One of the main draws of Disneyland is the intentional “fun for all ages” activities that were a part of Walt Disney’s vision. Disneyland was certainly a leader in theme parks at a time when they were relatively unheard of. Many decades after the original Disneyland was built in the mid 1950s, various parks around the globe have been built to create a magical kingdom for kids and their families to enjoy together.

Although some theme parks are intentionally modeled after a certain show, movie, or other well known and well loved figures, many parks primarily dedicate themselves to offering a wide variety of attractions and rides that are intended to appeal to the child in all of us.

Attractions like water rides, roller coasters, and long standing favorites like carousels or ferris wheels are just a few of the rides offered in many of the parks around the world that are constantly looking for newer and more dramatic ways to bring in visitors and offer them an experience they won’t soon forget.

Below we take a look at 25 places that may have been inspired by Disneyland’s original building, but have surpassed expectations and are actually way better.

25  Gardaland

Gardaland Amusement Park is actually three parks in one: Gardaland Park, Gardaland Sea-Life, and Gardaland Hotel. Operating in North-Eastern Italy since the mid 1970s, Gardaland attracts about 3 million visitors every year. In addition to the traditional attractions including roller coasters, family rides, water rides, the park also offers a variety of entertainment shows and aquariums which make it appealing to a wide variety of audiences. In 2005, the park received global recognition and was ranked fifth in the top ten amusement parks by Forbes Magazine and continues to be one of the top ten most visited parks in Europe (gardaland).

24 Fantawild Adventure- Shenyang

The Fantawild Amusement parks are part of a largely successful chain of parks in numerous cities in China that are relatively similar in terms of attractions. Fantawild Adventure in Shenyang draws from a variety of different cultures to create their rides and is perfect for families who want to enjoy the traditional offerings of an amusement park while experiencing different cultures. The park is well known for their ride the “Mystical River” which draws inspiration from the ancient Mayan civilization to concoct a labyrinth of water slides that include a thrilling 26 meter drop. The “Sky Sailor” ride simulates flying around the world to visit landmarks such as Mount Everest, the Eiffel Tower, and Victoria Falls (echinacities).

23 Knoebels Amusement Resort

Priding itself on being “America’s Largest Free-Admission Amusement Park”, Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pennsylvania is truly accessible to all families who want to take a day trip or spend a few days in the area. Along with the traditional water rides and roller coasters, Knoebels also offers a variety of accommodation options such as camping grounds, rustic log cabins, and a quaint bed and breakfast. Knoebels has been around for over 90 years and has a great track record, having won numerous awards for their rides. In 2014 they were ranked one of the top 10 Family Friendly Amusement Parks in the U.S. (knoebels).

22 Hersheypark

Located in Hershey, Pennsylvania (where else?), Hersheypark was originally built as a leisure park for the Hershey Chocolate Company’s employees to enjoy in the early 1900s. Although the park had humble beginnings, it soon grew to include over 70 rides and attractions which were slowly integrated as the park grew in popularity and size. The park is known for having the world’s longest mat racer water slide called the “Whitecap Racer” and also hosts numerous tours of the nearby Hershey Chocolate Factory for anyone who wants to learn a little more history and taste test one of the most popular chocolate brands in the world (hersheypark).

21 Busch Garden Tampa Bay

One of the top fifteen most visited theme parks in the United States, Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida lies on 335 acres of land and is geared towards providing visitors with an African animal experience. Opened officially in the late 1950s, the theme park used to offer just a few attractions- a bird garden, beer tastings, and an escalator that took guests to the roof of the brewery for a beautiful view. Although originally the park didn’t offer much variety for families that wanted to spend a day together, now the park offers roller coasters, water rides, animal attractions, and other smaller rides that are sure to appeal to any age (buschgardens).

20 Canada's Wonderland

Canada’s Wonderland located in Vaughan, Ontario is the first major theme park in the country and the most visited seasonal amusement park in North America because it offers variety for the whole family. Ranked number two in the world in terms of the number of roller coasters it currently has operating (17), the park also includes two different family-friendly areas, a water park, and constantly-changing seasonal attractions that are sure to appease the foodie in all of us. Through these special events, the park attempts to bring in an appreciation for different cultures and foods around the world by offering festivals such as “Taste of Italy”, “Taste of Greece”, and Oktoberfest (canadaswonderland).

19 China Dinosaurs Park

Nicknamed the “Eastern Jurassic Park” because of its extensive focus on bringing dinosaurs back to life, China Dinosaurs Park has been opened since September 2000. One of the more educational amusement parks on the list, China Dinosaurs Park offers a museum that hosts fossil skeletons and mechanical dinosaurs are strewn around various areas of the park. All of their rides, games, and events are dinosaur themed but in addition to their strong dinosaur focus, the park also focuses on being an ecological paradise and boasts over 70 different kinds of trees and more than 4,000 plants to recreate a land before humans (travelchinaguide).

18 Lotte World

Also located in South Korea in the country’s capital of Seoul, Lotte World is known as the world’s largest indoor theme park called Adventure, along with an outdoor amusement park called Magic Island. Although there are a number of thrill rides such as their popular Giant Loop (which stops while it is upside down) and shopping areas for older visitors, the park also includes a playground for kids younger than 8 years old to explore well-known and loved fairy tales such as Cinderella’s Castle and Alice in Wonderland. Their live shows include well-known magicians and illusionists from Korea and across the world. (adventure.lotteworld)

17 PortAventura Theme Park

With over 3.5 million visitors every year, PortAventura Theme Park is the most visited park in Barcelona, Spain. The impressive number of yearly visitors makes sense because the theme park also includes PortAventura World, an entertainment resort that houses a large number of restaurants and shops, a convention center, an RV park, hotels, a Caribbean themed Aquatic Park, and a second theme park called Ferrari Land that is geared more towards older audiences since it includes car racing simulations and a record setting roller coaster that as of 2017 ,since the park’s opening, is the fastest and tallest roller coaster in Europe (portaventuraworld).

16 Efteling

Also known as the “World of Wonders,” Efteling is the largest theme park in the Netherlands and offers a unique experience in the middle of nature. With different sections dedicated to all age groups from little ones to daredevils, everyone in the family will find something that they can enjoy during their time there. Visitors have a number of different ways to get around the park and tour different areas. The park offers boat rides, train rides, and walks through a “Fairytale Forest” that brings to life classics such as Pinocchio, The Dragon, and The Wolf and the Seven Kids (efteling).

15 Chimelong Paradise

A fairly new amusement park opened in 2006. Chimelong Paradise has the impressive honor of being the largest amusement park in China, a country that boasts a large number of amusement parks in general. The park has a lot to offer families, especially thrill seekers due to their record high number of roller coaster inversions. Their “10 Inversion Roller Coaster” is only the second roller coaster in the world with 10 inversions and is sure to attract visitors who want to have a spine-tingling experience. Other attractions include a Safari Park, and themed areas such as Whirlwind Island, Screaming Zone, Kids’ Land, and Happy Kingdom (int.chimelong).

14 Legoland California

Catering specifically to families of younger kids, Legoland California offers a full vacation experience for the entire family. In addition to their water park and aquarium, Legoland California offers numerous accommodations that are a treat in and of themselves because of the many play areas that they offer kids of all ages, including a spa for the adults who need to take a break from all the high energy fun. Their newly built Legoland Castle Hotel showcases impressive Lego décor and features 250 Lego Castle themed rooms where families can choose between three different themes: Knights & Dragons, Royal Princesses, or Magic Wizards (legoland).

13 Sesame Place

Originally built and currently operating specifically as a children’s theme park, Sesame Park opened in 1980 in Langhorne, Pennsylvania and in 2007 became the first theme park in the state to become completely smoke-free, furthering its place as one of the most intentionally kid-oriented parks in the U.S.. All of the attractions and sections of the park are directly related to the well loved Sesame Street characters and theme areas include Elmo’s World, The Count’s Court, and Cookie’s Monster Land. Throughout the day for families who want to take a break from enjoying the rides, the park also offers multiple interactive shows featuring the show's characters (sesameplace).

12 Tivoli Gardens

Located in Copenhagen, Denmark, Tivoli Gardens is known for its amusement park and pleasure garden, which includes various entertainment venues such as concert halls and theaters. Notably, the park was opened in 1843, which makes it the second-oldest currently-operating amusement park in the world. Being in business for so long obviously means that the park is doing something right and with almost 5 million visitors per year, Tivoli Gardens is the second most popular seasonal amusement park in the world, and the most visited theme park in Scandinavia. Known for housing the world’s oldest operating wooden roller coaster, rides continue to be added and one gets the sense that this amusement park will be around for many more years due to their constant evolution (

11 Six Flags Magic Mountain

Although Six Flags Magic Mountain in California may not be one of the most visited amusement parks in North America with an average of 3.4 million visitors every year, it does have the eye-catching reputation of having the most roller coasters in the world. The amusement park had its opening day with only one roller coaster in 1971, but made its mark in the roller coaster industry early on in 1976 by becoming the first park in the world to have a 360-degree steel looping roller coaster. Two years later in 1976 they constructed what was then the fastest, and largest dual tracked wooden roller coaster (sixflags).

10 The Island in Pigeon Forge

A fully immersive experience, The Island in Pigeon Forge in Tennessee, United States offers numerous shops, restaurants, rides, attractions, and a hotel and inn for guests who want to take their time to enjoy the park at a more leisurely pace. The park is located in a city with less than 6,000 residents and although it is not the only amusement park on this list that offers visitors an educational museum experience, their chosen theme may seem a bit odd for an amusement park. Their Alcatraz East Crime Museum includes over 100 interactive displays which explore the nation’s crime history, forensics, and more (islandpigeonforge).

9 Cedar Point

Well known in the United States for being one of the oldest operating amusement parks in the country, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio is also tied for second with another amusement park on this list for having the most number of roller coasters, with 17, as of 2018. Cedar Point has an impressive number of records- it is the only amusement park in the world with six roller coasters over 200 feet and the only park with roller coasters in all four height classifications (kiddie, hypercoaster, giga coaster, and strata coaster). One of the most unique things about this park is that in addition to offering a water park like many other parks do, they also offer a one mile long white sand beach for those looking for a more laid back experience (cedarpoint).

8 Beto Carrero World

Located in Penho, Brazil, Beto Carrero World is the largest theme park in Latin America and offers 9 different themed areas that range from Germanic Village, Fantasy Land, Pirates’ Island, and Extreme Adventure - their most adrenaline pumping section which is also the most popular of all the themes. The theme park offers a full sized zoo in their Animal World section with hundreds of different animal species year round, including a special section of the zoo that caters to people who want to have an interactive experience and houses babies of different species. It even offers the opportunities for guests to bottle feed the goats!

7 Everland

Ranked number 14th in the world with an average number of 7.3 million visitors every year, Everland is South Korea’s largest theme park. The large theme park is split into five different themed areas that try to take visitors around the world to experience different cultures with themes like American Adventure, European Adventure, and Global Fair. Along with culturally themed restaurants, shops, and architecture, the European Adventure theme area features the first wooden roller coaster in Korea built in 2008, the T Express, which is also the 6th longest wooden roller coaster in the world at almost 6,000 feet long! (everland)

6 Europa-Park

Well known in Germany as the largest theme park in the country and the second most popular theme park resort in Europe, Europa-Park is located in south-western Germany near the France border. The park intentionally created roller coasters and attractions that can seat a larger than average number of people which means that lines are typically shorter even though up to 60,000 people a day can be accommodated. The country themed areas and attractions are divided into different places like Iceland, France, and England and in keeping with German folklore, the park also includes displays and walkthroughs of well known Grimm’s Fairy Tales such as The Frog King, Hansel & Gretel, and Little Red Riding Hood (