The 10 Best Amusement Parks in the United States for Thrill Seekers
There’s nothing quite like the anticipation of riding up the lift hill on a roller coaster knowing that in seconds you’ll be hurtling down the track at high speed.
Thrill seekers in the United States are constantly on the lookout for the next big thing to give them that rush of excitement and adrenaline. And for those who prefer to stay firmly planted on solid ground, amusement parks, in general, can offer so many attractions to keep you and your family busy for a full day of fun.
If you’re looking for an amusement park that offers thrills and frills all in one place, keep reading. Here are America’s 10 best amusement parks for thrill seekers and fun hunters. And then don’t miss the top 10 all-inclusive resorts in the United States for a stress-free getaway.
While you might think Walt Disney World has more sedate rides, those who venture into EPCOT know that this is the park with the most intense thrills of any of the four Orlando Disney Parks.
The new ride, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, begins with a reverse launch before twisting and spinning around the track to help the ragtag Guardian clan save the universe.
Another thrill is Mission: Space, which simulates the feeling of being launched into space with an intense G-Force of 2.5 Gs.
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Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Amusement Park is known for both its delicious cinnamon roll and its thrilling rides.
Take a ride on Barnstormer, a swing-arm thrill ride that reaches speeds of 45 miles per hour, spins up to 230 degrees, and soars 81 feet in the air.
For a different kind of thrill, queue up for Mystery Mine, which takes you through an abandoned coal mine with a 95-degree vertical drop and 85 feet long in total darkness. If that doesn’t make your hair on your arms stand on end, nothing will.
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Cedar Point is home to 17 high-speed roller coasters, making it a place for all-day thrills. For true high-speed adventure, queue up for Millennium Force. The massive roller coaster reaches speeds of 93 miles per hour, with a maximum height of 310 feet, making it a truly unique ride.
For a slightly gentler ride, consider Valravn, which is the longest and fastest diving rollercoaster in the country. It reaches a top speed of 75 miles per hour and stands 223 feet tall.
Thrills come in many different ways on the Carowinds roller coaster. Strap in tight to the Carolina Cyclone as the course features two vertical loops and two barrel rolls. Even though the ride is short at only a minute, the intensity of the ride is worth the wait.
On Copperhead Strike, you’ll feel the rush of Carolina’s first dual-launch rollercoaster with speeds reaching up to 80 mph in just two seconds. With five inversions and plenty of twists, the coaster will have you grinning from ear to ear as you descend.
Orlando doesn’t have all the thrills of Florida, as Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is home to some of the fastest roller coasters in the state. One of the newest in the park is Iron Gwazi, a wood and steel hybrid coaster. Reaching top speeds of 76 miles per hour and with three reversals, this should be your first stop at the park.
For another thrilling experience, ride SheiKra, which has a 90-degree, 200-foot drop straight from the sky.
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Celebrating all things chocolate and candy, Hershey Park is a fun weekend with lots of thrills. Let your feet hang over Great Bear, which features chutes, lifts, and corkscrews with speeds up to 61 miles per hour.
One of the newest rides is Jolly Rancher Remix, where you’ll have a different experience every time with a unique mix of music and lights as you race through six inversions at 47 miles per hour.
The absolute thrill in Orlando is Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Here, wizards and witches can see unicorns and other magical creatures speeding by on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. The high-speed ride takes you through the Forbidden Forest before returning you to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Dinosaur lovers will want to ride Jurassic World VelociCoaster, which reaches speeds of over 70 miles per hour as you race alongside the iconic velociraptor. With a barrel just inches above the lagoon in the middle of the park, this ride is not for the faint of heart.
Thrill-seekers who also love animals will want to visit SeaWorld Orlando to get your fill of both. Be sure to ride the park’s newest roller coaster, Ice Breaker, which features four launches and a jaw-dropping 100-degree drop beyond vertical for 90 feet.
If that’s not enough, queue up for Manta. The giant ray-themed roller coaster is incredibly smooth, you might forget it’s a thrill ride, but when the face-down reverse dive hits, you’ll definitely remember it.
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Kings Dominion is known for its fast roller coasters that range from wooden wonders to ones with lots of loops. Those wanting a bit of nostalgia should head over to Twisted Timbers, which is a steel and wood hybrid coaster. The thrill of this ride is the fall of the 109-foot-tall barrel.
Then there’s Anaconda, which is unique because it takes riders through an underwater tunnel, then right after that shoots them through a 360-degree vertical loop.
Silver Dollar City is a fun amusement park that has something for everyone in the family and thrill seekers will find the rides more than satisfy their need for speed.
On Outlaw Run, riders will ride the world’s first wooden roller coaster featuring a double barrel. The ride reaches a top speed of 68 miles per hour, adding to the thrill level. Another thrilling ride is Time Traveler, which is a spinning roller coaster that has three inversions and two launches, making it one of the most thrilling rides in the park.