As summer comes to a close, families are seizing the opportunity to create lasting memories, and visiting theme parks is a family favorite. Some of the newest parks in the world have opened in the past two years, offering a range of experiences, from serene natural settings to heart-pounding thrill rides. Theme parks are sources of excitement and wonder, offering visitors the opportunity to escape reality and immerse themselves in a world of fantasy and adventure.
Here’s a glimpse at eight of the world’s most dramatic new theme parks:
1. Super Nintendo World, California, USA
Super Nintendo World is a theme park based on the popular “Mario” video game series, where scenes such as Princess Peach’s castle, Bowser’s Castle and Bean Pole Mountain come to life with a 16-bit graphics look and feel similar to a video game experience.
Following its debut in Japan in 2021, Super Nintendo World arrives at Universal Studios Hollywood in February 2023.
This immersive experience transports visitors to the Mushroom Kingdom via the iconic green tube. Inside, guests can meet beloved characters and dine on themed fare, like the “piranha plant” caprese or Toad Chef’s signature ribs.
The park features a variety of rides and attractions, including “Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge” and “Yoshi’s Adventure.” A cool addition to the experience is the option to purchase a “Power-Up Band,” a wristband that syncs with the park app, enhancing the experience by enabling mini-games and challenges throughout the park, such as tapping virtual blocks to Collect coins.
The highlight of the park is “Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge,” a ride that combines video game elements with a roller coaster experience. Augmented reality technology allows passengers to navigate the track and compete with the Bowser team.
Tickets start at 100 Euros.
2. Ghibli Park, Nagoya, Japan
Based on Hayao Miyazaki’s beloved Studio Ghibli animation film, Park Ghibli opens in November 2022 on the outskirts of Nagoya, Japan, within the Expo 2005 forest area. The park is divided into five themed areas, including “Dondoko Forest”, “Ghibli’s Giant Warehouse” and “Ghost Village”, several of which will open later this year.
Park brings famous scenes to life with a meticulous attention to detail that fits the studio’s stylish style very well. In “Dondoko Forest,” visitors can explore the forest featured in “My Neighbor Totoro” and ride “My Neighbor Totoro”-themed rides.
While Park Ghibli doesn’t offer extreme rides, it has fascinating interactive exhibits, including a recreation of the cat bus from Totoro and a “Laputa in the Sky” tower with views. “Giant Warehouse of Ghibli” showcases the making of a Studio Ghibli film, while “Village of Ghosts” is based on the film “Princess Mononoke.”
The park also has a movie theater showing short films, several cafes, and even a Totoro-themed playground.
Tickets start at €14 for adults and €7 for children.
3. Peppa Pig Theme Park, Florida, USA
The beloved British animated TV show Peppa Pig has its own theme park in Winter Haven, Florida. Opening in 2022, the 4.5-acre park will offer sensory activities through six playscapes, with a new venue scheduled to open next year in Dallas, Texas.
The park features several rides and attractions, including Peppa Pig’s Balloon Ride, Grandpa Pig’s Train Ride, and the Mud Pit Pond. Kids can enjoy “Peppa’s Pedal Bike Tour,” the “Mud Pit Pool,” and interactive shows. There are also family-friendly rides like the Papa Pig Roller Coaster and the Grandpa Dog’s Pirate Ship dinosaur ride.
Adjacent to LEGOLAND Florida theme park and LEGOLAND Water Park, visitors can easily combine trips for a big family vacation experience.
Tickets start at €31.
4. Legoland Korea Resort, Chuncheon, South Korea
Following the opening of Legoland Resort New York in 2021, Legoland South Korea will also open in May 2022. Located in Chuncheon, just 1.5 hours east of Seoul. This fun-filled wonderland features seven themed areas, including LEGO City, LEGO Kingdom and LEGO Friends, with more than 40 rides and attractions.
In “LEGO City,” visitors can ride a “Driving School” attraction and learn how to drive a LEGO car. “LEGO Kingdoms” features a medieval castle and a dragon roller coaster, while “LEGO Friends” is based on the LEGO Friends toy line.
While the park is primarily designed for kids ages 2 to 12, it offers a range of experiences, from the family-friendly “Bricktopia” ride to the high-intensity thrills of the “Dragon Coaster” in the “LEGO Castle” section. Younger children can enjoy wave racing, Lego planes, spinners, rock climbing and pirate adventures.
You can choose to spend the night in a Lego-themed hotel room decorated with castles, pirates or ninjas. There, in addition to express access to the park, guests will also have access to an exclusive play area.
Tickets start at €35 for adults and €28 for children.
5. Kathmandu Park, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Kathmandu Park is a world-class theme park that brings to life the story of the hidden kingdom of the Himalayas through family-friendly attractions in the exotic setting of the Caribbean, on the east coast of the Dominican Republic.
Opening in March 2023, the recently opened park combines mystery and legend while offering immersive entertainment and one-of-a-kind attractions that transport visitors into a world of mystery. Instead of traditional roller coasters, Kathmandu Park focuses on cutting-edge interactive indoor rides.
The backstory of the theme park is the legend of explorer Kilgore Goode, who discovered the “Desirata” gemstone during his expedition in Nepal, but according to the story, it was protected by a Yeti.
The park is divided into several themed areas, including “Kathmandu,” “Magic House,” and “Zombie Apocalypse.” In the “Kathmandu” region, visitors can explore Himalayan villages and ride the “Yeti” roller coaster.
Notable attractions include the 4D dark ride “The Legend of Desirata,” which tells the brand’s origin story through sensory effects. Guests can also take part in EtherQuest, an interactive adventure against an evil mage, and the Mad Mage’s Challenge, where they engage in explosive duels in a surreal chess match. For those looking for quiet recreation, the park features a Himalayan-inspired miniature golf course, a ropes course, a climbing wall and a quirky carousel.
The park also offers a variety of dining options, including Hidden Kingdom creative cuisine and favorite flavors of passing explorers.
Tickets are 110 euros for adults and 78 euros for children.
6. Columbia Pictures Aquaverse, Pattaya, Thailand
Opening in 2022, Columbia Pictures Aquaverse Thailand is a water park based on the Columbia Pictures films Jumanji, Ghostbusters and Zombieland, located near Pattaya, about Two hours drive. The park features several water slides and attractions, including “Venom Escape,” “Ghostbusters: Live Adventure,” and “Bad Boys Backdrop.”
“Venomous Escape” is a water coaster that takes riders through a series of drops and turns, while “Ghostbusters: The Adventure Live” is a family raft ride that takes riders through a haunted mansion.
Aquaverse focuses on aquatic fun, from rainbow-colored slides to water dome rides and surf machines. For those who don’t want to get wet, there’s go-karts, miniature golf inspired by the “Emoji Movie” and themed cafes.
The “Big Wave Pool” hosts a variety of shows including film screenings, DJ performances and concerts to keep guests entertained while relaxing in the pool.
Tickets start at $38.
7. Genting Skyworld Theme Park, PahangMalaysia
Genting Skyworld Theme Park is located in Resorts World Genting, only an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and will open in February 2022. After 10 years of construction and an investment of $800 million, the park covers 26 acres and offers 26 attractions.
Through the park’s nine zones, people can travel to epic locations around the globe, such as Central Park and Rio de Janeiro on the space-themed “Independence Day: Defiance” ride; but also find themselves in film-inspired areas such as ” Andromia Base” and “Robot Rivet Town”.
Resorts World Genting Theme Park features multiple themed areas, including 3D Adventure, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, “Freedom Lane Zone”, Roller Coaster Bike Tour, “Eagle Mountain” and a robot-themed roller coaster, “Robot Paradise”. Attractions such as “Ice Age: Thin Ice Adventure,” a simulated journey through a frozen cave, and “Bigweld’s Zeppelin,” are guaranteed to keep the kids entertained.
Visitors can also enjoy movie theater tours, bowling games, virtual reality experiences and arcade fun at the park’s indoor area, Skytropolis. Choose from seven hotels within the Skyworld complex for overnight stays.
Tickets start at €31 for adults and €26 for children.
8. Lotte World Adventure Busan, Busan, South Korea
Lotte World Adventure Busan opens in Busan, South Korea in March 2022, about three decades after the opening of the flagship park in Seoul.This is a The “Fairy Tale Kingdom” theme park has six major theme areas including “Magic Island”, “Adventure Village” and “Lotty’s Toy Paradise”, with European-style gardens, squares, fountains and various thrilling rides and games, including A roller coaster restaurant called “Food Drop” to be precise.
In “Magic Island”, visitors can ride attractions such as “Spinning Top Fall” and “Atlantis Adventure”. “Adventure Village” features a pirate ship and a jungle-themed roller coaster, while “Lottie’s Toyland” is based on the Lotte-branded toy line. One of the main attractions is the “Giant Excavator”, a roller coaster that travels at a speed of 100 km/h on a track over 1000 meters long, with multiple 360-degree rotations.
At night, the park is filled with light shows, music and dance performances.
Tickets start at €32 for adults and €23 for children.