Water parks, amusement parks, fairs, pleasure gardens. Whatever name you use, theme parks form the bedrock of a huge chunk of the global tourist trade. After all, for mindless thrills, what else offers such pure escape and childlike awe as a roller coaster, a carousel, a Ferris wheel, a water slide, a log flume or a gigantic mouse?
A lot of folks seem to agree, as the numbers attest. The ten top amusement park firms by attendance took in a grand total of 300 million visitors in 2010, with one in particular (you know which one) at almost half that figure alone
But where else can you go to rediscover your inner child? NMTBP finds out, with our Magnificent 7 theme parks
The most visited amusement park in the United Kingdom, and one of the top twenty most-visited amusement parks in the world with an estimate of 5.5 million visitors annually in 2007, the Pleasure beach is situated on Lancashire’s Fylde coast
Brace yourself for The Big One, Pleasure Beach’s biggest, fastest and scariest coaster. Feel the adrenaline rush as you climb to a nail biting height of 235ft
Prepare yourself for the first drop which boasts an incline angle of 65 degrees and at speeds of up to 87mph this roller coaster is an experience like no other!
The Pleasure Beach recently opened a rethemed children’s area in the park called Nickelodeon Land in 2011
Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi
A Ferrari themed amusement park on Yas Island that covers an area of 30,080 acres with four theme parks, two water parks, 23 on-site themed resort hotels including a campground, two spas and physical fitness centers and five golf courses. The central park is the largest indoor amusement park in the world and is home to Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster
The Singaporeans know how to make a theme park that attracts both adults and children. They spent over $6.5 billion Singapore dollars building Resorts World, which includes one of city state’s two casinos, a Universal Studios theme park and Marine Life Park, which includes the world’s largest oceanarium
Wet’n’Wild Water World, Gold Coast
Gold Coast, Queensland, in some respects, is a giant theme park in and of itself. Wet’n’Wild Water World, however, is singular and the eighth most popular water park in the world
Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
Cedar Point is a 364-acre amusement park located on a Lake Erie peninsula. Opened in 1870, it is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the United States and features a world-record 72 rides. Known as ‘America’s Roller Coast’, it has 15 roller coasters, the third-most in the world. Their 16th roller coaster, Gatekeeper, will open in 2013
Cedar Point is the only amusement park in the world with four roller coasters taller than 200 feet (61 m) – Magnum XL-200, Millennium Force, Wicked Twister, and Top Thrill Dragster – and is the only park with roller coasters in all four height classifications
Everland, Yongin, South Korea
Samsung, that most august of South Korea chaebols, runs the ever-popular Everland in the city of Yongin in the Seoul National Capital Area. Opened in 1976, it’s ranked as the 4th theme park in the world by offering 5 main Festivals and exciting entertainments all year around. Experience wonderful Festivals and magnificent shows at Everland, 365 days a year. There are five theme areas along with more than 50 kinds of attractions full of high, thrilling and fun rides
Universal Port Aventura Tarragona, Spain
Universal Port Aventura is an amusement park and is one of the most visited theme parks in the world and was opened in 1995, it has a total of 30 rides with 5 roller coasters, 3 water rides with 2 hotels
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