April 20, 2016
Because, well, Orlando isn’t the only place in the world that knows how to do theme parks.
Fuji-Q-Highland in Japan
Possibly the Six Flags of Japan, Fuji-Q-Highland features crazy and extreme rides, and is “the roller coaster expert”, boasting the world’s sharpest, longest, and highest roller coasters. But their star attraction is a haunted house – the Super Scary Labyrinth of Fear – that apparently no one can escape from.
“But you escaped.”
“I didn’t dare to go in.”
It’s even seen its fair share of TV fame – most popularly when K-pop group Big Bang visited and had their day filmed for a talk show. Bottom line: the adrenaline factor is “way up there”.
Favourite ride: The eejanaika. “Very fast, exciting, and the drop was so intense, like nothing I’ve ever felt before. I’m usually okay with roller coasters but I couldn’t even open my eyes on this one.” – Josiah
Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey
Of course, then, Six Flags would make it onto this list, but of the 18 parks across North America, the Great Adventure in New Jersey has to be our top pick.
“It’s like no-frills; you just go for the roller coasters, you’re not there to meet characters and the food isn’t ‘famous’. You’re just there for the thrill-seeking so you go straight to the queues.”
And there you have it – reason enough for any adrenaline junkie to skip Disneyland. Great Adventure is just a short bus ride away from New York City too, if you’re ever looking for a quick and satisfying daytrip to escape from the city.
Favourite ride: Kingda Ka – a vertical roller coaster that sort of slingshots you up and down, 90 degrees from the ground each time. “It shoots you all the way up then shoots you down, and you don’t really remember what happens for the rest of the ride.” – Joanne
Warner Bros. Movie World in Gold Coast, Australia
It’s not really extreme compared to other theme parks, but the park revolving around Warner Brothers’ movies is a classic must-go for its healthy mix of thrill rides, movie sets (ie. photo ops) and character mascots. Not to mention, it’s the closest you can get to a ton of accessible Hollywood movie-themed rides – without having to fly to the States or staying on Sentosa.
“Think USS but ten times better, plus more magic. And feels.”
Favourite ride: “A toss-up between Superman Escape and the Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster – the drop on Superman is sick but I love the backwards drop and indoor special effects on Scoobydoo.” – Amanda
And just for good measure, here are some lesser-known theme parks we’re dying to try.
Suoi Tien Amusement Park in Vietnam
Think Haw Par Villa water park. There are Buddha statues, carvings of gods from Vietnam’s history and legends, and most prominently, a gigantic waterfall with the face of an emperor sculpted into it. Hell yes! (Pun intended.)
Popeye Village in Malta
Previously the film set – constructed from scratch – for the 1980 film Popeye starring Robin Williams, this little seaside community perched on Anchor Bay in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea is now a theme park, putting to good use the cutesy houses you’d usually find Popeye and Olive Oyl frequenting.
Gilroy Gardens in California
It’s exactly what it looks like – a vegetable-themed amusement park. There are regular rides like carousels, roller coasters and raft rides, but obviously the ride we most want to try in this family theme park is the Garlic Twirl – garlic-themed tea cups that go round and round. Not sure how Alice would take to those.