Theme Parks You Need to See Before Summer Ends
By Christy Karras
One of the best things about the United States is its plethora of theme parks. And with plenty of good weather left before we turn our attention to more serious matters, now is the perfect time to plan that late-summer theme-park trip. Each of Yahoo’s most-searched theme parks has its own personality, entertainment, and thrills. Here’s a look at the top 10.
The Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue in front of Cinderella Castle at Disney World Magic Kingdom (Photo: Michael Orso/FlickrVision)
Disney World is, as the name implies, a world of its own — complete with a Cinderella Castle, movie royalty, and unique attractions. And of the four parks that constitute Disney World, the Magic Kingdom is the granddaddy, open since 1971. With more than 18 million visitors in 2013, it’s the world’s most visited theme park. Thoroughly soaked in the Disney theme, the park creates an immersive experience that plays out in its six “lands,” each with its own flavor. Rides range from old-fashioned and kid-friendly (Mad Tea Party) to fast and a bit scary (Big Thunder Mountain Railroad). And since you can sleep, dine, and relax onsite, there’s no reason to leave this Disney fantasy world until it’s time to go home.
Location: Just outside Orlando, Florida
Admission: $99 for an adult day pass.
Superman: Tower of Power at Six Flags Over Texas (Photo: David R. Tribble)
Built in 1961, the Six Flags Theme Parks’ flagship park capitalized on two concurrent trends: the Texas oil boom and the growing number of families with free time on their hands. While it was far from the first amusement park, in true Texas style, it soon became one of the nation’s biggest. From the beginning, it focused on scream-inducing, cutting-edge rides, especially roller coasters. Younger kids play in their own Looney Tunes-themed areas, where characters like Marvin the Martian make appearances. Among the park’s many firsts: the first log flume and the first mine train coaster, both built in the 1960s. Its Superman: Tower of Power is the world’s tallest free-fall combo tower, at 325 feet, and the Texas Sky Screamer (400 feet) is the tallest swing ride.
Location: Arlington, Texas
Admission: $64.99 for an adult day pass, with discounts for advance online purchase.