As summer winds down and families are seizing the opportunity to create lasting memories, visiting theme parks is a big family favorite. Some of the world’s newest parks, which have opened their doors over the past two years, offer a range of experiences, from serene natural settings to heart-pounding thrill rides. Theme parks are a source of excitement and wonder, offering visitors a chance to escape reality and immerse themselves in a world of fantasy and adventure.
Here’s a glimpse of eight of the world’s most remarkable new theme parks:
1. Super Nintendo World, California, USA
Super Nintendo World is a theme park based on the popular “Mario” video game franchise, where scenarios such as Princess Peach’s Castle, Bowser’s Castle and Mount Beanpole come to life, resembling the video-game experience with a 16-bit graphics appearance.
Following its debut in Japan in 2021, Super Nintendo World arrived at Universal Studios Hollywood in February 2023.
This immersive experience transports visitors to the Mushroom Kingdom via the iconic green pipes. Inside, guests can meet beloved characters and dine on themed delicacies, like the “Piranha Plant” caprese or Chef Toad’s short rib special.
The park features several rides and attractions, including “Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge” and “Yoshi’s Adventure”. One cool addition to the experience is the option to purchase a “Power-Up Band”, a wrist band which syncs with the park’s app, enhancing the experience by enabling mini-games and challenges throughout the park, such as hitting virtual blocks to collect coins.
The highlight of the park is “Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge”, a ride that combines video game elements with a roller coaster experience. Augmented reality technology allows passengers to navigate race courses and compete against Team Bowser.
Tickets start at €100.
2. Ghibli Park, Nagoya, Japan
Based on the beloved animated films of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli, Ghibli Park opened its doors in November 2022, in the outskirts of Nagoya, in Japan, located within forested ground of the Expo 2005. The park is divided into five thematic zones, including “Dondoko Forest”, “Ghibli’s Giant Warehouse”, and “Mononoke Village”, with a couple of them set to open later this year.
The park brings famous scenes to life with meticulous attention to detail, very in the fashion of the Studio’s style. In the “Dondoko Forest”, visitors can explore a recreation of the forest from “My Neighbor Totoro” and ride on the “Totoro” themed attraction.
While Ghibli Park doesn’t offer extreme rides, it boasts charming interactive exhibitions, including a recreation of the Catbus from “Totoro” and the “Castle in the Sky” tower for scenic views. “Ghibli’s Giant Warehouse” features exhibits on the making of Studio Ghibli’s films, while “Mononoke Village” is based on the film “Princess Mononoke”.
The park also features a cinema screening short films, several cafes and even a Totoro-themed playground.
Tickets start at €14 for adults and €7 for children.
3. Peppa Pig Theme Park, Florida, USA
The beloved British animated TV show, Peppa Pig, has earned his own themed park, located in Winter Haven, Florida. Opened in 2022, the park offers sensory activities through six playscapes, across 4.5 acres, with a new location already set to open next year in Dallas, Texas.
The park features several rides and attractions, including “Peppa Pig’s Balloon Ride”, “Grandpa Pig’s Train Ride”, and “Muddy Puddles Splash Pad”. Kids can enjoy “Peppa’s Pedal Bike Tour”, “Muddy Puddles Splash Pad”, and interactive shows. There are also family-friendly rides like the “Daddy Pig roller coaster” and “Grandad Dog’s pirate boat”, a dinosaur ride.
Adjacent to LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park and LEGOLAND Water Park, visitors can conveniently combine trips for an extended family getaway.
Tickets are available from €31.
4. Legoland Korea Resort, Chuncheon, South Korea
After the opening theLegoland New York Resort in 2021, the Legoland Korea Resort has opened its doors in May 2022. Located in Chuncheon, just 1.5 hours east of Seoul. This playful wonderland features seven themed areas, including “Lego City”, “Lego Kingdom”, and “Lego Friends”, with over 40 rides and attractions.
In “Lego City,” visitors can ride on the “Driving School” attraction and learn how to drive a Lego car. “Lego Kingdom” features a medieval castle and a dragon roller coaster, while “Lego Friends” is based on the Lego Friends toy line.
While designed primarily for 2- to 12-year-olds, the park offers a range of experiences, from family-friendly rides in “Bricktopia” to high-octane thrills on the “Dragon coaster” in the “LEGO Castle” zone. Younger children can enjoy wave racers, LEGO planes, spinners, rock climbing, and pirate adventures.
There is the option for overnight stays, in LEGO-themed hotel rooms with castle, pirate, or ninja decor. There, besides fast-track park access, guests can take advantage of exclusive play areas.
Tickets start at €35 for adults and €28 for children.
5. Katmandu Park, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Katmandu Park is a world-class theme park that brings the story of the Hidden Realms of the Himalayas to life, in the exotic setting of the Caribbean, on the east coast of the Dominican Republic, through family-friendly attractions.
The recently opened park, inaugurated in March 2023, offers a unique blend of mystery and legend, while featuring immersive entertainment and one-of-a-kind attractions that transport visitors to a mystical world. Instead of traditional roller coasters, Katmandu Park focuses on cutting-edge, interactive indoor rides.
The theme parks’s background story is the legend of explorer Kilgore Goode, who found the “Desirata” jewel while on an adventure in Nepal, but, according to the tale, it was protected by a yeti.
The park is divided into several themed areas, including “Katmandu”, “The House of Magic”, and “Zombie Apocalypse”. In the “Katmandu” area, visitors can explore a Himalayan village and ride on the “Yeti” roller coaster.
Notable attractions include the 4D dark ride, “Legend of the Desirata”, which narrates the brand’s origin story through sensory effects. Guests can also engage in EtherQuest, an interactive adventure against evil mages, and the “Challenge of the Mad Mage”, where blaster duels unfold during a surreal chess match. For those seeking calmer entertainment, the park features a Himalaya-inspired mini-golf course, ropes courses, climbing walls, and a whimsical carousel.
The park also offers dining options that feature creative cuisines of the Hidden Realms and flavors favored by passing explorers.
Tickets are €110 for adults and €78 for children.
6. Columbia Pictures Aquaverse, Pattaya, Thailand
Thailand’s Columbia Pictures Aquaverse, opened in 2022, is a water park based on the films of Columbia Pictures, such “Jumanji”, “Ghostbusters”, and “Zombieland”, located near Pattaya, about two hours south of Bangkok. The park features several water slides and attractions, including “Venomous Escape”, “Ghostbusters: The Adventure Live”, and “Bad Boys Backdrop”.
“Venomous Escape” is a water coaster that takes riders through a series of drops and turns, while “Ghostbusters: The Adventure Live” is a family raft ride that takes visitors through a haunted mansion.
Aquaverse focuses on water-based fun from rainbow-hued slides to a water dome ride and surfing machines. For those not wishing to get wet, there’s also go-karting, mini golf inspired by “The Emoji Movie” and themed cafes.
The “Mega Wave Pool” hosts performances, including movie screenings, DJ sets and concerts, allowing guests to relax in the pool while being entertained.
Tickets start at $38.
7. Genting SkyWorlds Theme Park, Pahang, Malaysia
Just an hour from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, situated within Resorts World Genting, Genting SkyWorlds Theme Park opened in February 2022. After 10 years in the making and a $800 million investment, the park covers 26 acres and offers 26 attractions.
Through the nine areas of the park, one can be transported to several epic locations around the globe, such as Central Park, featuring a space-themed “Independence Day: Defiance” ride, and Rio de Janeiro; but also find themselves in movie inspired areas, like “Andromea Base” and “Robot Rivet Town”.
Genting SkyWorlds Theme Park features several themed areas, which include 3D adventure, “Invasion of the Planet of the Apes”, at the “Liberty Lane area”, a coaster bike ride, “Eagle Mountain” and a robot-themed roller coaster, “Robotics Land”. Attractions like the “Ice Age: Expedition Thin Ice”, simulating a journey through frozen caverns, and “Bigweld’s Zeppelins” promise to keep the younglings entertained.
Guest can also enjoy a trip to cinema, a bowling match, virtual reality experiences, and arcade-fun, at Skytropolis, the Park’s indoor area. The option to spend the night is made possible through the seven hotels located at the Skyworld’s integrated resort.
Tickets start at €31 for adults and €26 for children.
8. Lotte World Adventure Busan, Busan, South Korea
Lotte World Adventure Busan opened in Busan, South Korea, in March 2022, about three decades after the opening of its flagship park in Seoul. This is a “Fairy Tale Kingdom” themed park that features six themed areas, including “Magic Island”, “Adventure Village” and “Lotty’s Toy Land”, with European-inspired gardens, plazas, fountains, and a variety of thrilling rides and games, including a roller coaster restaurant, accurately called “Food Drop”.
In “Magic Island,” visitors can ride on the “Gyro Drop” and “Atlantis Adventure” attractions. “Adventure Village” features a pirate ship and a jungle-themed roller coaster, while “Lotty’s Toy Land” is based on the Lotte brand’s toy line. One of the main attractions is the “Giant Digger”, a rollercoaster than runs at a speed of 100 km/h on a track over 1,000 meters long that rotates 360 degrees several times.
In the evening, the park comes alive with light shows, music, and dance shows.
Tickets start at €32 for adults and €23 for children.