All of us have different ways of relieving the stress of a busy lifestyle and for some people, there is nothing they enjoy more than a period of rest and relaxation in a quiet, peaceful environment. On the other hand, there’s a large proportion of people who rely on adrenaline and are constantly looking for their next big thrill.
This is why theme parks across the globe attract such an incredible number of visitors and you can find a selection of the top parks below:
Cedar Point, Ohio
While it might not be one of the most well-known theme parks in the world, Cedar Point is certainly popular among the aforementioned adrenaline-junkies, as it contains more roller coasters than any other single park with 17. It is the second oldest park in the US and its coasters include Millennium Force, the Raptor, Magnum XL-200 and the Mean Streak, but there are still plenty of attractions for those of us who are less inclined to hurtling along at breakneck speed.
With a petting farm, regular live shows, go karting and a golf area, this 364 acre park certainly has something for everyone, regardless of their age or interests.
This German theme park actually consists of 12 separate areas, each of which focuses on a different European country and contains attractions along that theme. For example, the England area has a Silverstone Race Track car ride, as well as the London Bus ride and the Globe Theatre.
In addition to the 54 rides – including 11 roller coasters – there are a number of “4D” theatre shows throughout the day, while visitors can also enjoy experiences such as the Bellevue Observation Wheel, Snow Tubing and skiing.
A €100 million water park is believed to be under consideration at the moment and may be added to the site to celebrate the park’s 40th anniversary in 2015.
With five resort hotels on site at the park, as well as a designated area for camping and caravaning, Europa Park is perfect for those who want to combine their thrill-seeking with a holiday in Europe.
Ocean Park, Hong Kong
If you’re looking for something a little bit more than the usual roller coaster and theatre experiences on offer at the vast majority of theme parks, why not consider a trip to Ocean Park in Hong Kong? It combines a marine mammal park and oceanarium with roller coasters and traditional attractions, meaning that you can come face to face with dolphins, seals and sea lions just minutes before falling from a great height rides such as the Abyss Turbo Drop.
With live shows that use the park’s marine stars to highlight the importance of conservation, a trip to Ocean Park is educational as well as entertaining, as it operates a number of observatories, labs and a learning department.
Alton Towers, Staffordshire
Having recently opened a new £18 million roller coaster called The Smiler, Alton Towers has further reinforced its position as the most popular theme park in the UK and currently attracts 2.4 million visitors each year.
Its coasters generally break new ground – Oblivion was the world’s first vertical drop ride when it opened in 1998, while Air positions riders in a prone “flying” position – and The Smiler is no different, as it is the first 14-inversion ride on the planet.
As well as its 75 rides, Alton Towers is home to a hotel resort, golf course and several stunning gardens, making it a popular destination for domestic staycation holidays.
Dreamed up as a joint effort between those behind Alton Towers and the Busch Gardens park in the US, PortAventura combines thrilling rides with a water park and several children’s areas to create what is the most popular theme park in Spain.
Its main areas are again themed to resemble geographical areas, with the China section containing the Dragon Khan ride, which – when it opened in 1995 – held the record for most inversions with eight and regularly features highly on polls to discover the world’s best roller coasters. Among the park’s other main attractions is the Furius Baco – the fastest roller coaster in Europe, with a top speed of 83.9 mph.