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15 S


Family Holidays


wizardING Family fun


When it comes to family holidays the USA has something


for everyone: great beaches, spectacular


national parks and funfilled theme parks


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erhaps we should begin – as many families do – with those unique theme parks, which – to the great benefit of return visitors


– are constantly reinventing


themselves and adding exciting new attractions. Take the Universal Orlando Resort for example. This year it has added eight new venues to its Universal CityWalk, unveiled its newest and largest on-site hotel, and – most importantly – launched The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, complete with trips on the Hogwarts Express. Meanwhile, nearby Walt Disney World has expand-


ed its Fantasyland and added a new attraction: The Seven Dwarfs Mine Tour; Wet 'n Wild has introduced Aqua Drag Racer, which, it claims, is Florida's tallest and fastest water-based racing attraction; Aquatica water park has opened Ihu's Breakaway Falls, the only multi-drop tower slide of its kind in Orlando, and SeaWorld Orlando and its sister parks in San Antonio, Texas, and San Diego, California (the first back in 1964), are celebrating their 50th anniversary with a series of new experiences, shows and animal encounters.


On the other side of Florida, Busch Gardens


Tampa Bay beckons thrill seekers with its new Falcon's Fury featuring 60mph falcon-like plunges. And on the other side of the USA, Legoland California, north of San Diego, is now home to The Legends of China Water Park while Anaheim's Disneyland and Los Angeles' Universal CityWalk and the surrounding film studios are chock full of family attractions.


BEYOND FLORIDA AND CALIFORNIA These two popular states are not the only ones with theme parks. Louisville's totally revamped Kentucky Kingdom and Water Park is now open with more than 60 rides and water attractions, Six Flags New England in Agawa, Massachusetts is touting its new Skyscreamer as the world's tallest swing ride while Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio promises to terrify visitors with the Bahama Blaster featuring drops from a six-storey tower. Not to be outdone, Kansas City is bragging that Verruckt! (German for insane) in its Schlitterbahn water park is the world's largest, longest, steepest water slide. For younger children there are often gentler seaside


visitusa.org.uk


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