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Top Ten Best Amusement Parks | Suntan Fun

It was a tough job but someone had to do it. After extensive research and some reliance on the experiences of others, this list is the result. Hope you can make the time to try out as many of these Fun, Fun, Fun places as possible! Make sure that when you and your family visits these parks to do it safely. Take sunblock, sunglasses, hats, uv protective clothing. It is wise to get maybe about 15-20 minutes of pure sunshine for your daily intake of vitamin d. Then put some sunscreen on, preferably organic, and have a great time. Don't forget to drink lots of water too, it will aid in keeping your body hydrated. Young and old people need more water and more vitamin d, so remember those important points too. Have fun!


1. Do you like roller coasters, carousels, games of skill and the beach? Santa Cruz, CA has it all in one place, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Fun and games and then down the steps to a big beautiful beach. To make it an even more memorable and unique experience; park your car at Roaring Camp Railroads and catch the 10:30AM Suntan Special. You are routed through Henry Cowell Redwoods Park where you will see redwoods that are 1400 to 1800 years old! The tallest is a whopping 283 feet tall and 16 feet wide! The route then crosses the San Lorenzo Gorge over a 1909 steel truss bridge and through an 1875 tunnel arriving 1 hour later at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. After a day of fun make the return trip on the Redwood Express at 4:30PM. What a fun packed day!


2. If you love water creatures then Sea World in Orlando, FL is the best place to go. In May they opened the most awesome new attraction, Manta! Not only is there a totally unique roller coaster but also an aquarium experience that will make you really feel you are underwater without getting wet. Fun rides and shows that give you a chance to interact with or watch dolphins, manatees, whales, penguins and so many others. Dine with sharks, dine with Shamu, attend a Polynesian luau, breakfast with Elmo and Friends or reserve an All You Can Eat Family Picnic. One of my favorite shows is Pets Ahoy, which showcases dogs, cats and other animals rescued from shelters. Check out special tours, interactive programs and adventure camp to really make your trip something to remember.


3. In Sandusky, OH, on a spit of land between Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay, sits Cedar Point. Now the fact that you can have a view of two large bodies of water from a roller coaster is pretty unique. What if you had a choice of 17 roller coasters! Count them 17! Wow! Does this make it the Roller Coaster Capital of the World? Heat getting to you? There are two ‘wet’ rides to choose from, Snake River Falls and Thunder Canyon but with Snake River Falls; you don’t even have to be ON the ride to get wet! It’s just a hop, skip and a jump to hotels, marinas and beaches to top it all off.


4. Universal Islands of Adventure in Orlando, FL has some great rides like the Amazing Adventures of Spiderman®. Three D glasses help make this an even more exciting adventure ride. Doctor Dooms Fearfall® will send your stomach in two different directions and it may never catch up. On a hot day the best ride is Dudley-Do-Rights-Ripsaw-Falls® with a drop from 75 feet up, you wind up below the water level, can you say wet? Night time is for Universal CityWalk® from Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.™ to Emeril’s®, there are plenty of places to eat drink and be merry.


5. Let’s check out a water park that has been rated the Best Waterpark for 11 years and the Most Beautiful for the last 2 years, Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort in New Braunfels, TX. This is home to Master Blaster® voted Best Water Ride for years and it’s not hard to figure out why. A thousand feet of ups and downs, figure 8’s, twisting like a pretzel, spiraling downwards, whew! If I counted right, there are over 40 activities from thrill rides to gentle wading pools for the little ones. Congo River Expedition Family Thrill Ride is the newest this park has to offer. Travel with your family down the Congo River and experience all the adventure an unchartered jungle has to offer. Yet another family owned park which feels free is good with offers like free parking, free lifejackets and free tubes. You may even bring in your own food but no glass containers or alcohol, please. Sounds like a good deal and the making of a fun day! Now why is it called a Waterpark Resort? Maybe because there are over 238 accommodations on or near the park and you can’t beat that for convenience. In June, The Travel Channel filmed Extreme Waterparks 2009 at this park.


6. Many outdoor water parks exist but did you know that many hotels and resorts have indoor water parks? The Great Wolf Lodge system has 11 resorts in the United States and 1 in Canada that capture the feel of the rustic Northwoods. This system is totally family oriented with a variety of suites which are made for fun with a capital F! The water park is divided into multiple areas which include a 6 story slide, wave pool, lazy river to tube in, water cannons, pool areas and tame areas for the toddlers. You can spend your whole vacation and literally never leave the hotel!


7. In Vallejo, CA on the north side of San Francisco Bay sits the 135 acre Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. This is the only combination aquarium, theme park and wildlife park in Northern California. You have rides like the Boomerang Coast to Coaster, a 935 foot long, 12 story high steel rollercoaster with two thrilling inversions! There are 5 different areas with 42 different rides offering something for everyone in the family. Animals are also a big part of the attraction of this park with 12 different shows that showcase both land and sea animals. But what is really the most unique and exciting draw to this park is Odin’s Temple of the Tiger, where Odin, a swimming white tiger resides. This is not swimming on top of the water, it is swimming underwater! Odin was not trained to do this it is something he likes to do. You’ve got to see this!


8. Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL is home to Jack Hanna, so you know there are animals here. View animals of Africa in their natural habitat three different ways, the Serengeti Express Railroad, the Skyway or a Safari truck. Want a different thrill? Check out the SheiKra, a roller coaster named for a sub Saharan bird of prey. It takes you up 200 feet, descends at a 90° angle just over the edge and stops for 4 seconds holding you suspended looking straight down at the ground. Then swoop you’re racing at 70 miles an hour, looping then diving into a dark tunnel…the rest you’ll have to experience for yourself.


9. Hong Kong is the site of the newest Disneyland. Opened in 2005, it is full of old favorites and some new! When you enter this Disneyland you will spot Sleeping Beauty’s Castle or you can visit Snow White’s Grotto. Sashay down Main Street for shops, learning experiences and street entertainers but watch out for Mickey’s Waterworks Parade! Pilot your own space ship in Tomorrowland and assist the robotic trash can in keeping the area clean. Wander into Adventureland to visit Tarzan’s Treehouse or marvel at the amazing costumes and fabulous music from ‘The Lion King’. Considered the smallest in the Disney stable, it will still provide a grand day of fantasy and fun!


10. The ultimate theme park experience is in Orlando, FL, the Walt Disney World complex. Sitting on over 24,000 acres it consists of Walt Disney World, Epcot, MGM Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon and Downtown Disney. Using transportation which consists of buses, the Monorail or the Ferry across the Seven Seas Lagoon, you can get just about anywhere in the complex. Don’t miss the nighttime fireworks show at Epcot, Illuminations: Reflections of the Earth. With accommodations in many themed hotels and the campgrounds at Fort Wilderness you should be able to find something to suit your needs. Shades of Green is a hotel specifically for military personnel and their families. There is so much to do you may have a hard time making up your mind!




Have a favorite story or park that you love to visit? Please email us your sun tanned emails to our Suntan Crew.


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