We're not talking family theme parks where a giant mouse reigns supreme. We're talking about family theme parks with thrilling roller coasters that make us shriek, scream and sometimes even cry when we're done loop-de-looping and plummeting 100 stories at breakneck speeds. Got thrill-seeking kids? These amusement parks for families won't disappoint!

Written by Lissa Poirot

Coney Island - Brooklyn, N.Y.

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3341 Family Reviews
Just a train ride from New York City, Coney Island is one of the country's oldest amusement parks, and is as crucial as visiting Wrigley Field or the Empire State Building. Coney Island's famed coaster is the Cyclone, an old-fashioned wooden coaster that will take you for a spin, again and again and again. The Cyclone has been producing screams since 1927.

Recommended Hotel: New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge

Hersheypark - Hershey, Pa.

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927 Family Reviews
While Hershey is technically a theme park with attractions centered around chocolate and its candy factory tour, it's still unique enough to fall into our category of amusement parks, with 13 roller coasters. The Sooperdooperlooper holds the title as the first looping coaster on the East Coast, and the park is friendly to height-challenged youngsters who are tired of being turned away from rides. Laff Trakk is sure to get everyone in the family laughing as they spin through glow-in-the-dark sights and sounds of vibrant characters, whimsical mirrors and more. Water rides, family rides and kiddie rides make Hersheypark an exciting park for all ages.

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Recommended Hotel: Hotel Hershey

Universal's Islands of Adventure - Orlando

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
7984 Family Reviews
Even before Harry Potter and his Wizarding World descended upon Universal's Islands of Adventure, this park has been a hit with the 'tween and teen crowd too bored with the "kiddie" rides at the other Orlando theme parks (in their words, not ours!). Feel the Hulk's rage as you speed from 0 to 40 mph in two seconds on the Incredible Hulk Coaster. Dog another coaster as you wind around in the Dragon Challenge, or get over your fear of heights in Doctor Doom's Fearfall (well, maybe not). While the scream-inducing rides are here, so are the more family- and tot-friendly rides, so all ages can enjoy a day at the park.

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Recommended Hotel: Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Kings Island - Mason, Ohio

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
236 Family Reviews
Kings Island's famed "Beast," the world's longest wooden roller coaster, is 7,400 feet and spread across 35 wooded acres. Beast footprints lead the way to the coaster, and the rest is history. This park continues to intoxicate thrill seekers with inversions, suspensions, catapults, high speeds and dizzying heights, such as Xtreme Skyflyer, where you'll hang glide from 153 feet at 60 miles per hour.

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Recommended Hotel: La Quinta Inn & Suites Cincinnati Sharonville

Knott's Berry Farm - Buena Park, Calif.

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
850 Family Reviews
With Snoopy serving as the face of Knott's Berry Farm, you may be under the impression that this amusement park is for younger kids. Sure, the little ones are surrounded by a host of cartoon characters and rides specifically targeted toward them, but don't let it fool you: Thrills abound at America's first theme park. (The park opened just outside Los Angeles in 1920.) You'll flip your lid on Rip Tide, where at 59 feet into the air, you'll be turned head over heels. The Scream Swing brings kids to unfathomable heights in its enormous 70-foot swing, and Supreme Scream drops you 254 feet (while you're strapped in, of course)!

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Recommended Hotel: Knott's Berry Farm Resort Hotel

Six Flags - Nationwide

No matter where you live, a jaunt on the fear-inspiring roller coasters of a Six Flags park is easy to come by. California, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York or Texas -- pick your poison. Time and again, rankings of America's best roller coasters turn up results at the Six Flags Great Adventure (New Jersey), Six Flags Great America (Chicago) and Six Flags New England (Massachusetts), so if you can trek to one of these parks, you'll encounter some of the fastest and highest coaster rides.

Carowinds - Charlotte, N.C.

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
122 Family Reviews
Carowinds made a big splash in 2016, with a major water park expansion. Carolina Harbor Waterpark now features a six-story waterslide, two-acre family area, giant wave pool and more.

Carowinds, located in Charlotte, North Carolina, also features seven thrill rides and a wide array of rides for tiny tykes and the whole family.

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Recommended Hotel: Carowinds Great Wilderness Resort

Silver Dollar City - Branson, Mo.

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
119 Family Reviews
Silver Dollar City, located in Branson, Missouri, specializes in rides for families, especially those with young children. Kids will especially love Fireman's Landing, with pint-sized rides just for them!

Also fun for families are the park's annual events and festivals, which include Country Music Weekend and An Old Time Christmas.

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Recommended Hotel: Silver Dollar City's The Wilderness

Busch Gardens - Tampa Bay, Fla. & Williamsburg, Va.

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
254 Family Reviews
Whether you visit the Florida or Virginia locations, you won't be disappointed. In Tampa, six super fast, super high and super curvy coasters are available for the choosing, as well as a few junior coasters for budding thrill-seekers. Falcon's Fury is North America's tallest freestanding drop tower, reaching speeds up to 60 miles per hour, pivoting riders 90 degrees midair to a face-down dive position, and featuring more than 6,000 bolts. Riders must be between 54 and 77 inches tall to experience this wild ride.

Visitors also rave about the park's breathtaking water rides. In Williamsburg, five coasters will hurl you through the park, including the 205-foot diving Griffon.

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Recommended Hotels: InterContinental Hotel Tampa and Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg

Cedar Point - Sandusky, Ohio

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
670 Family Reviews
One of the largest amusement parks in the world based on its number of rides and roller coasters -- 75 rides and 17 coasters -- visitors will twist, turn, drop, plunge, loop, swing and race to their rushing hearts' content at the Roller Coaster Capital of the World. Try Maverick, with a 400-foot-long tunnel; the 40-story-high Top Thrill Dragster with a 420-foot-tall tower; or Valravn, the tallest, fastest, and longest dive coaster in the world.

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Recommended Hotel: Castaway Bay Resort

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