Travel bloggers pick their worldwide favourites for family entertainment
Love them or hate them, theme parks can create the mecca of holiday memories for some families, and I’m guessing fall pretty high on most kids’ travel wish lists.
Although we have done our fair share of the “big ones” I was delighted to see the variety of new ideas come through this month when I asked our team or expert family travel bloggers to recommend the best of the best in theme parks. Yes, of course there’s gotta be some Disney magic in there, but it was delightful to see some refreshingly different ideas, many of which include educational elements and drawing in nature too as part of the theme park experience – it’s not all thrill rides and getting wet!!!
Even if you’re not a theme park fan, its time to drop some pre-conceived notions. You’re bound to find something here that will suit interests for your little ones AND you! (‘Coz big kids wanna have fun sometimes too, right?)
The Bali Safari and Marine Park is not your typical theme park in the normal sense of the word, but definitely a fun and educational family day out. We start our day with exploring the aquariums and seeing the frenzy of the Piranha fish feeding. Then we perch on rickety tiered seats as we hear the history of how humans have domesticated wildlife. We are enchanted watching the elephants bathing, white tigers striding along the river, and komodo dragons lazing in the sun. Next we are told the story of the struggle between the elephants and humans in the Indonesian jungles that eventually resulted in a more harmonious way of life. We are then amused to see how elephant poo is used to make paper. However the highlight is the 4WD safari tour to explore the biggest “zoo” I have seen; with animals from Africa, India and Indonesia freely walking through huge fields. We finish our day with the more conventional theme park attractions; cooling off in the water park and riding on the side show attractions.
Amy from Passports & Pigtails
The word ‘Disney’ evokes wonder and magic, a life size fairytale of winding pathways that lead to spinning teacups, heart racing rollercoasters, swashbuckling pirates and crown adorned princesses come to life. It’s a place that caters to all those passing through the gates, fulfilling the dreams of generations. With Disney theme parks dotting the globe, each park offers up its own unique experience. Disneyland Paris is the perfect opportunity for traveling families to pair up days of magic with days wandering the streets in the city of light and love. At just 32 kilometres via a quick train ride, it means that families can easily switch up days of Mickey Mouse for days of culture, crepes and iconic towers. It is “Disney en Francais’.
Disneyland Paris is split into two theme parks, Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. Serviced by seven Disney hotels as well as plenty of surrounding accommodation options and a separate Disney Village, this is a park that has options for every budget. Covering approximately 5000 acres, it is on a perfect scale for families looking to spend a few days immersed in moments of laughter and excitement. For children, it’s a dream come true as they embark upon adventurous rides and are left starry eyed by characters. For parents it’s nostalgia, family connection and learning that rides are not as easy on the body as they used to be. For us, it was seeing our girls eyes light up as they watched over the top parades, and snuggling in as a family to watch the most incredible fireworks and light show one can possibly witness.
Disney Parks are a bucket list destination for many families, and with it’s proximity to one of the world’s most amazing cities, it’s incredible daily celebrations and it’s perfect size, Disneyland Paris is a fantastic family destination.
Mark from Wyld Family Travel
Keri from Our Globetrotters
Marianne from Mum on the Move
Ocean Park is Hong Kong’s oldest theme park, and is a favourite family day out for Hong Kong residents and bus-loads of tourists who arrive daily.
Ocean Park Hong Kong is not your average theme park, but rather part-zoo, part-aquarium, part-theme park. The Grand Aquarium has loads of sea creatures to fascinate children – from hammerhead sharks, to stingrays and manta rays, starfish and lionfish to jellyfish and turtles. Then there are penguins, walruses, sea lions and seals to admire, plus everyone’s favourites – the Giant Pandas.
The other main focus of Ocean Park,is the roller coasters and thrill rides. There are rides for everyone – from the carousel and frog-hopper for the little ones, to the floorless Hair Raiser roller coaster that sends you looping and plunging at 88km/h for the really fearless. But one of the biggest treats of Ocean Park for many visitors to Hong Kong is the cable car. Ocean Park is divided into two sections – the Summit, which is literally built on the top of a mountain, and the Waterfront. The most fun way to get between the two sections is to ride the Cable Car, which also has some of the best views of the south side of Hong Kong Island.
Peppa Pig World, Hampshire, England
Claire from Tin Box Traveller
Leah from Kid Bucket List
Elaine from Family Travel Escapades
Walt Disney World resort near Orlando, Florida is the world’s best theme park because it boasts both quality and quantity that are unsurpassed. Walt Disney World offers not one, but four amazing theme parks, two water parks, four golf courses, 34 resorts/hotels, and the Disney Springs shopping and entertainment area. The four parks are distinct with different themes, attractions, and focuses: Magic Kingdom (Classic Disney!), Epcot (science and culture), Hollywood Studios (classic TV and movies) and Animal Kingdom (nature, real and mythical).
Children will love meeting classic, Disney characters (Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Snow White, even Doc McStuffins, and more), parades, stage shows (Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo), child friendly rides like Peter Pan’s Flight, and amazing fireworks. Adults will appreciate the same things, but will also enjoy thrill rides (Tower of Tower, Expedition Everest, Space Mountain) and culture (shopping and dining from thirteen countries in Epcot alone). Everything in Walt Disney World from restaurants to rides have a “story” that makes if feel more alive and real.
Walt Disney said, “The Magic is in the details.” No detail is too small at Walt Disney World. Walt Disney World is the “most magical place on Earth.”
Will theme parks be on your family travel agenda this year?
Looking for more family travel destination ideas? Pop over to our Destinations Home Page and see what our fellow family travel bloggers recommend