We all have ways to turn on our escape mechanisms. Babies gleefully shut their eyes, fully trusting that since they can’t see you, you won’t be able to see them too. Ostriches bury their heads in the ground, and yes, that only happens in cartoons, but there's a point to be proven here! And us? Until we find a means to get to outer space, we’ll gladly transform into inflated kids and run off to manmade worlds a.k.a. theme parks.
1. Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Florida, United StatesCredit: Sonny Abesamis on Flickr
Islands of Adventure consist of 8 islands, the latest being Skull Island, which opened its gates in July 2016. Unlike other Universal Studios theme parks, Islands of Adventure isn’t centred around a movie studio setting, but aims to pull visitors into the movies themselves!
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Marvel Super Hero Island is a hot favourite, housing three of the entire park’s most thrilling rides. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man is a realistic motion-stimulating 3D ride with 4K projection screens, and there’s no web of lies for the experience it provides here. The upgraded Incredible Hulk Coaster must have found its way to a gym, because it’s now bigger and better than ever, with new effects and greater launch strength.
If you love wet rides, you have to try out the surreal Jurassic Park River Adventure, which starts out as a leisurely boat ride but ends with a roaring 85-foot plunge! Many have agreed that it’s the best flume ride they’ve had, so be prepared to get VERY drenched and let your heart rates saur
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Diagon Alley will be right up your alley![/caption]
Credit: @gregmarshall94 on Instagram
Take your Muggle friends to Diagon Alley to purchase wands at Ollivanders and magical supplies for the next school year! Magic is still restricted in the Muggle world, though, and your wands should only be used as souvenirs.
Unfortunately, an official department for wizards who haven’t received their Hogwarts letters to file their appeals hasn’t been set up yet. The good news is you can storm off to a restroom and complain to Moaning Myrtle about it.
If you’re a Potterhead, don’t miss the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, a scenic dark ride that takes you on a Hogwarts adventure in 3D! It’s known to be one of the best rides in the world, and here, you’ll have your first encounter with Floo Powder.
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The Street of the Lifted Lorax at Seuss Landing[/caption]
Credit: @michaelcarelli on Instagram
If you remember salivating over the Seuss-ling
Green Eggs and Ham ever so fondly, you’ll want to visit the whimsical Seuss Landing! The signature flamboyant colours from the books are smacked all over the island to complement the hurricane-bent trees, and the whole design is so elaborately wacky, there’s not a straight line in sight here. Seuss Landing’s rides are less heart-palpitating and more heart-warming, like The Cat in the Hat, which translates each page of the book into real life.
At Toon Lagoon, everyday is Sunday, so comic strips and characters like Betty Boop and Popeye come to life in colour. Toon Lagoon wasn’t named by putting random rhyming words together - no, its name is indicative of its two water rides that are bound to get you soaked! You may be able to imagine a speech bubble over your head that goes, “AAHHHHH!” as you ride through Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls and Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges.
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A sign at Toon Lagoon[/caption]
Credit: @gabuchoo862 on Instagram
If you somehow feel unmotivated, simply take a good stroll around and look out for inspirational life quotes dotted all over the island. In fact, if you’re feeling unmotivated at this moment, we’ll treat you to a life hack found on site right now - “Wondering how many scrumptious hamburgers to order? Multiply your height in hamburgers by the number of times you secretly craved hamburgers today”!
Mon – Tue: 9am – 7pm, Wed – Sun: 9am – 8pm
USD 155 /Adult, USD 150 /Child
6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819, United States
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2. Europa-Park, Rust, GermanyCredit: @alinamathers on Instagram
You can travel the world in 80 days, but today, we’ll show you how to travel Europe in just one day! This family-owned park is divided into 13 European ‘countries’. The detailing is so impeccable, you’ll find craftsmen in Russia, taxis and a globe theatre in England, and even a church in The Netherlands where visitors can get married in!
Credit: @mimirls on Instagram
Scenic landscapes galore will make Eur-open your eyes at their largest. Many gardeners work in this park, and you’ll see rows upon rows of perfectly manicured flora.
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Blue Fire Megacoaster[/caption]
Credit: @birgit_loistl on Instagram
Europa-Park has got something to offer for the entire family. For the little ones, Children’s World provides kiddy boat rides, merry-go-rounds and little slides.
Scoot over to Iceland for thrill rides that were built to amaze adrenaline junkies! The Blue Fire Megacoaster slings riders from 0 to 100km/h in just 2.5 seconds, turning them upside down four times and taking them past manmade Icelandic cliffs on a 1050m journey.
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WODAN - Timburcoaster[/caption]
Credit: @zhivilov.ivan on Instagram
WODAN - Timburcoaster was modelled to look like the wooden rollercoasters of yore. We wooden
underestimate it if we were you, as just like the Blue Fire, it’s 1050m in length and reaches a speed of 100km/h. It’s going down, we're yelling timber!
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Credit: Europa-Park on Youtube
The fastest ride in the park would be the Silver Star, a steel rollercoaster that pulls you up 73 metres before having you descend at a speed of 130km/h!
Summer (March – Early November): 9am – 6pm, Winter (End November – January): 11am – 7pm
Ticket prices (Summer):
EUR 44.50 (USD 49.90) /Adult, EUR 38.50 (USD 43.17) /Child, Free for Infants
Europa-Park-Straße 2, 77977 Rust, Germany
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3. Everland, Gyeonggi-do, South KoreaCredit: @kyeong_rin_k on Instagram
Borrowing elements from Disney World, this theme park, run by a subsidiary of Samsung Group, boasts of picturesque surroundings that’ll make you feel like a child again.
Credit: @bek_ggooo on Instagram
Everland is split into five lands and even includes a zoo and a water park! Zoo-Topia has a petting zoo with goats and sheep, along with a mini zoo consisting of polar bears, sea lions, bears, and more.
Blessed with a view of sprawling hills, it’s recommended you take the skyline ride which transports you across the theme park. The ride is a great help, especially in extreme weather, as you are required to walk a fair bit in this theme park!
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Double Rock Spin[/caption]
Credit: @ngnngoc on Instagram
Should you ever wonder how a live chicken may feel like in a rotisserie oven (sans heat), we recommend you give the Double Rock Spin a try. This ride takes you on 360-degree spins, four consecutive times. It may be painted with an unassumingly innocent colour scheme, but cutesy it is not.
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Credit: withEverland on Youtube
The greatest adrenaline-pumping crowd-drawer of Everland is the 3-minute long T Express, a wooden rollercoaster touted to be the steepest one in the world. Accelerating at 104km/h, riders speed through 1,779m of track and are brought to a 77-degree drop.
For fans of water park rides, try the promising Amazon Express, a jungle-themed flume ride. Guests are covered with waterproof blankets so they don’t get too drenched on this ride. If you love the appeal of water rides but hate walking around after being soaked to the bone, this one’s for you.
Credit: @minnee_soong on Instagram
Watch the enchanting floats pass you by at Everland’s must-see parades. The park switches up its parade themes every season!
P.S. Clothes not smelling like barbecued meat yet? Check out 7 Halal Restaurants in Korea You Must Visit at Least Once! Operating hours:
Mon – Wed: 10am – 10pm, Thu – Sun: 9:30am – 10pm
KRW 52,000 (USD 47.05) /Adult, KRW 41,000 (USD 37.10) /Child
199 Everland-ro, Pogog-eup, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
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4. Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark
Credit: Trish Hartmann on Flickr
Having first opened its doors in 1843, Tivoli Gardens is the second oldest theme park in the world. A good number of its monuments had been destroyed by Nazi supporters, but a cluster of historic architecture and attractions still stand today.
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Daemonen (The Demon), a floorless rollercoaster and the park’s newest ride[/caption]
Credit: @cowboydanl on Instagram
Hop on the revamped century-old Roller Coaster, or simply enjoy the trancelike ambiance. Tivoli Gardens hasn’t much for the thrill seekers, but the numerous vintage rides and glistening antiquated sights make up for it.
The park is so fairylike, its setting had inspired Hans Christian Andersen when he wrote “The Nightingale”. Even Walt Disney himself was so impressed, that he had approached the owners for valuable insights on the construction of Disneyland!
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Tivoli Gardens largely retains an oriental theme, with the exception of a few new additions[/caption]
Credit: @gretapoletti on InstagramCredit: Thomas Rousing on Flickr
It’s almost a crime not to stay till nightfall! If daytime Tivoli has already bewitched your senses to a point of no return, wait till its famed fairy lights are switched on! 120,000 lamps light up the park in the summer and about 2 million lamps illuminate the nights in winter. This place is lit!
Sun – Thu: 11am – 11pm, Fri – Sat: 11am – 12am
DKK 110 (USD 16.57) on weekdays, DKK 120 (USD 18.08) on weekends, Free for children under 8 years of age
Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København, Denmark
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5. Nagashima Spa Land, Kuwana, JapanCredit: Hideyuki Kamon on Flickr
Thrill ride purists rejoice! Nagashima Spa Land is home to about 45 rides, 10 of which are rollercoasters that are sure to leave even the hardiest of daredevils gobsmacked!
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Steel Dragon 2000[/caption]
Credit: @takaki.waga on Instagram
This formidable ride put the theme park on the Guinness Book of World Records when it first started operating for having the longest rollercoaster in the world! The Steel Dragon 2000 is 97-metres tall and runs at a top speed of 153km/h, and there aren’t enclosures to fence the seats, so you can scream your hearts out, perhaps even literally!
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Credit: @ableabel101 on Instagram
Due to Japanese regulations on the construction of wooden structures, you can count the number of wooden rollercoasters in the country with one hand. Before its conception, the White Cyclone’s creators rubbed their chins and thought, “Now that we can build wooden structures, why not make the longest wooden rollercoaster… outside of the US?” And the rest is history.
Nagashima Spa Land sticks out into the sea, so its terrifyingly terrific rides are made even better with favourable water views!
Credit: @kiyoaki.i on Instagram
Have young children with you? Don’t go bakin’ their hearts - take them to the Anpanman Museum located near the entrance of Nagashima Spa Land!
P.S. Screaming on rollercoaster rides can be gratifying, but having to deal with screaming kids? Hmm. Here are 11 Tips to Conquering Japan with Kids in Tow. Operating hours:
Vary daily – do check the daily schedule prior to your visit http://www1.nagashima-onsen.co.jp/m/land/tenken_unkyu.php
JPY 4,100 (USD 40.37)
333 Nagashimacho Urayasu, Kuwana 511-1192, Mie Prefecture
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6. Efteling, Kaatsheuvel, NetherlandsCredit: Marco Nedermeijer on Flickr
If you can’t get enough of the rustic feel from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there’s an entire theme park in the Netherlands that’s just as charming! Efteling is equal parts magical and quirky, so it’s sure to wow fans of Tim Burton too.
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The park’s most popular ride, Baron 1898, has a backstory and is packed with tons of visuals! The tale surrounds a greedy gold mine baron who had uncovered some promising old tunnels, only to discover the ghosts that lived in them who had vowed to protect the soil at all costs. Riders are treated to a 90-degree drop and the coaster runs over almost 500 metres of track.
Credit: @nancyvanverseveld on Instagram
Efteling’s utmost attraction, though, is Sprookjesbos (Fairytale Forest), a 12-acre trail illustrating scenes from well-loved fairy tales. Designed by Anton Pieck, one of Holland’s favourite artists, you will walk into a realm where Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio, and other characters live.
Credit: @fotosprokkelaer on Instagram
Oops, we thought this house was dessert-ed
! Don’t say we didn’t warn you - Efteling’s fairy tale characters lean on the eerie side, but this is the park’s true allure. It takes us back to a simple time where stories hadn’t been sugar-coated, and it doesn’t apologise for it.
Credit: @daviddeblaere on Instagram
Be sure to catch the Raveleijn show, a stunt performance with swords, horsemen, and a fire-breathing three-headed dragon! The show is set in an arena, and it’ll feel as if you’re watching a medieval drama in HD and surround sound!
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The theme park is kept clean with the help of Holle Bolle Gijs, an ever hungry chubby trash can boy who yells, “Papier hier (paper here)!” Holle Bolle Gijs is based off a nursery rhyme, and we can’t help but appreciate the thoroughness of the theme park with its concept.
Vary daily – do check their calendar for opening hours on specific dates https://www.efteling.com/en/park/opening-hours
EUR 34.50 (USD 38.48)
Europalaan 1, 5171 KW Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands
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7. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Florida, United StatesCredit: Dr. T on Flickr
If animals a-moose
you, you otter
give this African-themed animal park a visit! Home to almost 12,000 animals, visitors can meet zebras and giraffes, as well as feed tropical birds and kangaroos at Busch Gardens!
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The view at the top of Falcon’s Fury[/caption]
Credit: @buschgardens on Instagram
Falcons eat other birds. Falcon’s Fury is a re-enactment of an angry falcon swooping down at you if you stand too close to a pigeon. On this ride, spread your wings and be the falcon, plunging 100 metres face-down. At the end of it, you’ll have some insight on why you, the falcon, were so furious at yourself, the human.
Credit: @buschgardens on Instagram
A sanctuary for many endangered species, Busch Gardens even has a fully functional animal hospital! Do pop by the animal reserves to say hi!
Vary daily – do check their calendar for opening hours on specific dates http://seaworldparks.com/en/buschgardens-tampa/park-info/park-hours
Starting from USD 79.99
10165 N McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612, United States
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8. Beto Carrero World, Santa Catarina, Brazil
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Beto Carrero World’s iconic paddlepop castle[/caption]
Credit: @iingridi on Instagram
The largest theme park in South America, Beto Carrero World has also been rated as one of the top 10 theme parks of the world in 2016 (based on user reviews)!
Credit: @_julioneeto on Instagram
The park has nine sections, including a pirate island and a German village, a tribute to the German immigrants in Brazil!
Credit: @marciadelongaray on Instagram
Beto Carrero World has partnered up with DreamWorks and Universal Studios to bring in characters from the films. The newest show to hit the theme park is the Madagascar Circus Show, which features stunts and dancing performances. They always say - the bigger, the Beto!
Credit: @giordanatrubian on Instagram
The Firewhip is the best loved ride of the park. The attraction has five inversions, and provides sweeping views of lakes and waterfalls!
Tue – Sun: 8:30am – 7pm, Closed on Mon
BRL 88,00 (USD 27.37) /Adult, BRL 70,00 (USD 21.75) /Child aged 4 to 9 years old, Free for Infants
Rua Inácio Francisco de Souza, 1597 - Praia de Armação, Penha - SC, 88385-000, Brazil
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9. Lotte World, Seoul, South KoreaCredit: @chacriya_pp on Instagram
Of all the theme parks in the list, Lotte World would be the most unaffected by extreme weather. That’s right, the cold never bothered it anyway, and neither had the heat, the rain, hailstones, snow, and actual cats and dogs. That’s because most of the theme park is indoors!
Credit: @metoday137 on Instagram
Recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest indoor theme park in the world, Lotte World maximises its unique layout with its ample vertical space. Rather than being divided into lands as we’ve seen so far, the attractions and amenities are dotted around different levels. So, like high-rise apartments, but fun.
The glass ceiling allows for natural sunlight to seep in, which as we all know, makes for more Instagram-worthy photos!
Credit: @oranginee on Instagram
Start off slow with a bird’s eye view of the theme park on the Aeronauts Balloon Ride! With 45 attractions, there’s something for the entire family.
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Credit: @jaewon_iii on Instagram
To prevent the apocalypse from happening soon, the more exhilarating rides like the Gyro Drop, Gyro Swing, and Gyro Spin, are placed outside. The Gyro Drop releases you at a speed of 100km/h and the ride ends in just two seconds. If only weekends could arrive this swiftly.
9:30am – 10pm daily
KRW 52,000 (USD 46.88) /Adult KRW 45,000 (USD 40.57) /Youth aged 13 to 18 KRW 41,000 (USD 36.96) /Child KRW 13,000 (USD 11.71) /Infant
240 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea
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10. Disney Parks
Credit: Jeff Krause on Flickr
Disney parks and prom kings and queens have a lot in common. They’re popular, everyone wants a piece of them, and they all have crowns and tiaras. Also, it’d be weird if no one ever mentions their names, just as no theme park list is complete without the dreamlike worlds come to life from our childhood memories.
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Disney World, Florida, United States[/caption]
Credit: @frncissdominic on Instagram
The greatest theme park, Disney World, is not just one theme park, but 6 land and water theme parks with 46 total rides!
Flutter around Magic Kingdom, an extension of Disneyland California, and enter Disney’s best version of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios! Considering the sheer massiveness of the park and the crazy queues, it’s virtually impossible to cover the whole space in a day!
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Big Thunder Mountain at Disneyland Paris[/caption]
Credit: @kraser1 on Instagram
Disneyland Paris is the most popular theme park in Europe, drawing in throngs of guests with its swirl of Disney’s signature style with European architecture. While you’re here, do give the Big Thunder Mountain a go! With its scenic river view, it’s known to be the most unique version of the ride in the world.
ShellieMay Elsa and ShellieMay Anna don’t need a prince to be happy!
Credit: @duffygeeeek on Instagram
Mickey and Minnie may be a mousehold
pair everywhere else, but surf over to Tokyo DisneySea and you’ll find that the park is a place of residence for a different duo, Duffy and ShellieMay the Disney Bears! Do not miss the Journey to the Center of the Earth ride, the park’s flagship attraction.
P.S. Did you know that Disneyland Hong Kong serves halal food? Here are Hong Kong’s must-try halal eateries! Website:
Go on! Follow this guide and find the ride of your lifetime! Meanwhile, we’ll warm up for ours!
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