Beyond Disney & Universal: 5 Must-See Theme Parks Around the World

5 Must-See Theme Parks Around the World

As post-COVID travel continues to increase, the major theme parks will be swamped. So if you’re an adventurous world traveler and a theme park enthusiast, we have some interesting alternatives for you. First, we’ll go beyond Disney & Universal and look at 5 must-see theme parks around the world. Then, we’ll share tips for preparation, one of the keys to success. 

So whether you need to check out a expensive toll roads if you’re planning a trip to Xcaret or pack the right clothes for the weather in the U.K., we’ll help you make sure you don’t overlook the necessities. 

5 Must-See Theme Parks Worldwide

There’s a reason Disney and Universal are the most popular theme park destination in the U.S. They offer visitors an incredible experience, no doubt, but you can count on them being crowded because of that popularity. 

Other parks are less popular but give visitors an incredible adventure, and you may even enjoy it more because you won’t be battling crowds of people to get to the next attraction. Here are my 5 must-see theme parks around the world that take you beyond Disney & Universal:

#1 – Xcaret, Playa del Carmen, Mexico

It’s nearly impossible to beat the beauty of this park and its surrounding scenery in Playa del Carmen and Rivera Maya. Not only can you enjoy thrilling rides you’d expect at a theme park, but you can also explore the region’s natural features, from underground rivers to a beach and lagoon to several cenotes, both deep and shallow. 

Activities include snorkeling around coral reefs, observing wildlife in the sanctuary, and walking the beach. They even have shows and performances that are sure to capture your attention and provide insight into the region’s culture.

#2 – Trivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark

Walt Disney got his inspiration for Disney from Trivoli Gardens and visited it many times. The amusement park features a wooden rollercoaster that’s over 100 years old. That coaster is one of only seven worldwide that includes an onboard brakeman.

The gardens are inspiring and vibrant, and at night, the park becomes even more enchanting with thousands of lights lending their magic.

#3 – Efteling, Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands

This park is home to the magic of old-time European fairytales. It’s a huge park — twice as big as Disneyland. The fairytale forest leads visitors through different enchanted stories, and there’s also a haunted castle for thrill-chasers.

If you love rides, you’ll love what Efteling has to offer. The rides feature an array of plunges, loops, and curves you’ll love.

#4 – Alton Towers, Staffordshire, England

Alton Towers rests on an expansive estate and is anchored by the castle-like stately home built for the previous owners. Like other regions of the English countryside such as Bath and Oxford, the grounds of Alton Towers in Staffordshire are gorgeous, and you could imagine yourself living in a real-world Jane Austen novel.

Alton Towers covers so many acres that a sky ride takes visitors to different areas of the park, including the rides section which is home to 10 rollercoasters, and over 30 other rides and attractions.

#5 – Aquaventure, Dubai, India

If you enjoy water parks, Aquaventure can’t be beaten. It’s home to the world’s tallest waterslide, along with over 100 other slides and attractions. Besides the slides, visitors can enjoy the aquarium with stunningly expansive tanks.

This park even offers dolphin and sea lion experiences where visitors can watch shows and sometimes even swim with the dolphins.

Preparing for an Theme Park

Traveling to an amusement park in the U.S. is one thing, but traveling to one in another country forces you to take planning to the next level. 

Plan Your Expenses

You should write down your budget and expenses as soon as you start planning a trip. You’ll undoubtedly remember to include airfare, lodging, and amusement park admission in your budget, but don’t forget about transportation, including tolls and souvenirs.

If you need to shave your expenses to fit your budget, some of the easy ways are making your own meals and skipping souvenirs.

Make Reservations

Don’t assume that you’ll be able to finalize your trip after you arrive at your destination. Instead, make reservations for everything. An easy way to do this is to buy your admission tickets beforehand. You’ll probably save money by doing that. 

If you’re going to rent a car, make sure you reserve your rental ahead of time, especially since rental cars are in short supply globally. 

You should even reserve restaurants for your trip. After a long day riding roller coasters, you’re probably not going to be too excited about waiting 45 minutes to an hour for a table at a restaurant. Reservation will ensure you’ll have a table waiting for you.

Get Travel Insurance

If we’ve learned nothing else over the past couple of years, we should have learned that the best-laid plans are uncertain. Travel insurance can protect the investment you made in your plans so that if things fall through, you’ll get your money back. 

Besides travel insurance, you’ll also need to consider rental car insurance if you plan to rent a car. While your personal auto insurance policy will typically cover your rental car in the U.S., that coverage won’t transfer outside the country, so you’ll need to purchase insurance from the rental agency. 

Tips for Enjoying Theme Parks

Maximizing fun and minimizing frustration will make for the best day at an amusement park. There are a few specific tips to make sure you enjoy your time to the fullest.

Get There Early

Not only will you find the best parking when you arrive early, but you’ll also get to enjoy the park for a while before the crowds of other people arrive. You won’t have to stand in line to get in, and you’ll also avoid the lines to take the rides.

Wear the Right Clothes and Shoes

You’re going to be on your feet all day. Therefore, comfort should supersede fashion, and you should wear the shoes that will give you the support you need to walk miles upon miles.

You should wear layers that you can easily put on and take off. In addition, you might want to include a change of clothes in your backpack so that you can change if your outfit gets dirty or wet.

Download the Park App

Just about every amusement park has an app, and these apps can be incredibly helpful. For example, you can use the map to navigate or check the wait times at various rides to decide which one you want to go to next. 

Explore Amusement Parks Around the Globe

Venturing to these incredible parks worldwide will open your eyes to the beauty and culture unique to each region. You might think a ride is a ride, but you’ll be amazed when you experience how each country’s twist on amusement rides adds a layer of magic you would never have imagined.

Again, there is a reason why people love the well-known, but I want to get you thinking beyond Disney & Universal and share these 5 must-see themed parks around the world!

About the Author

Melanie Musson writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, She loves helping others protect their financial stability with insurance so they can enjoy the freedom to travel and enjoy life.

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As post-COVID travel continues to increase, the major theme parks will be swamped. So if you’re an adventurous world traveler and a theme park enthusiast, we have some interesting alternatives for you. First, we’ll go beyond Disney & Universal and look at 5 must-see theme parks around the world. Then, we’ll share tips for preparation,…