A family holiday – either just you and the kids or even a whole family catch up with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents), is all the more beautiful if it’s punctuated for a few hours (or even days) with a stop in another world.
You might be thinking the travelling already delivers you another world. But the world we’re talking about is the world of amusement/theme parks – each of which brings its own experiences. Everyone knows of Disneyland or DisneyWorld in their various locations across the world, so we’ve left those off the list and looked at some of the lesser-known parks. And they’re not just for the kids either – there are parts of each park that are likely to appeal to everyone, an experience they’ll never forget.
Prater Amusement Park, Vienna, Austria
The Prater Amusement Park in Vienna seems like it’s ripped from the pages of an old fairly tale, especially if you focus on the gigantic Ferris wheel called “Riesenrad”. More than 100 years old, the Ferris wheel has been turned somewhat into a symbol of Vienna.
Best described as adventure, tradition and Viennese charm, all conceived in one of Austria’s most iconic parks. Besides the most attractive amusement points in the park, you’ll find there’s an impressive green area where you can run, cycle or swim. You can tour the area on the Liliputan or Liliputbahn trains, a miniature train that leads you to the most beautiful relaxing areas of the Viennese Prater. Take advantage of a day spent here especially as the entrance is free, although the individual attractions are paid.
Oasys Western Theme Park, Almería, Spain
It may seem odd that 30 hectares of southern Spain are a tribute to American wild west movies, but the dry and arid desert lands of Almería’s Tabernas have been the setting for many of the old ‘spaghetti’ westerns including ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’.
The Old Western Village Park, has a city with the sheriff’s office, the market, and the Saloon (where, a good, cold beer is still served). The park comes to life twice a day (three in summer), when cowboys take part in gunfire duels, locals hit the dust, and a villain is hanged. Interesting side story, at the end of filming The Good, The Bad and The Ugly the extras from the movie bought it to run as a theme park.
It’s been described as a day of great fun, where you park today’s reality and lose yourself in the old west. Perfect if you’re a lover of old wild west movies.
Discovery Cove Water Park, Florida, USA
If you’re not into the long, long queues that you often find at other US theme parks and you’re into the wonders of the sea, Discovery Cove might be just what you’re looking for.
Dive and snorkel lagoons, coral reefs and flowing waters that only allow a maximum of 1,000 guests to enjoy aquatic fun with their favourite marine creatures each day. You can dive among the exotic fish at the Tropical Reef, docked with sea cats at Stingray Shallows, or if that’s not your style, you can soak up some sun at the pools in Serenity Bay whilst you family members do their thing.
Undoubtedly the attraction of the day is Dolphin swim experience, where small groups of visitors have the chance to play and give short performances along side the dolphins. Entry isn’t cheap but includes everything from food & beverages to sunscreen, towels and diving equipment and even an unlimited two-week subscription to Discovery Cove’s big sister, SeaWorld.
Wild Wadi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The UAE is known for doing everything in a BIG way. Huge malls, huge towers, huge indoor ski parks. And Wild Wadi (think: water theme park) is no different. Here you’ll find an explosion of 30 circuits and slides, with its most popular attraction, Jumeirah Sceirah, appealing to thrill seekers of all ages. It’s a water slide where you drop from a 33-metre height, at a speed of 80 kilometres/hour, before you drop through a hole in an aquarium filled with sharks.
And if Jumeirah Sceirah appeals, the Summit Surge is likely to be another challenge to test you your endurance. An uphill swim race that launches swimmers in a pool, then raises them again, across a rolling distance of 170 metres. Want slightly less adrenaline, Whitewater Wadi is a much more enjoyable way to spend your day. And kids will love exploring the shipwreck and cannons in Juha Lagoon.
If you’re looking to organise a trip of a lifetime that includes experiences you’ll never forget, we’d be delighted to help. Give us a call on (02) 6041 5577, visit the office at 601 Dean Street, Albury or book an appointment with one of our expert travel agents via the form below.
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