Thrills and spills galore
Hold on to your hats and don’t let go of the handlebars, as we take you on a wild rollercoaster ride through this year’s best family theme park holidays.
Disneyland Resort Paris, France
Disneyland Resort Paris bursts with attractions to suit all ages, from children’s favourite It’s a Small World to action-packed thrill rides such as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, and the out-of-this-world Space Mountain: Mission 2.
Gardaland, Castelnuovo del Garda, Italy
Gardaland is Italy’s largest and best theme park. It offers a great day out for the family during a holiday at Lake Garda. Young children will love the Fantasy Kingdom, with its Toy Town and the tree house of Prezzemolo (the park’s mascot).
For older children and adults there are some exhilarating thrills including the Jungle Rapids water ride, set in a mystic land of ancient temples, and the formidable Blue Tornado rollercoaster.
Sea World, San Diego, US
Experience oceanic life up close and personal at Sea World, where you will encounter sharks, penguins, dolphins, manatees and orcas.
Sea World allows visitors to experience an incredible array of animals while learning about the importance of conservation, animal care, education and research.
Movie World (Caneva World), Lazise, Italy
Movieland World opened at Lake Garda as the modest Canevaworld Resort in the 1960s, but it shot to fame in the 1980s with the inauguration of Italy’s first water park, Caneva Aquapark.
These days it also boasts Movieland Studios, inspired by the world renowned Universal Studios.
Universal Studios, Hollywood, US
Get ready for the ultimate Hollywood experience: a full day of action-packed entertainment including thrilling theme park rides and shows, a real working movie studio, and some of Los Angeles’ best shops, restaurants and cinemas at City Walk.
Come face to face with King Kong 360 3-D created by director Peter Jackson. It’s billed as the world’s largest, most intense 3-D experience.
Walt Disney World, Orlando, US
Fantasy comes to life with rides like the Mickey’s Philharmagic, a magical 3-D adventure; the rollicking rollercoaster of Space Mountain and the ghoul-filled Haunted Mansion.
Don’t miss Epcot, Disney’s science and discovery park that makes education fun.
Dream World, Gold Coast, Australia
Dream World is one of the must-do theme parks on the Gold Coast. It is home to the Tower of Terror – “the world’s tallest and fastest thrill ride”; Giant Drop, which involves a freefall from the height of 38 storeys; and The Claw, a nine-storey adrenalin rush.
Waterworld Water Park, Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Located in Ayia Napa, the Ancient Greece-themed Waterworld is the biggest water park in Europe.
With 24 international awards and more than three million guests to date, this is one of Cyprus’s biggest attractions. It has over 20 thrilling rides for all ages, making it a fantastic family fun day out. Top attractions include Chariots Chase, Aeolos Whirlpool, the River Odyssey and Poseidon wave pool.
Children can splash around for hours in the Atlantis activity pool, Pegasus children’s pool and Trojan Adventure. Those seeking more adrenalin-fuelled rides can attempt the kamikaze slides, Drop to Atlantis and the Fall of Icarus.
Chessington World of Adventures and Zoo, Surrey, UK
Whether soaring on the Vampire rollercoaster through Transylvania, taking a fiery spin round Dragon’s Fury or discovering the mystery of Tomb Blaster, you’ll certainly have an adventure at Chessington.
Among the animal attractions is a Sea Life Centre, where you can come face-to-face with sharks .
Port Aventura Theme Park, Costa Dorada, Spain
Port Aventura is spread across five exotic lands with rollercoasters and other scream-inducing rides. There is also the Caribe Aquatic Park, with the highest water ride in the world, plus three golf courses.
Etnaland Aquapark, Catania, Sicily
It’s hard to say who loves Etnaland more, the kids or their parents. Try Wild River – a huge tube with thick fog; or Kamikaze, a brave leap into the dark.
There is also plenty for the little ones, with mini slides, a pool with real foam, wave pool and tunnels.