Fun parks round the world

Last updated 10:40 26/09/2012
Theme park

WACKY RACERS: Disneyland's expanded Adventure Park in Anaheim, California, features a new attraction in Cars Land called Radiator Springs Racers, which gives guests a scenic tour of Ornament Valley in racing convertibles.

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Everyone, no matter their age, to have a great day out at a theme park.

Today’s theme parks are not just about rollercoaster rides, many have a wide variety of entertainment guaranteed to please even the pickiest people. Let’s face it - this type of holiday isn’t just for kids.

“Theme parks offer you a whole world of fun and adventure - fulfilling every childhood dream of the ultimate in holiday fun,” says Jessica Allan, brand leader for Student Flights.

“We’ve put together a list of our Student Flights favourites," she says, "so that everyone can incorporate a trip to the theme park on their next holiday adventure.”

1. Disneyland, California + Walt Disney World, Orlando

Now bigger and more magical than ever, featuring Disney’s California Adventure Park and Disneyland Park, plus dining, entertainment and shopping at the Downtown Disney District. With more to see and do here than ever before, Disneyland Resort is truly the holiday where dreams come true. Walt Disney World Resort covers a vast area of 122 square kilometres – experience a world as big as your imagination and create memories to last a lifetime.

The Magic Kingdom in Orlando features a host of ‘must-experience’ rides including the Pirates of the Caribbean ride where you can join Captain Jack Sparrow’s crew and set sail on a boisterous journey of discovery. There are so many options to choose from you’ll need at five days to a week to completely explore the Magic Kingdom.

2. Universal Studios, Hollywood and Orlando

Go behind the scenes and on the sets where movies are made. See thrilling rides, shows and attractions that bring movie action to life.  Enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter where you can pass through the towering castle gates of Hogwarts. Visit the shops in Hogsmeade, enjoy the flight of the Hippogriff and the Dragon Challenge. At Ollivanders’ you can step inside this small, dusty shop and choose from the full array of wands or purchase a replica of Harry’s wand. Or pop into Zonko’s Joke Shop and buy a sneakoscope or some nosebleed nougat.

3. Ferrari World – Abu Dhabi

This is the largest indoor theme park in the world and opened its doors earlier this year. Designed to make every Ferrari fanatic’s dreams come true this exceptional them park has a multitude of activities, including a rollercoaster that simulates the g-forces racing car drivers experience. But it’s not only for the big boys, even little racers can experience the thrill of F1. At the Junior Training Camp children can play in the waterless carwash, pilot remote cars, peddle their own Ferraris and become a custom constructor.

4. Hong Kong Disneyland Park

Discover a magical kingdom of thrilling adventures, storybook journeys and much loved Disney characters. Stay amid the magic in two enchanting hotels offering unique shopping, imaginative dining and family recreation, all delivered with the style and service for which Disney is renowned. Visit Adventure Land, Tomorrow Land, Fantasy Land and Main Street USA when entering this wonderful world of magic and fun. Hong Kong Disney has a Toy Story 3 area where guests feel as small as size of a toy and can play in Andy’s Backyard

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5. Sea World Resort and Water Park, Gold Coast, Australia

Experience a whole world of amazing rides, shows and attractions. The waterpark boasts rides like the Mammoth Plunge waterslide and the aquatic adventure playground of Buccaneer Bay. More than just a theme park, Sea World is committed to educating guests about the marine environment and playing an active role in Australia marine research and rescue.
 
6. Kennedy Space Centre

At Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, you get the unique chance to tour – up close – NASA’s launch and landing facilities. Experience interactive simulators, live shows and jaw-dropping encounters with massive rockets, as well as have the opportunity to meet a real member of NASA’s Astronaut Corps.

7. Kidzania, Dubai

Theme parks are the pride of Dubai and Kidzania, in the Dubai Mall, is one of the best.  This safe and interactive edutainment centre shows children how to lead independent lives and to understand the world of grown-ups better. At Kidzania children can learn how to fly an aeroplane, get their ‘drivers’ licence, be part of the fire brigade and star in their own theatrical production.

8. Alton Towers, United Kingdom

Twist and turn, loop and swoop, speed and soar at Britain's premier theme park. Hurtle at terrifying speeds, dip and dive upside down; feel the adrenalin rushing. Alton Towers is the United Kingdom’s most popular theme park offers rides like Nemesis, Oblivion and Th13teen. Th13teen is based on the discovery of an unearthed, ancient burial site in an area of unexplored woodland know as the Dark Forest. Venture deep into the forest and face unknown horrors. Also look out for the magical and fun rides like the Wobble World and the incredible Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ride. The theme park is open from March through to November every year.

9. Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen
 
The Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark are said to be the oldest amusement park that has survived intact to the present. It opened in August 1843 and was said to have been the place that inspired Walt Disney to build Disneyland. This park combines incredible gardens with unforgettable attractions. It is "the seventh most visited park in the world" -- pretty incredible, especially considering it is open only five months of the year.  The park offers the world's oldest operating rollercoaster. Don't forget to see Tivoli at night, where the park features over 110000 bulbs, strung through the garden. Tivoli also owns its own firework factory and pyrotechnic designer that closes the park every night.

10. Gold Reef City, Johannesburg

South Africa has a number of exciting theme parks. There’s Ratanga Junction in Cape Town and Ushaka Marine World in Durban. Gold Reef City in Johannesburg has a plethora of fun rides, exciting experiences and more. From the skyline, the Giant Wheel, Anaconda and Tower of Terror will beckon; join the young at heart and test-drive these or any of the more than thirty adrenaline-boosting rides.

To travel to these great cities, call Student Flights on 0800 36 44 48 or visit studentflights.co.nz

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