Gear up for a thrilling ride at one of Pennsylvania’s popular amusement parks. From dips and drops to soak zones and slides, each park promises an exciting experience for visitors of all ages. In fact, Pennsylvania boasts more amusement parks than any other state in the country.
Kennywood - Pittsburgh and its Countryside
Established in 1898, Kennywood brings an old-fashioned amusement park feel to the 21st century with rides like the Thunderbolt, one of the highest rated roller coasters in the country, and the exciting new coaster, Sky Rocket, which reaches speeds of 50 mph in three seconds and features a 90-degree drop. To preserve the park’s historic charm, employees still maintain two of its original buildings.
Hersheypark - Dutch Country Roads
What started as a picnic and relaxation area for Hershey company employees is now one of the country’s premier amusement parks with more than 65 rides and attractions, including the Superdooperlooper, the first looping coaster on the east coast. Also included in the one-price admission are the 11- acre Zoo America North America Wildlife Park and The Boardwalk at Hersheypark, a separate area of the park with water-based attractions and boardwalk games.
Lakemont Park - The Alleghenies
Lakemont Park, the eighth oldest amusement park in the United States, is home to Leap-the-Dips, a National Historic Landmark said to be the world’s oldest rollercoaster. An 18-hole miniature golf course, the Island Waterpark and several other rides entertain visitors of all ages.
Sesame Place - Philadelphia and the Countryside
Sesame Place is the only theme park in the country dedicated to the popular TV show “Sesame Street” and is an ideal spot for families with young children. Together, parents and children can share in the spirit of imagination and experience “Sesame Street” aboard whirling rides like Elmo’s Cloud Chaser, water slides and colorful shows with furry friends.
Splash Lagoon - Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region
Named by Budget Travel as one of the “Top 10 Indoor Water Parks in the U.S.,” Splash Lagoon features all the perks of a regular water park with the unique additions of floating lily pads to walk on, an adult-only section and a kid’s area with mini slides. Guests of all ages can enjoy the pleasures of this year-round water park where summer never ends.
Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark - Upstate PA
Camelback Mountain Resort transforms from a ski resort in the winter to Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark during the summer. Camelbeach is complete with 22 waterslides, a large wave pool with six-foot waves, a lazy river and many other water-based attractions to beat the heat of summer.
Idlewild Park & SoakZone - Laurel Highlands
It’s always a beautiful day in the neighborhood at Idlewild Park, considered to be one of the most beautiful amusement parks in the country. Idlewild offers 16 unusual rides including Raccoon Lagoon, Story Book Forest, SoakZone water park and a life-size tribute to Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,® complete with the Neighborhood of Make Believe’s famous residents.
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom - Philadelphia and the Countryside
Long after its humble origins as a fish hatchery and summer resort, Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom has transformed into a popular park with more than 100 rides, games, restaurants and attractions. The park features the Talon, one of the longest, tallest and fastest roller coasters in the Northeast, two wave pools and 22 water slides.
Knoebel’s Amusement Park - Valleys of the Susquehanna
Knoebel’s Amusement Park enthusiasts applaud this pay-as-you-go park featuring award-winning rides such as The Haunted Mansion, named as one of the best dark rides; The Grand Carousel, including its two antique organs and a brass ring machine; and The Phoenix, hailed as one of the "best wooden coasters” by Amusement Today. A trip to Knoebel’s means a variety of rides, coasters and attractions in a friendly atmosphere manageable on a family budget.
Dutch Wonderland - Dutch Country Roads
Known as “A Kingdom for Kids,” Dutch Wonderland was named by Amusement Today as “One of the Top 5 Best Kids’ Parks in the World.” Guests can meet Duke, the park’s dinosaur mascot, and spend time in his water-play area, Duke’s Lagoon, or with one of the park’s real-life princesses. Although the park is geared towards children, there are many family-friendly rides for everyone to enjoy.
Great Wolf Lodge - Upstate PA
Plunge into an exciting adventure at the Pocono Mountains’ premier indoor waterpark. The waterpark at Great Wolf Lodge features 11 exhilarating slides like the Double Barrel Drop, a vortex waterslide with a 6 story drop, and Hydro Plunge, the resort’s motorized water slide. In addition there are six pools, a water fort and a lazy river to keep guests entertained.