Parks to set pulses racing
Adrenaline-seekers can bungee jump and zipline to their heart's content but for everyday fearlessness, there's little to beat an adventure park. Designed for folks of all ages, head-spinning rollercoasters and heart-pumping rides have become exponentially more daring as each park tries to outdo the others in order to claim to be the biggest and best. Park design is a much more involved affair these days, as they all vie for visitor numbers and to make your trip as much of a 'whole-of-holiday' as possible.
The top parks continue to expand their sites and range of offerings, giving you so much more to explore. Thus they're ideal places to visit when you've got plenty of time to really experience all the thrills and spills of the adventure. But even just a day trip can give everyone a thoroughly enjoyable time.
The Flexicover team team has selected five of the world's most noted theme parks for you to visit and test whether your nerves really are made of steel!
Six Flags Great Adventures; New Jersey, USA
Based in the town of Jackson, just a short trip from New York City, this is the world's largest theme park with over 100 attractions and a 350 acre safari park to explore. Eleven themed areas house around 16 key thrill rides, including the mighty Bengal tiger-themed Kingda Ka. This is the tallest rollercoaster in the world, at a terrifying 139m, the second fastest and has the longest drop – a stomach-lurching 127m! For those with even more courage, try out the wooden frame El Toro with its 76-degree near-straight drop. And 2016 heralds new innovations with the opening of The Joker, featuring off-track 'wing cars' that swivel on magnets!
Europa-Park; Rust, Germany
After the behemoth that is Disneyland Paris, Europa-Park is Europe's next most popular theme park and it's easy to see why. Its 4.9 million annual visitors get to experience some of the most knee-trembling rides on the continent, like the Euro-Mir which sees thrill-seekers wind around giant glass towers at full force or the Silver Star which is one of the highest and fastest rides in Europe as its riders career over hills and helices. Meanwhile the Blue Fire megacoaster in its Iceland section launches vehicles from 0 to 100kph in 2.5 seconds in the dark before bursting into the open air sections with serious G-force loops and rolls!
Cedar Point; Ohio, USA
For many thrill-seekers, the Midwestern amusement park of Cedar Point on the Lake Erie peninsula is considered the 'rollercoaster capital of the world' and 72 rides go a long way to substantiating that. First opened in 1870, its adventurous complement includes 16 rollercoasters, the world's largest swinging ride, a drop tower ride, the floorless Rougarou coaster and a slingshot ride that launches the bold and brave up to 110m in the air. These dizzying heights continue to be reached on the Magnum XL-200, Millennium Force, Wicked Twister and Top Thrill Dragster - all which are more than 60m high and contribute to America's most visited seasonal park!
Nagashima Spa Land; Kuwana, Japan
Don't let the word 'spa' confuse you. While the resort does feature a relaxing hot spring complex (onsen) of indoor and outdoor naturally-heated pools, it's the theme park that attracted 5.63 million visitors in 2014. Here, dozens of rides suitable for all the family keep visitors entertained for days at a time. The flagship coaster is the Steel Dragon 2000, the world's longest at 2,479m in length and only fits in by spanning the entire park, meaning that wherever you are, you'll hear the screams of its riders as they zip by at 153kph! The park is also home to the longest wooden rollercoaster outside of the USA – White Cyclone, clocking in at a 'mere' 1,700m.
Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi, UAE
It won't come as a surprise to motor enthusiasts that slick brand Ferrari hosts the fastest rollercoaster in the world. Using a world-class hydraulic launch system, the Formula Rossa ride reaches a velocity of 240kph in five seconds, exerting 4.8Gs of face-distorting force – equivalent to the steam catapults on an aircraft carrier! The world's largest indoor theme park also houses the Fiorano GT challenge – a drag-race duelling rollercoaster where two sets of Ferrari F439 replicas battle it out to the finish line. And visitors can soon experience their latest attraction, Flying Aces, the world's steepest coaster with the world's tallest loop, at a soaring 52m.
So whether you're looking to include an adrenaline-pumping visit to one of these amazing parks in your next holiday itinerary or you're actually happy to just take it easy by the pool, remember that we at Flexicover are committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.