10 Must-Ride Theme-Park Attractions
From zip-lining over an alligator habitat to plummeting down a five-story super soaker, nothing beats the heat like a little breeze and a dip at a theme park. Here are 10 new ways to get your thrills this summer—just hold on to your lunch.
1. BUZZSAW FALLS
Alabama Adventure, Bessemer, Ala.
Considering that Bessemer averages 91-degree highs in June, a five-story supersoaker waterslide is likely to hit big. alabamaadventure.com, adults $36, children $26.
2. DARE DEVIL DIVE
Six Flags Over Georgia, Atlanta
The coaster cranks you nearly 100 feet into the air and pauses before hurling you straight down—and then some. Just as you're recovering from the 95-degree swan dive, you'll hit the zero-gravity hill. sixflags.com/overgeorgia, adults $50, children $35.
3. GREEN LANTERN—FIRST FLIGHT
Six Flags Magic Mountain, Los Angeles
This crazy concoction of stacked, 360-degree loops almost looks like it's made out of ribbon candy. When the cars start swinging back and forth and upside down, you'll be glad it isn't. sixflags.com/magicmountain, adults $60, children $35.
4. FLIGHT OF THE HIPPOGRIFF
Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando
In Harry's World, the Flight of the Hippogriff is the butterbeer of rides—a sweet and light roller coaster that's fun for the whole family. universalorlando.com/harrypotter, adults $82, children 3-9 $74.
5. STAR TOURS—THE ADVENTURES CONTINUE
Disney's Hollywood Studios, Orlando
The redesigned 3-D flight simulator offers a different intergalactic story line every time. You might pod-race on Tatooine, flee from Boba Fett, or skim across the surface of the planet Coruscant. May the g-force be with you. disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/hollywood-studios, adults $82, children 3-9 $74.
6. CHEETAH HUNT
Busch Gardens, Tampa
Much like its namesake, this cat purrs along slowly, then springs to life, pouncing from zero to 60 in seconds. Then it leaps 130 feet down into an underground trench, twisting all the way. buschgardens.com/bgt, adults $78, children 3-9 $70.
Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park, Calif.
Like a playground swing for folks with a death wish: First your seat gets hoisted 300 feet up, then it spins so quickly you feel like you aren't sitting at all. knotts.com, adults $57, children 3-11 $25.
8. SOARIN' EAGLE
Scream Zone, Brooklyn
Legendary Coney Island is getting back in the coaster game with two major new rides: the 65-foot Steeplechase and the 66-foot Soarin' Eagle. lunaparknyc.com/screamzone, admission free, individual rides from $3.
9. THE LITTLE MERMAID: ARIEL'S UNDERSEA ADVENTURE
Disney California Adventure Park, Anaheim, Calif.
Pink clamshell buggies and a dose of Disney magic will have you feeling like you really are under the sea. Too "princess" for your crew? Wait until Ursula's evil eels emerge. disneyland.disney.go.com/disneys-california-adventure, adults $76, children 3-9 $68.
10. SCREAMIN' GATOR ZIP LINE
The world's first zip line built over a natural alligator habitat. You'll sail 65 feet above those snapping jaws, but trust us: They'll feel closer. gatorland.com, $70 including water-park admission.
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