Summer vacation screams for amusement park thrills at any age. Amusement and theme parks have answered the call with many new rides and roller coaster in 2017. Whether you are visiting a local park or jetting off for a fun-filled getaway, check out these new rides available for toddlers, school kids and teens (and maybe a brave parent or two!).



Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, Va.
The roller coaster-filled Busch Gardens amusement park near Colonial Williamsburg went old school in 2017 with the addition of InvadR, the park's first-ever wooden coaster. Ride at speeds of up to 48 miles per hour along after falling from a 74-foot drop on 2,000 feet of rickety track. Best for: Teens

Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
One of the biggest amusement parks in the country has gotten bigger with the 2-acre expansion of its Soak City water park this summer. Found at Cedar Point Shores, little ones will love the water play area with 12 mini slides just for them, while bigger kids can enjoy Point Plummet's four drop slides and Starboard Surge and Portslide Plunge tube slides. Best for: Toddlers, School Kids, Teens



Disney's Animal Kingdom, Orlando
One of the most anticipated openings of the year is the new Pandora - The World of Avatar, at Disney's Animal Kingdom based on the James Cameron movie. To enjoy the thrills of flying through Pandora, Flight of Passage uses special technology, while Na'vi River Journey goes down the river with cool animatronics. Best for: School Kids, Teens

Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, Calif.
As the new Guardians of the Galaxy has everyone exclaiming, "I am Groot!", the new Mission: Breakout ride at Disney's California Adventure replaces the Twilight Zone ride with this Guardians-themed drop adventure. Best for: Teens



Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Drop Line will bring on the shrieks at Dollywood when a drop 230 feet above Timber Canyon at the Smoky Mountains theme park. Best for: Teens

Hersheypark, Hershey, Pa.
The candy-themed amusement park has a new Hershey Triple Tower, with three different drop heights ranging from 80 to 189 feet. The Hershey Tower, the tallest of the three at Hersheypark, bounces riders back up and drops them a second time! Best for: School Kids, Teens



Kings Island, Mason, Ohio
Another wooden coaster makes its debut this year with the 53-mile-an-hour Mystic Timbers car ride at Kings Island. The Soak City Waterpark also receives six new waterslides in a five-story tower. Best for: School Kids, Teens

Knott's Berry Farm, Anaheim, Calif.
For landlubbers, the pendulum-like Sol Spin makes its arrival this year at Knott's, while water babies will enjoy two new water slide towers and seven new water rides at the Soak City Waterpark. Best for: School Kids, Teens



LEGOLAND California, San Diego, Calif.
LEGOLAND California's water park opened Surfer's Bay with a new spray ground and competitive surf wave ride. Best for: Toddlers, School Kids

LEGOLAND Florida, Winter Haven, Fla.
LEGO Ninjago World offers a martial arts-themed area with a new interactive ride, outdoor climbing wall, and other games at the Florida LEGOLAND location. Best for: Toddlers, School Kids



SeaWorld Orlando
Virtual reality brings new life to SeaWorld Orlando's Kraken floorless coaster. Already causing screams with seven inversions and a 144-foot drop, virtual reality adds sights and sounds to enhance the experience. You can elect to try the new ride, or ride it the old-fashioned way. Best for: School Kids, Teens

SeaWorld San Antonio
Big kids can break waves - literally -- on a jet ski-like coaster ride that reaches speeds of 44 miles per hour. The new ride cost SeaWorld San Antonio $18 million! Best for: Teens



SeaWorld San Diego
The West Coast park has opened a whole new world this year at Ocean Explorer Deep Sea Discovery. With new aquariums and rides, all ages will find something to please at SeaWorld. Tots can crawl through pod-like aquariums and school kids can go on a Submarine Quest and big kids can break waves on a jet ski-like coaster ride that reaches speeds of 44 miles per hour. Best for: Toddlers, School Kids, Teens

Six Flags
The numerous amusement parks across the country always stay fresh with the introduction of new rides.

The Joker, the twisted roller coaster that spins riders in multiple directions across 90-degree drops is arriving at Six Flags Great America in Chicago, Six Flags New England in Springfield, Massachusetts, and Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington. Best for: Teens

Justice League Battle for Metropolis 4D is an immersive ride where kids battle alongside Superman, Wonder Woman and other Justice League heroes. The ride is at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, Six Flags Magic Mountain outside Los Angeles, and Six Flags Over Georgia in Atlanta. Best for: School Kids

Wonder Woman is the hottest character of the year and arrives new rides at the theme parks with her name. At Six Flags America in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, the 24-story-high Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth swing ride soars at 40 miles per hour. At Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Sacramento, it's a spinning pendulum reaching 70 miles per hour. Best for: School Kids, Teens

Spinsanity, a spinning disc that takes run riders in circles is open at Six Flags St. Louis. Best for: School Kids, Teens



Universal Orlando Resort
If you haven't already been bombarded by the commercials or your kids asking if you can go to the new water park, Universal Orlando just opened its third theme park: Volcano Bay. The 30-acre park features body slides, raft slides, a wave pool, a splash zone and more. Best for Toddlers, School Kids, Teens


More From Family Vacation Critic:
10 Electrifying Amusement Parks
Family Theme Park and Amusement Park Vacations
10 Best Amusement Parks With Hotels

Written by Lissa Poirot


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