Summer is here for most students out of school, and what summer is complete without a trip to a great theme park? The rides, the performers, the ice cream cones, the waterparks – what more could you want! With so many options in America, it can be tricky to narrow it down. Some parks are all about the thrill, like Cedar Point, whereas some are simply about the magic, like Disneyland and Orlando Studios. Decide what your group is most interested in, and take a look at our list of favorite theme parks below!
The Adventuredome (Vegas)
Long gone is the idea that Vegas is only for adults. Try a group trip to Vegas to explore the real magic the city has to offer, and make your first stop at the Adventuredome. Located in the Circus Circus building, this 5-acre indoor amusement park is one of the largest indoor parks in the world. 25 different rides, from beginner to thrill-seeker, fill the space. If coasters aren’t your thing, this park offers rock climbing, mini-golf, arcades, clown shows, and a virtual reality zone.
Six Flags Great Adventure (Kingda Ka)
Many associate the largest theme parks with Disney World or Universal Studios, but the title actually goes to Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. The park recently combined its 160-acre land with the neighboring 350-acre Wild Safari animal park, making it officially the largest in the world! Great Adventure is filled with big thrills like the Kingda Ka coaster, the tallest in the world and tiger-themed to take you through lines of bamboo plants in one exhilarating ride. The park has also been used for amazing concerts such as the Beach Boys, Joan Jett and the Ramones.
King’s Island (Banshee)
If you’re a Midwesterner looking for thrills close to home, visit King’s Island in Cincinnati. The largest park in the Midwest, this can be the perfect getaway for groups on a smaller budget. For 13 straight years, the park won the prestigious Golden Ticket Award for “Best Kids’ Area in the World” – so you know this a great spot for the younger ones! For an older crowd, check out Banshee, the longest inverted coaster (with 7 inverts!) in the world.
Busch Gardens Tampa
One of the top-visited theme parks worldwide, Busch Gardens combines coasters with SeaWorld shows and an impressive zoo to boot, giving a huge variety for a school group with different interests. Bonus that it’s open nearly all-year round, so you can choose the very best time for your group to visit, and it will always be nice and warm.
Six Flags Great America (Goliath)
Tons of great coasters grace the walls of Great America, but Goliath is the star. Opened in 2014, this modern-day wooden coaster allows its trains to go upside down, and very, very fast. Despite being currently ranked the fastest, steepest and tallest coaster in the world, it’s suprisingly a very smooth ride! Are you brave enough?
Can you take on the roller coaster capital of the world? Test your stamina on 72 different rides, 16 of which are massive, fast coasters, giving it its rightful name. If you’d prefer a less-coaster-filled trip, check out their many waterparks – one indoors, one outdoors, and two marinas for swimming nearby. Cedar Point has received the Golden Ticket Award for “Best Amusement Park in the World” for 16 consecutive years.
To combine your thrills with something a little sweeter, Hersheypark in Pennsylvania may be the perfect pick for your group. A heavily family-centered park, Hershey is a great choice for those who want the rides without all the scariness of big coasters. Enjoy nightly shows, tons of shopping, a zoo park and waterpark, and of course, tons of chocolate at every corner!
More of a waterbug than a coaster fiend? Schlitterbahn is an easy choice, being one of the largest waterparks in the country. Check out four separate parks all in Texas, combined to give you tons of variety and fun all in one trip! Stay the night in their indoor water resort so you never have to leave the fun.