The USA TODAY Community tapped our amusement park loving workers all through New Jersey, Delaware and the Hudson Valley in New York to offer this round-up of parks for each consolation degree; from these keen to strive the newest thrill experience at Six Flags — buckle up for Surprise Girl, daredevils! — to households preferring a tamer Land of Make Imagine.
We have got new points of interest at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom (off-road safari rides!) Hersheypark’s Reese’s Cupfusion and the brand new coaster, known as Hydra, on the Seaside Park Amusement Pier, in addition to some tried-and-trues, together with the 100-year-old Dragon Coaster, at Playland in Rye, New York, and the Runaway Tram at Morey’s in Wildwood, New Jersey.
Six Flags Nice Journey, Jackson, New Jersey
Why you need to go to: The park, which opened in its gates in 1974, turns 45 this summer. However Six Flags is definitely not caught prior to now — its coasters supply some record-breaking pleasure. El Toro is among the tallest and quickest picket coasters on the earth, measuring at 176 toes excessive and reaching high speeds of 70 miles per hour.
Kingda Ka is the tallest roller coaster in the world (456 toes) and the quickest coaster in North America (high pace of 128 miles per hour).
The park additionally incorporates a safari, the Hurricane Harbor water park and the annual seasonal spectaculars Fright Fest and Vacation within the Park within the fall and winter, respectively.
What’s new for 2019: The park is ready to welcome two highly-anticipated new points of interest in 2019: the 17-story-tall Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth (the world’s tallest pendulum experience) and Calypso Springs, a 100,000-gallon activity pool coming to Hurricane Harbor.
Particulars: 1 Six Flags Boulevard, Jackson, New Jersey. Open day by day by way of Sept. 2, and on weekends and choose weekdays by way of Dec. 31. 732-928-2000, www.sixflags.com — Alex Biese, Asbury Park Press, [email protected]
Playland Amusement Park, Rye, New York
Why you need to go to: One among only a handful of Artwork Deco Amusement Parks in America – it’s on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations – Playland provides throwback thrills courtesy of its century old-Carousel and its traditional picket curler coaster. In-built 1929, The Dragon Coaster, is among the final curler coaster rides constructed by famed engineer Frederick Church that’s nonetheless working. (Look intently and you may catch a glimpse of it in Mariah Carey’s 1995 music video “Fantasy.”) The park’s 104-year-old carousel is one other attraction, with a uncommon band organ constructed by the Gavioli firm in Italy.
Fashionable marvels: There’s loads to go for, from the Double-Shot Log Flume and Tremendous Flight to Wipeout and the Park options mini-golf, a boardwalk, Olympic-sized pool and a guarded seashore.
Seaside Heights and Seaside Park boardwalks, New Jersey
Why you need to go to: The Seasides proceed their journey again to life after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and a far-reaching boardwalk hearth one yr later. On Seaside Heights’s On line casino Pier the storm despatched the Jet Star rollercoaster into the ocean, however the pier now’s residence to the blue and neon inexperienced Hydrus, a German-made Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter mannequin coaster, and a 131-foot Ferris Wheel that lights up at evening and offers riders views of each land and sea.
What to anticipate this summer time: The return of Centrifuge, a scrambler-style experience additionally misplaced to the storm, and the addition of Elephant Specific, a flying elephant experience; the Mermaid Parade log flume, which options 130 toes of water observe, and Loopy Cabs, a spinning experience.
On the south finish of the boardwalk in Seaside Park, just a few small rides and video games have popped up instead of Funtown Pier, which was recognized for its kiddie rides, and Carousel Arcade. Each had been broken by the storm and hearth; neither have been rebuilt.
Fashionable marvels: Breakwater Seaside water park boasts Salem’s Scream, a 50-foot pace slide with a ground that drops out from below your toes at first, plus loads of different slides, lazy and wild rivers, and go-karts.
Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Why you need to go to: When you’ve by no means been to Hersheypark, you will have visions of a Willy Wonka-esque expertise with chocolate bars all over the place and a river of melted chocolate winding by way of the park. Whereas there may be loads of chocolate right here, it isn’t fairly the film scene in your head. Even so, it is nonetheless a blast. Relationship again to 1906, it has been residence to curler coasters since 1923, at present boasting 14 totally different coasters starting from rides for youths to white-knuckle experiences for the older crowd. There are reveals, video games, an 11-acre zoo and Hershey’s Chocolate World, a 30-minute tour that reveals how cocoa beans are made into the traditional American snack. And, sure, you get to pattern the products. Even higher, pay $26.95 and you may create your personal sweet bar, selecting your personal substances and designing a singular wrapper.
New for 2019: Opened Memorial Day weekend, Reese’s Cupfusion is an interactive gaming attraction with riders turning into brokers accountable for guarding the Crystal Cup from the dangerous guys, Mint the Cruel and the League of Misfit Sweet.
Land of Make Imagine, Hope, New Jersey
Why you need to go to: It’s all in regards to the household on the Land of Make Imagine, which options points of interest designed so mother and father can take part within the enjoyable with their youngsters with rides aimed toward these 13-years-old and youthful. Fittingly, they’ve a slew of family-friendly awards below their belts, together with 2018 NJ Amusement Park of the 12 months by the New Jersey Amusement Affiliation and New Jersey Journal’s No. 1 Amusement Park in North Jersey. It’s simple to spend the day (or just a few) at this 40-ride park, which additionally features a water park. Plus, in contrast to another big-name parks, the Land of Make Imagine really encourages picnicking and touts fairly priced meals and fare – the last word mark in family-friendliness.
What’s new for 2019: The Scream Machine 360 spins, turns, and sure, goes upside-down. The Off-Street Safari Journey, launched on Memorial Day Weekend, lets guests journey in a 4×4 safari automobile for an ecotourism expertise depicting America’s Western frontier within the 1700s.
Particulars: 354 Nice Meadows Street, Hope, New Jersey, lomb.com. Open weekends of June 2 and eight, then day by day from June 16-Sept. 2, ending with the weekend of Sept. eight. — Jenna Intersimone, [email protected]
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, Allentown, Pennsylvania
Why you need to go to: Good for each curler coaster lovers and splash-seekers, that is two parks in a single for a similar admission value. One of many oldest parks within the nation, relationship again to the 1800s, you may discover seven curler coasters together with an array of rides with much more scares, akin to Demon Drop which helps you to free-fall for 10 tales. There are additionally of loads of kiddie rides and video games for the youthful set at Dorney. And if they’re OK with getting moist, Whitewater Kingdom has loads of slides, together with semi-private cabanas if you wish to go all out.
Fashionable marvels: The Metal Drive curler coaster could also be 22 years previous, but it surely’s nonetheless a marvel at 5,600 toes lengthy, making it the eighth longest metal hypercoaster on the earth. It goes as much as 75 mph and features a terrifying 205-foot drop. When you’re into throwbacks, strive Dorney’s 86-year-old picket Thunderhawk coaster, one of many oldest American picket coasters nonetheless in operation.
Ocean Metropolis Boardwalk, Ocean Metropolis, New Jersey
Why you need to go to: Whether or not you need to stroll the boards and savor a Banana Whip with some Monkey Bread, play just a few rounds of Haunted Golf or spin your self foolish on a Tilt-a-Whirl, that is the place to do it. One of many oldest amusement parks within the nation, the family-friendly vacation spot provides leisurely days on the seashore and adventure-filled evenings of amusements. Hit each curler coaster or climb aboard the huge Big Wheel to see the sights like a seagull. With Gillian’s Wonderland Pier and Playland’s Castaway Cowl, the boardwalk is 2 locations in a single for the littlest beach-goers and larger thrill-seekers.
What’s new: One of many latest rides is the 130-foot Drop Tower, which provides a spine-tingling 47-mile-per-hour descent. Gillian’s Wonderland Pier turns 90 this yr, the right excuse to pay a go to and experience a traditional attraction such because the 1926 carousel or the equally nostalgic swings. Hit with a warmth wave? Don’t overlook Ocean Metropolis Waterpark or the Canyon Falls Log Flume, the place you may actually make a splash.
Clementon Park & Splash World, Clementon, New Jersey
Why you need to go to: Strolling by way of Clementon Park provides a glimpse into South Jersey historical past. When opened in 1907, it was amongst almost 20 amusement parks within the area. Now it is the one one, and honors its origins with particulars akin to a Victorian Principal Avenue. Whereas grownups may just like the nostalgia, youngsters will simply care in regards to the enjoyable stuff — and there is loads of it, from a Ferris wheel and carousel to a water park with a 23,00Zero-square-foot wave pool, lazy river and free-fall slides. The Huge Wave Bay water park additionally hosts “Dive-In Film” occasions all through the summer time. A Principal Avenue Halfway with video games akin to ring toss and drop-a-disc add to the carnival environment.
What’s new: The park added 4 retro rides that recall its roots. The Mini Pirate Ship, Scrambler and Tilt-A-Whirl rides, plus a twisting Dragon Coaster pay homage to traditional amusement-park points of interest.
Morey’s Piers, Wildwood, New Jersey
Why you need to go to: The upper the Morey’s Piers amusements climb, the higher the view of the Wildwood seashore. It is residence to the 156-foot tall Big Wheel, a blinking beacon that may be seen from the Wildwood exits on the Backyard State Parkway in Cape Might County. The boardwalk amusement park celebrates its 50th season on the Wildwoods boardwalk this summer time. Morey brothers opened their first attraction — an enormous, six-lane slide — in 1969.
Within the ensuing 5 a long time, the pay-per-ride amusement park now spans three piers in two cities alongside the boardwalk. Moreys additionally operates two water parks, an artwork gallery, and a number of eating places, together with Cussed Brothers, an ocean-front bar, and Pig Canine, a dog-friendly seashore bar and grill.
Fashionable marvels: Mariner’s Touchdown pier is residence to the Big Wheel, put in in 1985, the Sea Serpent curler coaster, and smaller youngsters rides, together with carousels. Journey Pier is the location of Morey’s Piers’ picket curler coast The Nice White. Surfside Pier opened Kong, a King Kong-themed swing-like flyer experience, in 2015, and this summer time debuts The Runaway Tram, a household curler coaster modeled from the Wildwoods’ iconic Sightseer Tram Automobile.
Diggerland USA, West Berlin, New Jersey
Why you need to go to: In case your youngsters are at that magic age the place simply the sight of the rubbish truck in your neighborhood or a fireplace truck downtown evokes squeals, it is a summer time should for household enjoyable. Diggerland is a building journey park with 25 points of interest that allow company safely function forklifts, bulldozers and excavators and extra. There are additionally rope programs to navigate, rock partitions to scale and a construction-themed arcade. That is the one U.S. location for the British firm, which runs a number of parks within the U.Ok. Word: Younger guests should be at the least three toes tall to function most autos, and three 1/2 toes for just a few points of interest. Adults can get in on the motion with their little ones, however they will additionally try Diggerland XL, an opportunity to be taught from specialists the way to function “unrestricted equipment,’’ whether or not for enjoyable or group constructing workouts.
Fashionable marvels: In style points of interest embody Rugged Riders, an off-road Kubota RTV-900; the Greased Beast, a metal demolition trailer that lifts passengers greater than 34 toes earlier than “dumping’’ its cargo; Spin Dizzy, a JCB JS220 that gives you fairly a spin; and the Sky Shuttle, a JCB 540-170 Telehandler that takes 10 passengers without delay greater than 50 toes within the sky for a chook’s eye view of the park.
Particulars: 100 Pinedge Drive, West Berlin, New Jersey. From June 1 to June 21, the park is open 10 a.m. to six p.m. Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; starting June 22, weekend hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. till Labor Day. 856-208-6440 diggerlandusa.com/ — Tammy Paolino, Courier Submit, [email protected]
Sesame Place, Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Why you need to go to: Sesame Place, as the one theme park in america based mostly totally on the PBS sequence “Sesame Avenue,” has the kid-centric vibe you’d count on. Rides and points of interest are modeled after “Sesame Avenue” characters and kids can work together with costumed characters, watch stage reveals and parades. Rides are geared for the youngest patrons, although there are additionally two gentle rollercoasters, together with Oscar’s Wacky Water Taxi, which opened in 2018. Quite a lot of family-friendly water rides offers extra all-ages enjoyable. Inclusivity is a precedence: Sesame Place was the primary theme park on the earth to earn the designation of Licensed Autism Middle by the Worldwide Board of Credentialing and Continued Schooling Requirements.
What’s new: Snuffy is right here! Mr. Snuffleupagus, Huge Chook’s good friend, will probably be shuffling by way of the park all season. The “Sesame Avenue” neighborhood has been up to date to replicate the brand new set on the TV sequence. New photograph op stations will commemorate the 50th anniversary this yr of “Sesame Avenue.”
Particulars: 100 Sesame Street, Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Opens at 10 a.m. day by day by way of Labor Day. Closing time varies, peaking at eight p.m. in August. After Labor Day, open choose dates by way of December. sesameplace.com — Kelly-Jane Cotter, Asbury Park Press, [email protected]
Sheri Berkery, Alex Biese, Ryan Cormier, Karen Croke, Sarah Greisman, Jenna Intersimone, Kelly-Jane Kotter, Jean Mickle, Tammy Paolino and Carly Romalino contributed to this story.
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