Cruise and stay holidays are great fun for families, with all the excitement of a cruise and the great attractions on-board combined with a stay on land that you can tailor to make perfect for you. And I think it’s fair to say that most families love a day out at a theme park.
A while back I wrote one of my favourite blog posts, which was about the top roller coasters you can see while on a cruise. I’ve decided to take this one step further, so I present to you my list of the top 10 theme parks that make the ideal accompaniment when planning a cruise and stay holiday.
#1 Walt Disney World Resort – Florida
Before anyone starts weighing in, I know that this isn’t one theme park but a collection. But I’m counting it as one because otherwise one venue would dominate the list. Home to the Magical Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom parks, it’s surely one of the places in the entire world that pretty much every child wants to visit, and most adults too secretly.
#2 Walt Disney Resort – Tokyo
The Tokyo Disney Resort is actually situated in Urayasu, not far from the Japanese capital city. Again it has multiple theme parks with the choice of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, which has various “ports of call” including a Mediterranean-themed harbour.
#3 Universal Studios Japan – Osaka
Universal Studios theme parks are packed with great areas to explore, and the park in Osaka is no different. With various movie-themed zones and rides there’s so much to keep everyone of all ages entertained, including 4-D movie experiences.
#4 Universal Orlando Resort – Florida
There are actually four Universal Resorts around the world, and the more famous may be the Orlando Resort. It shares many of the same themes and zones in the Universal Studios park, as well as being home to the Islands of Adventure park too.
#5 Lotte World – Seoul
A major complex in South Korea, this includes the world’s largest indoor theme park, as well as an outdoor park and plenty of other attractions such as shopping malls, museums and cinemas.
#6 SeaWorld – San Diego
Once the home of the killer whale Shamu, this theme park has a whole ocean style with live animal shows including killer whale performances, as well as a number of exciting rides including roller coasters.
#7 Busch Gardens – Florida
The Busch Gardens parks are African-themed with a mix of safari attractions and more traditional thrill rides. The Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay is the ideal place to have fun either before or after a cruise from the port in the same city.
#8 Tivoli Gardens – Copenhagen
What makes Tivoli Gardens so interesting is that is is recognised as one of the oldest theme parks in the whole world. Ideal as a place where the whole family can find adventure, it’s a great location for packages that include Baltic cruises, or others focused around northern Europe.
#9 PortAventura – Salou
The largest theme park in Spain, PortAventura is in Salou on the Costa Dorada. If you’re booking a cruise out of Barcelona you’ll love a stay that includes visits to this park, with its themed Wild WEest, Polynesian, Chinese and Mexican areas.
#10 Six Flags – Mexico City
Of all the parks on this list, this is the only one that isn’t close to a cruise port, but it’s not too far to travel for a transfer, and it’s great if you want to enjoy a cruise in the Mexican Riviera. Six Flags parks have various themes and currently there’s a license with many DC characters, so you can enjoy Batman- and Superman-themed rides.
By Ian Lewis