11 new theme parks and rides your kids will love 

December 21, 2017
  • Tokyo Disneysea
    1 / 11 Tokyo Disneysea

    Located just outside Tokyo at the Tokyo Disney Resort, this park has a nautical exploration theme to it, with several areas or “ports”, such as Lost River Delta, Mysterious Island, Arabian Coast, which has an Aladdin theme, and Mermaid Lagoon, home to Ariel and other characters from The Little Mermaid.

    Nemo & Friends SeaRider, at Port Discovery, opened in May this year. The attraction requires visitors to board a submersible called a Searider, which “shrinks” to the size of a fish and takes its passengers on an underwater journey.

    Check out the marine life from the point of view of Disney characters Nemo and Dory, and meet other characters from Finding Dory, including Destiny, the whale shark, and Hank, the octopus.

    The Nemo & Friends Searider journey runs for five minutes. Guests must be at least 90cm tall and be able to maintain a stable sitting position.

    How much: One-day passport: From 4,800 yen (S$58) per child aged four to 11 years, 6,400 yen per child aged 12 to 17, and 7,400 yen for adults aged 18 and over.

    Find out more: www.tokyodisneyresort.jp

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  • Epcot Theme Park
    2 / 11 Epcot Theme Park

    This theme park in Bay Lake, Florida, is home to Frozen Ever After, an attraction inspired by the 2013 Disney animated hit Frozen.

    Located in the Norway Pavilion, the boat ride takes guests through the kingdom of Arendelle, past a frozen willow forest, Troll Valley and Queen Elsa’s enchanting ice palace, where you’ll spot characters from the movie, like Olaf and Kristoff.

    The ride ends with a glide back down into the Bay of Arendelle, where you’ll be treated to some of the most popular Frozen tunes. It’s suitable for all ages.

    How much: One-day tickets start at US$99 (S$135) for ages 10 years and up.

    Find out more: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com

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  • Legoland Japan
    3 / 11 Legoland Japan

    Opened in April this year, this theme park in Nagoya, Japan, boasts over 40 indoor and outdoor rides, shows and attractions, 17 million Lego bricks, and 10,000 Lego models.

    There are also seven uniquely designed areas, each with a different theme. At the Knight’s Kingdom, your little ones can ride the Dragon, a rollercoaster that travels through the King’s castle and past animated Lego models, or sit on a fast-spinning carousel called Merlin’s Challenge.

    At Pirate Shores, they can put their sea legs to the test on a rocky pirate ship ride called Anchor’s Away.

    For a more interactive experience, head to Lego City, where your kids can learn how to drive an electric car, fly a plane or steer a boat.

    Over at MiniLand Japan, they can visit a number of Japanese attractions and “cities”, made from nearly 10.5 million Lego bricks. Guests have to meet height requirements for some rides.

    How much: A single-day pass starts from 4,700 yen for kids aged three to 12 years, and 6,200 yen for those aged 13 years and up. A family day pass for four starts from 18,300 yen.

    Find out more: www.legoland.jp

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  • Ferrari Land
    4 / 11 Ferrari Land

    This new 753,474 sq ft theme park is located about an hour away from Barcelona, Spain.

    Inspired by the legendary Italian brand and its creator, Enzo Ferrari, it was designed to let visitors feel like Formula One drivers.

    For the younger ones aged three and up, there’s the Junior Championship ride, which has a race circuit full of twists and turns, and the Kids’ Podium, made up of intertwined slides.

    Older children will enjoy the more moderate rides, such as the Maranello Grand Race, which lets guests race one another on a 570m-long race track; Flying Dreams, which lets them experience what it would be like inside a Ferrari GT; and Red Force, a spectacular ride that accelerates to 180kmh in just five seconds and reaches a maximum height of 112m, mimicking the thrill of a real F1 race.

    At Thrill Towers’ Bounce-Back Tower, you will feel the movement of genuine Ferrari engine pistons as they are launched first upwards towards the sky before descending towards the ground again.

    There are height and/or age requirements for all rides.

    How much: One-day pass: 16 euros (S$25.90) for kids aged four to 10 years, and 20 euros for those aged 11 and up.

    Find out more: www.portaventuraworld.com

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  • Chessington World of Adventures
    5 / 11 Chessington World of Adventures

    This theme park near central London is 30 years old. In March this year, it launched a new attraction: The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure.

    Based on one of the UK’s best-loved children’s characters, the ride takes visitors on a riverboat journey through the deep dark woods.

    As the boat floats down the river, the world of The Gruffalo begins to unfold, with exciting twists and turns along the way.

    In addition to this fun ride, the resort also features several other Gruffalo offerings.

    At The Gruffalo Arena, for example, kids can meet and take photos with their favourite characters from The Gruffalo, and even watch the movie. Don’t forget to visit its gift shop, which stocks various Gruffalo goodies, exclusive to Chessington.

    The park also has many other rides and attractions, like the bumper car feature Tuk Tuk Turmoil; Hocus Pocus Hall, which is housed in Chessington’s Haunted Mansion; and family-friendly rollercoaster rides like Vampire and the Scorpion Express.

    The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure is suitable for visitors of all ages, but you must meet height requirements for most other rides.

    How much: From £28 (S$51) for ages three and up.

    Find out more: www.chessington.com

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  • Sea World San Diego
    6 / 11 Sea World San Diego

    Ocean Explorer is the latest attraction at this popular theme park, located a couple of hours’ drive south of Los Angeles.

    This realm is designed to bring young visitors face-to-face with various marine creatures and inspire them to protect the wonders of the oceans.

    The three-minute-long Submarine Quest, for example, uses “smart play” technology, allowing guests to actively explore their surroundings while moving through digital and sculptural representations of an undersea world; while at the aquarium section, guests can get close to real giant

    Pacific octopuses, Japanese spider crabs and California moray eels.

    Here, interactive surprises like pop-up bubbles and kids’ crawl tunnels allow younger guests to come face-to-face with these incredible animals.

    The Ocean Explorer rides are just as fun and adventurous.

    Tentacle Twirl, an exhilarating wave swinger ride, lets guests fly in chairs suspended from the tentacles of a giant jellyfish.

    Other rides include Aqua Scout, a jump-around ride; OctaRock, a happy swing ride; and Sea Dragon Drop, a family free-fall tower. There are height requirements for some rides.

    How much: From US$59.99 per person for a single-day ticket.

    Find out more www.seaworld.com/san-diego

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  • Walt Disney World Orlando
    7 / 11 Walt Disney World Orlando

    Pandora – The World of Avatar is based on Oscar-winning filmmaker James Cameron’s 2009 box-office hit, Avatar.

    Billed as a land that “celebrates the magic of nature”, this new attraction features two spectacular “expeditions” that make guests feel like characters in the movie.

    Avatar Flight of Passage launches each guest on an exhilarating, wind-in your face experience on a winged mountain banshee over the awe-inspiring world of Pandora.

    You will feel the large, bird-like predators breathe beneath you as you soar through the forest and past floating mountains.

    What was a rite of passage for Na’vi in Cameron’s film becomes a multisensory experience for guests seeking the ultimate adventure – an encounter with the most feared predator of Pandora, the Great Leonopteryx.

    For an experience that’s a little closer to the ground, check out the Na’vi River Journey.

    After settling into your reed boat, you’ll coast downstream, through a series of caves and past exotic glowing plants and amazing rainforest creatures.

    At the end of the ride, come face-to-face with the Na’vi Shaman of Songs, who sends positive energy into the forest through her music.

    Pandora – The World of Avatar is located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park in Orlando, Florida.

    Guests must be 112cm or taller for the Avatar Flight of Passage. The Na’vi River Journey ride is suitable for all ages.

    How much: One-day tickets start at US$99 for ages 10 years and up.

    Find out more: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com

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  • Atlantis Sanya
    8 / 11 Atlantis Sanya

    Built around the myth of The Lost City of Atlantis and overlooking the South China Sea, Atlantis Sanya in Hainan, China, celebrates the majesty and mystery of the ocean, with unparalleled excitement and larger-than-life experiences.

    The resort is set to open in early 2018.

    Highlights include The Lost Chambers Aquarium, which offers unique diving interactions with 86,000 marine animals, including sharks and rays; the Ambassador Lagoon, which boasts a single 16.5m-long viewing panel that looks right into the heart of Atlantis, a marine habitat filled with over

    13.5 million litres of water; and the 10.85ha Aquaventure Waterpark, where guests can relax on the golden sands of Aquaventure’s private beach or experience adrenaline pumping waterslides that catapult riders through shark-filled lagoons.

    For younger kids, there’s Splashers, an extensive water playground featuring elaborate water games, slides and structures. There are height requirements for some attractions.

    How much: Complimentary access for in-house guests; adult ticket prices start from 368 yuan (S$75.20).

    Find out more: www.atlantissanya.com

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  • Shanghai Disneyland
    9 / 11 Shanghai Disneyland

    This year-old theme park in Shanghai features several different zones, each with its own attractions and rides.

    At Fantasyland, your kids will get to meet and interact with Disney princesses like Snow White, ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, learn to fly with Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, and make their way through the Alice in Wonderland Maze.

    Adventure Isle has a number of thrilling rides, like Roaring Rapids, a rafting expedition that sees riders plunge through darkness, outrace a ferocious beast and churn through raging, roiling currents; and Soaring Over The Horizon, where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the planet’s natural and man-made wonders from your flying craft.

    Over at Tomorrowland, kids can join Buzz Lightyear on an interactive galactic adventure to terminate Emperor Zung’s bot army, and go on a futuristic solo flight with a little help from jet-pack technology.

    Young guests will also get the chance to meet a host of Disney characters at Shanghai Disneyland, including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Captain Jack Sparrow, and characters from The Lion King and The Jungle Book.

    Most of the rides and attractions are suitable for all ages.

    How much: Ticket prices vary according to the date you want to visit the park.

    Find out more: www.shanghaidisneyresort.com

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  • Knott's Soak City
    10 / 11 Knott's Soak City

    The largest park in Orange County, near Los Angeles, Knott’s Soak City recently launched two new water-slide towers: Shore Break and The Wedge.

    Shore Break towers over seven storeys high and offers six thrilling water-slide experiences.

    Four of the slides have you climbing into an exhilarating Aqua Launch chamber, which then sends you on a vertical free-fall through a series of loops and curves.

    The newest family raft ride, The Wedge, takes up to six riders on a thrilling trip navigating twists and turns, and a few surprise drops down the slide tower.

    In addition to these, you can enjoy an array of other slides, like the Banzai Falls and Old Man Falls.

    For the littlest thrill-seekers, there’s Gremmie Lagoon, a pintsized playground of interactive octopus, submarines and other oversized landmarks that squirt, sprinkle, soak and splash everyone around.

    The height requirement is 122cm when barefoot for Shore Break, and 107cm when barefoot for The Wedge.

    How much: From US$40 for a regular ticket, and US$37 for a children’s ticket.

    Find out more: www.knotts.com

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  • Universal Orlando Resort
    11 / 11 Universal Orlando Resort

    This May, Universal Orlando Resort in Florida opened Universal’s Volcano Bay, a water theme park with something for everyone.

    The South Pacific-inspired park is made up of four immersive areas, with 18 attractions and water rides.

    The Krakatau Aqua Coaster, for example, sees four-person canoes slide upward through the mists and into the dark twists and turns within the volcano, before emerging with a plunge through a shimmering waterfall.

    For something more relaxing, check out the Kopiko Wai Winding River attraction, which takes you through the tropical landscape of Universal’s Volcano Bay – sprays of water will surprise you along the way, and beneath the lava rocks, the Stargazer’s Cavern will reveal the magical night sky above.

    At Tot Tiki Reef, your little ones can play among splashy slides, spraying fountains and a tot-sized water volcano.

    The park’s other fun highlights include a multidirectional wave pool with sandy beaches, and speeding body slides that drop from the top of the volcano into the waters below. There are height requirements for some attractions.

    How much: Ticket prices vary according to the date you want to visit the park.

    Find out more: www.universalorlando.com

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