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Amusement and theme Parks in Pennsylvania 2022

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Pennsylvania has a surprising number of amusement and theme parks that can be enjoyed by the entire family. Several of the best amusement parks in the country can be found in this state, including water parks, theme parks, and other fun spots for the whole family.

Visit a classic theme or amusement park for a trip down memory lane. Ride century-old carousels with the kids for a fun family outing! Thrill-seekers can ride wooden roller coasters, while romantics can gaze out from Ferris wheels. These are just a few of the many great things to see and do in Pennsylvania.

Everything you need to know about...

1. Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom (Allentown)

Visiting Dorney Park and the Wildwater Kingdom is a great way to get the best of both worlds at an affordable price. Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, a top-rated water park in the United States, has more than a hundred rides and attractions, including eight roller coasters.

ATTRACTIONS IN Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom

Are you looking for a place where the good times never end? So if that’s what you’re looking for, look no further than Dorney Park!

Your visit to the Wildwater Kingdom is incomplete without experiencing this spectacular combination of tower slides and refreshing pools.

Start your adventure high right away as you hit on one of the longest elevated water slides in the world in Aquablast. Scream together with your pals as you pave the gigantic eight-foot-wide raft and create a true family fun experience. Aquablast will thrill even the most jaded waterslide enthusiast.

Lightning Falls joins the fun as you splash around the water slide complex. The 450-foot-long tube slide “Lightning Falls” lives up to its name, allowing riders to experience lightning-fast speeds while descending it.

THINGS TO DO IN Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom

Continue the fun as you step into Snake Pit – Python Plummet’s crystal-clear chambers and let your feet drop out from under you after the nerve-wracking experience of Lightning Falls. This is yet another adrenaline-pumping experience to add to your daily routine.

Dropdown 60 feet in about two seconds on the elevator-style Demon Drop Ride after the water splash.

Riders ascend and descend the tower and experience the sensation of weightlessness and elevation change.

Select your battle between Dominator’s two dynamic towers to defy gravity. Is it better for you to be hurled from the ground to a maximum height of 160 feet and then slowly return to the ground, or would you rather be lifted slowly to a maximum height of 175 feet?

Things to know before going to Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom

Never miss the Hydra, Pennsylvania’s first and only floorless roller coaster is a must-do while visiting Donkey Part. After leaving the launch station, riders experience the first-ever pre-lift hill inversion, the Jojo roll, inspired by Greek Mythology’s Hydra, a nine-headed monster with nine heads.

There are no refunds or exchanges for admission tickets or season passes once the order transaction is complete, so do your homework before making a trip to Donkey Park.

The only forms of payment accepted by Donkey Park for admission tickets and merchandise are VISA, MasterCard, Discover/Novus Card, and American Express. 

If your child is three or four years old, we offer free Pre-K Passes that allow them unlimited access to the park through the year 2022.

2. Idlewild & Soak Zone (Ligonier)

Idlewild and Soak Zone, also known as Idlewild Park, is a children’s amusement park in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands. Idlewild was the winner of the Golden Ticket Awards for Best Children’s Park. For over a decade, Idlewild has consistently received the highest rating from experienced and well-traveled amusement park fans worldwide in an Amusement Today survey. Take a sneak peek at Idlewild and see why it deserves its award.

ATTRACTIONS IN Idlewild & Soak Zone

Start the tour at Idlewild Park by splashing around SoakZone, Pennsylvania’s family fun water park. Twist and turn down the Pipeline Plunge in a two-person raft as you drop 50 feet and are greeted by thrilling water curtains near the end.

Apart from racing your friends at Hydro Racers, another great way to cool off in the sun is to stroll through Float Away Bay. Simply unwind and allow your worries to float away as you grab a tube and float down this family favorite.

Get wowed with WOW-abunga Family Wave Pool which features a whopping 280,600 gallons of fun.

A signal sounds and the pool generates waves at predetermined intervals, allowing you and your fellow swimmers to “ride the tide.”

THINGS TO DO IN Idlewild & Soak Zone

Idlewild’s water-themed attractions extend beyond the rides as well. Riding a log on Paul Bunyan’s Loggin’ Toboggan, you can take in the scenery as you ascend 125 feet to the top of a 30-foot tower and splash your way down.

After enjoying the water attractions, brace yourself as you spin like a tornado in one of Howler’s eight four-seater cars. By adjusting the common wheel in the center of the car, you can make it spin as fast or as slowly as you want.

Do you miss roller coaster rides? The Wild Mouse of Idlewild has it for you! It is a modern interpretation of the classic roller coaster, with its four-rider mouse-shaped cars. Take in the journey’s unexpected twists, dips, and hills.

 

Things to know before going to Idlewild & Soak Zone

Idlewild Park is not all about extreme water attractions and rides. If you’re a thriller fan, make your way to Confusion Hill. You will undoubtedly experience a range of emotions as you embark on a 10-15 minute walking tour through a strange location filled with tricks and surprises.

Remember weather forecasts when making your reservation at Idlewild, as they do not offer rain checks or refunds. However, the park offers a Great Day Guarantee of a Return Visit Ticket when the park announces its closure at least one hour prior to the scheduled closing time because of inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

Idlewild Park accepts cash, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express at all of its attractions.

3. Knoebels Amusement Park (Elysburg)

Knoebels Amusement Park, which opened nearly a century ago, is hailed as the country’s largest free-admission theme park.

Knoebels Amusement Park offers children’s rides, thrill rides for adults, and family rides. You can look forward to delectable food, open amenities, and enjoyable attractions when you visit the park. Find out more of its cool features here. If you are looking for an amusement park in PA, check it out!

ATTRACTIONS IN Knoebels Amusement Park

Knoebels takes pride in its Crystal Pool, which features a shallow end with zero-depth entry. The pool features two sliding boards and a deep end, complete with multiple diving boards!

Not to worry, your small children will also enjoy a separate kiddie pool and play area. Observe them having fun with water cannons, running beneath fountains and waterfalls, swinging on the seesaw, and splashing in the shallow water.

Through its Tiny Tots Swim School, Knoebels Amusement Park also offers swimming lessons for toddlers. This class is open to children ages 4 and under with varying levels of swimming ability and helps them develop a sense of comfort in the water. Tiny Tots Swim School also introduces children to the pool’s various sights and sounds, as well as general water movement.

THINGS TO DO IN Knoebels Amusement Park

If you enjoy Knoebels’ water park attractions, you’ll be excited to try these intense rides as well!

Secure your seatbelt while performing the Fandango. This swinging, spinning pendulum will take you to new heights. Apart from the thrill, you’ll get a panoramic view of the park and a spectacular light show at night.

Avast ye adrenaline junkies! Batten down the hatches in anticipation of rough seas ahead! Ride back and forth in your swinging pirate ship as it soars to new heights. While the wheel propels riders through the air, individual cars spin endlessly in Parasurge, creating an unpredictable and dizzying adventure.

Selfie and groupie enthusiasts will rejoice at Old Time Photos. Take a shot and bring home a cherished memorabilia too. 

Things to know before going to Knoebels Amusement Park

“Is admission to Knoebels truly free?” continues to be the most frequently asked question by visitors.

And yes, Knoebels continues to be the largest free-admission amusement park in the world, with complimentary parking, daily entertainment, and picnic areas.

Guests can, however, pay per ride using “Ticket Books” or purchase an affordable “Ride All-Day Pass” for unlimited rides.

Knoebels does not provide rain checks or refunds because of this feature, but their individual ride tickets never expire.

Knoebels offers a special wrist band that allows guests with physical limitations to board rides through the exit gates.

4. Waldameer Park (Erie)

Enjoy a rejuvenating getaway with your family and friends at Waldameer & Water World. This amusement and water park in Erie, Pennsylvania, features thrilling rides and family favorites. Little ones can enjoy fun kiddie rides! Learn more about Waldameer & Water World and don’t forget to try these featured rides and attractions during your summer visit.

ATTRACTIONS IN Waldameer Park

Waldameer Water World has a little something for everyone! From the Kiddieland rides to the Ravine Flyer II, up to float down our Endless River all day.

The Giant Heated Relaxing Pool is a highlight of Water World. Soak away your worries and rejuvenate in this 98°F-heated pool that seats up to 120 people.

Another colossal attraction at Waldameer Water World is the Giant Wave Pool, where guests can either relax in the calming waters or rock and roll in the 4′ high waves. This wave pool is the largest in the tri-state area, with nearly 500,000 gallons of water and a capacity of 1,000 people.

Enter a world of darkness as you slide through the Liquid Lightning’s darkest inner tube. Sensitize yourself to the fury of the waterfall curtain at the start of the last run into the splash pool.

THINGS TO DO IN Waldameer Park

Dare to ride Waldameer’s first-ever upside-down ride in Chaos with the most daring Waldameer.

This thrill ride features bucket seats facing outward on a circular gondola that slowly spins around in a 360-degree circle on a pendulum. Chaos, which flies up to 60 feet in the air, flips its riders.

If you’re looking for the best log flume rides in the country, Thunder River lives up to its name. Along with up to three riders, sit in a seat and travel through a water-filled trough that features a foggy storm tunnel and two large drops up to 40 feet high that will leave riders drenched as they splash to the bottom.

As you glide effortlessly on Flying Swings, take in spectacular views of Lake Erie, the Peninsula, and the Ravine Flyer II. This thrill ride is also better experienced with family and friends.

Things to know before going to Waldameer Park

You are welcome to bring your own food into the park. Waldameer’s Quick-Service Concession Stands offer a variety of snacks and food packages if you prefer to dine in.

Rain checks and refunds are not available, so plan your visit carefully and take the weather into account. A Season Pass allows you to visit the Amusement Park and Water World on any day the Park is open. You can pay for food and souvenirs with a credit/debit card, gift card, or Wally card.

Consider also that Waldameer Park offers a variety of thrill rides and attractions. The Park strongly advises that you consider your health and comfort before riding one.

5. Kennywood (West Mifflin)

Take in the sights and sounds of Kennywood Amusement Park’s incredible rides, events, and shows as soon as you arrive. Guests of all ages are welcome to come together and have a great time. Kennywood, with its seven roller coasters, kiddie rides, other unique features, is a must-see for all ages. Discover what Kennywood Amusement Park offers to its excited guests here. 

ATTRACTIONS IN Kennywood

The Steel Curtain unveiled by Kennywood is one of the park’s most eye-catching features in its enormous steel structure.

During this two-minute rush, you’ll travel 4,000 feet of track at a speed of 76 mph while feeling the rush of pure adrenaline. Making your way through the nine inversions is sure to get your heart pumping. In order to enjoy the ride, you’ll need to have steely nerves and a strong stomach. Once you’ve tried Steel Curtain, you won’t be able to forget it.

The Raging Rapids, a white water rafting simulator built into a natural hillside, is sure to get you wet, so bring a change of clothes when you visit Kennywood.

THINGS TO DO IN Kennywood

Kennywood is also a great option if you’re traveling with children. You can take your kids to the Monongahela River besides the rides and attractions at Kiddieland and the nostalgic-inducing Lost Kennywood.

Adults and larger children are encouraged to ride the Black Widow, one of Kennywood’s most exhilarating rides. Extreme thrill-seekers clamor for this pendulum ride because it provides a weightlessness sensation. Take note this ride is for the faint of heart, so make sure you are in good shape before trying this 90-feet tall ride.

The South Side has many places to unwind after a long day of adrenaline-pumping rides. In addition, you can stroll down Carson Street and sample some of Pittsburgh’s best cuisine.

Things to know before going to Kennywood

Kennywood Park prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages, firearms, glass bottles, and pets. It is also a violation to wear clothing that displays explicit pornographic or vulgar imagery or text.

Only Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express are accepted for park tickets and season passes. Major food chains, rental businesses, and gift shops all accept credit cards as payment. For food and beverage purchases, games, and retail store purchases, Kenny Kash can be used at select locations in the park.

A cell phone charging station is also available at Kennywood so you can stay charged and connected online throughout your stay.

6. Dutch Wonderland (Lancaster)

Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park is another great place to visit in Pennsylvania. Dutch Wonderland is a popular destination for families with young children, as emphasized by its slogan “Where Kids RULE!

The kingdom of Dutch Wonderland is home to over 35 family-friendly rides and attractions, including Duke’s Lagoon water park and Exploration Island! See more of Dutch Wonderland’s amazing features here.

ATTRACTIONS IN Dutch Wonderland

If you are looking for a place to enjoy the summer, look no further than Duke the Dragon. Play structures, water attractions, and slides abound in this tropically themed area. After a long day at the pool, it’s easy to wind down with food and rest areas right next to the water slides.

Thrill-seekers will get a triple dose of adrenaline from the Pipeline Plunge. This exciting location has a wide variety of water slides for all skill levels. There are alternate routes that can be explored by turning off all the lights and riding the Black Slide, which is darker but provides better visibility.

After a day of thrilling rides, your group will appreciate Dutch’s family-sized cabanas. Enjoy a relaxing day in the shade in one of their Creekside Cabanas or the gazebo.

One of the best theme park in PA for a family getaway.

THINGS TO DO IN Dutch Wonderland

Exploration Island is the ideal starting point for your next family adventure with your little ones. Dinosaurs and action abound in this prehistoric paradise, so pay a visit to this great attraction.

Guide your kids when digging with a shovel and brush at Dino Dig. In their kid-friendly sandboxes, you can dump, brush, and look for interesting relics.

You can see the island in a whole new light thanks to the Turnpike cars and Gondola Cruises! Your own vintage-style automobile is waiting for you to take a spin around the island! There aren’t many better ways than a Gondola cruise to see the kingdom from the water!

If you haven’t experienced all of your favorite rides and attractions yet, now is the time! During the holiday season, we have a train ride, bumper cars, and a Turtle Whirl for you!

Things to know before going to Dutch Wonderland

There is a rain check policy in place if it rains continuously for over one (1) hour during your visit and you decide to leave the Park while weather-related ride closures are in effect. Stop by Guest Services before you leave and present your ticket stub to receive a single-day admission ticket valid for any day of the season.

Outside food and drink are not permitted at Dutch Wonderland, but you may bring one water bottle and a few small snacks with you. Wearing shoes and shirt sleeves is mandatory at all times. Dressing in a way that is too revealing or offensive is not acceptable.

Dutch Wonderland has a Nursing Mothers Station for mothers who are breastfeeding. Strollers are also available for rent or purchase at Dutch Wonderland.

7. Fun Fore All (Cranberry Twp)

Orlando’s newest water park, Island H2O Live!, has opened its doors. Family fun and cutting-edge technology are combined to create an immersive and interactive experience for visitors.

A lazy river, a wave pool, an interactive splash zone, body and tube slides, racing slides, a giant raft ride, and a private cabana are just a few of the activities available at the park.

Selfie stations, video booths, and on-ride photos are also available at Island H2O Live! for guests to share the fun with their friends in social media.

ATTRACTIONS IN Fun Fore All

The Dark XD Ride is a great family outing. Take a ride, run, fly, and fall through a variety of worlds in this exhilarating adventure. To win, you must use your blaster to score points and aim for the highest possible total.

With so many options, you’ll never want to leave their arcade! Playing classics like Ms. Pacman, Galaga, or Star Wars Pinball and newer games like Big Buck HD, Big Buck HD, Mario Kart Arcade Edition, or Jurassic Park will always be an exciting experience.

There are two beautifully landscaped miniature golf courses that feature many waterfalls as the centerpiece of the Fun Fore All. However, younger players should have no problem navigating the holes.

THINGS TO DO IN Fun Fore All

Fun Fore All’s looping track includes a bridge and an underpass, so you can go-karting at breakneck speeds. All the karts are double-seaters. For those who aren’t quite tall enough for a normal kart but still want to take part in the fun, these double-seat karts are available.

Does your hitting technique need improvement? Bring your Little League team or a professional adult team to Fun Fore All’s softball and baseball courts.

You’ll soar through the air like a bird when you ride the Happy Swing. Every time you swing back and forth, you’re increasing your height. A parent or guardian must accompany children at all times.

Things to know before going to Fun Fore All

Getting into the Fun Fore All park itself is free. You only have to pay for the attractions and rides.

No refunds or rain checks will be given for bad weather, so it’s best to plan. If an attraction is closed because of inclement weather, you can still use your Fun Cards with a value on it to pay for games, rides, and attractions that are still open to the public.

Fun Fore All does not accept cash, but you can purchase, load, and use your Fun Card system at the games, rides, attractions, and food. Please be aware that no other food or drink than a Birthday Cake may be brought into the venue.

8. Lakemont Park (Altoona)

Walt Disney’s masterpiece, Epcot, is one of his finest works. When you think of Walt Disney World and Epcot, it’s hard to not think of the “impossible becomes possible” atmosphere that transcends both parks. Buildings dedicated to space travel, imagination, and aquatic life all house attractions at Future World.

The other world refers to the idyllic waterfront lagoon of Epcot’s World Showcase features 11 “pavilions” themed to different countries, each with its own unique cuisine, showtimes, and other amenities.

ATTRACTIONS IN Lakemont Park

At Lakemont Park, thrill-seekers of all ages can enjoy relaxing train rides, exhilarating go-karts, and the world’s oldest roller coaster.

You won’t get the chance to ride a Leap-The-Dips Roller Coaster at Lakemont Park very often, so take advantage of the opportunity while you’re there. The Leap-The-Dips Roller Coaster, which opened in 1902, is the world’s oldest wooden roller coaster. This historical marvel still exudes a sense of adventure and fun to visitors.

The Skyliner is a wonderful addition to this remarkable attraction. It is one of Lakemont Park’s three thrilling roller coasters. This wooden coaster, which has 18 seats available, should be your first stop. At C.P. Huntington Train, relax with your family and take a 5-minute train ride through the woods and along a peaceful stream.

THINGS TO DO IN Lakemont Park

In Epcot, you can visit Mexico, Japan, Italy, and France all within Disney World’s World Showcase. 

Fond of Else, Anna, and Remy? Meet your favorite Disney characters and get a selfie with them at Epcot’s Future World.

Lover of art and music? Visit art galleries and live music along with wide range of retail and entertainment at Epcot’s World.

Epcot is a must-see for foodies of all ages. Aside from the amusements and memento shops, you should also taste your way around the countries’ delicacies at Epcot’s World Showcase. However, it is best to make reservations in advance if you want to eat at the restaurants rather than just grab a snack from kiosks. 

Things to know before going to Lakemont Park

Seasonal opening times may change at EPCOT so it is better to check with the park right before your visit for specific hours if you need to know in advance.

A Fastpass+ may be necessary if you plan to spend only one day at EPCOT. FastPass+ allows you to “skip the line” at three different attractions each day for an hour-long return window. Fastpass+ is recommended for attractions main Future World attractions where people usually go and hurry to try.

EPCOT also features fireworks display so make sure you find the perfect spot to watch it! 30  minutes prior to it, wrap whatever you’re doing to ensure you get a good spot.

 

Closed - Conneaut Lake Park (Conneaut Lake)

Reconnect with your family at Conneaut Lake and create new memories away from the busy city life. For the perfect weekend getaway, this amusement park offers a wide range of activities, including pony rides and putt-putt golf. There are also indoor and outdoor concerts and a nightclub as well as boat tours. 

Check out these offerings by Conneaut Lake and enjoy!

ATTRACTIONS IN Conneaut Lake Park

Come to the historic Conneaut Lake Park Kiddieland with your little ones and enjoy a day of fun with your loved ones. Some of the iconic Kiddie Rides in Kiddieland is truly one-of-a-kind, and there are some exciting new attractions on the way as well. Conneaut Lake Park festivities and see what fun they have in store for you!

Some of the rides at Kiddieland include Beetle Bailey Jeeps, the Little Dipper, a Mini Train, Saturn Shuttle, Jumbo Jumper, and a Tub of Fun.

In the late afternoon, play a cool round of Mini-Golf with your friends and family.

Conneaut Lake Park also features many new rides and attractions this year, many of which have never been seen before.

THINGS TO DO IN Conneaut Lake Park

Conneaut Lake Park, which is located on Conneaut Lake, is also home to the historic and beautiful Boardwalk, which overlooks Conneaut Lake. You can go fishing, swimming, water skiing, sunbathing, or just relax by the water.

At Conneaut Lake Park, you’ll find a wide variety of amenities, including tents and rustic cabins. In addition to free hot showers and flush toilets, this laundromat also offers an outdoor playground and a public boat launch. Registered campers can walk to Conneaut Lake Park’s attractions, including the Midway and beach.

If you’d like to get a taste of a sunset at the Tiki Bar, you’ll need to purchase a wristband from the Tiki Bar staff. Visitors can anchor in front of Tiki Bar and walk up to the bar for a beverage and park food.

Things to know before going to Conneaut Lake Park

Be sure to plan your trip before making a reservation, as some rides may be closed due to inclement weather, such as strong winds, heavy rain, or even lightning. In addition, rain checks are not given out during inclement weather conditions.

You can buy food and drinks from vendors all over the park. It is also forbidden to bring in alcoholic beverages such as booze, beer, or wine from outside of the amusement park’s designated sales areas. Weapons and sharp objects are also banned from the area.

Amusement park visitors must wear shirts and shorts over their bathing suits. Clothing with offensive, obscene, or threatening language or images is also banned from the stores.

Frequently asked questions

  • What was the first amusement park in Pennsylvania?

    Founded by Thomas Mellon in 1878, Idlewild is the oldest amusement park in Pennsylvania and the third oldest operating amusement park in the United States, after Lake Compounce and Cedar Point, respectively.

  • Which amusement park has the most number of roller coasters in PA?

    Hersheypark, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, has the most number of roller coasters in the state with 14 roller coasters. 

  • What is the fastest roller coaster in Pennsylvania?

    According to Roller Coaster DataBase, Hersheypark's Candymonium is the park's tallest, fastest, and longest roller coaster at 210 feet, 76 mph, and 4,636 feet. This is Pennsylvania's best-riding roller coaster.

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