Spring Breaks just ended which means it is the perfect time to start thinking about summer vacation! Growing up I always loved summer because it meant we were going to road trip and spend time together as a family, usually in a theme park setting. Even as we got older and too cool for family-friendly theme parks for summer vacations, I always looked forward to road trips and roller coasters!
Family Friendly Theme Parks For Summer
From the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee to the Theme Park Capital of Orlando, there are memories waiting to be made this summer. It is time to pack up the van, grab the kids, bring the snacks, and head to one of these awesome family friendly theme parks for a summer you won’t ever forget!
Enchantment comes to Dollywood
Dollywood is a theme park near and dear to my heart. I worked for Miss Dolly herself! And during our time in Tennessee, we regularly found ourselves spending time at the theme park. Every time we went there were plenty of roller coasters for Tim and his uncle to get their thrills and there were a number of rides and things for Manu to do. But after you had spent some time in the Chasing Rainbows Museum, there wasn’t a whole lot of in between.
I always felt that the park was for coaster lovers or smaller kids, but not a whole lot for those of us who don’t fall into those two categories. It felt unbalanced. When the theme park, who hosts around 2.5 million visitors a year, announced the largest expansion in their history, I was excited!
“Beyond an ancient hollow log and into a hidden land, Wildwood Grove beckons the explorer in all of us. Let curiosity be your guide as you journey ever deeper, past sparkling creeks, through a charming village, and under the mighty limbs of the great Wildwood Tree. This is where adventure takes root and dreams take flight.”
Wildwood Grove is a celebration of the magic of nature and childhood imagination. This whimsical and magical world will be filled with friendly creatures, fairies, butterflies, and frogs!
Things to Check Out at Wildwood Grove
The Dragonflier is a ride that mimics the flight of a dragonfly as it speeds through the Smoky Mountains in an unpredictable but fun path. You’ll experience the rush of wind and the thrill of flight!
Another ride celebrating the wonder of flight? You bet! On the Mad Mockingbird guests will dip and soar in an aerial ballet like spring time birds flying in the sun.
Every autumn the Smoky Mountains are showered of colorful leaves. Inspired by the beautiful floating orange, yellow, and red leaves, TreeTop Tower allows guests soar through the sky! This lofty leaf canopy ride spins and soars overhead and then gently drifts down to the forest floor.
Wildwood Tree is the heart of Wildwood Grove! Decorated with a collection of butterflies dancing colorfully in the breeze and subtly carved with oversized musical instruments, there are plenty of photo op spots so don’t forget the camera!
Once you’ve gotten your family photo by the tree, head over to Wildwood Creek. Directly across from Wildwood Tree sits Wildwood Creek. This oasis is perfect for cooling off, making music and taking a break from your busy Dollywood Days. The scenic creek is winding and inviting! Guest young and old will want to roll up their pants and wade in the cool mountain water like Dolly did when she was a kid with her brothers and sisters.
Here’s a sneak peek at everything you can expect to see May, 2019 when Wildwood Grove opens!
Launch at Busch Gardens Like a Tiger
Come April 19th, the Sunshine State’s tallest launch coaster will be calling Busch Garden’s Tampa it’s home. The coaster will take you through a series of looping twists (in forward and backward motions!) along more than 1,800 feet of track! What many riders are looking forward to is the 150-foot skyward surge that catapults you up and mimics the agility of tigers.
Tigris will also have an educational element. The ride’s queue will feature information about tigers in the wild as well as efforts conservationists are making to protect the world’s largest cat.
Magic Comes to at Universal Orlando
Calling all Harry Potter fans! ARE YOU READY!? Mark your calendars and send an owl home, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ is getting a little more magical. Part coaster, part immersive experience, with Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Islands of Adventure is getting ready to take you deeper into Harry’s world.
This highly anticipated ride will take guests on an immersive and highly-themed journey with one of my favorite characters, Hagrid, through the Forbidden Forest! As you go beyond the grounds of Hogwarts, you’ll twist past towering trees (maybe even the Weeping Willow…) with wonderous surprises around every corner! Rumor has it that centaurs are making an appearance and with Hagrid as your guide, I think it is safe to say your chances of seeing one are pretty high. Let’s be honest, anything could happen on this ride!
Movie Mania at Legoland
LEGOLAND is seeing the largest expansion in the Florida Resort’s history with the opening of “THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD.” Bricksburg, home to big screen start Emmet, is bringing 3 new rides, a massive playscape, and character meet and greets that are sure to make your family vacation even more magical.
From the big screen to the theme park, Bricksburg was been carefully re-created. Guest will feel like they’ve stepped into the well-loved movie and can even experience Emmet’s Super Suite! This new addition draws inspiration from both the worldwide blockbuster, THE LEGO® MOVIE™, and the exciting big-screen animated adventure sequel, THE LEGO® MOVIE™ 2: The Second Part.
What to Check Out at LEGOLAND
THE LEGO MOVIE Masters of Flight is one of the new rides you will find at the theme park this summer. The ride takes guests on a suspended ride on Emmet’s Triple Decker Couch. The ride is surrounded by a full-dome virtual screen (think Soarin’ at Disney), giving the sensational feeling of flying!
Unikitty’s Disco Drop is another ride addition to the park. The ride takes guests along a rainbow-filled journey inspired by Unikitty and her many, many moods. On the ride, guests will swoop to the top of Cloud Cuckoo Land, then drop and bounce and spin back down to earth in sync with Unikitty’s wide range of emotions. This thrilling and frenzied ride is one that is sure to be on of your favorites.
Rounding out the list of additions to LEGOLAND is Battle of Bricksburg, the only water ride at the theme park! Riders are faced with the challenge to stop DUPLO aliens from invading and stealing LEGO bricks. The weapons? Water sprayers. The riders aren’t the only ones who can enjoy playing in the water, outside of the ride will be water cannons for guests pitch in and help the riders save the day.
With so many great destinations to pick from for your next family vacation its hard to pick but we hope we made the choice a little easier. I think it is safe to say that you might find us at the Wizarding World. All 4 of these family-friendly theme parks offer a variety of things to do and experience, and the truth is no matter which one you chose to visit you’re sure to have a great time!