I've been on. Pirates of the Wildwoods has some great visual effects, and Jersey Junkyard has some good scares too, though it doesn't last long enough. There are two waterparks, a go-kart track, and plenty of other rides too. And, if the parks themselves aren't enough for you, there is plenty to do on the boardwalk as you travel from one pier to the next. Everything from t-shirts to jewelry, from tattoos to photos, movies, and a 25 store mall. If you're hungry, how about ice cream, cotton candy, funnel cakes, fried oreos, candy apples, soft pretzels, hot dogs, pizza, chicken dinners... there isn't much that you won't find somewhere on Morey's Piers or the boardwalk!
This park is like an a old fair. It has the oldest operating wooden rollar coaster in the U.S.A.! It has your basic everyday log flume where you go through a tunnel, up a ramp and down the flume. It has a ride called the Camikazze which is a blast. It also has a metal rollar coaster with two corkscrews and an upside down loop. It is not like Busch Gardens with the coolest roller coasters, but I guarantee that you will have a good time. One thing I forgot to tell you is that this theme park is located in Memphis, Tennesee. (Review by Thevolsboy)
LIBERTYLAND FUN CENTER (UT) Smaller park with both indoor and outdoor rides, a number of arcade games, a few rides for the very young, and a small, but very nicely designed putt-putt golf course featuring U.S. historic monuments. The staff is friendly and helpful and the coaster has a replica of Mt. Rushmore as part of it's structure.
LITTLE AMERRICKA (WI) This wonderful little park may be out in the middle of "nowhere", but it's well worth the trip! The Meteor wooden coaster makes a great centerpiece for the park, with it's collection of mostly smaller rides. There are clearly some unique items here... a toboggan coaster, a monorail, and a train ride that lasts for 15 minutes! The atmosphere is friendly and casual, making you feel right at home.
LUNA PARK (NY) At the same time the old Astroland park was beginning to struggle, the city was setting about revitalizing the area and making sure that the Coney Island area would still be home to a great amusement park. So, on the grounds of the old Astroland park, and in the spirit of the long lost Luna Park that closed in 1944, this new park is thriving! It's a little confusing with Deno's tucked into the middle of the area, but great to see that the old Cyclone coaster is available as part of Luna Park's ride package. The employees are very friend;y and helpful, and there's more than enough to keep you busy here all day, with all of the rides, the boardwalk, and world famous Nathan's all right here.
MAGIC SPRINGS & CRYSTAL FALLS (AR) Nestled in the beautiful hills of Arkansas, Magic Springs and Crystal Falls has plenty to offer. The park has a very comfortable, family atmosphere, and the hills within the park make it important to take your time and enjoy things at a slower pace. Water rides are scattered throughout the park, as are the coasters, and there seems to be something for most everyone as you walk through the park. The Timberwood Amphitheatre offers some amazing concerts as well! There's plenty of room to grow, so keep visiting and see what exciting new attractions they have to offer.
MARINER'S LANDING (NJ) Sister park to Morey's Pier, this is a fantastic boardwalk amusement park. Situated right next to the Atlantic Ocean, we are treated to a couple of nice coasters and plenty of other treats waiting for us on the pier and on the boardwalk between the parks. The entire area is clean and even those who don't work in the park itself, but in the nearby boardwalk shops are very helpful and friendly.
MARTIN'S FANTASY ISLAND (NY) This mid-size park has one of the most balanced collections of rides, games, shops, and shows I've ever seen! The layout of the park is a little unusual, mostly because the main ride section of the park is behind (or through) another entrance facade that is opposite the children's section. Otherwise, the park is very easy to navigate, and while there's plenty to see and do, there's still room for this park to grow. The staff have fun here, and it makes it fun for everyone. Rides that would be great for them to add here would be a dark ride, a kiddie coaster, and a reverse free-fall or drop ride.
MEMPHIS KIDDIE PARK (OH) As the name says, this is a park for the younger crowd and most rides are strictly for them. It's a wonderful experience for them with so many rides that are just their size! Adults can ride the coaster, and there is an arcade and a miniature golf course to enjoy as well.
MGM GRAND ADVENTURES (NV) Not too much that's grand here right now, but there's a lot of potential. The only coaster is at the back of the park and isn't much to speak of although the ride operators were friendly and entertaining. In fact, the staff for this park were all polite, helpful, and seemed to be enjoying themselves. Be sure to catch the pirate stunt show, which is one of the most enjoyable parts of the park. Attractions seem to change here on a rather frequent basis, but nothing dramatic seems to be changing as far as the general size and appeal. Update: MGM chose to close this park in 2000 rather than make the additions that would have been needed to make it a more viable park.
MICHIGAN'S ADVENTURE (MI)
Although this park isn't very large, it serves as home to three roller coasters. A fourth is planned for the 1998 season and construction has just recently finished. Most of the rides here have lots of space between them, as though more will be added. It's a very clean park, with many areas that look very new. Lot's of potential for growth that could turn this into a really top notch mid-size park.
MIDWAY PARK (NY) As part of the Midway State Park, this small collection of around a dozen older carnival rides offers something different for the younger members of the family. Among the attractions here are two small coasters, a train, a Tilt-a-Whirl, and a small putt-putt golf course. Enjoy the rides for a bit, and then head off to other areas of the park to enjoy the natural beauty of western New York State.
MILE HIGH FLEA MARKET (CO) This huge flea market in Henderson, Colorado is also home to a small amusement ride area, which is tucked away almost in the middle of the 80 acres of vendor booths. The rides are definitely for the younger members of the crowd, but there are a couple of small performance areas here too, and it works well as something different to keep everyone happy.
MINER MIKE'S ADVENTURE TOWN (MO) Two story arcade park with a coaster and play center on the second level. Mini-bumper cars and the arcade are on the lower level. Neon lights highlight this clean little amusement park.
MOREY'S PIER (NJ)
Sister park to Mariner's Landing, much of the same can be said
about this park. The Nor'Easter inverted coaster is impressive
here as it winds around a log flume ride, which actually had to
be disassembled to put the Nor'Easter together. The parks are close
enough that you really should visit them both, and there are
tickets available to grant access to both of the parks.
MT. OLYMPUS WATER & THEME PARK (WI)What a wonderful collection of wooden roller coasters! Hades is, of course, the most spectacular, diving underground and shooting up through the parking lot before heading back underground to return to the station. The rides here are very spread out over the area, with the park complex including an indoor amusement park, an indoor water park that's connected to the Hotel Rome, an outdoor water park, and the outdoor amusement park. There are eight separate go-kart tracks here, and the tracks are more elaborate than anywhere else. With plenty of room to grow, a looping, twisting steel coaster called Medusa sounds like a logical choice...
MYRTLE BEACH PAVILION AMUSEMENT PARK (SC) A great little amusement park that I'm glad I managed to visit during it's final season. Unlike the situation for many amusement parks that end up closing during the off-season, Pavilion was able to plan for their final season with lots of special events and guests. A clean park with a friendly staff, in whose eyes I could already see the wistful look of the memories of years gone by. A wonderful park that will definitely be remembered fondly by many.
NASCAR CAFE AT SAHARA HOTEL AND CASINO (NV) Fast but rather short coaster that starts inside the hotel and runs out to the front of the property then drops you backwards to the starting point. If you're in the area, it's a nice little ride, but it has less to offer than the other Vegas coasters.
NASCAR SPEEDPARK (TN) Near Pigeon Forge, and all of the many amazing attractions in the area, is Sevierville, and the Nascar Speedpark. As you might suspect, there are quite a few go-kart tracks here, but there is also a small amusement park with a coaster where the cars are shaped like little race cars. There is also a very spacious and well-lit arcade, and separating the go-kart area from the amusement park is an internet cafe with free wi-fi. Very nice!
NEW YORK NEW YORK HOTEL AND CASINO (NV) Just when I begin to wonder when I'll see something new... a heartline corkscrew that takes only one and a half turns before diving you upsidedown! Nice! Most of the coaster swoops and swerves through a recreation of Manhattan that sits on the top of the building. Definitely a unique experience.
NICKELODEON UNIVERSE (MN)
Yes, this park is in the middle of a mall, the biggest one in the country. The coaster is basically for the kids, winding around the park area and offering a good view of all of the smaller rides and games that are available. They did spend a great deal of money and time making the area look very nice and the staff are friendly, and the place is kept very clean.
For 2009, another name change, which this park seems to do every few years... the big news is that there are now five coasters here, which is a huge achievement for an indoor amusement park. It does mean that most rides are very close to one another, but you can eaily walk around the perimiter of the park and decide what you want to ride and then move in toward the center where most of the rides are located. There isn't a great deal of food offered here, but with so much available a few steps away in the rest of the mall, you don't really need it.
NICKEL'S MIDWAY PIER (NJ) Another of the pier parks along this huge stretch of boardwalk in New Jersey. This one has a little less to offer, but it's not bad. It does have a nice walk-through haunted castle, and there's also a Dungeon Boat Ride that goes underneath, offering a few more scares. Update... due to a fire in January of 2002 as well as some other problems, Nickel's will probably remain only a fond memory.
NOAH'S ARK (WI) This is, for the most part, a water park, and clearly one of the largest ones you'll find. There are a few other rides here including a small coaster for the children and a nice, walk-through haunted attraction as well. If you're in the Wisconsin Dells area and want to get wet, this is the place to go!
O.D. PAVILION AMUSEMENT PARK (SC)
The "O.D." is for Ocean Drive, where the park is located, along with many other beachfront attractions. The park is made for people to wander through and just pick out a couple of rides or games and pay as you go. The dozen or so rides here are all smaller carnival rides, but the stores, games, and restaurant all seem to be a bit more permanent in their structure. It's a clean little park, and the staff are friendly and helpful. There isn't any growth space here, but that may work out because they do have a nice location, and there's plenty of free parking nearby.
For 2013, The park has filled out a little, with a few more rides, including an area across the street. It's nice to see the extra space being used and offering a little more entertainment. It makes you want to stay around a little longer to enjoy what they have.
OAKLAND ZOO (CA) Nice, small ride area adjacent to the zoo. No need to pay admission to the zoo to enjoy these rides, but if you have younger children, they make a great addition to the experience of a day at the zoo. One of the rides is a train that actually takes you inside one of the exhibits through an area of the Australia animal exhibit.
OAKS AMUSEMENT PARK (OR) Although this park has been around since 1925, it doesn't look that old. Newer rides are added each year and older rides are removed, keeping the park interesting and vibrant. A dark ride would be a nice addition, as they don't have one of those right now. Miniature golf is part of the fun here, and there are a variety of pricing options which makes this a great park for lots of different people.
OCEAN BEACH PARK (CT) This beautiful beachfront park is a hidden and struggling gem. The boardwalk is wonderful that is very well-maintained, as is the beach, which has been named one of the best beaches in the United States by National Geographic. There's a fitness center here, which is a very good idea, and which keeps the place busy during the day. A restaurant, gift shop, and plenty of activities in the evening, including beach volleyball and local DJs. The rides here are mostly smaller and most have seen better days, though the carousel is in good condition, a little larger, and the most popular ride. The community is working to keep this park going, and hopefully they will be able to do just that.
OKEMO MOUNTAIN RESORT (VT) This mountain resort's "Adventure Zone" has a little bit of everything to keep everyone entertained in the "off-season". A ropes course, miniature and regular golf courses, a climbing wall, air bag, trampoline, zipline, and, of course, the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster! This resort has spent the time and money to have wide appeal all year long, which is an approach that some of the others haven't taken yet. The staff are helpful and friendly, and the area is very clean, making it a fun and exciting place to spend the day.
OLD INDIANA FUN PARK (IN) This park closed and its rides sold at auction February 1997. Premier Parks has purchased the land and plans to open the Heartland Festival Entertainment Complex in 1999. At present, it will be a complex with an amusement park, movie theaters, golf course, baseball fields, hotel, and even an indoor water park that will be open year round. An ambitious undertaking, but close enough to Indianapolis that it just might succeed. In its former incarnation, it was basically a picnic area with a few rides. They had a steel zyklon coaster, that was in pretty bad shape when I was there in its next-to-last season. Update: Six Flags (formerly Premier Parks) sold the land and there are no plans to develop the space as an amusement park any longer.
OLD TOWN (FL) Located in the heart of "The Strip", just west of Kissimmee, Florida, this is a small, but quite entertaining little park. There have been a number of additions over the last few years, both to the park and the surrounding area. Lots of folks use Kissimmee as the place to stay while spending their days in nearby Orlando or Tampa. There are dozens of motels, and even more restaurants and stores, with something to accomodate just about every budget. Old Town's biggest problem is probably parking, unless you know your way around. My advice is to use the road next to the park area and take it to the back of the park by the roller coaster. There's plenty of parking and they sell attraction tickets at this end of the park as well.
OPRYLAND (TN) This park is no longer in existence. Some of its rides will be in the new Heartland Festival Entertainment Complex. The owners decided to build a mall on the property in Nashville. A few of the kiddie rides are being kept for a small amusement area, but the bulk of this beautiful park will never be seen again. What follows is a review from my visit to the park sometime before it closed. A park filled with gorgeous greenery that manages to feel relatively cool even on the hottest of days. The staff is helpful and the park shows signs of being well-maintained over many years. Several country music shows are available throughout the park, and with its proximity to the Nashville country music scene, well-known country musicians sometimes make impromptu appearances in the park. On the coaster side of things, the most interesting is Chaos, a coaster with 40 cars that each seat two people. It just goes up eight stories in a circle and then back down, but it's still fun. They also have Screamin' Delta Demon (a bobsled ride), Rock 'n' Roller Coaster (a mine ride), Wabash Cannonball (a corkscrew coaster), and The Hangman, an inverted coaster that feels just as rough as T2 at Kentucky Kingdom.
PACIFIC PARK (CA)
The large ferris wheel is easy to spot as you find your way down to Santa Monica pier and provides a great look at the surrounding beach area as well as the park itself. They have a very well-maintained old carousel here which has been enclosed to give it added protection. The steel coaster isn't much to
speak of, but the food is good (and very affordable), and the atmosphere is wonderful. It's a pleasant little park that has been seen in quite a few movies over the years.
For 2007... not too much has changed here for the past few years. New paint and the occassional change in food, along with a small ride replacement or two. The ferris wheel now runs on solar power (the first one to do so) but the limited amount of space prevents growth. Still, it's a great little park that's well worth the visit!
PALACE PLAYLAND (ME)
Very clean and well-kept park covering a two city block area. Parking is definitely a problem since the beach is so close. There are a few parking places on side streets that are available for free or minimal cost a few blocks away. The rides are packed in pretty tightly here, but the mood is pleasant and many people take in a few rides, wander down to the beach to get some sun, and then come back later to take in a few more rides. Most of the rides are geared toward the younger crowd, but there are a few rides for those who are a little older. The biggest surprise here is that some of the ticket packages are rather expensive.
For 2014, Not a great deal has changed at this fun beachfront park in southern Maine. Space is limited, but new rides move in to replace older rides from time to time. If you visit in middle to late August, the crowds are smaller and its easier to find parking.
PAUL BUNYAN LAND (MN) Just outside of Brainerd, Minnesota is a small amusement park with a very large attraction. A giant statue of the legendary Paul Bunyan sits ready to greet those who enter this small amusment park. Most of the collection of rides here are for the younger crowd, though the walk-through haunted house is VERY creepy and not for the faint of heart. There's also a "magnetic mine" attraction that will test your ability to walk through without falling down. Next door to the park is a small group of petting zoo animals and a collection of antiques and a number of farm related items. "This Old Farm" is definitely worth a look while you're there, and works well as a different attraction, included with the price of admission.
PAVILION PARK (SC) Not to be confused with the other park in nearby North Myrtle Beack, this park in Myrtle Beach has been around since 2003 but just added their first coaster in 2014. The park is divided into east, west, and central areas, which works well since there are quite a few other entertainment and shopping options in the area. There is a focus to each of the areas, with the eastern area being older rides, the western area more focused on children, and the central area having more of the intense rides. It's a rather unique setup, and there's room to grow.
PHARAOH'S LOST KINGDOM (CA) A small collection of carnival rides serve to supplement a nice little waterpark and an indoor arcade. The rides themselves aren't much, but they do manage to supply enough of a variety to make this an attractive little park that's worth visiting if you're in the area. There's also a very nice Egyptian themed performance area. The arcade is accessible without an admission charge.
PIXIELAND AMUSEMENT PARK (CA) Just over half a dozen smaller rides and a few games here, along with some food and a picnic area. The train will take you around the property, showing that there is plenty of room to expand the ride and game areas. The staff are friendly, and the park is clean, but I didn't get to see any pixies. Maybe you will!
PLAYLAND AMUSEMENT PARK (NY)
Beautiful, historic amusement park, the first one which was specifically planned as such. The overall design is very appealing, with a gently landscaped center courtyard area that somehow remains relatively quiet. While most of the rides will appeal to the pre-teen crowd, there's a relaxed feeling about the park that you don't find in many amusment parks. Some of the rides that were here when the park opened are still around, and there's a very nice museum that is just a short stroll down the nearby boardwalk. A new children's museum is planned for the area as well, blending old with new and education with enterainment.
For 2014... Fresh coats of paint are evident, but not much has changed since my last visit. The Dragon coaster is still the best one here, and delivers a great ride, as it has since 1929. This is one of those rare parks where, even though there are newer rides, you still get a sense of having stepped back in time. It's wonderful when a park can do that and still bring in enough new attractions to keep drawing new people in as well.
PLAYLAND'S CASTAWAY COVE (NJ)
Another of New Jersey's pier parks along the boardwalk. Nice and
clean, though not all that many rides. The arcade and carousel are located under a shelter, with the other rides outside.
For 2008... now with more of a pirate theme, this park is smaller than Gillian's Wonderland Pier, which is just a short walk away on the boardwalk, but it's a fun little park with a friendly staff and quite a few rides have been added here with a nice mix of rides that will appeal to both younger children and teens.
For 2014... Not a great deal has changed in the last few years, though there is an additional coaster now. The pirate theme remains, and this pier park fits well here and has plenty of entertainment to offer.
QUASSY AMUSEMENT PARK (CT) Quassy has been around for quite awhile. (1908 to be exact.) It remains an attractive, small to midsize park with a strong appeal to the younger crowd. The Wooden Warrior coaster is a great and fairly recent addition to the park, delivering a ride that is not too wild for the younger ones, but still offers plenty of kick for those who are older. There's still plenty of room to grow, and lots of different kinds of rides that could be added, though the spacing seems to add to a relaxing and pleasant experience.
RIVERFRONT PARK (WA) Located on the former site of Expo '74 (also known as the World's Fair), the park itself is quite beautiful and includes a skyride over the Spokane Falls. There's an IMAX theater, an old carousel, and mini-golf. The amusement park rides are small and few in number, located underneath a shelter area next to the IMAX theater. The same area becomes an ice rink in the winter.
RIVERVIEW PARK & WATERWORLD (WI)
After removing the two small coasters they used to have, Riverview is now basically a waterpark with several different go-kart and race tracks. There are a few smaller rides here as well, and the park is clean, but the removal of the coasters isn't a good sign for the ride area.
ROTARY STORYLAND PLAYLAND FAMILY AMUSEMENT PARK (CA)
Located within Roeding Park, and across from the zoo, this park has both an amusement ride area and a Mother Goose storyland area. Be sure to take the train ride around the park to get a look at everything. It's definitely a park for the younger crowd, but a great way to spend a relaxing and fun day with the little ones!
ROUTE 66 CAROUSEL PARK (MO) Fairly small park with a collection of rides mostly for the younger crowd. There are also batting cages, a go-kart track, and a miniature golf course. Two coasters highlight the ride area, one just for the little ones and another that everyone can ride. One small carousel is here too, though one might expect from the name that there would be more... and perhaps carousel collectibles for sale... but there aren't.
SAFARI LAND (IL) This indoor arcade amusement park has one of the largest party areas I've seen. numerous party rooms with various animal themes. Some are rather small, but there are some larger ones as well, and a large restaurant area too. There are several lanes of bowling available here, along with the arcade and a few amusement park rides and a go-kart track. The staff are polite here, and keep Safari Land very clean.
SAM'S FUN CITY (FL) Sam's definitely has plenty of fun to offer. With three go-kart tracks, an arcade and around a dozen rides including a ferris wheel and a small roller coaster. There's also a waterpark area with several slides so you can cool off when you need to! The staff here are very friendly and ready to help if you need it.
SANTA CRUZ BEACH BOARDWALK (CA)
Nice, clean boardwalk park with the classic Giant Dipper coaster. Not much airtime, but you still get the nostalgic feeling. The Hurricane coaster is a zyklon with a twist... a very sharp, twisting vertical drop that really makes it fun. There is also a fairly good haunted house ride here, so stop on by and spend some time at the boardwalk!
For 2009, a few more rides have popped up in the last few years, including a third coaster. Much is the same though, with an interesting mix of the historic and the modern. And, of course, along with the rides, there's also the beach itself, and the beautiful Pacific Ocean!
SANTA'S LAND FAMILY THEME PARK AND ZOO (NC) Three sections to this small family theme park, Santa's Land, with shops, decorations, and a performance area, Zoo Land, with animals, feeding opportunities, and paddle boats, and Funland, with more shops, food, several small rides, and the Rudicoaster! There's also a train ride that goes around most of the park and a very nice gift shop as you exit. It's a nice, clean park with a friendly staff and plenty of attractions that appeal to younger children.
SANTA'S VILLAGE (NH) Beautiful small amusement park where you can celebrate Christmas for half of the year! The layout is a little confusing, but there are fun rides and activites at every turn. It's especially fun for families with children under 12 as a majority of attractions are designed for them. The staff are friendly and helpful and keep the park very clean.
SANTA'S VILLAGE AZOOSMENT PARK (IL) As the name of the park suggests, this is more than just an amusement park. There are a number of animal exhibits with opportunities for interaction with many of the animals. Most of the attractions here are for the younger members of the crowd, but many of them offer the opportunity for parents and grandparents to ride with them and enjoy this very pretty and clean park.
SANTA'S WORKSHOP (CO) Cascade, Colorado is also known as the North Pole, at least as far as this amusement park is concerned! With a focus on entertaining the younger members of the oublic, this beautiful little park has quite a few rides to offer, including a train, a coaster, a sky ride, a ferris wheel, a haunted house and much more. OK, the haunted house may be a bit unusual for a park with this focus, but it's fun! There's plenty of great food here and several wonderful shops as well as some antique organs and an old carousel. The staff are very friendly and helpful, so be sure to stop by if you're anywhere nearby!
SCANDIA AMUSEMENT PARK (CA) Nice, clean, smaller scale amusement park that used to be sort of out in the middle of nowhere. Now there's an office park next door. And, of course, the airport that allows this park to have a sign on their one coaster that says "Caution - Low Flying Aircraft Overhead" and they do fly pretty low... As well as a number of smaller rides for the younger folks, there are two nice putt-putt golf courses here, batting cages, and go-karts. It's a little out of the way, but if you're in the neighborhood, it's definitely worth stopping by.
SEA WORLD ORLANDO (FL)
Shamu puts on a terrific show, but this killer whale is far from the only attraction here. The dolphins and false killer whales have their own show at the new Key West Dolphin Fest area. The Golden Dragon Acrobats and Baywatch at Sea World both do a fabulous job of entertaining the audience with quality acrobatic and stunt work. There are also opportunities to touch live stingrays in the Stingray Lagoon, get a close-up look at the Terrors of the Deep, see the gentle, endangered manatees, and take a tour through the Wild Arctic on a simulation ride.
For 2011, four new coasters since my last visit here, which makes it even more difficult to see and do everything in a day. The coasters are spaced throughout the park, and make a nice addition to what was already here. Sea World is all about the combination of education and entertainment, and they do a great job of it. The staff are wonderful here, and do a great job of keeping everything clean and helping you have a wonderful day at Sea World!
There's 2 thrill rides here. The new Kraken is a floorless coaster. It's not the highest or the fastest, but it's lot's of good fun. The 3rd "turn" is a corkscrew that gives the best air time. It lasts about 2 minutes. The other is the surprising Journey to Atlantis. It's a water ride, but it features 2 drops and when you think it's over a few nice coasterish turns. You can get pretty wet, but rows 2 and 3 are the driest of the bunch. (Review by AZO)
SEA WORLD SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Like most things in Texas, this is BIG! The two coasters give the park a wider appeal, but the main attractions here are still the shows. The standard Killer whale, sea lion, and water ski shows are here as well as a show that features cats, dogs, and other domestic animals, many of which were rescued from local animal shelters. The dolphin show, Viva, has the added dimension of acrobatic performers. I'm not so sure that it was a good idea to replace the traditional dolphin show with this, but it is a nice show. By the way, the performance arenas here are by far the nicest and most elaborate of any of the Sea World parks.
For 2015... Sea World is changing and adapting to the entertainment requests of its guests. There's a large waterpark area with a very nusy and active children's "Bay of Play" area. And while there are fewer animal shows than there used to be, this is currently the only Sea World with a ski show, and it's very good. It could (and should) serve as a model for the other parks in how to entertain people without using animals.
My first coaster I went on was the "Steel Eel". It being my first coaster, it scared me to death! Even though it doesn't have any corkscrews, it has lots of airtime! I recommend this ride to get you warmed u pfor other rides, or for first time riders, you'll really like this coaster. Tha park was clean as well and I really enjoyed being there. (Review by Shay W.)
SEA WORLD SAN DIEGO (CA)
Shamu, Dolly, a wonderful Sea Lion and Otter show with Clyde and Seamore, an ice skating show, sports competition, bird show... the Wild Arctic simulation ride, shark, manatee, and penguin displays... the list just goes on and on in this park. I will say that the skytower ride should be included in the price of admission, which is a little steep. Still, it's a wonderful park and the shows are all highly educational and entertaining, making it worth the price.
For 2009... a few new areas have been built up here, most notably the Sesame Street "Bay of Play" and a 4-D movie. There is a coaster here now as well, Journey to Atlantis. A nice addition, but this particular Sea World is lagging behind the others as far as thrills, though the marine education they offer is hard to beat.
For 2014... Not much new here except for the Manta coaster. Sea World's pattern of entertainment has worked well in the past, but seems somewhat stagnant, and attendance seems to bear that out. The park is still very clean and the staff both friendly and helpful. Lots of room to add new attractions, but it remains to be seen if that will happen.
SEABREEZE AMUSEMENT PARK (NY) Though not quite next to Lake Ontario, this is a boardwalk-style park with a family focus. Founded in 1879, the history is told through pictures on the walls of the building housing the carousel. The gentle old Jack Rabbit coaster is the best, the reworked Bobsleds being a bit jerky and the Quantum Loop having thoroughly unmanageable harnesses. A good little park, that is very reasonably priced.
SESAME PLACE (PA) As one might expect from a park with this name, there are plenty of bright colors and characters from Sesame Street everywhere you turn. Younger children will have lots of fun here, though it's somewhat surprising that there are actually relatively few rides here. Eight dry rides and seven wet ones, with three shows and a parade that runs twice a day. It's all very good, and the park is very clean and beautifully landscaped, but it definitely seems like there should be more here for the price.
SILVER DOLLAR CITY (MO)
Not just an amusement park, but a true tourist attraction as well. Branson, Missouri's numerous other attractions draw a large number of older people and they come here as well. There are quite a few artisan shops and plenty of country and gospel music shows as well. Amusement park rides and water rides are scattered throughout the park, and the coasters are an interesting collection, though it's a bit of a surprise that there isn't a wooden one here. Oh, and don't forget that 20-minute train ride! (It's not actually a 20-minute "ride" since it stops in the middle for some comic relief.) They've done a nice job taking advantage of the natural landscape here and the staff all do a wonderful job of being both entertaining and helpful.
For 2013, The new Outlaw Run wooden coaster is just what this park needed! It's a great new addition and loads of fun. Not much else has changed, and this continues to be a nice, relaxing park with lots of fun things to keep you entertained all day. The rides are only one part of a varied experience at this great park.
Took my family on a friday, to ride Wildfire, a new coaster that takes you up and immediately drops you 15 stories, then into two loops, some cobra spins, two more loops takes your picture, and for a fee you can get a cool reminder. Oh, and did I mention that it reaches speeds of 65mph! Awesome! They also have one of only two classic working rollercoasters in the world. Fire in the hole, takes you through a tunnel of low lighting, scenes, and surprises.Water rides for summer fun, shows, shopping, and lots of hills, but we loved it. (Review by Leatleahci)
SILVERWOOD THEME PARK (ID)
Originally an airstrip, Silverwood remembers those roots with a museum housing several historic aircraft. The Timber Terror is a nice out and back wooden coaster, and they have a corkscrew coaster as well. It's a very clean park, though being laid out along the airstrip makes it a rather long walk from one end of the park to the other. Victorian Street is one of the highlights, with wonderful decorations and a full-size old steam train you can ride. Two magic shows and an ice skating show round out
the entertainment here.
For 2007, the wooden coaster, Tremors, is a wonderful addition to the park, with tight turns, plenty of speed, and some fun tunnels as well. There's also a drop tower, and a new water park area at one end of the park. Plenty of beautiful new landscaping work has been done as well. It's disappointing to see the aircraft museum is gone, but the rest of the attractions remain the same, and the friendly staff will be happy to help you enjoy your experience at this wonderful family amusement park.
Silverwood Theme Park is quite a nice place after having begun life as an airstrip. Beautiful landscaping has been introduced along with the amusement ride area, multi-mile train ride into the woods, Victorian-themed Main Street area, shops, and game and eating places, such as Lindy's Restuarant. They also have an RV park. Two CCI wood coasters, Timber Terror and Tremors, get rave reviews from coaster enthusiasts nationwide. The park is also home to the original Arrow Development "Corkscrew", formerly at Knott's Berry Farm. Several other rides for the entire family round out Silverwood's offerings, such as the raft ride Thunder Canyon, a flume ride, bumper cars, bumper boats, Tinywood for the little kids (including a tiny steel coaster), a Ferris Wheel, carousel, gas-powered old-car ride along the Corkscrew, and several well-known carnival-style rides. Fireworks are also featured during the summer weekends. Silverwood will keep developing its several hundred acres, although presently it is contained within a narrow strip of land between the airstrip and US Highway 95. Silverwood appeals to the great Northwest and western Canada, and surpassed 350,000 visitors in 2000. The two woodies are loaded with airtime and laterals, and no dead spots. Though pretty small, the park is well-balanced and looking great. They really need a big steel coaster, though, and hopefully someday that will happen. (Review by Ray O'Russa)
Everything that has been said in the other reviews I one hundred percent agree with, except the notion that Silverwood is need of a big steel coaster. After being to the park and seeing how its developed with the addition of the two wicked woodies, I think it would be very cool if they stuck to the wood theme instead. Why try and compete head-on with Paramount, SixFlags, and Cedar Fair. If they create their own catagory of park and become the ultimate destination for woodies, they could be original and a standout from the other 50 parks all over the states. I hope this gets posted and someone over at Silverwood reads this. Keep those earthshattering woodies coming!! (Review by The Earthman)
SIX FLAGS AMERICA (MD)
Formerly known as Adventure World, this is a beautiful small park with lots of potential for growth. The inverted Mind Eraser coaster is nice and smooth and the old wooden coaster, The Wild One, still delivers a great ride. They also have a shuttle loop coaster called The Python. Several new shows were recently added to the park's schedule... a sock hop musical revue, a wild west
stunt show, and a backyard circus. The staff is very friendly here and happy to help you find your way around.
For 2004, lots of changes since my last visit, and I love most of them! The Batwing coaster is wonderful and Roar is great fun as well. Despite growing so much, the park still retains its family appeal although they could use a few more smaller rides. I'd love to see the train running again, and a ferris wheel and ride-through target shooting game would be great! They could also use more food options in the Gotham City area. Fresh paint is needed in a few spots too, but it's a very clean park with a very friendly staff.
For 2015, more rides and more shows since my last visit. Two of the most recent coaster additions are relocations from Six Flags Great America. One of those, the former Iron Wolf, looks great here as Apocalypse, the Last Stand. Their promotion this year claims a new 10th coaster, but it's actually a super loop ride, not a coaster, though it is a very nice addition to the Mardi Gras area of the park.
The best rollar coaster that I have ever gotten on has to be the Batwing at Six Flags America. I like the unique style of it. You start off laying on your back till when you reach the top of the hill you do a spiral and then are laying face down. There are other good rides like the Superman Hypersonic XLC or Nitro but the Batwing is the best. (Review by Mike Bruce)
SIX FLAGS DISCOVERY KINGDOM (CA)
This is a great wild animal park! Fun exhibits and very entertaining shows. It's sort of puzzling that it doesn't seem to get much publicity outside of the northern California area. My favorite attractions here were the tiger show, and the chimpanzee and orangutan show. This is a beautiful park that is kept very clean and maintains a high emphasis on education as well as entertainment. My visit in 1999 showed a number of changes to the park in recent years, especially with the change to this being a Six Flags park. There are still a number of animal shows, but they are less professional than before, though the emphasis on education remains. Most of this is simply based
on experience. The trainers before had 10-20 years of experience. The new people just need more time. Due to the
nature of how the park has grown, there need to be more signs. Maps for Six Flags parks are notorious for not being
drawn to scale and not being clear on where some paths are (or aren't). At least the guide for this park is educational and informative even though the map isn't. The Boomerang and Kong coasters are nothing special, but the new wooden coaster Roar is very nice. Lots of steep drops and angled turns that make it a very fun ride. Love those open-front cars, but those lap bars are a real pain!
For 2011... several new rides and coasters since my last visit, and the park is growing quite well. Wonderful landscaping through the park, easily making this the most attractive of the Six Flags parks. It's still not an easy park to navigate though, with paths that don't lead you where you need to go. Staff are helpful and friendly though, so just ask them and they can direct you. The other big addition here are the animal shows, which also help make this a more unique and fun park in the Six Flag family that is well worth a visit!
SIX FLAGS FIESTA TEXAS (TX)
Friendly, clean, attractive park, located in an old stone quarry, which lends itself to some very striking scenery. Not only the scenic train ride, but the floorless Superman coaster travel right through one of the stone walls! The theming in the Los Festivales, Crackaxle Canyon, and Fiesta Bay Boardwalk areas is both extensive and very high quality. There are alos some of the nicest performance arenas you'll ever see in an amusement park, and some wonderful shows as well. Crico Magnifico is a acrobatic circus performance, and quite ambitious for an amusement park. Equally ambitious is the musical theater performance of Rockin' at Rockville High, complete with full scale sets and numerous scene and costume changes. Combined with the musicians and singers performing in other areas throughout the park, it's easy to see why this park has won the Golden Ticket award for Best Theme Park Shows for three years in a row! And to finish off the day, the very nice "Lone Star Spectacular" fireworks and laser light show on one of the largest walls of the quarry makes a great way to finish the day. My only complaint is that they close off a section of the boardwalk areas that includes a coaster and only have it accessible for Fright Fest in the fall.
For 2015, quite a bit has changed since my last visit here, including the reworking of the Iron Rattler, which is a great coaster. Batman the Ride is a fun addition too. And there have been several other changes and shifts in the park to expand and improve different areas. With plenty of room to grow, it would be great to see a dark coaster, another kiddie coaster, and a sky ride.
SIX FLAGS GREAT ADVENTURE (NJ)
Typical Six Flags park with several good shows and some nice coasters. Viper, Batman, Rolling Thunder, Mine Ride, and The Great American Scream Machine are all quite nice. This is probably the easiest of the Six Flags parks to get around in, with fewer dead end areas so you don't have to backtrack as much. The Old Country area seems to be diminishing as Movie
Town expands. It would be nice to see them both grow, but space may not permit it. Lots of helpful staff make this a great park
to visit on the east coast.
For 2005... WOW... This park has undergone an absoultely amazing change since my last visit! It has easily become the best park in the Six Flags chain, with a very friendly and helpful staff that will make your visit a pleasure. In particular, the ride-ops on Nitro deserve special mention for their extra efforts to help you have fun on your ride and while you wait. It's always nice to see employees of a park that are enjoying their work! The security staff here is great too, maintaining a visible and helpful presence without being intrusive. Thanks to park management for keeping the fast pass people out of the lines for the front and rear of the coasters where cue lines are already longer. There's even a relaxation station with internet access! The two things that I do think are needed here are a large, new wooden roller coaster... which I hear is in the works, and a bit more directional signage to help us more easily find all of the wonderful things this park has to offer!
For 2008... that new wooden coaster... El Toro... very nice! Plenty of twists and turns to make you feel like you're riding a wild bull. New for this year is the Fly Me to the Moon 3D simulator ride and The Dark Knight coaster, which is well-themed, but ultimately disappointing coaster in the dark with very little thrill value. There are four different and fairly small children's areas here, and it makes one wonder why they don't make one larger area instead... or at least two. Another question is why there are wild animals in the Golden Kingdom area when there is the Wild Safari park next door. This is still the bext park in the chain.
There's 2 newer coasters not mentioned here. The first is the excellent Medusa. The first floorless coaster built, it is both pretty tall and fast. It's also long, about 3 minutes. The corkscrew here gives the best airtime I've ever had. I recommend a seat in the back for that. The 2nd is one of the best I've ever been on: Nitro. It is about 300 feet tall and the first drop is almost straight down. It's REALLY long too, about 4 minutes and fast, about 80 or 90. Cedar Point's Millineum Force may be faster and taller, but this one beats it with it's length. I recommend waiting for the first car too. The line moves pretty fast, total wait time is never more than 45 to 60 minutes. The first hill is SICK and worth the wait! (Review by AZO)
SIX FLAGS GREAT AMERICA (IL)
The sister park to Paramount's Great America in California, though the similarities are decreasing and the park is becoming more like its fellow Six Flags parks. There is still the double-decker carousel near the entrance, and they both have a steel looping coaster called Demon. The recent Batman stunt show has given way to a wild west stunt show (the new rage in themes), but the Batman inverted coaster is still present. Also of note are the stand-up coaster, Iron Wolf, the seven inversion steel coaster, Shockwave, and the beautiful wooden coaster, The Viper.
This is a great park, but I highly recommend NOT going on the weekend. This park seems to be worse than most about being extremely busy on the weekend.
As of 2000... Raging Bull has made a great addition to the park and along with a few other rides, games, and stores, has really filled out the Southwest Territory section of the park. Despite all the rumors, the Whizzer's still here and running fine. Iron Wolf is getting a bit rough, but I look for them to add another coaster before they worry about tuning it up. The Russian Circus adds some nice variety to the offering of live entertainment.
For 2009... Four new coasters over the last several years bring the total up to twelve, and the park is shaping up quite nicely! Some of the exit lines for the coasters do seem to be a little long though. The staff are extremely helpful here and it's obvious that there has been a shift toward a focus on making sure that people are enjoying themselves. Their claim to be the cleanest amusement park in the world may be a bit over-stated, but it is a very clean park, which is no easy task for a larger park, and it is the cleanest of the Six Flags parks.
For 2011... Not much has changed here in the last couple of years. The did move in the Little Dipper coaster from the nearby Kiddieland park that closed. It's nice to see it here, in the Yukon Territory, which is basically the children's area of the park, but more development is needed here to make this a better children's section. The Southwest Territory section has developed quite nicely and the live stunt/comedy show is a nice addition. Management had staff micro-managing the cue lines this year, which serves almost no purpose except to annoy customers, which then makes everything else more difficult. The staff here are very helpful, especially about giving directions as it can be difficult to navigate this park at times. The staff get around it well, and do a great job of keeping it all very clean!
For 2012... Only one new attraction this year, but it's a winner! The new X-Flight wing coaster is wonderful, and is well-placed in the park in an area that needed something new. The park continues to be one of the cleanest parks of its size, and the staff are always helpful. What could use some work is the Yukon Territory area which is in desperate need of more top-notch children's rides.
For 2013... The big new attraction this year is the "ig-night" fireworks and light show at the end of the day. The Mardi Gras and Yukon Territory areas could use something new, and this park has been growing fairly steadily, so... It also continues to be a very clean park with plenty of helpful staff.
For 2014... Goliath is the big new attraction, and it lives up to the hype! A wooden coaster with a 180 degree zero G roll, over-banked turns, and several more exciting twists and turns. It's a great additionto a park with an already impressive list of rides. It continues to be one of the cleanest parks of its size with friendly and helpful staff. Signage to help with directions still hasn't improved though.
For 2015... This was my first time to visit on opening day, which surprisingly seemed to be a little lacking on energy and excitement. Also a little surprising that with this being the 40th anniversary of the park, that there were no major new rides. I did notice new paint on the Batman coaster, which looks much better now. There also is still far too much over management of cue lines, in particular on the Superman, Batman, and Goliath coasters. It was nice to see better enforcement of the "no line jumping" rule, which everyone who doesn't do that seemed to appreciate very much.
Six Flags Great America is a very enjoyable park with alot of cool roller coasters. My favorite is Raging Bull which has an awesome first drop and many turns and high drops to follow. They have Batman the Ride there which is always a fun one. Although it goes really fast and doesn't last long, it's a good coaster. Viper is a good classic wooden rollar coaster which always is exciting. It has many fun drops and cool turns and I recommend this one. They have Shockwave which is a steel twister coaster, but I don't recommend because of one point in the ride when it turns suddenly and gives you the worst whiplash. If you can get past that it's an ok rollar coaster. Then there is the antique American Eagle, which although old still gives a good thrill. The first drop is fun, but it get a little scary when you go in a circle around a swamp sort of thing. I swear you feel like the car is going to take a nose dive into the water. It makes a rickety sound and the faded paint doesn't make for an attractive look. They also have Iron Wolf which is an old stand up rollar coaster... it's ok, but nothing really special. Demon is a steel rollar coaster that goes in a number of loops after a small drop, I really don't recommend this one because there have been a number of times when people have gotten stuck in the corkscrews, so it's a little scary. I'm so excited for the opening this year, because there are 2 brand new roller coasters Deja Vu and Vertical Velocity (V2), which should be cool. (Review by Coolbabemb)
SIX FLAGS MAGIC MOUNTAIN (CA)
Huge park that is next to impossible to do in a day, especially if it's a busy day. I will simply have to go back and see how much more I
can get done. The signs throughout the park really help when you're trying to find your way around. Colossus and
Psycone are both very nice wooden coasters, but both are in need of a little work too. So many of the Six Flags parks
have the same attractions that it's always nice when they maintain a few differences. Unfortunately, the biggest
difference I found in this park was that those attending the park were incredibly rude. I hope it was just the day I was there, but
people were routinely cursing at staff members, cutting in line and being offensive in general. The staff were dealing
with it as best they could, but if this is typical, they really need to hire more security and remove people like this
from the park. It's the kind of atmosphere that can really ruin park attendance and make it unpleasant for the rest of us.
I'll give it another shot next year and hope it was just a bad day.
For 2000... had a chance to get through the whole park this time! Goliath, the new hyper coaster is VERY nice and is well landscaped. The Riddler's Revenge is a great stand-up coaster, but Ninja, Psyclone, and Revolution all need some work. Colossus is still a great ride. Most of the cue lines have plenty of shade, though Superman: The Escape could use some help in this area. The County Fair area is in great shape now with the addition of Goliath. Samurai Summit is a beautiful area, but could use a few more rides, shops, and games. Security was a bit more noticeable this time and the atmosphere in general was more pleasant than last year.
For 2001... the atmosphere remains pleasant and fun though I was a bit disappointed that the new big coasters still weren't ready to ride in early July. They should be finished soon though. We still need something more in the Samurai Summit area though.
For 2002... does Flashback ever run? Deja Vu is a very nice twist on the boomerang coaster style, still having trouble with "X" though. Strange that this park doesn't have more in the way of shows, though the Batman and Robin Live Action Show is much improved over last year's presentation! Oh, and the Dive Devil (skycoaster).... is amazing! It's too bad that it has to cost so much extra and deny so many the incredible experience.
For 2003... Flashback's still not working, but "X" is running a little more consistently. Scream is a nice addition for the County Fair area. Now, how about fixing the observation tower and adding a ferris wheel?
For 2004... get rid of Flashback... buy a new coaster... PLEASE! The observation tower is becoming an eyesore as well. Otherwise, there's a great colleciton of rides here, a few nice shows, and friendly and helpful staff. Food service needs some work though... staff seemed unable to keep even small lines moving and quite a few people were getting upset. Not a good thing in the middle of the summer season. Some areas of the park need more variety in food choices as well. It's also unfortunate that management seems to take the attitude that longer cue lines make the ride appear to be more popular. My experiences in the cue lines show otherwise. When the lines are shorter because more trains are running, people are more likely to ride again, have fun, and tell their friends about how much fun they had!
For 2005... nothing new as far as rides this year. The Batman stunt show has been reworked, but that's it. Along with Flashback and the observation tower that both need major work or replacement, there are a number of rides that are in desperate need of repainting. Maybe next year this will be a park that they decide to spend some money on.
For 2006... Tatsu is an excellent addition to the collection of steel coasters in this park. Wrapped around the newly re-opened observation tower, it's not only a fun ride, but it looks great too! The wooden coasters need some attention here, especially Psyclone, which is desperately in need of a tune-up. Don't forget to check out the shows as well as the coasters. The Batman stunt show continues to please the crowds as does the fun exotic bird show and the chinese acrobats of Hebei. Food is the biggest problem here, with different prices for the same food in different areas of the park, it's very frustrating for customers. Food Etc. is definitely one of the better places to try as they have a nice variety and the staff are very friendly and helpful. Too bad they can't keep more of the coasters here running more consistently. Flashback, X, and Superman the Escape always seem to be having some sort of trouble.
For 2007... the Psyclone coaster is gone and Flashback is officially closed, hopefully to be dismantled soon. The park is trying to appeal to more of a family crowd, but to really make that happen, they're going to need more shows and have more performances earlier in the day. Additional development of the kiddie area is overdue as well. Coaster maintenance has improved, and the park is staying a bit cleaner than it has in the past, which is nice to see.
For 2008... CSI Theater and Kid Karaoke are new shows this year, there's new Thomas Town theming for a children's area, and the new X2... sort of... it has a new paint job, new special effects, and a little bit of work on the train. The effects are nice, but more could have been done with the speakers throughout the ride. Because of the reworking of X2, next-door neighbor Viper managed to get a new paint job and looks much better. The staff need to check on some of the old trash that's hiding in some less obvious spots, but special kudos to the ride-ops of Goliath, doing excellent work and having fun at the same time!
For 2009... the new Terminator Salvation: The Ride is a nice wooden coaster with plenty of tight turns, replacing the old Psyclone. The only other new bit this year is a BMX/skateboard show, which seems to be happening in sevaral different parks this summer. There's talk of another new coaster set to open next summer.
For 2011... nothing exciting last year, but this year is completely different! Two brand new coasters, Green Lantern: First Flight, and Road Runner Express, both nice, new additions and it moves Magic Mountain ahead of Cedar Point again in the coaster race. There is also new paint on some of the coasters, and new video monitors, more recycling containers, and even more importantly, ride-ops who seem to be genuinely excited about working here and having fun doing their jobs! It almost feels like a completely different park, and the effect is wonderful! There are still a fair number of line jumpers, but if the positive changes Magic Mountain has put into effect this year are any indication, things will get even better next year! Nice work!
For 2012... it was a great idea to use the already existing Superman ride structure for the new drop ride, which fits nicely on either side and adds a great deal to the area. Nothing else new as far as rides this year, and several areas of the park are definitely in need of development. The area between Ninja and Superman has been empty for a long time, and there's also dead space where Deja Vu used to be, as well as the old Batman Stunt Show area. A haunted house ride would fit nicely in either one of the first two. Line-cutting is a growing problem here, and can make for a rather frustrating wait for your ride. It makes it seem like park management doesn't care about your experience here, which is in direct contrast to the front gate pre-opening experience which was both fun and entertaining.
For 2013... this park is determined to hold onto the record for most coasters in one park. This year, the new addition is "Full Throttle", which wasn't quite ready to ride while I was there, which was a little disappointing as it looks like a fun coaster. There's still room for new coasters in the areas I mentioned last year too...
For 2014... Road Runner Express is a nice new coaster for the younger thrill seekers, while Full Throttle is a great new ride for older coaster rides. People cutting in line and smoking where they aren't supposed to seems to have become a problem again, as has the cleanliness of the park. Perhaps worrying less about whether there are four people in row six, and moving those employees to stop people from cutting in line and helping to keep the park clean would be a good move. Several coasters are in need of paint, though the word is that Colossus is not just getting new paint, but a complete makeover.
For 2015... the classic wooden coaster Colossus has been transformed into the steel-tracked Twisted Colossus. Using much of the frame of the old coaster, this adds twists and turns and speed that weren't there before. It's a great ride, though it's always sad to see an old wooden coaster leaves the roster. The entire area around the ride has been redesigned with a steampunk theme which is very nice. It could use a couple of smaller rides to help fill out some of the empty space. A train around the park would also be an interesting addition, and this would be a logical area for a station. Kudos to the the ride ops on Scream and Full Throttle.
SIX FLAGS NEW ENGLAND (MA)
The Superman Ride of Steel definitely deserves its reputation of excellence! Batman the Dark Knight is nice as well, and for those who prefer the older style of thrills, the old Cyclone and Thunderbolt are still rolling. The waterpark has just been expanded, almost doubling in size this year. What they could use now is something new in the "North End" section to help disperse the crowds that gather around Superman and Batman. It's a nice, clean park, though those who remember the old Riverside may not see much that looks familiar.
For 2014... a few new rides since my last visit, including Goliath and the Gotham City Gauntlet. The park is showing some wear and tear in a few areas, and emploee attitudes were a bit of a mixed bag during my visit. The shows here are almost exclusively for the very young, which is disappointing. It's also awkward to have four children's areas. Consolidating them into one or two would make for a more impressive area and better appeal.
This park was formely known as Riverside and is located right next to the Conneticut River in Agawam, MA. By far one of the best amusment parks I have visited. The park received a major lift to it's appearance with the change to Six Flags. The theme throughout the park is Looney Toons. There is a perfect diversity between fun for the kids and fun for the adults. The new rollercoaster Superman, introduced in 2000, is a must go on for everyone. This ride is awesome! The 1 to 2 hour wait is by far worth it each time I get on. The best rides there for the thrill seekers are Superman, Mind Eraser, Flashback, Cyclone, and Scream. All of these rides are must go ons. The water park included in your admission prices is Treasure Island. This park is very beautiful and alot of fun. This is a park I recomend to everyone. (Review by Jeannette Rivera)
This park has to be at the top of my list for the best rides + rollercoasters. This park boosts an outstanding eight roller coasters. Including, new in 2002, "Batman: The Dark Knight," a floorless coaster with five inversions. Also, this park hosts my favorite rollercoaster "Superman: Ride of Steel" also voted #1 rollercoaster on the planet in 2001. After climbing an amazing 215 feet it drops you at a 70 degree angle 221 feet down underground. This park also hosts four more steel coasters, consisting of one inverted coaster built in 1997 called "Mind Eraser" with four inversions, a forward and backward three inversions coaster called "Flashback," a junior coaster called "Poison Ivy" with a max speed of 30 mph, and a kiddy coaster called "The Great Chase" with a max speed of 6mph. Lastly the park has two huge wooden coasters. The first is called "Thunderbolt" with about a 40mph limit on about 3,000 miles of track. The last one is a huge wooden coaster called "Cyclone" that goes 65mph and has sharp turns and devastating drops. This park is simply the best one in New England. (Review by Matty)
SIX FLAGS NEW ORLEANS (LA) This park makes a very nice addition to the Six Flags family! Clean and attractively painted, there isn't much natural shade available, but there are several canopied areas. The Mega Zeph, a wooden coaster with a steel frame, has been the park's biggest and could definitely use some tuning up. Six Flags has already announced a large steel coaster to open next year (2003) as well as a new Jazzland Resort Hotel that will open within the next two years. This park definitely has some growing to do, but there's room for it and it's in a great location. I'd also look for a reworking of the water stunt show (probably along the Batman theme) as there's already such a wonderful performance arena available.
SIX FLAGS OVER GEORGIA (GA)
The Georgia Scorcher and Georgia Cyclone are almost worth the price of admission. A nice stand-up steel coaster and a classic wooden coaster on either side as you enter the park. As you get farther in, things are a bit disappointing. The Gotham City area is fairly well maintained, but was one of the few areas of the park that was clean. The biggest surprise was the beautiful landscaping around the Viper shuttle loop coaster. Nice, but where's the landscaping for the rest? It was nice to see that they still have a train ride around the park, but things have developed to a point where you don't really see much during your ride. The park patrons were very friendly, but the park is in major need of cleaning and landscaping. The classic Great American Scream Machine coaster could use some paint, and Ninja is severely in need of a tune-up. Premier appears to be neglecting this park. There are spots that are nice, and there's lots of potential, but they need to spend some money on this park to dress things up.
For 2012... the four additional coasters since my last visit have added quite a bit to this park. Goliath, Superman Ultimate Flight, Dare Devil Dive, and Wile E. Coyote's Canyon Blaster really help round out this park's collection of fine coasters. The park is still a little difficult to navigate, with several "dead ends", but as more of the areas continue to develop, that should change. The staff here are very friendly and helpful, and deserve special kudos for staying that way even when the summer heat is turned up all the way!
SIX FLAGS OVER TEXAS (TX)
There is still plenty of room for this park to grow and it is laid out better than most of its sister parks. The Texas Giant coaster is a must! There is also a nice little Mine Train coaster that goes under a small pond that was built just for that effect. They have a Mini Mine Train as well that is one of the best kiddie coasters I've ever been on. Runaway Mountain
is one of those new coasters with lots of hype and unfortunately not much to offer. The live entertainment is great in this park. That seems to be true for all of the Six Flags parks. A very well-done Batman stunt show and a Crazy Horse Saloon Wild West Revue that was a little long, but fun to watch. The best of the live entertainment is the Hollywood Animal Action show using cats and dogs from a local animal shelter along with a pony, a llama, a wild pig, a duck, mice, and a macaw! Quite impressive!
Update for 2002: Still a very nice, clean park with a super-friendly staff! Two coasters here (Judge Roy Scream and Shockwave) have begun to get lost as the park has expanded and changed. They aren't the best coasters, but it still a shame that you have to work so hard to find them. The Mine Train coaster is still a great ride and the Texas Giant and the Titan are great rides for those who enjoy the more extreme coasters. Most of the shows hadn't started yet, but it looks to be a nice variety. All they need is a haunted old west ride and a stand-up coaster.
SIX FLAGS ST. LOUIS (MO)
A little smaller and more friendly than the other Six Flags parks. Home to a Batman inverted coaster, the old wooden Screamin' Eagle, and the River King Mine Train. The Ninja is my favorite here, a medium-size steel looping coaster whose ride operators always seem to be having a great time. The stunt shows here are worth a look too, Robin Hood's is a little better than the Police Academy version, but they are both entertaining. The Warner Brothers backlot area is developing quite nicely too. Watch for more new and exciting rides and shows in this area!
For 1999, the friendly atmosphere remains and the park continues to provide a more relaxed atmosphere than its larger sister parks. The Mr. Freeze coaster is a nice addition, providing a bit of variety to their coaster lineup.
For 2006, a couple of nice additions since my last visit... The Boss... a very nice wooden coaster with plenty of speed, and the Superman Tower of Power drop ride. The Robin Hood stunt show is gone, but now there's an alligator wrestling show.
For 2009, Tony Hawk's Big Spin is now where the alligator wrestling was located... probably no change in this area for awhile now. Evel Knievel is a very nice wooden coaster that was added last year. With eight coasters and three of them wooden, this park has a very nice collection. The ride ops here do a very nice job of promoting other rides in the park, announcing suggestions as you exit the ride. Unfortunately, the exit cues are so long that you might forget by the time you get to the end. The children's area could use a coaster, but this park has been growing nicely for several years now.
For 2013, Evel Knievel has been renamed "American Thunder" and Tony Hawk's Big Spin is now "Pandemonium". Not really much else of note here, including the new Boomerang coaster. The growth and improvements that had been coming along have apparently stopped and the park is clearly in need of some improvements, That said, it wouldn't take that much work because the park had quite a bit to offer, it just needs some TLC.
SMOKY MOUNTAIN ALPINE COASTER (TN) Some mountain coasters are part of larger complexes, and some, like this one, are single attraction sites. There are plenty of other attractions nearby, and this stands out quite nicely, with much of the track visible from the road. The friendly and helpful staff are happy to help you take a ride on this great mountain coaster, which at the time of construction was the longest one in the United States.
SPIRIT MOUNTAIN (MN) As with many of the ski resorts that have mountain coasters, there isn't a great deal here in the summer, but it's clean, and the staff are helpful They also do a nice job of keeping space between the riders and encouraging them to go full speed down the mountain.
SPRING PARK (AL) This beautiful community park has quite a bit to offer! Picnic areas, playgrounds, a small amusement area that includes a roller coaster, a carousel, and a train around the park. It's a very clean park with special landscaping in some areas to highlight the natural features and beauty of the grounds.
STEEL PIER (NJ)
Fairly typical pier park with a nice assortment of rides for the younger crowd and teens. Located between the Trump Taj Mahal and the ocean, there are often special entertainment opportunities on the pier itself or on the boardwalk nearby.
For 2014... this park continues to offer quite a few attractions in a relatively small area, with new rides replacing older ones on a regular basis. The casinos in the area are struggling, but this pier park is still doing well. It would be nice to have a larger ferris wheel to be a more visible marquee attraction.
STORY LAND (NH) Very clean, well-maintained, and pretty park with a fun collection of rides, including a great new wooden coaster this year, Roar-O-Saurus! There's room to grow here, and a dark ride and ferris wheel would be nice additions. The collection of shows here is quite entertaining as well, and there are also character dinners, with Cinderella and friends that are available in this fun park "where fairy tales come to life".
STORYBOOK LAND (NJ) Beautiful older amusement park for children that will be a treat for parents, grandparents, and even some older siblings! Care has been taken to preserve the trees in this park, which not only adds to the storybook atmosphere, but helps keep the park cool during the summer. Bubbles the coaster is aptly named and a fun ride! The staff here are friendly, helpful, and proud to work at this charming park that is the only one in the area open for Christmas! Be sure to stop by!
STRATOSPHERE TOWER (NV) One of the newer additions to the Vegas strip, this tower (with a coaster on top) definitely stands out. The coaster isn't much to speak of, but the view is great. The real test is seeing if you're willing to ride the Big Shot reverse freefall that almost reaches the top of the tower! It's the best reverse freefall ride there is!
STRICKER'S GROVE (OH) This fun little park is great for families, but you have to pay attention. It's only open to the public three days a year, July 4th, the second Sunday in August, and a customer appreciation day during the month of October. It's a family-run business, and all of the rides shut down at lunch so everyone, including the staff, can get something to eat. There are two wooden coasters here, and plenty of other fun rides for the family as well.
THAT FUN PLACE (IN) Fun little arcade park and entertainment center with a very friendly and helpful staff! They've chosen a tropical theme, which adds to the fun, and they're the only place I know of with an indoor black light miniature golf course! A few smaller rides including a coaster are outside as well.
THUNDER ROAD FAMILY FUN PARK (SD) As the name might suggest, the emphasis here is on the two go-kart tracks. But there are a few other attractions here, like miniature golf, laser tag, and a small coaster. There is some room to grow, and some water attractions or at least more shade would be a welcome addition.
TIMBER FALLS ADVENTURE PARK (WI) Very small park tucked into another little corner of the Dells area. The coaster is quite nice, and there's also a log ride and a putt-putt golf course. There are other putt-putt courses right next door though, so a shift to an emphasis on rides might be a good move. The staff is pleasant and helpful, so be sure to stop by and catch a few rides.
TRIMPER'S RIDES AND AMUSEMENTS (MD)
Family owned and run park since its start in 1890! Only one coaster here, but it's a nice boomerang coaster called Tidal Wave. They also have a beautiful carousel that was purchased in 1902. Numerous other kiddie rides are also to be found in the park. The nearby Inlet Village Shoppes, Harbor Watch Restaurant, and the Red-Eyed Frog (another small restaurant) are all part of the Trimper facilities as well.
For 2011... This little park has really filled up since my last visit! It may have even grown in size, though I'm not sure about that. Lots of rides and a wonderfully festive atmosphere. Along with the nearby Jolly Roger at the Pier, this end of the pier is the place to be!
For 2015, the new Spinning Coaster is nice, but seems to be one of the very few changes in the last couple of years. It's still an exciting area, and parking can be difficult unless you're willing to be patient.
TUSCORA PARK(OH) Pretty little community park with a small ride area mostly for the little ones in the crowd. It's a very clean park with a picnic area next to the park and tennis courts, basketball courts, and baseball and football fields right next door as well.
UNCLE BERNIE'S AMUSEMENT PARK (FL) Located on the grounds of the HUGE Florida Swap Shop, this amusement park for the younger crowd has a nice collection of smaller rides. The bigger attraction seems to be the swap shop itself, with hundreds of booths with an amazing array of items for sale. A performance stage, auto museum, and 14 drive-in movie screens are also on the property. Open 365 days a year. A unique experience, and not to be missed if you're in the area!
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA (FL)
Much like the California park, with studio backlot attractions to entertain as well as explain how movies are made. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is an interesting coaster with the opportunity to choose the music you listen to while you ride. The Jaws attraction is on the way out, with something new planned soon. Very clean and with Islands of Adventure right next door, it's easy to spend at least a couple of days here if you want to see everything, especially considering that there are so many other places to visit that are part of the complex in addition to the two amusement parks.
For 2015, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is quite simply amazing. So many shops and so much detail. It's almost worth the prioce of admission on its own. Do be aware that the Hogwarts train is only available to ride if you've purchased a pass to both of the Universal parks. Along with Escape From Gringotts, this is a wonderful new addition to the park. There have been a few other changes in various parts of the park, but there continues to be a nice variety of rides and attractions for everyone. The food service could use some improvement. There are plenty of locations, and the prices are typical of a larger park, but the quality is not what it needs to be.
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD (CA) It's a real treat to visit the backlot and get behind the scenes of film making in this park. Sure, many things you see here are staged for park patrons, but even many of those have been used in films too. Movie stars are occasionally in evidence, but it's a treat in itself to see some of the sets and props that have been used in numerous films. The rides are great too, with Jurassic Park, E.T., and Back to the Future topping the list. Special effects are the highlight with Backdraft and Waterworld, and there are musical presentations, kids shows, stunt shows, and plenty of places to buy souvenirs. The park is exceptionally clean and the staff will greet you with a smile and help you find whatever you're looking for. Divided into two sections, the park is packed with things to do and you'll be hard pressed to cover it all in a day. For 2004... E.T. is gone, but Revenge of the Mummy is a wonderful addition and Shrek 4Dis fun too! It's unfortunate that there's a limited amount of space here, but it just means that you need to visit regularly so you don't miss anything.
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE (FL)
Universal has done a nice job of elaborate theming, similar to the Universal Studios experience, in a theme park setting. It's too bad these aren't really islands, but are simply the "areas" with which most park-goers are familiar. The cue lines tend not to be too bad early or late in the day, but watch out for 10-7 and make use of the Express Pass option for a couple of rides. Dueling Dragons, in the Lost Continent area is a very nicely themed (with amazing detail, I might add) twin-track steel coaster. Both tracks offer a nice ride, but Fire gives a better view of the interaction between the two tracks. The Flying Unicorn steel family coaster is a nice addition to this area. Jurassic Park offers several educational and entertaining activities, mostly aimed at younger folks. Also for the younger ages are the Seuss Landing and Toon Lagoon areas with rides, shops, and games. And, of course, there is Marvel Super Hero Island and the Incredible Hulk coaster. It's a grand steel coaster with a terrific beginning and a nice smooth ride throughout. Islands of Adventure is still a fairly new park and has plenty of space to grow. Two elements seem to be missing at the moment. First, a wider variety of shows. The 8th Voyage of Sinbad (a stunt show) and Xtreme Xventure (skateboards, inline skates, BMX bikes) are both nice, but more would be nice. And what about Movie Monster Island? Even neighboring Universal Studios does very little with all the classic Universal monsters. It would be a great area for expansion and the perfect place for a wooden coaster and a haunted house!
For 2011... The new Seuss Landing is a great addition for the younger visitors, but the real main attraction is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Howarts is wonderful and the ride is pretty good too. More expansion and improvement is already planned, so expect this area to get even better!
Islands of Adventure is a multi-themed park with water separating the five "Islands". They are Marvel Island, Jurassic Park, Toon Town, The Lost Continent, and Suessland. It has 2 steel coasters, a single rail coaster, 2 flume rides, a raft ride, a 3-D ride with spiderman, and more. The first coaster is called The Incredible Hulk in Marvel Superhero Island. The other steel coaster is the Dueling Dragons on the Lost Continent, which is two tracks, red and blue, or "fire and ice". The tracks weave in and out of each other and have 3 near collision experiences. The first flume is the River Adventure in Jurassic Park. The other is Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls. If you don't like long waits, avoid this one on a hot day (90 minute wait). If you want to know the rest, go there! It is a very fun park. (Review by Coasterken)
Beautiful park with a number of nice rides. Two wooden coasters are here, Excalibur and High Roller, which are both quite good. They also have a steel corkscrew coaster and a steel zyklon. It's a pleasant theme park of the small to mid-size variety that has just recently begun to grow. Cedar Fair spends more money on some of their other parks as far as new rides, but the trend may be changing a bit.
For 2010... quite a few changes since my last visit, adding a number of rides to fill out the property, though there's definitely room for more. A new hyper-coaster, Wild Thing, and it's junior counterpart, Mild Thing are here, as well as Steel Venom, and a great wooden coaster, Renegade, full of tight twists and turns! I don't remember if the waterpark was here last time, but it can be a refreshing break from the summer heat if you need it. There are some nice musical shows here too, and this is one of the few parks where you can still find an Imax movie theater.
For 2014... This is a fun park that is very clean and easy to get around, with a layout that is long and narrow. This does tend to be one of Cedar Fair's less developed parks, with only one new coaster in the last several years, which is the small steel Cosmic Coaster. That said, the park is full of attractions to keep you busy and having fun. It would be nice to see a dark ride here.
Valleyfair is a 90+ acre park in Shakopee, MN which is a suburb of Minneapolis. Valley Fair has many wonderful coasters: Wild thing: quite possibly the largest hyper coaster in the upper midwest, and also a new one called Steel Venom which opened this year, this is by far the funnest ride they have. They also have Power Tower, which is 2 rides in one. One of the rides brings you up slow and drops you, and the other shoots you up like a rocket. Valleyfair also has a medium size waterpark with water slides, a pool and river rapids. The park also has pretty good food. (Review by AdUM1506)
VICTORIAN GARDENS (NY) In the summer, in the southeast corner of Central Park in New York City, the Wollman Ice Rink becomes a small amusement park! With around a dozen small carnival rides, including a small coaster, a few games, and lots of food, it makes for yet another fun way to spend some time in the park. Though the focus is on the younger children as far as the rides, the atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable for the adults as well. A very nice, clean park, in the heart of Manhattan!
WALDAMEER (PA) As with many older parks (Waldameer was established in 1896), the layout is rather scattered. It's a park to wander through rather than plan a particular path to take. New rides are mixed in with the old here, though many of the old-growth trees are still here, providing shade from the summer heat. The coaster everyone talks about here is the Ravine Flyer II, a steel frame, wood track coaster that takes you flying over the nearby highway and back again. It's pretty impressive, and very fast.
WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT (FL) Although the Magic Kingdom section of the Walt Disney World Resort is, in many ways, a copy of its California sister, there are many differences as well. The Jungle Cruise is better here, and the Extra Terrorestrial Alien Encounter is fun and different. I found the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean to be slightly shorter and not as elaborate here, though there is one room during Pirates that was quite nice and very different from the ride in Disneyland. The coasters here are pretty much the same as in California, but we're missing those wonderful Matterhorn Bobsleds! The park is very clean and well-taken care of, with courteous staff that are very helpful. The corners that have been cut when one compares Disney World's Magic Kingdom to Disneyland are compensated by the extensive entertainment opportunities in the rest of the resort. It truly does take a week to do everything in the five parks that comprise the resort.
For 2007, I gave the park-hopper pass a try and was quite impressed! On a very busy day, I was able to get to all three sections of Disney World that have coasters, ride all of the coasters at least once, and still have time for a few others rides and attractions. I especially enjoyed the Disney-MGM Studios section (that has now been renamed Disney's Hollywood Studios) and the Expedition Everest coaster in the Animal Kingdom section. As always, the staff are amazing and the park is one of the cleanest in the industry.
Disney-MGM Studios is a great amusement park. It does not have many rides and the park is mostly known as the show park. It has a wide variety of shows like Indiana Jones where a lucky volunteer can particapate in one part. There is a Drew Carey show, and for all the adventure people fantasmic you have seen the movies now see it come to life. For the young ones there is the Playhouse Disney show and the Muppets 3d show . There are four rides. The newest one is the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster which is a roller coaster that flips you upside down three times in the dark to one of Aerosmith's songs. There's great movie ride which takes you on a tour of old and recent movies. There is a virtual reality ride called star tours. And the last one is a Who Wants to be a Millionaire, where you get to play along. (Review by Jordini
WATERVILLE USA (AL) Although this is mostly a waterpark, just as its name implies, there's also a wonderful out and back wooden roller coaster here that is definitely worth a visit if you're anywhere in the area. The layout is a little unusual, with the loading platform for the coaster and for part of the waterpark located upstairs inside the arcade, but the staff are very helpful and want to make sure you have a great time.
WESTERN PLAYLAND (NM) Next to Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino, this amusement park offers a great place to take the kids and get away from the casino noise for awhile. Many of the rides here are of the smaller, carnival style, but there is a steel zyklon coaster, a drop ride, a swinging boat, and a ski-lift sky ride. A little more shade would be really nice, and there's still a fairly large area in the middle of the park that is just waiting for a ride to be added here.
WILD ADVENTURES (GA)
Great park for the younger crowd with seven coasters to choose from! There are two additional coasters that are for those with a bit more daring or experience. The park is laid out in such a way that the very young will have their day full in the very front section of the park, though a trip to the African Pridelands is essential if you want to experience the "wild" part of the park. There's also a nice ice show and a magic show, though the magic show needs to focus more on magic and less on the song and dance routines. With plenty of room to grow, this is a great park to visit, especially if there are younger children in your group.
For 2014... The ice show and magic show are gone, and not much has been added to the park since my last visit a few years ago. Making use of the lake that's almost in the center of the park for a show or a ride of some kind would be a great addition. The "wild" part of the park is still quite nice, with the Safari Train providing a great look at the free range areas as well as a few of the other larger animals.
Wild Adventures is growing into a full size park that includes wild animals, shows and great family fun.The park offers seven roller coasters including the Cheetah, a Custom Coasters 90 foot high woodie that zooms up to 63 mph, a boomerang, a hangman, a nice mouse called Bugout and three kiddie coasters.Wild Adventures has a Tasmanian River Rapids that is better than most, and a 100 foot tall freefall. Short lines and great prices (2 day discounts) make Wild Adventures a great place to stop on the way to Disney World. Motels in Valdosta book up fast, and Wild Adventures is hot in the summer (bring the suntan lotion). (Review by Dr. Michael E. Schmidt)
WILD WAVES THEME PARK (WA)
Though this park began as a small amusement area for children and later expanded to include the water park, the focus is a little more on the water park at this point. The water rides are at the front of the park, with the dry rides at the back. There are four coasters here, including a small one for the younger crowd. Timberhawk looks like an excellent wooden coaster with plenty of exciting twists and turns, though it was not running while I was there. There's not a great deal of landscaping here, but the rides are scattered along the hillside, using natural foliage and weaving paths among the older trees in several areas.
For 2015, Timberhawk is, indeed, a very nice wooden coaster that I was able to ride this time. Not much change here in the last few years to the dry rides as the emphasis continues to be on the waterpark area. There's lots of room here, and addign a few more food vendors and a picnic area would nbe nice.
WILLIAMS GROVE AMUSEMENT PARK (PA) In a picnic grove across the road from the Williams Grove Speedway, you'll find Williams Grove Amusement Park, a collection of rides and attractions scattered throughout the wooded area. There's an old carnival funhouse, a haunted house ride, and there's also the old Cyclone wooden coaster built in 1933. It's rough, but still has some thrills to offer. You can even play some bingo.
WISP RESORT (MD) Wisp is a very nice ski resort. Not as big as some, but very comfortable and friendly, with a pleasant and helpful staff. In the summer, as well as the mountain coaster, there is mountain biking, a ropes course, laser games, and a playground. It's well worth a visit and has room to add more attractions.
WONDERLAND PIER (NJ)
Another of the small boardwalk parks along the east coast. This one is home to a city jet coaster and a very nice carousel. The carousel is located in a sheltered area along with a number of other small rides, while other rides are situated outdoors. It makes for a pleasant mix, allowing you to stay dry and/or shaded if you need to.
For 2008... Gillian's has added quite a few more rides since my last visit, making a nice little amusement park even better. The city jet coaster is gone, but there are now three coasters here. Most of the rides are for the younger crowd, but this is a fun park with staff that are very friendly and helpful. And just a short walk down the boardwalk is another amusement park called Playland's Castaway Cove.
For 2014... There's a wonderful atmosphere to this pier park, with the rotating letters that spell out "Wonderland" making it feel like nothing has changed for decades. They do bring in new rides on a regular basis, though it doesn't appear that too much has changed in the last few years. The focus remains on the younger crowd, and there is plenty for them to enjoy.
WONDERPARK (OH) Inside the Cincinnati Mills mall is a small amusement park. There are a number of arcade games, a couple of small rides and a small steel coaster, the Boa Squeeze. There's also a small restaurant and eating area. There's not much room here, but there's lots of energy, a friendly staff, and a very clean area for the kids to enjoy.
WORLDS OF FUN (MO)
This park does a good job of living up to its name. The coasters here
include... the Orient Express, with interlocking steel loops, Timber Wolf, a very nice wooden coaster with nice air time, and the Zambezi Zinger, a standard city jet coaster. There's a great dolphin show and a very good 50s music revue. My favorite here though is the Detonator. It's an elevator ride with a speedy take-off and a lift-off-your-seat at the top! These reverse free-fall rides are a real treat and offer much more of a thrill than just being dropped from the top as with regular free-fall rides. Watch out for the parking lot though. It wraps around the park, making it convenient to find a space, but confusing if you don't remember exactly where you came in. More recently, the Zambezi Zinger is gone, but the steel coaster Mamba is a very nice addition. Orient Express is in need of some work. The music shows are still very good and the dolphin show has been replaced with a diving show. The staff here are wonderful, polite and helpful.
For 2010... the park has filled out quite nicely over the past few years, adding some great coasters like Prowler and Patriot, and continuing to expand the waterpark area as well. The staff are very friendly and helpful, and constantly working to keep the park clean. The landscaping is quite nice and adds to the theming of the various areas. Several music shows and a dog sport/comedy show are also here. What's missing is a dark ride, and a few other smaller rides to fill in some of the blank spots in the park.
For 2013... the big addition to the park this year was to the "Oceans of Fun" area, so water park fans are more excited than the rest of us. Part of what is interesting about this park is how it still feels like a smaller park despite having seven coasters. Clearly, it's not a small park, but the friendly and casual atmosphere will make you think it is. It would be great to see a dark/enclosed coaster here.
WYANDOT LAKE ADVENTURE PARK (OH) This is definitely one of the smallest Six Flags parks, but it's still worth a look if you're in the area. The park itself is situated between the Columbus Zoo and a golf course. The rides are nestled between two sets of waterpark attractions and are mostly for the younger crowd. The staff was helpful and friendly and help maintain that family park feeling. It would be nice to see this park grow just a little... perhaps a wild mouse coaster?
YORK'S WILD KINGDOM (ME) The zoo and amusement park here offer both separate and combined admissions, which is a great idea. The amusement park is a collection of smaller rides and attractions for the younger crowd, but there are lots of them, and you can easily spend several hours here. The staff are helpful and make sure you can find what you're looking for. A train ride around the park, and perhaps through park of the zoo would be a great addition.
ZONKERS (KS) Indoor arcade and amusment park with a focus on parties and food. Located inside a mall and filled with bright colors, there are plenty of games, lots of food, and four amusement park rides to keep the younger crowd happy.
ZOOMERS FAMILY AMUSEMENT PARK (FL) After several years of struggling to get off the ground, this has become a very nice smaller park. There's a great arcade area with very good food. A fairly standard assortment of rides including a coaster as well as miniature golf and a go-kart track. Some of the rides appear to be a little older than the park (which opened in 2012), but those will likely be upgraded in the next few years. The staff are friendly and helpful, making this a nice park to visit if you're in the area.
ZUMA FUN CENTER (TN) This small arcade park in Knoxville also features a go-kart track and a few smaller amusement park rides aimed at the youngest members of the family. The staff here are friendly and helpful and the park is clean, both inside and out.
BELLEWAERDE (Ieper, Belgium) Very beautiful park that combines amusement park and zoo attactions throughout the park. Jungle Mission is a boat ride that takes you past several different animal exhibits, and Bengal Express is a train ride where you pass through the big cat area. There are three coasters here, including the brand new, and very nice Huracan family coaster. It's a very clean park with lots of friendly staff.
BOBBEJAANLAND (Lichtaart, Belgium) With a beautiful lake as the centerpiece, this park has a wonderful collection of rides, including seven roller coasters, nicely situated around and partially over the lake. The monorail provides a nice look at the park from above. Very nice to see a different sort of show here, one that included both horses and BMX bicycles. It would be great to see them add a wooden coaster to their already very nice collection.
PLOPSA COO (Stavelot, Belgium) Although this is one of the smaller parks in the Plopsa chain, it's an absolutely gorgeous little park. There's a very fun bobsled ride here, and a ski lift that takes you across the river to a tower up on a hill on the other side. There are two fun and fairly gentle coasters here and a fun labyrinth. The park sits next to Wild Park Coo and an adventure park that offer a number of other rides and attractions. A small wooden coaster or a ferris wheel would be nice additions here.
PLOPSALAND (Adinkerke-De Panne, Belgium) While the majority of this park sits around a small lake, there are more rides on the other side of a stream that runs down the one side of the park, including the new Wickieland area. Each area within the park has rides and attractions for all ages, some of them with very extensive theming. It was interesting to see that the fairly new Anubis the Ride, which is a very nice coaster with an Egyptian theme, had more of a hunting lodge theme for most of the cue line. There's a train ride that runds through most of the park, and while not the largest park in the country, there's plenty to keep you busy for the day. Lots of shows and events here throughout the summer months too.
WALIBI BELGIUM (Wavre, Belgium) This park used to be part of the Six Flags chain, and there are still a few small reminders of that here. There are five very nice coasters here, though one of them was closed for some changes while I was there. A nice laser target game, Challenge of Tutankhamen, the Gold River Adventure, and many other fun rides here. It's a very clean and pretty park, though the staff here were a little less friendly than at the other parks in Belgium.
BLUE MOUNTAIN (Blue Mountains, ON) A full, four-season resort, with skiing, mountain biking, hiking, ziplines, a ropes course, miniature golf, and more. A beautiful resort with a friendly and helpful staff. The Ridge Runner is a very nice, long ride, and is Ontario's first mountain coaster.
CALAWAY PARK (Calgary, AB) Nice little park lots of attractions for the younger crowd. There's an interesting and not too scary haunted house to walk through, the mechanical Hard Luck Bears, and a corkscrew coaster that still delivers a good ride despite its age. You can get a good look around the park from the observation tower or the ferris wheel.
Canada's largest amusement park offers nine coasters and loads of games and shows. Similar in many ways to the Paramount parks in the US, but they manage to keep this a good deal cleaner, even with the large crowds. The Vortex here is a suspended coaster with beautiful natural scenery. In fact, all the areas here are well-decorated and nicely themed. It's not the easiest park to find your way around in though, and the map isn't much help. Don't forget to check out the sea lion and water stunt shows too!
For 2013, almost twice as many coasters here as the last time I visited! The park has done a magnificent job of growing, and while there are similarities to other Cedar Fair properties, this definitely has a unique feel to it as well. Behemoth and Leviathan are both quite impressive. And even though there's so much more here, it's easier to get around and the map is better too.
For 2015, There are some new water rides and the the Slingshot, which is available for an extra fee, but the only other new attraction this year is food. There was food before, of course, but there are more choices now. Wonder Mountain's Guardian coaster, which was new last year, is a very nice addition, combining the thrills of a coaster and a laser target dark ride. There was quite a bit of overly aggressive que management during my visit, partially due to the fast pass program, but there are better ways to deal with this as other parks in the chain have shown.
CENTREVILLE AMUSEMENT PARK Toronto, ON) A short ferry ride from Toronto proper lies Centre Island. It's a beautiful park, and a place that can easily take more than a day to explore. People go to the island for any number of reasons, including to visit the small amusement park that is there. Great food and fun rides, including a ferris wheel, train, dark ride, log flume, and a small coaster. It's a very relaxed atmosphere, and so nice to be able to wander just a few steps away and explore the natural beauty of the island.
CHIPPEWA PARK (Thunder Bay, ON) I'm including this park because I did stop by to visit and was able to walk around and look at things, even though it was closed. The city workers who run it had been on strike for 12 weeks, so things were pretty rundown, but it wouldn't take much to get it back in shape. It's a small, lakeside park with playground equipment, bumper cars, a small coaster, and a couple of other rides.
COLASANTI'S TROPICAL GARDENS (Kingsville, ON) A little different than most amusement parks you might visit. This is first and foremost, a greenhouse and garden center. But tucked away near the center, is a amusement park complete with an arcade and miniature golf. The atmosphere is fresh and pleasant and the staff are very friendly and helpful. It's a popular and very busy place, and well worth a visit if you're in the area.
CRYSTAL PALACE (Dieppe, NB) Half of this park is enclosed, while the other half isn't. The nicer half is inside and houses a small coaster (3 rides around the track each time) and a few other kiddie rides and games. Outside is an area with around a dozen carnival rides. There's lots of potential here, but things are operating on a pretty small scale at present.
GALAXYLAND (Edmonton, AB) Amazing! For an indoor park, this is absolutely incredible! Located in the unbelievably huge Edmonton Mall, this park is home to the Mindbender, which, despite some rather uncomfortable harnesses, is a thrilling coaster with a breathtaking first drop that is almost straight down. There's an auto-sled coaster and a kiddie coaster and numerous other rides and games packed into the area too. And, should you decide to bring your swimwear, the waterpark area has plenty of slides and a full-size wave pool. They can't fit much more in here, but the mall is growing, so who knows?
MARINELAND (Niagara Falls, Ontario) Beautiful marine life park located only a few minutes away from Niagara Falls. Not only are there killer whale and sea lion shows, you have the opportunity to see various animals while they are training and to touch killer whales and beluga whales. There is a nice ride area for the children and the larger Dragon Mountain coaster for those seeking that sort of thrill. It's designed to take advantage of the hill around which it is constructed and has a nicely themed cave entrance. There are deer, bison, and bears, and an Arctic Cove area will be opening soon as well. Huge areas are available for picnics, but be prepared to walk as the attractions here are located far apart from one another. As the Niagara Falls araea continues to expand, I expect the park will slowly add more and more events and rides as there is a good deal of room for them to do so.
PLAYLAND FAMILY FUN PARK (Vancouver, BC) Rumor is that this carnival style park is on its way out. If that's the case, it's unfortunate. It has the potential to become something similar to Kentucky Kingdom. Home to four coasters, there's nothing else like this park nearby. In the past, it has served as the ride area for the Pacific National Exhibition each year, but time will tell.
Located on St. Helen's Island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, this park is definitely in a rather unique location. The island was origianlly the site of the 1967 World's Fair. There's a very nice haunted house ride, with some of the best props I've seen. The ferris wheel offers a great look at the park and its five coasters. The most famous of these, Le Monstre, made the news in 1998 with a new record for number of rides. (8500 laps-600 hours) It's a huge wooden coaster that will not disappoint. A motion simulator, comedy stunt show, and a water stunt show round things out nicely here, making the park competitive with nearby Paramount Canada's Wonderland. Where it falls short is in how dirty the park is. The staff are friendly and helpful though, even when you don't speak French!
For 2002, Six Flags has taken over management of the park, though there seems to be little difference in many areas. One new coaster, Le Vampire, is running smoothly and fits well in what had been a poorly developed section of the park near Le Cobra. A couple of other rides have been added and there is a fireworks show that runs through much of the summer. A diving show and a magic show are also available, but the lake is not being used and could offer a grand venue for a water stunt show like before. The park has been cleaned up a bit and the staff continue to be friendly and helpful, most of them fluent in both French and English. There's a nice area for those interested in video games, the Megadome Nintendo, with plenty of free games for those who want to play. Also, I can't forget to mention that coaster enthusiasts will most definitely want to ride the 2nd train on Le Monstre. It's much more intense than track one, with banked sections that are at an almost 90 degree angle! The biggest surprise of the park is the lack of a large store to purchase park souvenirs. I'm sure that Six Flags will remedy that situation fairly soon.
STORY BOOK PARK (Owen Sound, ON) Pretty little park nestled in a wooded area out in the country. The park consists of a collection of mostly older, but very well maintained carnival rides, along with small storybook cottages. Miniature golf, live animals, and a few other attractions, including a haunted house that might actually be a little intense for the younger crowd. It would be nice to see a ferris wheel here so that you could have a place to see more of the park and the beautiful surrounding area.
UPPER CLEMENTS PARK (Upper Clements, NS) This is a beautiful park with quite a bit of native vegetation, including wild rasberries if you know where to look! There are two large play areas for the kids, one that's water oriented, the other one with lots of things to climb on and through. There's a nice open-air amphitheater, and facsmilies of numerous historical buildings of Nova Scotia. Included with the price of admission is access to the adjacent wildlife park. It's in the process of becoming a very nice little zoo, though there are still some older cages that haven't been replaced. The staff here are very friendly and glad to stap and talk with you and the park is very clean as well.
ALTON TOWERS The grounds here are simply stunning. Complete with a castle you can explore at your leisure, and a beautiful lake at the entrance, this is England's most impressive theme park. The castle and accompanying grounds can take the better part of the day to enjoy. The crowds here are large, even in the middle of the week, so it's best if you plan for a two-day visit here. The coasters are magnificent, with some truly unique ones like Oblivion and Thirteen. Nemesis and Air are quite impressive as well, as the park puts a great emphasis on theming their attractions.
Built around the medieval Alton House is Alton Towers, the U.K.'s best theme park. The main attractions are Nemesis, Oblivion, Ripsaw, and Hex. Nemesis: An inverted coaster built into a giant pit. The station is themed as a scorpion-like creature. It is officially the best themed ride in Europe and probably the world with rivers of blood, eerie music, smashed up and rusted cars and kitchen applliances dotted around gives a disturbing feeling to it. Oblivion: A vertical roller coaster about 200 ft tall, quite simply petrifiyng. Ripsaw: A gondola attached between two arms hurls upside down in many 360 spins before lowering you head first into 30 jets of water! Hex: You are strapped into seats which move about 30 degrees up and down, The room moves with you or away from you and you completely lose your sense of direction! Other decent rides are Corkskrew, Runaway Mine Train and Black Hole. (Review by David Fawthrop)
BLACKPOOL PLEASURE BEACH There's definitely a little bit of everything at Pleasure Beach! Tons of rides, with some great coasters like the Big One, Infusion, and Grand National, as well as true classics like the Wild Mouse and Steeple Chase. It's a wonderful mix of the old and the new. And as well as all of what you'd expect to find at any large amusement park, there are shows, shops, and attractions outside the park as well. The layout of the park isn't the easiest to understand as it sort of wraps around on itself, but since you keep coming across new rides and new treats, it's not necessarily a bad thing.
Oh dear. You are just about to finish the lift hill on the Pepsi Max Big One, the tallest coaster outside the U.S. The drop originally appears to dive straight in to the North Atlantic coastline before flicking 90 degrees right and falling at over 100kph into the middle of a crazy golf course. Right. The ride then thunders around corners and up and over more smaller hills before arriving back at the station rattled, battered and yet for some reason ready for more. The ride gives Millenium Force a good run for its money. The rest of Blackpool Pleasure Beach is filled with various wooden dueling coasters, shuttle loops and all kinds of rides. In a country where theme parks are proud more of the rides' scenery then the rides themselves, Blackpool stands out as a park crammed with a variety of rides to suite everyone but has little themeing around them. However, it is a park for serious thrill seekers with its famous dueling coasters, the grand national, and underground ride Space Invaders. All in all this comes close to Alton Towers as U.K.'s best theme park. (Review by David Fawthrop)
CHESSINGTON WORLD OF ADVENTURES Far more campact than Alton Towers but still boasts the most amazing thrill ride. Samuri in the China Town area is the best non-coaster ride there is! There are five rows of six seats each attached at one end to a large disk, The carrages can spin freely on their axis. The disk is connected to a steel arm which the disk spins on and that arm rotates around the base arm. Its a ride you have to see to believe. Apart from the Samuri the park has Rattlesnake which is a wild mouse coaster with tight turns and sudden drops. Also, a suspended coaster called Vampire, which starts in a gothic haunted house, before flying through holes smashed in the buildings above Transylvania area. And Ramasis Revenge which is the same as Ripsaw (Alton Towers). Although there is little else to do in this park, Samuri is in itself worth the admission price of about =A320 ($28) its just unreal! (Review by David Fawthrop)
DRAYTON MANOR FAMILY THEME PARK This small park north of Birmingham is home to Europe's only stand up roller coaster, Shockwave. The ride has a loop, a barrel roll and two corkscrews. Unfortunately, the ride has little else and is only 20 secondss from the top of the chain to the station. Also at Drayton Manor is Apocolypse. This ride is a 180 foot drop down a tower. Sounds dull? Well it has an evil twist... it's standing. As you go up the tower the standing sections move 20 degrees foward. And that ground 180 feet away looks very small. 2 seconds later and its a mere 1 foot away from you. The worlds first standing drop tower is a big sucsess. Unfortunately that's about all the park has to offer apart from a good mine cart coaster next to Shockwave and a log flume ride called Storm Force 10 which has a reverse drop on it. Acsessing the park is no problem as it is straight off the M40 motorway (British equivilent of a freeway or highway) and is often fairly quiet. This park is certainly one I would recomend visiting if you have nothing to do. Just make sure it is a quiet day. I didnt and was queing for hours. (Review by David Fawthrop)
FLA MINGO LAND If you really like coasters, this park is definitely one to include in your plans. Though the name is a bit unusual, especially since flamingos are not really featured as a theme. this is a combination amusement park and zoo, and there are flamingos here, along with quite a few other animals and a couple of animal shows as well. The amusement park is divided into three areas including a water park, and the zoo is divided into three sections as well, including a children's area with mostly domesticated animals. It's nice to have the zoo included for those who want to take a break from the noise and excitement of the rides.
LEGOLAND Legoland windsor is pretty much a stereotype of all legolands with the driving school, miniland and castle, pirate, my town and the mazes. Brilliantly well-themed with lego men dotted around talking and building more models and the odd lego bird pirched in trees and on signs. However this is not a park for thrill seekers, containing only one water ride, a small coaster, an even smaller coaster and a dingy ride. If you have small kids up to about 8-9 years old, then this is a great day out! (Review by David Fawthrop)
THORPE PARK Another of England's beautiful amusement parks is Thorpe, though on a smaller scale than Alton Towers. The ride choices here are focused on coasters, with a few water rides and just a couple of others. There are quite a few arcade games as well, but not all that many smaller amusement park rides. There is some very nicely themed landscaping for Nemesis Inferno and Saw, the Ride, which are two of the better coasters here. The staff here are quite friendly and helpful, but if you're not familiar with the area, be aware that credit cards without computer chips and pin numbers are not accepted here.
Thorpe Park is just amazing! Firstly they have Tidal Wave, and it is just that it is the highest water ride in Europe. The most incredible ride there is Colossus, the world's first 10 loop rollercoaster with 1 360 degree loop, 2 double cobra loops, 2 spiral loops and 5 heartline loops. It is incredible! The park is very clean and tidy. With all the other rides they have, I think Thorpe Park is one of the best theme parks. (Review by Snubkin D.C.)
BAGATELLE (Merlimont) Among the many attractions and rides here, there are four coasters, a train, and a monorail that takes you into the area where some of the animals are kept. The park has numorous minor pathways that connect most everything in the park, so it's very easy to get from one place to another. Le Bag Express is a great coaster here, with places where it dives down almost into the water. A very beautiful and fun park!
DISNEYLAND PARIS (Paris)
There are actually two parks here, and I'll include them both in this one review as they work together much like Disney World does. Disneyland Paris is similar to Disneyland in California and the Magic Kingdom in Florida. You'll find many of the same rides here. More time and care seems to have been spent on theming, and those aspects are more detailed and more impressive here. Many of the rides seem to be just a little shorter though. Still very fun, and Space Mountain Mission 2 is a bit better than the others. There's also a very fun coaster/train, Casey Jr. le Petit Train du Cirque that shouldn't be missed. The Walt Disney Studios area more of the larger ride and special effect show experiences similar to the Disney MGM Studios area at Disney World. The quality and detail here are very similar to the park in Florida. There are ways in which you won't feel like you're in France while you're in this park, but that doesn't mean it isn't still loads of fun and well worth spending at least a whole day if not two to explore and experience what's here.
Disneyland Paris is accesible by car, the high speed trains (thalys), or even a metro that is only a 40 minute ride from the center of Paris! There is a train station right at the park, that is how I got there and it is very easy. There are also quite a few motels located right at Disneyland Paris and in the surrounding areas. Apart from the park, there is also Disneyland Village which is full of restaurants such as the Rainforest Cafe and Planet Hollywood, to shops, to live entertainment, and even a lake where you can take paddle boats onto! Once you enter the park, you will have a fun, yet exhausting day! You can be frightened at Phantom Manor, taken on a wild adventure on Big Thunder Mountain, or take a relaxing cruise on the steam boat. The top three rollar coaster rides are Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and Indian Jones 'Temple of Doom". My favorite is Space Mountain, it is all indoors with high speeds, loops, cork screws, and every rollar coasters dream! I also liked the other rides, but their lines tended to be longer. The best time to go is in the morning to get short lines, also during the Main Street parade is another good time to beat the crowds. You won't have a problem with a language barior because most of the employees speak French, English, and even others! There is just so much to see and do at Disneyland Paris that you won't want to leave! (Review by Angele Batten)
LE JARDIN D'ACCLIMATATION (Paris) Beautiful little park with nature and heritage spaces, cultural attractions, and rides and games. A wonderful natural space so close to the center of Paris, it's a great park for the younger ages in particular, and several groups of small children were there with their teachers/leaders while I was there. There are three coasters here as well as a small train and a few other rides. A ferris wheel would be a great addition to the park.
PARC ASTERIX (Plailly) This is the big park to visit in France. With seven coasters, lots of other rides, shows, games, a great food. There are a few attractions here that charge an extra fee, but there's more than enough to do without paying extra if you don't want to. With a dolphin show, a stunt show, and a comedy show, even those who aren't as interested in the rides will enjoy their time here. The atmosphere here is pleasantly relaxing, which isn't typical of a larger park, but is quite nice.
PARC DU BOCASSE (Bocasse) At first glance, this small parc looks like it's completely focused on smaller children. But then you begin to notice that there are actually a number of rides and other attractions for people a little older. There are two coasters here, and a fun pirate laser video show that shouldn't be missed. A small, but very fun park!
PARC SAINT PAUL (Saint Paul) Very nice mid-size park with five coasters, and plenty of other rides. The center of the park is an absolutely gorgeous area of trees with a winding waterway. A skyride would be a nice addition here to allow people the chance to see more of this area more easily. There apparently used to be a train ride here in the past, and it would be fun to see that in operation again as well. Interesting to see trampolines available for the public here too.
WALYGATOR (Maizieres-les-Metz) This fun park has plenty of room to grow. There are water attractions scattered throughout, so anytime you're getting too hot, it's very easy to cool off. The staff here are very friendly and helpful, the park is very clean and the food options are wonderful. It's a very relaxed atmosphere and though it's only a mid-size park, there's quite a bit to do. A ferris wheel would be a great addition here.
PHANTASIALAND Phantasialand is a fun family orientated park near the city of Cologne. It features one of the worlds best mine trains-Colorado Adventure and a very decent log flume. It can feel a littl ebit slow at times, but the queues are never long. (Review by Ben Mills)
WARNER BROTHERS MOVIE WORLD (Bottrop-Kirchellen) Warner Brother's Movie World in Germany is small, but a great place to spend a day with your family. It includes a children's section which covers almost 1/3 of the area and is full of fun rides that both little kids and grown-ups will enjoy! The park also includes two water rides, but I didn't go on them because it was too cold that day. My favorite ride in the park was Lethal Weapon 4, it had loops, high speeds, and a corkscrew. A new ride for this summer was Wild Wild West which was inspired by the movie starring Will Smith. I liked the ride, but it was very jerky and didn't feel very safe. Most people came off the ride crying! You can also take a relaxing ride through some of the studios and you can't leave the park unless you've visited some of the stores! (Review by Angele Batten)
CODONA'S AMUSEMENT PARK On the eastern coast of Scotland sits a small, beachside amusement park called Codona's. The Codona family has been in the entertainment business for a long time, and the carnival atmosphere here reminds us of the family's circus background. There are three coasters here, including one on the roof of a building. There is a dark ride, a ferris wheel, a large arcade area and party rooms. Just outside the park is a multi-screen movie theater and a number of nice restaurants as well as the beautiful coastline of eastern Scotland.
LOUDOUN CASTLE FAMILY THEME PARK Beautiful and historic Loudoun Castle closed just a few months after my visit, so I consider it an honor to have been able to visit the park before that happened. Though the ruins of the castle aren't available for exploration, they definitely added atmosphere to the setting. Most of the rest of the park was on either side ot a large path that extended straight behind the castle, with a great children's section off to one side about halfway back in the park. The food here was quite good, and the staff were very friendly and helpful. Some of the rides had been removed and sold over the past few years, which mad it look to me like there was quite a bit of room for growth, rather than that the park was struggling to make ends meet. Hopefully someone will be able to revitalize this historic and beautiful property, so that families can continue to enjoy it.
M & D's At one end of the absolutely gorgeous Strathclyde Park is M & D's, a very popular amusement park, though not all that large. There are quite a few rides packed into this park as well as several eating places, arcades, and the new indoor tropical rainforest area. The park map isn't very helpful, though its not hard to find your way around, and if you want to get away from the crowd, the park grounds are right across the street and offer a peaceful space to relax.