Whether your idea of fun is high-adrenaline coasters or family-friendly fairground rides, there's bound to be a park to suit you. The greatest concentration of amusement parks is in Florida, but there are plenty of more options in the US and Canada for thrill seekers. Ride the world's oldest roller coaster in Ohio, or opt to have your family theme park vacation in the Californian sunshine instead.
Choose the perfect vacation rental
Amusement Park Vacations: Top Destinations
Where are the best amusement parks in North America? Just in time for the start of theme park season, HomeToGo has released its annual Amusement Park Price Index - to help travellers identify the best amusement parks to visit this year. From Ontario to Oklahoma, from the frugal to fanciful, we’ve whirled into the best theme parks that North America has to offer!
Featuring 50 parks throughout Canada and the USA, the ranking includes entry price, the cost of parking, food and drink, and accommodation near each park for the 2019 season; so you can plan the ultimate amusement park vacation without getting thrown for a loop over hefty price tags! Strap yourself in, and prepare to drop into the 2019 Amusement Park Price Index.
Fast Facts About The Best Amusement Parks in North America
North America’s first roller coaster was called the “Switchback Railway”. It opened in 1884 on Coney Island in New York, and reached a top speed of 10 kilometres per hour.
The top-rated roller coaster in the world is “Fury 325” at Carowinds, North Carolina. Since 2016, it’s won Amusement Today’s famous Golden Ticket Award each year.
The tallest and second-fastest roller coaster in the world is Kingda Ka, located in New Jersey at Six Flags Great Adventure. It reaches 139 metres and 205 kilometres per hour.
The park with the most roller coasters worldwide is Six Flags Magic Mountain (20), followed by Canada’s Wonderland & Cedar Point who are tied for the second-most (17).
The 50 Most Affordable Amusement Parks in North America
*All prices shown in CAD
Total Cost = Parking + Adult Any-Day 1-Day Ticket + Meal Deal + Accommodation
Ticket Price: Online price for an any-day adult 1-day ticket, purchased in advance. When any-day tickets were not available, we selected June 1, 2019 as our default advance date, as all the parks in this year’s ranking are open by this date. In the cases where only two-day tickets were available, we selected the price of a two-day ticket and divided by two.
Parking: Online price for 1 day of regular parking, purchased in advance, as listed on park website.
Meal: Price for a meal combo that includes a cheeseburger, fries, and regular drink. We used the meal deal price when available. If not, we added together the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and regular drink. The data was provided by the park websites, park customer service teams, and online menus.
Accommodation: Average nightly price per person to stay in a 4-person accommodation found on HomeToGo between the dates of April 6, 2019 and June 22, 2019.
Research was conducted during March 2019. When prices were not available, prices from last year’s ranking were included instead. Processing fees and taxes not included.
All prices in CAD. Exchange rates were calculated on April 3, 2019. For additional information and interview requests, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Amusement Parks for Families
Family-friendly Florida is by far and away the best place if you're looking for a high concentration of great theme parks. Orlando is the centre of the fun, with additional parks just a short drive away in Tampa. Disney caters to all ages with its Florida parks, with the white-knuckle rides in Busch Gardens and Universal perhaps more suitable for teenagers.
1. Disney World
The iconic theme park brand, Disney World in Orlando comprises four theme parks, two water parks, and multiple accommodation options. There's something for kids of all ages; get up close to African wildlife in Animal Kingdom, meet the princesses in the Magic Kingdom, or be immersed into your favourite movie at Hollywood Studios. You won't fail to be touched by the Disney Magic but make sure you stay to see the nightly shows and fireworks spectaculars.
2. LEGOLAND® Florida Resort
One of the newest US amusement parks located in Winter Haven just south of Orlando, Legoland has over 50 rides and attractions, suitable for all ages. Don't miss Miniland USA, with iconic American buildings and landmarks reproduced in those iconic plastic bricks.
What kid doesn't love chocolate? Pennsylvania's Hersheypark combines water park fun, roller coasters, family rides, and plentiful entertainment with shows and character encounters.
4. Canada's Wonderland
Located just North of Toronto, Canada's Wonderland is known as the top destination for families and thrillseekers alike. With more than 200 attractions, including 70+ rides, and a fun-fuelled waterpark (Splash Works), it's a top choice for Canadian families this summer.
5. Kings Dominion
Kings Dominion's new expansion featuring Snoopy pitches it firmly at the family market, and this Virginia park has award-winning fun rides and a splash park which is perfect for cooling off in the hot summer sun.