Theme parks are one of America’s favorite vacation destinations. Walt Disney World and Disneyland are probably the two most famous theme parks in the US, but there are hundreds more local and regional favorites. Traveling Mom has the scoop on the tips you need for a great visit to some of America’s best theme parks.

Getting into Magic Kingdom before it opens offers a fantastic stroll down Main Street to Cinderella’s Castle. Photo credit: Robin Hutson of

Getting into Magic Kingdom before it opens offers a fantastic stroll down Main Street to Cinderella’s Castle. Photo credit: Robin Hutson of

The Only Guide You’ll Need to 11 of America’s Best Theme Parks

Fall is the best time to visit America’s best theme parks. The cooler weather makes walking around more bearable, and you’ll usually find smaller crowds in the fall than the peak summer season. In many cases, there are more discounts available during the fall too.

Visiting in the Fall is a universal tip for getting the most out of a visit to any of America’s best theme parks. But we’ve got more park-by-park suggestions too. So what are some of America’s best theme parks, and what are the insider tips for a great day exploring? Never fear, Traveling Mom has you covered.

America’s Best Theme Parks in Florida 

Traveling Mom is THE expert on a trip to Walt Disney World, but Disney isn’t the only fun theme park near Orlando. Here are a few other favorites.

New attractions coming to LEGOLAND Florida in 2016 and 2017.

New attractions coming to LEGOLAND Florida in 2016 and 2017. Photo credit: Maria Smith, TravelingMom of Many

LEGOLAND Florida: LEGOLAND is located in Winter Haven, FL, about 45 minutes from the main gate at the Magic Kingdom. This theme park is geared toward children 12 and under, but LEGO fans of all ages can enjoy a visit here.  This post is a must read when starting to plan your vacation. It gives ways to save, tips on how to beat the lines and talks about the best age to enjoy the park.


Universal Studios, Orlando: The rides aren’t the best part of the new Diagon Alley at Universal Studios. There is so much to discover here, you need a cheat sheet – good thing we have a post on the secrets in Diagon Alley.

To really cover the most ground at Universal Studios, you may want to consider a VIP tour. These tours aren’t just for celebrities. Regular people can book them too. It may cost a little more, but your guide can make sure you don’t miss anything.

Georgia Theme Parks

Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain, Georgia is a different kind of theme park, with a phenomenal laser and fireworks show. Photo credit Sue Rodman, Teen Traveling Mom

Stone Mountain Park: Stone Mountain Park, east of downtown Atlanta isn’t your typical theme park. There are no roller coasters or carousels here. They do have a giant train, a fun mini-golf course, and amazing laser and fireworks show. Read our post to learn more about what to expect at Stone Mountain Park.

Six Flags Over Georgia: If you want a more traditional amusement park experience, Six Flags Over Georgia is the place to go. This is just west of downtown Atlanta. You’ll need to download our ultimate guide for taking the kids to Six Flags Over Georgia before you go.

Pennsylvania Theme Parks

Hershey Park: The sweetest theme park in the world is in Hershey PA. Although I normally think a theme park is geared toward tweens and teens, Hershey Park is great for young kids too.  But don’t think it’s just for the little ones, we can also give you the low-down on the thrill rides for the teens.

Tennessee Theme Parks

Dollywood's Lightning Rod, the world's fastest wood roller coaster, opens to the public June 13th.

Dollywood’s Lightning Rod, the world’s fastest wood roller coaster. Photo Credit: BusinessWire

Dollywood: In the heart of the Great Smokey Mountains, amid lots of wonderful hiking and outdoor activities, is Dollywood. A visit to the Dollywood family amusement park is a great way to mix things up with other more natural adventures in the Pigeon Forge area.

Missouri Theme Parks

Silver Dollar City: It takes some planning to go back in time. Good thing we’ve done it for you. Our Simple No Cry Survival Guide to Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, is all you need to know to have a pleasant trip with young children. Car seats are optional on this journey.

California Theme Parks

Knotts Berry Farms is fun for little ones. They especially like meeting Snoopy.

A Meet n’ Greet with the Peanuts Gang, including Snoopy! Photo credit: Julie Bigboy/Day Trips TravelingMom

Knott’s Berry Farm: One of the original theme parks in the United States was Knott’s Berry Farm, which began as, you guessed it, a berry farm back in the 1930s. Now it is one of the most visited theme parks in the US.

Our mom reviewer enjoyed the history of the farm, most notably the Ghost Town, but as you would expect her tweens were all about the roller coasters, and the little ones liked Snoopy.

We’ll tell you how to keep everyone happy here, but if you have young ones, you’ll also want to read this post to avoid potential meltdowns.

Sea World, San Diego: If you are headed to SeaWorld San Diego, make sure to read up on the thrill rides before you go. This guide will help you determine what rides you are most interested in so you can head there first and avoid the lines that inevitably form at the thrill coasters.

Wisconsin Theme Parks

Bristol Renaissance Faire: I don’t know if I’d consider this a theme park, but if you are anywhere near Kenosha WI in the summer, you might want to consider a stop at the Bristol Renaissance Faire. Our TMOM expert gives you everything you need to party like it’s 1599.

Insider tips for 11 of America's Favorite Theme Parks

Now that you’ve read our guide, what is your favorite of these 11 America’s Favorite Theme Parks? Did we miss yours? Please share with us in the comments below.