When planning a vacation to Europe, you’ll likely schedule an itinerary of historical and cultural sites. When in Rome, you’ll want to see the Colosseum, and those heading to London will want to see Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. However, for the amusement park enthusiast who believes that the United States is the primary home of thrill rides, there are several options on board to get your roller coaster fix. It is well known that Disney has a park in France, but that is not the beginning and end of theme parks in Europe. Let’s look at five other favorites.
Alton Towers: As the second most visited theme park in Britain and the eleventh overall on the continent, Alton Towers has been entertaining visitors for over thirty years, although the grounds have served as a base for various amusements and gatherings since the 1860s. Alton Towers is known for its meandering rides like Thirteen and dizzying rides like X-Sector Oblivion, plus a combination cruise and sightseeing ride based on the popular Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
fantasyland: Located in Bruhl, in the North Rhine region of Germany, Phantasialand brings a cross-section of different civilizations, with themed pavilions dedicated to Old World Mexico, the American Wild West, and Ancient China. Thrill rides enjoyed by nearly two million visitors annually include the Black Mamba inverted roller coaster and a mine train roller coaster called Colorado Adventure.
Kongeparken: Translated to mean “The King’s Park,” Kongeparken is one of Norway’s biggest tourist attractions and features bears as the main mascots (as opposed to a mouse in a tuxedo). This is because Norway was the first country on the continent to introduce teddy bears, an American creation, to Europeans, and in King’s Park visitors can enjoy up to fifty related attractions and exhibits.
Bobbejaanland: Bobbejaan Schoepen could very well be the Walt Disney of Belgium. He opened the theme park named after him fifty years ago, and today it remains one of the most popular parks on the continent. Originally built as a place where Schopen could perform his musical acts, Bobbejaanland features numerous roller coasters and water rides and other high-speed thrills.
Garda Land: The most popular amusement park in Italy is also one of the most visited in all of Europe. Every year, nearly four million visitors come to brave the inverted Blue Tornado roller coaster and Magic Mountain’s corkscrews.
If you’ve come to Europe looking for adventure, you can find that and more at any of the continent’s theme parks. Take a day between monument visits for family fun.