best amusement park near me, Roller Coasters

Top 20 Amusements Parks in North America

When it comes to family vacations and summer getaways, North America is by far one of the best continents to explore.

This continent, home to the biggest and grandest parks in the world also boasts of the largest park attendance records and holds her head high among the most exciting regions of the world.

But when the parks are this many, what might become a big issue is deciding which one to explore. There is every tendency to be overwhelmed with the choices.

We understand that choosing the right park is in itself a really important of your vacation. As such we have compiled a list of the top 20 amusement parks in the region based on the excitements, they offer just for you.

From Six Flags Great America to all of Disney’s wonderlands, we present you the best places you should most definitely visit if you are here already or planning to make that trip to the continent.

The Roller Coaster World

  1. Six Flags Great America

In the heart of Gurnee, Illinois, United States, lies this beautiful park. First opened in 1976, Six Flags America has been in fast rise ever since, seeing its attendance figures rise from last year’s 3,039,000 to a staggering 3,107,000.

This fully operational park, spanning across over 300 acres, is home to 17 roller coasters and 4 water parks.

So if you’re thinking of a fun-filled vacation, you might as well get some tickets, pack your bags and give yourself the time of your life.

  1. Kings Island, Mason, Ohio

We have set ourselves on a roller coaster that only goes up my friends. Moving deeper into Ohio is King’s Island. This park like Six Flags Great America is also home to a respectable number of royal rides.

Roller coasters like the Vortex, the Beast, Banshee, Orion, the Mystic timbers and many more are really popular rides here. There are also side attractions, historic sites and water parks to explore. We believe a trip to this Island is one every single traveller should make.

  1. Hersheypark, Pennsylvania

From the soul of Mason, Ohio, to Hershey, Pennsylvania, the fun only continues to rise. Hersheypark dubs itself “The Sweetest Place on Earth” and that is not without a reason. This over 100-year-old family theme park offers over 76 attractions with 16 water rides and 14 roller coasters. So if you’re looking to spend more time in the water than in the air, then this might be the right place to be. The rides here will leave you enough sweet memories to last a lifetime.

  1. Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

As far as the amusement world is concerned, when you hear Cedar Point, the first thing that should come to your mind is Roller coasters. In fact, this park in the heart of Ohio is dubbed “The Roller Coaster Capital of the world”- with their 17 roller coasters and 2 water rides.

Cedar Point, originally opened as a bathhouse and beer garden in 1970, has transformed into nothing short of one of the greatest parks in the world and it now sees about 4 million visitors every year.

And there are lots of side attractions apart from the roller-coaster rides. In fact, each month is graced with an amazing and specific theme. Paying a visit this holiday will guarantee you the most amazing roller-coaster ride of your life and -most accurately described- lots more.

  1. Six Flags Magic Mountains, California

There’s a little something you should know. Cedar point has lots of roller coasters but Six Flags Magic Mountain has even more. We know right!

Yeah, if Cedar Point is dubbed the capital of roller coasters, then these mountains must be the heaven of all roller coaster experiences. In fact, they have a reputation for regarding themselves as “The Thrill Capital of the World” and they have earned every right to be.

They break all records with 19 roller coasters and a package for everyone. Also besides these fun rides, there is a very high tendency you run into your favourite Looney Toons and Justice League characters in this park. Hypnosis shows are also a side attraction.

Of their attractions and shows, however, what is most remarkable is their philosophy of togetherness and family. This magical park believes in providing long-lasting memories by creating an avenue for shared experiences. And that is why they continue to remain one of the best.

  1. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

This theme park takes you straight down to Africa with its splendid touch of wildlife reserves. In fact, it was formerly known as Busch Gardens Africa before its name was changed to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay in 2008. This 60-year-old park captures over 330 acres and looks to recreate the true spirit of Africa.

And the park holds the tallest and scariest roller coaster in perhaps all of North America. If you’re looking for the most thrilling ride of your life, then you should probably make a stop at this garden.

  1. Canada’s Wonderland, Vaughan, Ontario

This park, currently closed, opens on the 22nd of November and will remain that way until the last day of the year. Canada’s Wonderland offers timely fun and excitement with the holidays. It would probably surprise you to discover that this park only ranks third when it comes to roller coasters in the world. Tied with Cedar points and only second to Six Flags Magic Mountains, it offers what will surely count as a memorably ride for every member of your family.

A Blissful Experience of Effects and Virtual Reality

  1. Epcot, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Owned by Walt Disney, Epcot ranks as one of the best in the technological scene. The park is known for igniting imaginations to a whole new level. Both adult and young can experience virtual reality at its best with the roller-coaster simulators. You can also help yourself to live music and a largely delicious cuisine with the park’s international food and wine festivals, before you explore other attractions like frozen, Project Tomorrow, and the Gallery of Arts and History with your family.

As days in this park transforms slowly into night and the curtain of your visit pulls to a close, there will still time for one last truly spectacular adventure. Indeed, it is a thrilling dessert for the eyes and if nothing had managed to impress you so far, the brilliant display of fireworks will leave you breathless. The sparks of the future can be seen from anywhere within the park, orchestrated to perfection and it will definitely blow your mind.

  1. Universal Studios, Hollywood

Brace up! A trip to the Universal Studio will send you straight down to the Wizarding world, or through to the Jurassic Park. You must know already that this is where all the action goes down. If you’re a movie lover or a family man seeking a fun time with your family, then this is the best place to visit.

Take the world-famous studio tour and give yourself a treat you’ll never forget. By the way, who said themed parks are for just kids? At the Universal Studio, there’s a package for everyone. Grownups are welcome to take the revenge of the mummy ride, or get into a whole different level of thrills with zombies from the walking dead.

  1. Universal Studios Florida at Universal Orlando Resort

The Universal Studios at Florida like its counterpart in Hollywood lures swiftly into the Harry Potter World and it continues to remain one of the top production studios in the world. If you want to know more about Imagineering and how movies are made, then there is no better place to spend your vacation.

  1. Universal’s Islands of Adventures, Orlando, Florida

Talk about one of the best theme parks in Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventures has about everything on the side of interesting adventures. Their Jurassic Park River offers a unique grade of experience you won’t find elsewhere. The Wizarding world like in most parks are also famous here. This park is open 365 days a year and its 4 roller coasters and 3 water rides are only pluses to its already wild scope of adventures.

  1. Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort

This park strikes a chord with its captivating themed areas like Toy Story Land and Star Wars Galaxy Universe. There are also attractions on all sides like 4D movie experiences and shows with all your favourite movie characters live on stage.

A Slow Dance with Nature

  1. Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari, Jackson

Roller coasters and virtual realities are interesting, but imagine coming face to face with a full-grown lion in its natural habitat. In Jackson seats one of North America’s top amusement parks. This park promises you the best of both worlds. With a great wealth of wildlife reserves, Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari not only presents you a fun day, but also a grand learning experience.

Over 1200 animals from almost all the continents of the world can be cited here and this trip guarantees all the fun, the brilliance and the most intimate and interactive learning experience about its wildlife reserve.

  1. Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Florida

Get closer to nature at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This park opened 21 years ago might as well be the best for you and the kids. See the animals in all of their splendour and magnificence. You could have a fun learning experience with animals from all around the world. So next time you’re in Florida with the kids, get the tickets and take a tour through Disney’s Animal Kingdom. They’ve got everything you can ever imagine.

  1. Volcano Bay, Orlando, Florida

This park opened just two years ago is one of the fastest-developing parks in all of America. Located in Orlando, Florida, this theme park covers over 27 acres and offers a vast variety of attractions- all with an indigenous feel. This includes the Krakatau, a 200-foot artificial volcano with daylight waterfalls and nighttime larvae flows. There are also fun rides around the volcano, as well as relaxation villages, wave villages, rainforest villages, and all those things make you feel closer to nature and enjoy the best periods of relaxation.

The best part of all, you can expect the volcano bay to be open all year round as it is warmed even in winter.

  1. SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando is a theme park that embraces the marine and all the wonders of the ocean. There are Dolphin and Sea lion theaters along with other stadiums holding aquatic life, where you can experience a deeply detailed presentation of the big fishes of the sea.

Besides these trademark presentations and displays, there are also other attractions. You can stroll along the infamous Sesame Street with your family, and after climb aboard the infinity falls to experience the wildest and most exhilarating water rapid experience.

  1. Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park, California

If you’re looking for something that can send you to the edge of your sit, then a visit to the spooky Knott farm will serve you just right. This 57 acres wide park in California, also largely known as America’s first theme park originally belonged to the Knott family who grew and sold berries and pies there around 1920. Now though, it has grown to one of the biggest parks in the world.

The side attractions include multiple fun activities, rides- on 10 roller coasters and 2 water rides- and a truckload of spook.

A Stroll through Disney World

  1. Disneyland Park at Disneyland resort

This park offers you the one of the most exciting times of your life. With loads of attractions, character experiences, events and tours, Disneyland Park has cemented itself in as one of the grandest parks in North America.

Last year, about 18,666,000 walked through the gate. Still the numbers continue to rise. This park, founded in 1955 is known mostly for the character sightings and fun shows guaranteed for everyone that walks through the gate.

  1. Disney California Adventure Park, Anaheim, California

Disney’s California Adventure Park is one of Disney’s most popular adventure grounds. This is where all your favourite characters come to life. You can ride on the incredicoasters or race of the radiator spring racers. You could also journey into the world of the enchantment and find bliss in watching your most loved characters live on stage.

  1. Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

And the last on our list is none other than the biggest, grandest park in not just North America but the world. The Walt Disney Magic Kingdom established on the 1st of October, 1971 remains the most attended park in the world- seeing nothing less than 20 million visitors every year. From far across the nation, people make the journey to the theme park at the centre of Lake Buena Vista like pilgrims to a holy land to experience an adventure like no other.

There is no doubt whatsoever that you won’t find a more magical place on earth. The Magic Kingdom is sure to take you on the wildest adventures. Either you choose to go to Space Mountains or visit the Haunted Mansion, you can be sure that this will be one of the most remarkable trips you will ever make in your lifetime.


CTV News

Trip Advisor

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I’ve been writing articles for more than 10 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I’m currently writing for many websites and newspaper. All my ideas come from my very active lifestyle. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. You can contact me on our contact page or by email at: