Words: Keeta Brennan Images: 123RF, Resorts World Sentosa
These amusement parks promise hours of fun, and loads of thrills and spills.
Singapore: Universal Studios Singapore
Thrilling adventures are in abundance at Resort World Sentosa, courtesy of Universal Studios Singapore, an international theme park known for its one of a kind rides and exciting atmosphere. The park has 24 rides, a variety of entertaining shows and seven zones, each featuring different themes. Visitors to the park can immerse themselves in mega Hollywood blockbuster-inspired rides and meet their favourite characters up close. Crowd-pullers include Transformers The Ride: The Ultimate 3D Battle, where visitors join the good guys from the Transformers series, the Autobots, to battle the evil Decepticons in an epic hyper-realistic 3D adventure. For adrenaline addicts, the Battlestar Galactica: Human vs Cylon™ ride features the world’s tallest duelling rollercoasters, offering bloodcurdling twists and turns. For the little ones, a great musical show to catch is Elmo’s TV Time, where guests are invited to join in the fun as Elmo and other Sesame Street characters perform, sing and dance. rwsentosa.com
The Fun Never Ends
Universal Studios Singapore offers fun for the entire family.
The spectacular Hollywood Dreams Parade™ is a must-see when at the park, with its giant floats and a procession of well-loved film and cartoon characters dancing and singing.
Throughout the park, visitors can meet and snap photos with characters such as Woody Woodpecker™, the Minions from Despicable Me, and other favourites.
The park offers a wide variety of dining options, which include tasty snacks, international cuisines, and local delicacies.
Kids can have their birthday parties organised at the park, while couples can opt for the park’s wedding photography package.
Australia’s biggest theme park brings endless joy in sunny Gold Coast, featuring a mix of exciting rides, fun attractions and edutainment. The ABC Kids World is the ultimate playground for kids, with activities such as the Bananas in Pyjamas fun maze, the Giggle and Hoot Pirate Ship, and the Play School, where children can explore their creative sides. Adult visitors can test their bravery on the Big Nine Thrill Rides, a set of spine-tingling attractions such as the Buzzsaw, which takes visitors up a 46m vertical ascent, before flipping and free-falling back down at breakneck speed. Another big thrill is The Giant Drop, the world’s highest free-fall ride, which climbs to a height of 39 storeys, before plummeting down. The park is not just fun and games, as it also features Corroboree, where visitors get to learn about Australia’s indigenous people. The attraction comes with interactive exhibits that portray traditional bush life in an effort to preserve the history and culture of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and native wildlife. dreamworld.com.au
Dreamworld’s hands-on educational programmes for schoolchildren provide the young ones with an interactive and enjoyable learning experience.
USA: Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawaii
This water park in Oahu island features 25 rides and attractions, ranging from relaxing family favourites such as the multi-level Water World Kids Playground, to the thrilling Tornado, where guests are catapulted from a height of 15m into a 40m tunnel. wetnwildhawaii.com
Malaysia: LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort
Lovers of LEGO® will find a paradise at LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort, with an entire park built in honour of the beloved multi-coloured toy building bricks. A global park brand, the Johor Bahru attraction is Malaysia’s first international theme park. Aside from the theme park, the resort also includes a water park and a themed hotel. Catering to families, the park houses fun rides that are suitable for children such as LEGO NINJAGO™ THE RIDE, where visitors help the good guys battle the baddies using their newfound ‘ninja’ skills. Another cool ride is The Great LEGO® Race, the world’s first LEGO virtual reality roller-coaster that offers an adventure in a ‘bricktastic’ LEGO world using virtual reality headsets. To explore Asia in a day, the park also has a LEGO Miniland dedicated to famous Asian landmarks, built with over 30 million LEGO bricks. The water park offers visitors attractions such as the LEGO® Slide Racers, a giant water slide, and the Dino Island attraction, where visitors get drenched on an exhilarating log boat ride. legoland.com.my
South Korea: Everland
Theme park enthusiasts will find happiness at Everland, South Korea’s largest theme park, located in Yongin city. Everland features five themed zones, with a unique one called Zootopia, which houses a zoo with over 2,000 animals. Other attractions in this zone include The Lost World, an extensive ecological safari park where visitors can ride amphibious vehicles across land and water to see over 150 free roaming animals. Also not to be missed is Panda World, which houses a pair of giant pandas gifted by China to South Korea as a symbol of friendship. For an essential but fun lesson in safety, head over to Lenny’s Safety Learning Centre, where interactive exhibits and live demonstrations teach parents and children about earthquake and fire safety, and first aid techniques. Virtual reality adventures are also in abundance at the park, with rides such as Gyro VR, Robot VR and VR Adventure making full use of the technology to take visitors on immersive journeys. For the ultimate coaster experience, the Rolling X-Train is a super fast ride with sharp twists and two 360-degree loops. everland.com
Everland has a festival for every season of the year, as well as festivals to celebrate major international holidays such as Halloween, Christmas and New Year.
Indonesia: Jawa Timur Park 1
An icon of the city of Batu in East Java, Jawa Timur Park 1 is recognised as one of the country’s best tourist attractions. Among its most famous rides is the Superman Coaster, which not only provides twists and turns but also affords visitors a spectacular view of the park’s landscape. Another ride that offers great views alongside thrills is the Sky Ride, which takes visitors on a fun high-rise adventure, against the backdrop of natural East Java landmarks such as Mount Panderman and Mount Arjuna. Visitors in need of more excitement can try the 360 Degrees Pendulum ride which swings and twirls horizontally and vertically. If that isn’t enough to get the blood pumping, the Flying Tornado ride provides gravity-defying spins to set the heart racing. At the park’s Science Centre, visitors can interact with fun exhibits dedicated to science. For a little culture, the Galeri Etnik Nusantara exhibit showcases the heritage and traditions of Indonesia’s different ethnic groups. jtp.id
Japan: Tokyo DisneySea
The Disney brand is one of the world’s most beloved, and Tokyo DisneySea promises an experience unlike any other. The park differs from the other Disneyland Resorts worldwide, as it features a nautical adventure theme, and is designed to resemble a beautiful port city. Each of the seven zones – known as ‘ports of call’, in keeping with the waterside concept – within the park carries this theme. Visitors can experience the canals of Venice on a gondola ride, go to the depths of the ocean to discover the lost world of Atlantis on the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride, or join a thrilling temple exploration on the Indiana Jones® Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull ride. Children will have an amazing time at Ariel’s castle, with a variety of fun indoor activities within a palace modelled after an underwater wonderland. The park also puts on dazzling parades and entertaining shows, and a must-see is Fantasmic! – a night show that features spectacular special effects using water, light, lasers and fire. tokyodisneyresort.jp
China: Chimelong Paradise
Among the gravity-defying rides at one of China’s largest amusement parks are the 36m free-fall Drop Tower ride, and the terrifying Ten Inversion Roller Coaster, which has more inversions than any other coaster in Asia. int.chimelong.com
Located in Mumbai, India’s largest amusement park has something for everyone – adult rides include Shot-N-Drop, India’s tallest tower ride, kiddie rides like the fun caterpillar coaster Big Apple, and family attractions such as the immersive Ali Baba Adventure Mirror Maze. esselworld.in
Philippines: Enchanted Kingdom
This theme park near Manila in Laguna province offers a wide selection of enjoyable rides and attractions. Among them are the water-based bumper car Bump N’ Splash, exciting Space Shuttle roller-coaster, and Wheel of Fate Ferris Wheel, which offers bird’seye views of the park. enchantedkingdom.ph
Thailand: Cartoon Network Amazone
A delightful family destination near the city of Pattaya, Cartoon Network Amazone is one of the top 10 water parks in Asia. With 10 cartoon themed zones, the park features exhilarating rides, complemented by live entertainment featuring characters from some of Cartoon Network’s most popular shows including Ben 10, Adventure Time and the Powerpuff Girls, among others. Top attractions here includes the Goop Loop, a 12m water slide; and CARTOONIVAL, the park’s biggest draw, which houses 150 different water activities such as slides, obstacle courses and splash buckets within a massive wading pool. For thrill-seekers, the XLR8-TOR water slide is one of the steepest in Asia, with an impressive 18m vertical drop. Over at the Surfer’s Paradise zone, visitors can take things down a notch at Mega Wave, a giant wave pool or the Surf Arena, a great place for novice surfers to practise their surfing skills. After a fun but tiring day, head to SPAGO, the onsite spa which offers relaxing Thai massages. cartoonnetworkamazone.com
China: Hong Kong Disneyland
Disneyland theme parks across the world have been enchanting both the young and old for years, and Hong Kong Disneyland is no exception. The park currently features seven themed areas, or ‘lands’, complemented by well-loved Disney characters. On the Jungle River Cruise, visitors board a boat and are whisked away on a ride past stunning animatronics of king cobras, elephants and other animals in a jungle setting. Children will love It’s a Small World ride, a musical boat tour that sails the Seven Seaways Canal, and features a singing cast of childlike dolls in traditional outfits from around the world. For thrill-seekers, the Hyperspace Mountain is an indoor roller-coaster with jaw-dropping spins and turns. To fulfil many a little girl’s princess fantasies, the Royal Princess Garden offers children the opportunity to meet their favourite Disney princesses such as Snow White, Rapunzel, Elsa and Anna, while at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, children are given royal makeovers to transform them into princesses for a day. hongkongdisneyland.com
Hong Kong Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle is the only Disney castle in the world which features a natural mountain backdrop.
The oldest amusement park in the world still in operation to this day is Dyrehavsbakken in Denmark, which first opened in 1583.