Wednesday, 10 January 2018

My Top 5 Favourite Theme Parks

This might soon change given we are off to Florida in May, but until then these are our favourite theme parks we have visited as a family.

PortAventura World

We visited back in May 2017 and this shot straight to the top of our list.  We visited in term time and the queues were very manageable.  

We never waited particularly long for any ride.  The weather was beautiful and the park opening hours long.  In the UK it’s usually all done and dusted by 5pm in term time in May so we had the luxury of time to do the place justice.  There the park was open until 8pm each day.  We also stayed at Hotel El Paso so we had the theme park on our doorstep and with the late opening hours we would sometimes head to the park in the afternoon making the most of the pool earlier in the day, so it was all quite relaxed and chilled which made it the more enjoyable.

Just before closing there was a parade with music, dancers and characters.  It was spectacular!  The atmosphere was amazing in the park and it was wonderful seeing the look on all the children’s faces.  My youngest loved the sesame street characters and getting waves off them.  The language can make things a little tricky in places, but you usually get the gist of what is going on.  But there are big perks to being abroad like the constant sunshine that still make this my favourite family park.  We did most of the rides, Furius Baco was a bit intense for me, but eldest wanted to ride again! No chance I said… (in the on-ride picture my face has been completely squished flat from the speed!).


I think we were a bit spoilt in Legoland as we never had to queue for five of our seven visits there.   We were provided with wristbands from Legoland PR that gave us the luxury of hopping straight on the rides.  It does transform your experience of a theme park, so I might be a little biased giving this second place.  

I guess it would be quite different if I had been queuing for hours each time!  But I do love the rides at Legoland, nothing too scary and my boys have had some amazing times here, the Star Wars event day being the highlight of all our trips here.  I wish they had a parade though it would be great to see all the Lego figures out in force!  It’s something that we don’t seem to have in any of the UK parks I have visited which is a real shame as nothing quite beats a parade for ending a visit to a theme park on a high.  The Halloween event is another good one, with a bit more going on.

Alton Towers

With the Wicker Man roller coaster making an entrance this year it might be tempting to return!  We did CBeebies Land when we last visited, it’s a great area and perfect for the little ones.  We would skip it from now on though, but it was nice to do it once whilst there just to see what it had to offer.  This picture was from in the Night Garden.  

The theming of the whole area is very well done, and Justin’s House had lots of appeal!  Mr Bloom’s Allotment was quite cute too.  In terms of the rest of the park we have done a fair bit, all the family rides we have ticked off, HEX and Duel, sonic spinball (which is just spinball whizzer now) which I absolutely hated with a passion and looked like I had a stroke in the picture the ride took – eldest loved it and wanted to go straight back on!  I can just about cope with rollercoasters but rollercoasters that spin forget it!!!  The only thrill ride I did with eldest was Thirteen which I loved, and he hated!  I am not sure why Thirteen counts as a thrill ride when sonic spinball didn’t… so again there are more rides for us to conquer now eldest is older!  Yes that picture is before the ride even started... my face already knew it was going to hate it lol (the in ride picture was even worse but I refused to buy it even though my friends wanted copies to haunt me forever!).


We haven’t visited since Bubbleworks was replaced with the Gruffalo ride, but we liked this park and hope to return soon.  It had a nice combination of attractions with a bit of a zoo, an aquarium and all the rides.  Plus, they have more rides that appeal to older kids, so I can imagine next time eldest will be steering me towards those.  The Temple of Mayhem is lots of fun, children chasing around grabbing as many balls as possible ready for a big battle!  One of our fondest memories of Chessington is feeding the lorikeets, not sure if they still do this but if they do its really something quite special!  

The hotel is pretty awesome too!  The Madagascar characters were so engaging with the kids.

Thorpe Park

I don’t know if I want to go back but that’s only because I am worried about the types of ride eldest might be after next time, it was bad enough going on detonator as I hadn’t realised it was a thrill ride until it dropped!!! Aaaaahh never again!  

The park was great overall, a good mixture of rides for the little ones but mainly so many for thrill seekers especially.  But enough if you’re not, we really like the Angry Birds 4D experience, the outdoor beach area and I’m a Celebrity maze – oh my gosh that attraction was a riot!  X the indoor rollercoaster will be loved by all the family, even hubbie who is reluctant to go on any rides!!!  It doesn’t go upside down, it plays cool music and flashing lights in the dark (it’s like being in a mini party!).  We haven’t really done Thorpe Park justice but not sure I am brave enough to cope with everything it offers, but as the boys get older maybe I can gravitate towards bag holding and let them experience it fully!

Apart from Florida I have some other theme parks I would like to visit, eldest has a couple UK ones we haven't tried on his section of our bucket list of days out for 2018 and there are a few others in Europe I want to try!

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