Family Vacation Critic has released its annual list of the Best Amusement Parks for Families. The list was chosen based on family perks, nearby accommodations and new rides and attractions.
"Amusement parks are a quintessential part of summer break for families," explains Lissa Poirot, editor-in-chief of Family Vacation Critic. "Whether you're on vacation, or staying home, a day at an amusement park can be an extra-special treat for kids, and a fun bonding experience for the entire family. With so many new rides and attractions, it's the perfect time to visit one of these top parks."
This year's list includes:
• Cedar Point – Sandusky, OH What's New: Rougarou, a floorless roller coaster, and extensive renovations at Hotel Breakers, an affiliate hotel.
Savings Tip: Stay at Cedar Point's onsite hotels and receive discounted admission of 37 percent off.
• Carowinds – Charlotte, NC What's New: Fury 325, the world's tallest and fastest giga-coaster.
Savings Tip: The park's onsite campgrounds and hotel both offer free shuttle service and discounted admission to the park.
• Knoebels – Elysburg, PA What's New: Impulse, a steel tower roller coaster.
Savings Tip: With no admission cost, visitors pay per ride or game – with rides starting around $1 each.
• Hersheypark – Hershey, PA What's New: Laff Trakk, the first indoor, spinning glow-coaster in the U.S.
Savings Tip: Stay at Hersheypark Camping Resort, or at an official resort of Hersheypark, for discounted admission to the park and area attractions.
• Dollywood – Pigeon Forge, TN What's New: Dollywood's DreamMore Resort, featuring two pools, a kids' club, family suites and a spa.
Savings Tip: Buy a "Splash and Play" three day, multi-park ticket and save over 30 percent on the combined cost of daily tickets.
• Six Flags Great Adventure – Jackson, NJ What's New: El Diablo, a looping coaster inspired by the Jersey Devil.
Savings Tip: Save up to $25 when purchasing tickets online.
• Busch Gardens Williamsburg – Williamsburg, VA What's New: Tempesto, a new coaster hurling riders at speeds of over 60 mph.
Savings Tip: Save $20 when purchasing Bounce Tickets online – including admission to Busch Gardens, Water Country and Colonial Williamsburg.
• Silver Dollar City – Branson, MO What's New: 10 new family attractions at Fireman's Landing, including a free-fall drop ride and water spray area.
Savings Tip: Enter the park after 3 p.m. and return the next consecutive day for free.
• Knott's Berry Farm – Buena Park, CA What's New: Voyage to the Iron Reef, an interactive 4-D ride.
Savings Tip: Purchase tickets online – three days or more in advance – and save $25 on each ticket.
• Six Flags Fiesta Texas – San Antonio, TX What's New: Batman The Ride, with 4-D features and two 90-degree drops.
Savings Tip: Purchase tickets online and save up to $20 on admission.