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As the temperatures rise, we get closer and closer to thrill-seekers’ favorite time of the year… roller coaster season!  Whether you live for the loop-de-loops or if maybe the teacups are more your speed, amusement parks offer a variety of attractions for the whole family.  Here are some of America’s favorite theme parks, by region:


Hershey Park (Hershey, PA) – This amusement park offers families a full range of activities and fun things to do.  Roller coasters, water rides, an adjacent zoo, and, of course, the “Hershey’s Chocolate World” attraction to celebrate the town known as “The Sweetest Place on Earth’s” rich history.


Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH) –  This park boasts its title of “Roller Coaster Capital of the World.”  The park features a world-record of 71 rides, including 16 roller coasters – 11 of which Cedar Point classifies as a five on their thrill level!  It also has a robust water park, as well as an interactive animatronic dinosaur experience.

Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park (Wisconsin Dells, WI) – Nestled in the heart of the “Waterpark Capital of the World,” Mt. Olympus offers both outdoor and indoor water and theme parks.  From water slides to roller coasters to seven different go-kart tracks, Mt. Olympus will really give you a bang for your buck.


Castles ~n~ Coasters (Phoenix, AZ) – As Arizona’s only “amusement park,” Castles ~n~ Coasters is a one-stop shop for all of your theme park staples.  Founded in 1977, the “Golf~n~Stuff” side of the park offers typical go-karting, attractions, as well as four different 18-hole miniature golf courses!  In 1922, the “Rides~n~Stuff” side of the park was added, bringing Arizona all of its favorite coasters and thrill rides.


SeaWorld San Diego (San Diego, CA) – San Diego is home to the original SeaWorld and was once the home of the world-famous killer whale, “Shamu.”  SeaWorld has many rides and games, but is truly about the animals.  Take in shows, exhibits, tours, and even schedule an interaction with your favorite marine animal!

Disneyland (Anaheim, CA) – No theme park list would be complete without Mickey’s home!  Disneyland was the very first of Disney’s theme parks as it opened in 1955.  This resort not only features the Disneyland Park, but also Disney’s California Adventure.  Both offer a plethora of rides, shows, interactive experiences – with all of your favorite characters!


Universal’s Islands of Adventure (Orlando, FL) – Just one of Universal Studio’s many parks, Islands of Adventure is often rated as Florida’s #1 theme park.  From superheroes to wizards, anything is possible at the Islands of Adventure!  Spend your day slinging webs with Spidey or explore Hogsmeade with none other than Harry Potter!

Disneyworld (Orlando, FL) – Last but certainly not least, “The Happiest Place on Earth,” Disneyworld.  This mega-resort boasts four fun-filled and extremely different theme parks, as well as two water parks.  Hang out with your favorite characters at Magic Kingdom; travel around the world at Epcot; take center stage at Hollywood Studios; and explore the magic of nature at Animal Kingdom.  Cool off under the hot Floridian sun at Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach.

Do you like roller coasters?  What is your favorite theme park?  Share with us by leaving a comment below!

Jane Jozefowicz
Jane Jozefowicz
Jane Jozefowicz is a rising sophomore at the University of Chicago, where she studies Linguistics and Computer Science. Jane plays trombone and lacrosse and is the biggest animal lover you'll meet!