The clicking of a rollercoaster as it climbs its way to the top of a towering hill. The delighted screams of children and adults alike as they fly through inverted loops and whip around tight turns. The jolly music streaming from arcade games and fun houses. The sweet smell of cotton candy and caramel corn floating through the air.
If you've ever enjoyed a day at an amusement park, it's likely you've experienced one or all of these sensations. Amusement parks are a great way to enjoy time spent outdoors with your friends and family. Here are a few of the best parks around the world you might consider visiting with your family.
Located in Staffordshire, England, Alton Towers attracts over two million visitors every year—making it the most visited theme park in the U.K. The park is built around the estate of a former seat of the Earls of Shrewsbury, giving guests more to enjoy than just rides with its many gardens and buildings.
The park features thirteen themed areas and plenty for guests to do. You can ride the Skyride cable car, walk through the Haunted Hollow, or ride a rollercoaster into the Forbidden Valley. Alton Towers also offers lodging accommodations for park guests at the Alton Towers Hotel and Splash Landings Hotel. Both hotels are located very close to the park and provide guests with wonderful evening entertainment as well as a high-quality place to stay while visiting the park.
Just north of Paris, France, Parc Astérixis one of Europe's best-known theme parks. The park is based on the stories of Astérix by Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny and is known for its large number of rollercoasters and its river rafting ride, the L’Oxygénarium. Parc Astérix boasts 32 different attractions spread out over six different themed areas of the park, including Ancient Greece,
The Vikings, Travel Through Time, Welcome to Gaul, Roman Empire, and Egypt. Each areas has its own themed, unique activities and rides.
Like most theme parks, Parc Astérix offers many high-quality hotels and restaurants on site and nearby. Parc Astérix also hosts different types of shows to entertain guests when they are not our enjoying the rides in the park.
One of Belgium's best amusement parks, Walibi Belgium is packed full of rollercoasters and water rides. This park focuses on family fun and rides for children. As a result, Walibi Belgium has 16 attractions specially created for children.
The park is not lacking in daring rides or rollercoasters, however. A ride called the Buzzsaw is sure to elicit screams of delight from people of all ages.
If you wish to spend more than a day at Walibi Belgium, check out the nearby hotels, which feature everything from world-class hotels to roomy hostels.
Another great park in Belgium is Bobbejaanland. Located in Lichtaart, Belgium, Bobbejaanland features about 50 different attractions. Well-known rides include the Waterslide, the Revolution Rollercoaster, the Dreamcatcher Rollercoaster, and longest junior rollercoaster in the world, Okidoki. The rollercoaster called the Looping Star has gained a cult status of popularity over the years.
In addition to the rollercoasters and other rides Bobbejaanland is known for, the park also puts on several shows and performances throughout the park. Originally, the park was started as a music center, so the theme has continued through the years with its musical shows.
One of Italy's best amusement parks, Mirabilandia features the standard rollercoasters and other typical rides, as well as a separate waterpark called Mirabeach. The Katun and iSpeed are inverted rollercoasters and the best-known rides in the park. Also worth noting is the 90-meter tall Eurowheel, Europe's second-tallest Ferris wheel.
Located in the city of Ravenna, Mirabilandia is close to one of Italy's finest cities. The park is in proximity to several very nice hostels, or you can stay at the park's own hotel. The park hotel provides its guests with a great place to stay while keeping them as close to the park as possible. Mirabilandia's website offers a selection of over 200 hotels to suit your needs, if you choose not to stay at the park's hotel.
Traveling in the United States? We've got a list of the best American amusement parks, too. Check it out here.