The Best Amusement Parks and Water Parks

Discover the top theme parks and water parks in the U.S. TripAdvisor releases its Travelers’ Choice Awards for The World’s Best Amusement Parks and Water Parks. Winners include Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, both located in Orlando, FL. Continue below for's Top 10.

Travelers prefer Orlando-based parks over the ones in LA, according to TripAdvisor

Amusement parks and water parks, rites of summer travel, can be pricey family adventures, so knowing which facilities deliver the best rides, pools and aquatic play areas is important. TripAdvisor’s users crown Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, FL, as the U.S.’s top theme park, and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, Orlando, FL, as the best water park.

For those wondering whether to head to Orlando, FL, or to the Anaheim-Los Angeles area, consider this: The Travelers’ Choice Awards features seven Orlando theme parks, but only three Anaheim-Los Angeles parks in the top 10.


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As always, factor in your family’s preferences and needs. If traveling with toddlers, make sure the parks offer enough child-friendly rides, wading pools and shade. With older children and teens, create a ride strategy ahead of time so you’ll be able to experience the attractions on your theme park bucket list. Although expensive, VIP or other preferred passes that enable you to skip the lines may be worth it if you have limited time or if your kids have limited patience for lines. To stretch your budget, look for passes that offer admission for multiple days as well as bundle entrance to other attractions that interest you.

At the following winners of TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards for the World’s Best Amusement and Water Parks, you and your kids can get happily tossed, twirled, doused, sprayed and soaked.

TripAdvisor’s Top 10 U.S. Amusement Parks

1. Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, FL. The park takes top place for its range of rides, which include Dr. Seuss and Harry Potter.

2. Discovery Cove, Orlando, FL. Users praise the park for its all-inclusive rates and for its relative lack of crowds.

3. Magic Kingdom, Orlando, FL. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and friends still delight little kids.

4. Universal Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA.

5. Universal Studios Florida, Orlando, FL. Park aficionadas like the interactive rides that “pair” guests with stars.

6. Epcot, Orlando, FL. The blending of entertainment and education appeals to users.

7. Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Orlando, FL. Visitors like the park’s conservation message and its wildlife-themed rides.

8. SeaWorld Orlando, Orlando, FL. The mix of animal shows and exciting rollercoasters and other rides appeal to users.

9. Disney California Adventure Park, Anaheim, CA. The park celebrates California’s history and geography with exhibits and rides.

10. Disneyland Park, Anaheim, CA. Although smaller than some other parks, Disneyland still draws enthusiastic visitors.

TripAdvisor’s Top 10 U.S. Water Parks

1. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, Orlando, FL

2. Aquatica Orlando, Orlando, FL

3. Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, Orlando, FL

4. Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, IN

5. Water Country USA, Williamsburg, VA

6. Noah’s Ark Water Park, Wisconsin Dells, WI

7. Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park Resort, Erie, PA

8. Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Water Parks, Wildwood, NJ

9. Waldameer Park & Water World, Erie, PA

10. Water World, Federal Heights, CO

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