These Are The 10 Best Amusement Parks And Water Parks In New Jersey For 2018


We used science and data to determine which amusement parks and water parks in New Jersey are the best to spend a day or weekend with the family.

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Just imagine:

You get off your favorite ride, jazzed up by the excitement, and on your way to get a uniquely American snack at your favorite amusement park.

Alright, now, open your eyes and come back to me for a moment as we go into where best to have that same experience in New Jersey. These are the water parks and amusement parks in {state} that have everything you could hope for in a day out with the family.

Using data from The Park DB, we were able to take a look at over 250 amusement and water parks across America, which includes New Jersey of course. After pouring over reams of data, Six Flags Great Adventure emerged as the best park in the Garden State by a hefty margin.

Here’s a look at the best amusement parks and water parks in New Jersey for 2018:

  1. Six Flags Great Adventure
  2. Six Flags Wild Safari Animal Park, Jackson
  3. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor- Jackson
  4. Mariner’S Landing
  5. Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Water Parks
  6. Casino Pier
  7. Clementon Park
  8. Gillian’s Wonderland Pier
  9. Keansburg Amusement Park
  10. Morey’s Piers

There are a whole lot of smiles and good memories wrapped up in those parks. Not to mention corn dogs, popcorn, roller coasters, and water slides.

Before you go out and buy your ticket to {first}, let’s take a look at how we ranked the parks on this list and what each of the top dogs has to offer.

If you’re looking for other family friendly things to do, check out the best farmers markets in New Jersey or the best cities for families in New Jersey.

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How We Ranked The Best Amusement Parks And Water Parks In New Jersey

If you haven’t check out The Park DB, we recommend it. It has all kinds of data on amusement parks big and small throughout the world.

Fortunately for us, they opened up their data set and let us take a look. So how do you rank the best amusement park in New Jersey? We looked at the following criteria:

  1. Size (How big is the park and how many rides are there)
  2. Price (Perhaps counter-intuitively initially, we did the higher the price the better. More on that)
  3. Age of the park (The newer the better)

We know your probably thinking ‘why is more expensive better?!’

Well, we believe in supply and demand and a higher price means that people must really want to go to the amusement park. It normally also means there’s either a strong brand associated with the park and/or plenty of things to do.

We also recognize that many water parks and amusement parks get renovations and additions throughout the years, but we still think newer is generally better.

If you disagree with our criteria, no offense taken. We are just trying to get the ball rolling on great places to spend a day or weekend in the Garden State.

So, with that out of the way, we ranked each park from best to worst for each of these criteria with one being the best. (If a park was missing criteria, it got the lowest score for that criteria).

We then averaged the rankings of each criteria to create an amusement park score and normalized it to 100.

For New Jersey, Six Flags Great Adventure took the top spot with a score of 73.5.

Here’s a bit more on what the top parks have to offer.

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1. Six Flags Great Adventure


Score: 73.5

Six Flags Great Adventure is an amusement park located in Jackson, New Jersey, owned by Six Flags Entertainment Corp. Situated between New York City and Philadelphia, the park complex also contains the Hurricane Harbor water park.

The park opened in 1974 under restaurateur Warner LeRoy. Six Flags took over ownership of the park in 1977. Today, the park contains eleven themed areas.

On August 30, 2012, Six Flags combined its 160-acre (65 ha) Great Adventure Park with its 350-acre (140 ha) Wild Safari animal park to form the 510-acre (210 ha) Great Adventure & Safari park, making it the second-largest theme park in the world, after Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Numerous artists have performed concerts at the park, including The Ramones, The Beach Boys, Heart, Kansas, Cheap Trick, Joan Jett, Falling In Reverse and Alice Cooper.

2. Six Flags Wild Safari Animal Park, Jackson


Score: 73.5

Six Flags Great Adventure is an amusement park located in Jackson, New Jersey, owned by Six Flags Entertainment Corp. Situated between New York City and Philadelphia, the park complex also contains the Hurricane Harbor water park.

The park opened in 1974 under restaurateur Warner LeRoy. Six Flags took over ownership of the park in 1977. Today, the park contains eleven themed areas.

On August 30, 2012, Six Flags combined its 160-acre (65 ha) Great Adventure Park with its 350-acre (140 ha) Wild Safari animal park to form the 510-acre (210 ha) Great Adventure & Safari park, making it the second-largest theme park in the world, after Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Numerous artists have performed concerts at the park, including The Ramones, The Beach Boys, Heart, Kansas, Cheap Trick, Joan Jett, Falling In Reverse and Alice Cooper.

3. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor- Jackson

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor- Jackson

Score: 67.3

Hurricane Harbor is the name of a chain of water parks that are part of the Six Flags theme park chain. Although the parks are not identical, common features include a variety of body slides, speed slides, tube slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and shopping areas.

4. Mariner’S Landing


Score: 42.9

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5. Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Water Parks

Morey

Score: 34.7

Morey\xc2\x92s Piers & Beachfront Waterparks is a classic seaside amusement park located on The Wildwoods’ boardwalk in Wildwood and North Wildwood, New Jersey. The park has been family owned and operated since 1969 and is currently run by 2nd generation Morey Brothers, Will and Jack. Morey\xc2\x92s Piers has over 100 rides and attractions. It includes three amusement piers and two beachfront waterparks.

6. Casino Pier

Casino Pier

Score: 31.2

Casino Pier is an amusement park situated on a pier, in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, United States. Casino Pier was partially destroyed, and indefinitely closed, on October 29, 2012, after part of the pier collapsed into the Atlantic Ocean due to the storm surge generated by Hurricane Sandy. Despite this, park management successfully rebuilt the pier’s lower deck, and re-opened with limited rides in July 2013. Before the storm, the pier extended approximately 300 feet (100 meters) into the Atlantic Ocean, from the narrow strip of the Barnegat Peninsula (approx. 6 blocks) in which Seaside Heights is situated. An expansion for the pier is set to open in 2017 which includes Hydrus (a Euro-Fighter roller coaster) and a Ferris wheel.

7. Clementon Park


Score: 31.2

Clementon Park and Splash World is a mid-sized combination theme park and water park in Clementon, Camden County, New Jersey, United States. Also known as Clementon Lake Park, it is one of the world’s oldest operating amusement parks. It is owned and operated by Premier Parks, LLC.

8. Gillian’s Wonderland Pier


Score: 31.2

Gillians is a historic amusement park founded in 1929 by David Gillian, who first came to Ocean City in 1914. It is located on the ocean boardwalk of the New Jersey shore.

David started his career in the orchestra at C. Elwood Carpenter’s Dance Club (aka The Casino), located over the Moorlyn Theater on the old Boardwalk. In 1917 he transferred to the Hippodrome pier, where he played with Robin Robinson’s Orchestra. The Hippodrome had a movie theatre, vaudeville, dancing and amusements for children.

In October 1927, a fire destroyed the Hippodrome, after which the burned boardwalk was replaced in 1928. In 1930 David Gillian opened a Fun Deck at Plymouth Place and the Boardwalk. The two main attractions were a Ferris wheel and a Merry-Go-Round.

In honor of his 100th birthday in 1990, David Gillian donated a horse from the Merry-Go-Round to the Ocean City Historical Museum. David Gillian died in March 1993 at the age of 102.

In 1957, David Gillian retired and his sons, Bob and Roy took over from 1957-1977. In 1965 Roy left the family business and started Wonderland Pier at 6th Street and the Boardwalk (where Stainton’s Playland had burned down 10 years prior), with 10 rides and a parking lot.

Roy became mayor of Ocean City in 1985, and retired from politics in 1989. In 1994, Roy became the president of IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions). His son, Jay Gillian, became mayor of Ocean City in 2010.

The Gillian family decided to expand their business beyond Ocean City by opening Gillian’s Funland of Sea Isle City. Located on JFK Blvd.

Gillian’s Wonderland Pier is mostly famous for its 144-foot (44 m) Giant Wheel, one of the largest Ferris wheels on the east coast.

In 2009, Gillian’s Wonderland Pier celebrated 80 years on the Ocean City, New Jersey Boardwalk.

9. Keansburg Amusement Park

Keansburg Amusement Park

Score: 31.2

Keansburg (pronounced ‘KEENS-burg’) is a borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough\’s population was 10,105, which represented a decline of 627 (-5.8%) from the 10,732 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 337 (-3.0%) from the 11,069 counted in the 1990 Census.

Keansburg was formed as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 26, 1917, from portions of both Middletown Township and Raritan Township (now Hazlet), based on the results of a referendum held on April 17, 1917.

The borough is part of the Bayshore Regional Strategic Plan, an effort by nine municipalities in northern Monmouth County to reinvigorate the area\’s economy by emphasizing the traditional downtowns, dense residential neighborhoods, maritime history, and the natural beauty of the Raritan Bay coastline.

10. Morey’s Piers

Morey

Score: 31.2

Morey\xc2\x92s Piers & Beachfront Waterparks is a classic seaside amusement park located on The Wildwoods’ boardwalk in Wildwood and North Wildwood, New Jersey. The park has been family owned and operated since 1969 and is currently run by 2nd generation Morey Brothers, Will and Jack. Morey\xc2\x92s Piers has over 100 rides and attractions. It includes three amusement piers and two beachfront waterparks.

Closing Out The Souvenir Shops In New Jersey

There you have it — a look at some of the best amusement parks and water parks that New Jersey has to offer. The Park DB constantly updates their data, so we’ll update the data as they update theirs.

Now go out there and have as much fun as humanly possible — your favorite ride is always waiting for you.

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