Thanks to the decline in COVID-19 cases worldwide, families can now look forward to traveling overseas and enjoying the outside world this Christmas season.
And if there's one place that needs to be part of our revenge travel itinerary, that would definitely be amusement parks. This is simply because these tourist destinations offer a variety of fun-filled attractions in one place. Not only that, but wouldn't a fast-paced roller coaster ride be a good way to scream out your frustrations about being in quarantine for two years?
Now if you're ready to plan your holiday getaway, here are some of the newest family-friendly amusement parks around the world that you can visit in your next trip abroad.
Studio Ghibli Park, Japan
Get ready to venture into the whimsical world of the Ghibli Universe as the highly anticipated first Studio Ghibli Park in the world finally opened on Nov. 1. The theme park is located within the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park in Nagakute City near Nagoya, Japan.
The park is divided into five areas: Hill of Youth, Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, Dondoko Forest, Mononoke’s Village and Valley of Witches, which are all based on the studio’s iconic anime creations. While the first three attractions are now open to the public, the latter two are expected to open by spring 2024. There will be no rides or attractions in the park. Instead, visitors can enjoy nature strolls and immerse themselves in the Ghibli Universe.
Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse features fantasy-filled exhibitions such as Robot Soldier, Cat Bus, and kid-sized film studio exhibitions, as well as materials and resources that reveal the secrets of Studio Ghibli films; on the Hill of Youth, it has the World Emporium, the antique shop from Whisper of the Heart; while at the Dondoko Forest, “Dondoko-do" awaits you at the top of the forest hill that sits behind Satsuki and Mei's House.
The Ghibli Park is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and will open an hour earlier at 9 a.m. on weekends and holidays. It will be closed every Tuesday. Each area of the theme park is set to have an affordable admission fee and has the maximum daily capacity around 5,000 people.
For tickets, you can visit their official website link Ghibli Park.
Super Nintendo World, Japan
Super Nintendo World is the world's first Nintendo-themed land located inside Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, Japan. The brand-new themed area, which features popular video game characters Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach, and more, officially opened on March 18, 2021.
Gamers can now explore the world of Mario in real life. The immersive new area of USJ features a real-life “Mario Kart” ride, Yoshi’s Adventure, and numerous interactive elements and games you can experience with a Power-Up Band, character encounters, a themed restaurant named Kinopio’s Cafe (Kinopio is Toad’s name in Japan), retail shops, food kiosks, and more.
To provide the best experience, guests will need an "Area Timed Entry Ticket," which you can also book in advance, to enter SUPER NINTENDO WORLD. Book your tickets here.
Columbia Aquaverse, Thailand
If you're heading to Thailand anytime soon, you can now visit Columbia Pictures Aquaverse, the world’s first fully-branded Columbia Pictures movie theme park, which opened its doors to the public last October.
The theme park is situated 20 minutes south of Pattaya in the Bangsaray area, which is surrounded by beautiful white sand beaches and other tourist attractions. Columbia Pictures Aquaverse features a variety of both water and land-based attractions that bring to life many of the studio's hit films, including Ghostbusters, Jumanji, Bad Boys, Zombieland, The Emoji Movie, Surfs Up and Hotel Transylvania.
For more information, visit their website here.
Universal Studios Singapore
While Universal Studios Singapore has been around since 2010, there's always something new to look forward to here. The internationally-acclaimed theme park, located in Sentosa, is the first Hollywood movie theme park in Southeast Asia that features seven film-themed zones: Madagascar, Hollywood, Far Far Away (Shrek), The Lost World, Ancient Egypt (The Mummy), Sci-Fi City (Transformers) and New York (Sesame Street).
Challenge your limits on the Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN vs. CYLON, the world’s tallest pair of duelling rollercoasters, or soar above the canopy at the Lost World with the Canopy Flyer.
Singapore’s theme park is in the process of expanding its attractions with the introduction of Minion Land, an entire land dedicated to the beloved yellow creatures from Despicable Me, which is set to open in 2024.
Book tickets to Universal Studios Singapore here.
Everland, South Korea
Often described as the Disneyland of South Korea, Everland is a fairytale come-to-life for kids and kids at heart. You can find this theme park on the outskirts of Yeongin City in Gyeonggi Province, roughly a three-hour drive away from Seoul. The largest theme park in South Korea offers a popular spot for day trips.
Explore its five themed zones—American Adventure, Zoo Topia, Global Fair, Magic Land, European Adventure—that have so much to offer, from seasonal parades and a mini zoo, to T-Express, one of the world’s steepest and fastest wooden roller coasters.
Check out the ticket prices and book them here.
Lotte World, South Korea
For those who want to visit a more centrally-located theme park in South Korea, Lotte World Adventure and Magic Island in Seoul offer family-friendly rides and attractions as well as thrill rides and coasters.
Aside from this, you can find another new outdoor attraction called Lotte World Adventure Busan which opened just last March 2022. The new 25-acre theme park was designed with Legacy Entertainment.
Book tickets to Lotte World Adventure here.
Genting SkyWorlds Theme Park, Malaysia
One of the top attractions in Malaysia is Genting SkyWorld, an outdoor theme park built across 26 acres of land that features 26 rides and attractions. After multiple delays brought about by the pandemic, the theme park held its soft opening last Feb. 8.
Formerly known as the 20th Century Fox World, Genting SkyWorlds takes an adventure through nine adventure-filledworlds from films such as Rio, Epic, Robots, and Ice Age. It also includes attractions inspired by Planet of the Apes, Independence Day, and Night at the Museum.
Each world offers an immersive experience through its themed retail, dining, and entertainment amenities.
The park opens at 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with ticket prices starting at 151 MYR (P1,888). You can visit their website at Genting SkyWorlds.
Sesame Place San Diego, California
From being the former site of the Aquatica Water Park in San Diego, California, this newly built “dry” theme park is based on the award-winning show Sesame Street.
Sesame Place San Diego, which opened last March 2022, features Big Bird’s Beach, Oscar’s Rotten Rafts, Cookie-Monster tower, and an interactive Sesame Street Neighborhood, which is a replica of the one on the TV show.
The park also contains 18 Sesame Street-themed rides including Cookie Climb that leads to the top of Cookie Monster-themed towers; Elmo’s Rockin’ Rockets, which flies on an imaginary trip through outer space; Super Grover’s Box Car Derby, a kid-friendly roller coaster, and a 500,000-gallon wave pool.
Ticket prices start at $54.99 (P3,244). You can visit their website at Sesame Place San Diego.
Peppa Pig Theme Park, Florida, USA
If you’re looking for a theme park for your little ones, the newest area near Legoland in Florida, USA is best suited for families with little kids. Launched last February 2022, the Peppa Pig Theme Park was designed based on the famous British animated children’s series of the same name.
The park features six themed playscapes, a water play area, six rides including Peppa Pig's Balloon Ride and Daddy Pig's Roller Coaster, and other “oink-tastic” attractions to recreate the Peppa Pig fun world. It also has a Certified Autism Center designation and many of the attractions and play areas are wheelchair accessible.
Ticket prices for the park range from $34.99 (P2,063) to $163.74 (P9,655) and can be bought on their official website Peppa Pig Theme Park.
(With reports from Nikka Sabio)