We all marvel at the magnificence of Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens an the multitude of other high profile theme parks from around the world. But did you know that the UK has many of its own theme parks with attractions and coasters that can rival anything our American friends have to offer.
Here is a list of what we think are the best theme parks in the UK
Thorpe Park, Surrey
The swarm is a crowd puller at this park although nowadays it's all aboard Derren Brown’s Ghost Train, which opened in 2016, after three years in the making. This head-spinning, 10-15 minute train journey includes exhilarating live action sequences, 4D special effects and grand-scale illusions all designed in collaboration with British mentalist Derren Brown.
Also new is I’m A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here! Experience, and there are some of the highest and fastest rides in Europe here too.
Drayton Manor, Staffordshire
The new Tamarin Trail takes adventurers through beautiful gardens, allowing kids and adults to come face-to-face with a troop of mischievous Marmsosets and Tamarins. The park is also home to Europe’s only Thomas Land, which last year underwent a £2.5m expansion, including new rides. There are white-knuckle rides, including the stand-up rollercoaster, Shockwave, and 54-metre drop tower, Apocalypse.
Chessington World of Adventures, Surrey
The Vampire suspended swinging roller coaster still brings in teh crowds at Chesington although Pandamonium was the newbie for 2016 at this extensive theme park, which boasts over 40 rides and attractions. The exciting show features life-sized and life-like animatronic pandas. In addition, there’s a new-look Trail of the Kings, in which adventurers seek out treasures as they walk among jungle giants. Plus, there’s also all-new explorer glamping tents.
Scotland’s biggest theme park has the all-new Giant Condor, a ride that soars up to 30m and provides awesome views over the rest of the park, Strathclyde Park and Lanarkshire. Other big draws include Tsunami, Scotland’s only inverted rollercoaster, Tornado, Big Apple and the Runaway Mine train rollercoaster.
Alton Towers, Staffordshire
Alton Towers may have been in the news for all the wrong reasons last year, but it’s back up and running, with adrenalin rushes on offer including Nemesis, Rita and Oblivion and, new for this year, Galactica, a rollercoaster with integrated virtual reality. The UK’s first Rollercoaster Restaurant also opens here this month.
Paultons Park, Hampshire
Lost Kingdom, an immersive dinosaur theme park world, is the all-new attraction for this year. Costing £9m to build, it’s located within four acres of Jurassic landscape and includes two family rollercoaster rides, Jurassic-themed family rides and a dinosaur adventure play park, along with a Jurassic Jeep expedition. Also located within Paultons Park is Peppa Pig World.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Lancashire
This year marks Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s 120th anniversary and there are plenty of live acts and entertainment to celebrate. The skating show, Hot Ice, also celebrates its 80th anniversary. There are 125 rides and attractions across the 42 acres at the end of Blackpool’s promenade, including the steel mega-coaster Big One, Nickelodeon Land and the Wallace & Gromit ride, Thrill-O-Matic.
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