10 of the Best Water & Amusement Parks for Summer

From the famous American parks to the huge Middle Eastern waterparks, passing through the coolest in the Med, discover the best waterparks and amusement parks for the summer.

With summer approaching, longer days and higher temperatures, some fun out with family or family is a must. And what could be more fun than a day at an amusement park? Summer is the best time to visit an amusement park and make the most of the long days. And when the heat gets too much for you, jump in the pool at one of the many waterparks. Whether you’re looking for ideas for a trip close to home or already planning your holiday, water and amusement parks are always a popular option.

Read on to discover 10 of the best theme parks in the world that are ideal for summer.

1. Land of Legends, Antalya, Turkey

Close to Belek is Land of Legends, which has been dubbed the ‘Disneyland of Antalya’. This popular amusement park really has it all. The Adventure Land themed area includes more than 20 rides and rollercoasters. The highlight of this is the Hyper Coaster, a wild 115km/h ride that reaches up to 62 metres in height – that’s a more than 30-storey building. But there are also attractions for the little ones, such as the colourful Flying Carpet or the 5D cinema.

And then there’s the huge water park, with over 50 attractions, making Land of Legends the ideal destination for fun and refreshment on hot summer days. The Aqua Land area has slides for the whole family, an animal area where you can swim with dolphins, an infinity pool where you can relax in sea water and many other experiences. But if you are looking for adrenaline, Secret Lagoon is the place for you. With slides designed for the more adventurous, we’re sure this section of the park won’t disappoint.

2. Six Flags Magic Mountain, Los Angeles, USA

America likes to think big and it’s no different when it comes to amusement parks. Six Flags Magic Mountain, more than half an hour’s drive from Los Angeles, is the amusement park with the most rollercoasters in the world thanks to its 20 rollercoasters. It’s heaven for daredevils. The Full Throttle is a record-breaking example – the tallest and fastest looping rollercoaster in the world. You’re launched no less than three times; you go through a loop of almost 50 metres, and you go from 0 to 112km/h in a heartbeat. The Wonder Woman rollercoaster, which opens its doors this summer, also promises to be a high, fast and heart-pounding spectacle. And if you want to cool down afterwards, head to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, where in the summer you can enjoy thrilling water slides, wave pools and mini-pools for the little ones.

3. Universal Studios Hollywood, USA

Are you a fan of the silver and small screens? Well, then Universal Studios Hollywood is an unmissable stop on your trip to Los Angeles. This famous American amusement park is located in Hollywood’s oldest and most important film studio, where memorable scenes from iconic films such as Jaws, Back to the Future and Jurassic Park were shot. Take the train on the famous Studio Tour and discover 160 hectares of movie sets, a one-hour journey through the movies that made Hollywood history. Another must-see is the area dedicated to the magical world of Harry Potter, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where you can fly on a Hippogriff and explore Hogwarts on a broomstick. And then there are the spectacular stunt shows, including Water World, packed with action and special effects, which transports you into a world of water and fire. Universal Studios Hollywood isn’t particularly big but take a full day to explore it at your leisure and not miss a thing.

4. Walt Disney World Resort®, Orlando, USA

For even more thrills and family fun, we head to the US East Coast. Just outside Orlando, Florida, you will find the magical Walt Disney World Resort® with no fewer than six Disney parks. This is the destination for a complete family holiday with theme parks, golf, water activities, shopping, dining and so much more. The resort’s most iconic theme park is Magic Kingdom, which dates from 1971. See Cinderella’s Castle, meet your favourite Disney characters on Main Street and find plenty of rides from thrilling rollercoasters to carousels for the little ones.

Need some cooling off in the Florida heat? Then go to one of the two waterparks – Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach. Here, you can swim in the world’s largest open-air wave pool and slide down spectacular slides. A day here is a dream come true for many, but for the ultimate experience, we recommend that you make it a multi-day holiday. And then of course you stay in one of the 20 themed hotels.

5. Yas Waterworld, Abu Dhabi, UAE

This is one of the parks on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi’s famous entertainment island. Temperatures in the UAE can get really go off the charts in the warmer months, so what could be better than cooling off in a world of over 40 slides and water attractions? Yas Waterworld is so big you can go back to it over and over without it getting boring. Best of all, there is something for everyone. From adrenaline-pumping slides to 100% relaxation, from pool surfing experiences to an entire zone just for kids. A must for the adventurous is Dawwama, the largest tornado slide in the world, with a whirling drop from 20 metres. But the Liwa Loop with its free-fall simulation is no slide for the faint-hearted Cinesplash, on the other hand, is a 5D cinema that the whole family can enjoy together.

6. PortAventura World, Salou, Spain

Do you want to alternate your city trip to Barcelona or your beach holiday on the Costa Dorada with some action? Then we have the answer for you. The sensational PortAventura World, just outside Salou, is less than a 90-minute drive from Barcelona. This world consists of three parks and guarantees days of fun. The original PortAventura opened in 1995 and is one of Spain’s most popular amusement parks. There are six themed worlds, from the Mediterranean to the Wild West, and you’ll find some jaw-dropping rollercoasters such as the Shambala and the Dragon Khan. Angkor and Silver River are ideal for summer – you’re guaranteed to get wet.

Speed demons have to go to Ferrari Land anyway. Here you can step into the fastest and highest rollercoaster in Europe – the Red Force is 112 meters high and goes 180km/h at its fastest. From early June to mid-September, head to Caribe Aquatic Park for a splashing day. This waterpark is the ideal place to cool off under the Mediterranean sun. You’ll find numerous swimming pools, sandy beaches, green areas, palm trees and of course great water attractions such as the Barracudas and the King Khajuna, the tallest slide in Europe.

7. Acqua Plus, Crete, Greece

Located 25 minutes’ drive from the centre of Heraklion, Acqua Plus is the perfect destination for a day of family fun. Crete’s largest waterpark is divided into two zones. An area for the more adventurous, with many thrilling attractions, and an area entirely dedicated to children and relaxation. As if the fun wasn’t enough, Acqua Plus is located in a beautiful setting, on top of a hill from where you can enjoy a beautiful panorama, and in a well-tended garden, with plants and flowers typical of the area. Giants of Terror is the ultimate adrenaline-pumping experience, the tallest water slide in the country, with a descent from a height of 23 metres and a speed of up to 120km/h. In the children’s area, there are also relaxing pools and rides, including the classic Lazy River, hot tub and main pool. Finally, the themed slides for the little ones and the water playground really make this water park unsurpassed.

8. Xel-Há, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Twenty minutes’ drive from Tulum is the best adventure park on the Riviera Maya. Xel-Há is not your typical water or amusement park, but nature lovers and adventure seekers will love it. The park offers a wide range of activities, both in the water and on land, and is fun for all ages. You can snorkel among hundreds of species of colourful fish and discover the underwater world in the caves. To relax, float down the Río Xel-Há in a pool before jumping off the five-metre rock Piedra del Valor or zipline across the water. Or enjoy the views of the surroundings from the 30-metre-high lighthouse before going down the slide.

Afterwards, you can take walks on dry land through the forests and learn about Maya culture. A day in Xel-Há is one of the most complete experiences you could wish for. And if you fancy a bite, you can lunch at one of the restaurants included in the entrance fee. After lunch, jump back into the turquoise water full of energy.

9. Acquafan, Riccione, Italy

Italy’s most famous waterpark is ideal for a day with friends or family. The Aquafan in Riccione covers over has more than 3km of slides and attractions for all ages. Extreme River is a slide that’s made history – it was the first in Europe to exploit the force of gravity with a 16-metre drop. The StrizzaCool, on the other hand, promises a whirlwind fall with your companions in boats for three and four people. The park’s main pool, the Wave Pool, with its swirling waters, appeals to everyone, while the Elephant Pool guarantees fun and safety for even the smallest. And, being in Riccione, Aquafan naturally has a party atmosphere too. With DJs, events and concerts, it is the perfect place for a summer evening.

10. Splash Jungle Water Park, Phuket, Thailand

During your trip to Phuket, Thailand, a day at the Splash Jungle Water Park should definitely be on your schedule. Whether you come for a day full of watery fun or to relax, it’s all possible here. Glide through the Super Bowl alone or as a couple in a pool or experience the thrill of the Boomerango, where you race through a dark tube before climbing up to 9 metres on a ramp. Afterwards, you can recover from all the tension on the Lazy River. Float at your leisure on the 335-metre river in a swimming pool and enjoy the jungle atmosphere around you. There’s also an exciting wave pool – with continuous supervision and life jackets for the little ones. Thanks to the various bars scattered around the park, you don’t have to worry about food either.

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