We asked our Twitter followers (@cigars_leisure) what the best amusement park in the country is—the winner? Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Florida. This came as no surprise, as it recently won TripAdvisor’s “Travelers’ Choice #1 Theme Park in the World” for the second year in a row. This park is home to the newly opened Skull Island: Reign of Kong, the recently renovated Incredible Hulk Coaster, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, and so much more. This park is a movie lover’s dream. We dare you to go there and not have the time of your life.
Our favorite ride: Jurassic Park River Adventure. This ride goes from a serene boat tour of Jurassic Park and its peaceful dino denizens to a heart-stopping 85-foot drop while evading a hungry T. rex. We won’t judge if you ride it five times in a row, but you will be soaked.
If this isn’t enough for you, here are another four thrilling parks to help quench that thirst for adrenaline.
This 364-acre amusement park, located in Sandusky, Ohio, isn’t called the roller coaster capital of the world for nothing. There are 16 of them, including the 420-foot tall Top Thrill Dragster. It goes from zero to 120 mph in less than four seconds. There’s also the Maverick, which boasts a 95-degree drop angle, Cedar Point’s steepest roller coaster. Ride on!
Our favorite ride: Top Thrill Dragster. How can we not choose this insanely massive coaster that is so fast that if you blink (or close your eyes because you’re a scaredy-cat) you may miss it? If you consider yourself a roller coaster fanatic, then this should be at the very top of your list.
Also located in Ohio, this park features over 80 rides, shows and attractions, including 12 roller coasters. It’s home to a couple of world record-holders, including Banshee, the longest steel inverted roller coaster in the world, with a 4,124-foot track, and the Beast, the longest wooden roller coaster in the world, with a 7,359-foot track.
Our favorite ride: Banshee. We’re suckers for roller coasters that allow your legs to dangle free and kick the sky. Plus, this one is particularly thrilling solely for the fact that the ride lasts longer than the competition.
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Named by USA Today readers as America’s Best Theme Park, Magic Mountain boasts such classics as Batman the Ride, Superman: Escape from Krypton, and the world’s first mixed virtual reality roller coaster, the New Revolution Galactic Attack. And opening this summer is a high-tech, interactive thrill ride, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis. With 15 roller coasters, this Los Angeles theme park has something for everyone.
Our favorite ride: Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom. Standing at 400 feet, this is the second-tallest drop tower in the world. Once you reach the top, the only way back down is a five-second, heart pounding free fall at 85 mph.
Walt Disney World
There are many who will say that Disneyland in California is the best Disney park, but we beg to differ. Walt Disney World in Florida has not one but six parks, all of which are worthy of spending days at. They are chock-full of exciting rides like the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, and Expedition Everest. Plus, Walt Disney World just unveiled Pandora: The World of Avatar, and the new Star Wars and Pixar-themed lands won’t be far behind.
Our favorite ride: This is a close one. While we love stomach-churning free falls like the ones on Tower of Terror, nothing can quite beat the classic Space Mountain, a ride so inky black and tightly compact that you’re unsure whether you can put your arms up without smacking them on a steel rail.
Check out our 10 ultimate domestic vacations.
*Universal Studios photos are courtesy of Universal Studios. Cedar Point photo is courtesy of Cedar Point. Six Flags photo by Matt Marotta. Disney photo is courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort.