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The Top 10 ‘Travel’s Best: Amusement & Water Parks’ for 2015

travel-10bestGet ready to splash into summer with the most heart-pumping and wild rides in the nation! has named the top 10 “Travel’s Best: Amusement and Water Parks” for 2015, featuring new roller coasters and water slides that are sure to give thrill-seekers a case of sweaty palms. enlisted a panel of experts to help determine the 10 best amusement and water parks for 2015, including: Robb Alvey (theme park expert and founder,, Erin Gifford (family travel expert and founder,, Bert Kreischer (host, “Trip Flip”), Arthur Levine (theme park expert, and Lissa Poirot (editor-in-chief,

The 2015 “Travel’s Best: Amusement and Water Parks” (in alphabetical order):

Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark – Orlando, Fla.
Ihu’s Breakaway Falls at SeaWorld’s Aquatica is billed as the tallest and steepest waterslide in Orlando, sending thrill-seekers 40 feet straight down before they twist and turn their way through the colorful slides. Race headfirst against eight other guests on Taumata Racer, a high-speed racing slide, or wind down at the waterpark’s lazy river. The popular wave pool or splash fortress with a 500-gallon dumping water bucket will please even the smallest park guests.

Carowinds – Charlotte, N.C.
Standing at 325-feet high, the new Fury 325 roller coaster at Carowinds is among the five tallest coasters in the world. Taller than the Statue of Liberty (305 feet), the Fury 325 sends riders racing up, down and around turns at 95 miles per hour. If you want even more heart-pumping action, Carowinds has nine other roller coasters that offer drops, loops, turns and spins – both forward and backward.

Disneyland – Anaheim, Calif.
2015 marks the 60th anniversary of “the happiest place on Earth.” Disneyland will have its Diamond Celebration with a spectacular new nighttime parade and fireworks show. Mainstay attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (which was upgraded last year), will deftly stir emotions with eye-popping technology and huge doses of nostalgia, which the Mouse House excels in the most.

Knoebels Amusement Resort – Elysburg, Penn.
Plan to stay all day at Knoebels Amusement Resort, about two and a half hours outside Philadelphia, where admission is free and guests pay per ride. The newest attraction to grace the amusement park, Impulse, is a hair-raising roller coaster with a 90-degree vertical drop.  The park also features historic rides such as the 1948 classic wooden roller coaster, Phoenix, and a brass ring carousel, which is a rare find in the United States. And if you like camping, Knoebels features one of the largest campgrounds at any traditional amusement park.

Knott’s Berry Farm – Buena Park, Calif.

For small-town charm and fantastic roller coasters, pay a visit to Knott’s Berry Farm (and save $25 per ticket if you purchase online in advance). This year, Voyage to the Iron Reef, a new 4-D interactive experience, has riders battle against the Queen of the Kraken and her army to save the park’s iconic attractions before they become scrap metal. Knotts’ other thrills include the speedy Montezooma’s Revenge, the looping Boomerang and various offerings for small screamers and kids just getting started on coasters.

Schlitterbahn – New Braunfels, Texas

Stuffed to the gills with water fun, Schlitterbahn is an enormous, unique and innovative water park. Among its notable attractions are two of the world’s firsts – the wavemaking Boogie Bahn Surfing Ride and the Master Blaster uphill water coaster, which sends passengers racing in the dark for a face-to-face encounter with a dragon. Thanks to the industry pioneers behind the circa-1979 Texas landmark, both attractions have become staples at many other parks.


Six Flags Magic Mountain – Los Angeles, Calif.

For a twisted new ride this summer, hop on the Twisted Colossus. According to Six Flags Magic Mountain, it has 5,000 feet of wood and steel track making it the longest and most innovative hybrid coaster in the world. “Trip Flip” host Bert Kreischer’s favorite ride in the world is Magic Mountain’s Superman: Escape From Krypton. “I spent the entire summer shooting a series for Travel Channel at this park, and every single day at sunset, the entire crew and I would meet at the 415-foot high tower for one last ride before the park closed,” says Kreischer.


Six Flags White Water – Atlanta, Ga.

Six Flags White Water offers fun for all ages with rapids, twisters, free falls and tube rides and three kid friendly zones – Captain Kid’s Cove, Lilypad Crossing and Tree House Island – with the oh-so-fun water dumping buckets and splash play areas. This summer, the park is unleashing Dive Bomber where brave riders are dropped through a trapdoor for a zero-gravity, 10-story heart-stopping fall. If guests prefer more chill than thrill, White Water offers cabanas for families to relax and escape from the sun.


Splashin’ Safari Water Park – Santa Claus, Ind.
After taking a ride on the new $22 million Thunderbird roller coaster, cool down at Splashin’ Safari Water Park, part of the Holiday World theme park. Splashin’ Safari features two of the largest hydromagnetic water coasters in the world – the Mammoth and the Wildebeest, consistently ranking as the best water park rides in the country. There’s also a variety of family fun attractions, including Monsoon Lagoon, the Bahari Wave Pool and Hyena Falls. Other great guest perks include free parking, soda, Wi-Fi and sunscreen. There’s never a dull (or dry) moment at Splashin’ Safari!


Wet ’n’ Wild Hawaii – Kapolei, Hawaii

A trip to Oahu must always be accompanied with a visit to what might be one of the best water parks in the country, Wet ’n’ Wild Hawaii. The new Waimea Whirl, set to open this summer, is among several water thrills packed into the 29-acre park and competes with some of the world’s best beaches. Shaka, a favorite water park ride of Bert Kreischer’s – host of Travel Channel’s “Trip Flip,” has a two-person inner tube plummeting down more than four stories, and the ride doesn’t end until gravity and inertia are done with you.

VIDEO: “Xtreme Waterparks” features Shaka


For more details on the “Travel’s Best: Amusement and Water Parks” for 2015, go to:

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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