You’ve promised the kids a theme park holiday, but want your travel experience to be a little more offbeat than Disneyland.
Here's a selection of some of the world’s best alternative and charming theme parks to add a unique twist to your trip.
1. Sanrio Puroland, Tokyo, Japan
Arriving at Sanrio Puroland, you’ll be greeted by the famous Hello Kitty character. The small park has only one boat ride, but visitors flocks here for the parades, shows and the life-size Hello Kitty house.
2. Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark
Denmarks’ Tivoli Gardens has a charming old fashioned feel that will transport you back to days gone by. The amusement park was first built in 1843, and has a wooden roller coaster, an 80m-tall carousel, bumper cars, a Ferris wheel and other traditional rides. It also has a modern twist with the Demon roller coaster which features three inversions and the Vertigo, a self-piloted ride that hits speeds of up to 100km/h. The 21-acre park is also home to a classical concert hall and a pantomime theatre.
3. Cedar Point, Ohio, USA
With a whopping 16 of every imaginable shape and size, this theme park has the second most roller coasters in the world after Six Flags Magic Mountain in California. The park’s location in Ohio means it sees fewer visitors than other more famous parks, which is great if you’re not a fan of queuing!
4. Angry Birds Land in Sarkanniemi Amusement Park, Tampere, Finland
Downloads of the Angry Bird game recently topped one billion, so it’s no surprise that it now has it’s very own theme park. If you and your brood are fans of the game, this theme park will be a total thrill with lots of photo opportunities for the family album.

5. Legoland, Billund, Denmark
The Legoland in Billund is located in the very same town where the company was started, which makes it all the more special if your little one is a Lego fan. A wonderful highlight of this theme park is Miniland - in which 20 million Lego bricks are used to create mini versions of famous buildings and scenes around the world. There’s even a Star Wars Miniland section. Lego hosts an annual Inside Tour of their factory in Billund. This all-inclusive three-day tour costs US$2,350 and is capped at 25 visitors. Needless to say, booking well in advance is always a good idea.

6. Window of the World, Shenzhen, China
Taking a walk around this theme park, means getting to visit the most famous – albeit scaled down - sights in the world. There’s the 108m tall Eiffel Tower, the incredible Pyramids of Giza, Angkor Wat, and even Niagara Falls. Thematic events such as the Japanese Cherry Festival and indoor water and ski parks are highlights of the experience.
7. Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Located on Yas Island, 30 minutes from the airport, Ferrari World has over 20 Ferrari-themed rides and attractions. Be bowled over by a showroom of Ferrari cars dating back to 1947, hop into a racing simulator or strap yourself into the Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster, which hits speeds of up to 240km/h in just 4.9 seconds.
8. Universal Studios, Singapore
This slightly scaled down version of Universal Studios in Florida, gives you a full theme park experience, but without the lengthy walks in-between rides. The Battlestar Galactica features two side-by-side roller coasters running simultaneously, but the pick of the park is the immersive Transformers ride. Visitors board a car and are taken on a thrilling 3D battle with some very real effects. It’s a perfect blend of good old-fashioned thrills packaged in modern technology.
Image via Pinterest.