For many people, the thought of going to an amusement park whilst on holiday is about as enticing as a trip to the dentist (which will cost about the same amount), but embracing ones inner child can be surprisingly fun.
And where better to investigate the best amusement parks than the country of their invention, the good ol’ US of A? No one does over-the-top, spare-no-expense kitsch like the Americans, so contact your personal travel manager who will guide you in the right direction.
Disneyland and Walt Disney World Florida
Disneyland was probably a place that you dreamed of visiting when you were but a whippersnapper, and it’s a place that still retains its lure to the children of today. Despite the computer games, TV shows and numerous other distractions that make the modern child seem impossible to please, Disneyland in LA (or Walt Disney World in Florida) remain the gold standard in children’s fantasy destinations.
And does it live up to expectations? Even to an adult, full of cynicism and a general dislike for the crassly commercial – the sheer scale of Disneyland, the attention to detail and the realisation that for children, this is heaven, can’t possibly be denied.
Even adults can have some fun on the rides. They are all done with an admirable affection for all things Disney and, well, they’re big! Big like nothing we really see in Australia, except maybe for a few rides in the various Gold Coast theme parks.
Going to LA and visiting Disneyland is probably as important a cultural experience as going to Cairo and seeing the pyramids. It just has to be done.
Legoland, California and Florida
The toy that your parents didn’t mind buying you as it encouraged creativity, Lego, remains as popular as ever, and while we used to sit in our bedrooms creating virtual cities and building cars, spaceships and whatever else we could think of, the creators of Legoland have 145 acres to play with.
Again, like most things American, the size and ambition of the place makes it stand out. Wherever possible, things are made from Lego including rollercoasters, cars and just about everything else.
Plus, their recreations of famous landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, White House and the Empire State Building are impressive.
Now a Hollywood staple almost as famous as its Disney neighbour, Universal Studio’s appeal lies in its stage shows and attractions rather than rides.
For movie buffs, there is an obvious pleasure to seeing familiar movie sets and props from your favourite films and the stage shows rarely disappoint. Again, they really are done well, a fact that you can’t help but admit even if this isn’t necessarily your cup of tea.
And the few rides that the park has are fantastically done, the highlight (besides perhaps the iconic backlot tour) being the new Transformers Ride, a rollercoaster that uses 3D technology to create an immersive experience unparalleled by any ride you’re likely to have experienced.
For those who don’t make it to LA or Florida, there are European and Asian equivalents of each destination. In any case, it can be fun to throw off the shackles of adulthood and plough head first into a world of childish pleasure and these three venues are some of the best places on Earth to indulge.
Plan your next thrilling adventure today with your local, personal travel manager. Visit http://www.travelmanagers.com.au/ptm-search/