Summer is here at last, and to help you plan that perfect family vacation, we’ve enlisted the help of our readers to find the country’s best amusement parks, water parks, and theme park hotels, restaurants and entertainment. The competition was fierce and the results are in.
Click on each category below to see the full list of winners:
Best Amusement Park: Six Flags Magic Mountain
VR roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain — Photo courtesy of Six Flags Magic Mountain
For roller coaster lovers, it doesn’t get much better than Six Flags Magic Mountain. The park boasts the world’s largest lineup of coasters – 19 of them – including some rather inventive offerings and record-breakers. Stars of the heart-pumping ride list include The New Revolution Galactic Attack, the first giant looping mixed reality roller coaster in the world, and Twisted Colossus, the world’s longest hybrid coaster. Record-breaking CraZanity is set to debut in 2018.
Best Amusement Park Entertainment: Celtic Fyre at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
This is the second straight win for Celtic Fyre — Photo courtesy of Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Celebrate the Celtic tradition of storytelling through dance at this incredibly popular, high-energy show at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. It will have you laughing and clapping to the beat of festive music. Animals native to Ireland make appearances and audience participation provides another fun angle. Guests leave the show with a newfound – or rekindled – love for all things Irish.
Best Amusement Park Hotel: Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa
Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort sits just minutes from the theme park — Photo courtesy of Dollywood
Inspired by the pillars of togetherness, storytelling and family, Dollywood‘s DreamMore Resort and Spa offers park goers a welcoming place to kick back and relax in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee just minutes from the theme park. Amenities include an interactive splash pad, zero-entry pool and door-to-door transportation to the park.
Best Amusement Park Restaurant: Aunt Granny’s Restaurant at Dollywood
Dollywood’s award-winning restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner — Photo courtesy of Dollywood
Aunt Granny’s offers the biggest all-you-care-to-eat buffet in Pigeon Forge, featuring a wide variety of comfort food that includes chicken and dumplings, a taco bar and Salisbury steak in addition to a salad bar and other healthier options. The restaurant opens 30 minutes before Dollywood, should you want to grab a quick and hearty breakfast.
Best Roller Coaster: SUPERMAN The Ride at Six Flags New England
This winning coaster boasts a 208-foot lift hill — Photo courtesy of Thomas Wagner / Wikipedia Commons
This 5,400-foot steel hypercoaster at Six Flags New England boasts a 221-foot drop and speeds of up to 77 miles per hour along the twisty red track. Don’t forget to bring your cape!
Best Outdoor Water Park: Aquatica Orlando
More than 1.5 million people visit Aquatica each year — Photo courtesy of Aquatica
SeaWorld’s first and most popular water park, Aquatica Orlando, draws 1.5 million visitors per year while seamlessly integrating sea life into rides. Its signature attraction, Dolphin Plunge, is an enclosed tube slide that passes through a pool of playful, black and white Commerson’s dolphins. Guests can also take a leisurely raft ride down Loggerhead Lane, through colorful exotic fish. Aquatica’s South Seas theme is further enhanced by 60,000 lush, tropical plants covering its 60 acres.
Best Indoor Water Park: Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark
This is the second win in a row for Aquatopia — Photo courtesy of Camelback Resort
Aquatopia at Camelback Resort in the Poconos boasts 125,000 square feet of water-filled fun, featuring seven pools (including a wave pool), 13 slides, an adventure river and a water play structure with nearly 100 gadgets and interactive elements. A highlight for thrill-seekers is Storm Chaser, one of the longest indoor, uphill water coasters in the USA. Visitors looking to relax can work on their tan year-round thanks to Aquatopia’s transparent roof.
Congratulations to all these vacation destinations! Remember to visit 10Best.com daily to vote in new Readers’ Choice categories.