Which theme park to visit?

This may not be the best place to ask, but here goes… We’re in between Disney trips; we’re mainly waiting for various construction projects to be done. So I started looking at other theme parks, but I’m not having any luck. Is it me or do they all seem to have thrill /spinning rides, kiddie rides, and not much else? Is there a park an adult who doesn’t do thrill / spinning rides can enjoy? I just looked at Canada’s Wonderland and out of 79 attractions, they have seven I would consider and two of those are probably not a good idea.

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There aren’t many actual theme parks like Disney out there. Most are just amusement parks. Finding ones with the family friendliness of Disney is very difficult.

We did really like Silver Dollar City. It has plenty of thrill rides…but it is more family friendly and much more a theme park than many other amusement parks. (Dollywood is supposed to be similar, but we haven’t been yet.)

Thanks for your suggestions. I’m OK with there being thrill rides (my husbands enjoys them), but I need someplace that has enough attractions / shows for me to justify the expense.

We were really pleased with our recent visit to Legoland CA, it might fit you. This is a snippet from my trip report that I haven’t posted here (bad me) . This is about Legoland CA.

We enjoyed the level of the rides. The target audience seemed to be right at DD’s level (wimpie 12-year-old), which is midway between kiddie rides and thrill rides. For example, DD wanted to go on the UniKitty ride. Us parents were unimpressed by its appearance. It is one of those rides with a tower and seats around the tower that are raised and dropped free-fall-ish. Like Superman at Six Flags and Fearfall at Universal. I’d classify the height of the Six Flags one as tall, Fearfall as disappointing, and UniKitty as squat. But, the Unikitty one rotates as well as raises and drops. We really enjoyed that. You can look around while it is raising you. Our second ride they put us on different towers and we asked for that on the future rides. We’d wave and scream at each other. Also, one tower will slightly follow the other tower. So, when you hear the other tower scream, you brace yourself, and that adds to it too.

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I agree w/ @ryan1 about there not being many Disney like parks around. May I suggest your state fair? It is coming up on state fair time. They will have dumb rides, arcades, lots of fair foods, shows, exhibits (prize cows, pigs, goats, quilts etc.)

ETA: my hometown (where I grew up) state fair takes days to explore: Aug. 25 – Labor Day, Sept. 5, 2022 | Minnesota State Fair (mnstatefair.org)

The Mall of America in Bloomington, MN has an indoor park w/ mild rides Mall Of America

Silver Dollar City is near Branson in southwest Missouri.

It has some “thrill” rides, like Fire in the Hole that are closer to Big Thunder Mtn. And there are thrill rides I’m not going on!

There are demonstrations - glass blowing - and things you can do - candle dipping. Music shows you can just sit and listen as well as bigger evening music shows. There are stores to buy baseball bats or canes, old Timey photos, and etched glasses to sip beverages from.

Silver Dollar City has plenty of eating places - most not cheap, lots of shade as well as plenty of hills so you can come out tired even tho SDC is much smaller than a Disney park.

SDC used to be in the upper $60s for one day.

Oh and it even has upcharges: there’s a cave under SDC - a real one. It may still be worth the money.


If you feel like a road trip, we really love Dollywood. There are lots of little things to do around the park for non-thrill seekers.

Last I was there, they did not upcharge for this. It was included with admission. But the cave tour was one of our favorite parts of SDC. (Fun fact…the cave is why SDC actually exists!). I actually liked Marvel Cave (at SDC) more than Mammoth Cave.

ETA: still is included

Well, that’s just cool!

In more ways than one. :smile:

If memory serves, back in the 70s, there wasn’t an upcharge. Then the Dailys and Kenny Rogers bought the park, Victorian-ized it and upcharges happened. I think my sister liked the classier overlay while I was stuck in the hillbilly “overhauls” nostalgia.

I’ve been trying to recall which December we last went - probably 2018. Saw a decent Christmas Carol production marred by the sound system overdriving the speakers. Felt like Disney post fireworks as we shuffled thru the park. Several folk around us were remarking that same thing. :blush:

We haven’t been since reopening.

I’m glad they’re including the cave. Greatly disappoints when you’re expecting to cool off and they have their hand out.